Designer/Engineer Updates Archive

Welcome to Orenco's Designer/Engineer Update. Here you'll find more information about items from our e-mailed newsletter.


12/5/08 Update 

AdvanTex's Nitrogen Reduction Capability Saves Hillsdale 


A village tucked between the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires, Hillsdale, New York has beautiful countryside, a quaint town square, well-to-do "weekenders" from Manhattan -- and used to have failing septic systems. In fact, since 1990, the town had been under a consent order from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation. Hillsdale's consulting engineers, Clark Engineering & Surveying, recommended an Orenco Effluent Sewer followed by an AdvanTex Treatment System.

Originally, the plans included a four-cell constructed wetlands for nitrogen-polishing before dispersal. Because the AdvanTex System was able to meet the TN requirement on its own, the town was able to remove the wetlands from the permit, saving approximately $200,000. Grants and no-interest loans from a variety of sources are funding the project. Construction started in the fall, 2007, and the system is being started up this month.

Wastewater Technologies, Inc. (WTI) provided consultation and equipment and will operate the system for the first year, after which the Town Sewer District will become the operator and service provider. With this system in place, Hillsdale will be out from under its consent order with a long-term, village-wide solution that protects public health and the environment.

Our brochure, Affordable Wastewater Solutions for Small Communities, describes ten communities, including Hillsdale, that use Orenco's collection and treatment systems.


Design/Build Firm's Newsletters Showcase Innovative 

Wastewater Projects

Integrated Water Services, Inc. (IWS) is a design/build firm that specializes in water and wastewater projects throughout the United States. IWS often teams with local engineering firms and can also provide construction-only services.Their newsletters describe recent projects, both public and private, many of which use Orenco's AdvanTex technology for treatment. Follow the link below to access an archive of these newsletters.

Articles featuring Orenco equipment include:

Fall 2008: "IWS Completes First East Coast Project in South Carolina," "IWS First Design-Build Project in Oregon Nears Completion," "IWS Makes Memorial Day Possible for Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA," "Turn-key Sustainable Project in Pristine Arizona Desert," "IWS Helps Keep Critical Regional Hospital Online."

Fall 2007: "Unique Malibu Project Sets Standard for OWTS in Environmentally Sensitive Areas," "IWS Design-Build Approach is a Winner for Sustainable Development in New Mexico," "Fully Integrated Approach Saves Largest School District in California Over $1.1 Million."

Spring 2006: "Wastewater System for Echo Mountain Snowboard and Ski Park in Colorado," "Design/Build On-site Wastewater System for California Central Valley Community," "Design Build of Wastewater and Reuse System for Subdivision in Arizona," "Design Build of Wastewater and Reuse System for Mobile Home Park in Arizona."

Spring 2005: "Ramona School District Installs Advanced Treatment System In San Diego County, CA," "First Commercial Advanced Treatment System Installed in Riverside County, CA," "IWS Renovates CDOT Rest Areas in Glenwood Canyon and Replaces Composting Units."

10/31/08 Update 

Two-Piece Tank Saddle Introduced

For AX20 installations using Orenco Fiberglass Tanks, we recommend using our fiberglass saddle, which securely holds the pod at the correct height above the tank. We've developed a two-piece version of the saddle that's easier to handle and ship than the original one-piece saddle. To see how the product looks and functions, download Two-Piece Saddle Installation Instructions (NIN-SAD-2).


How to Use Orenco's Graphics and Text in Your Presentations

Did you know that you can use many of Orenco's photos and illustrations, and much written content, in your own Web sites, PowerPoints, and handouts? Just about anything you see on our Web site or download from our Document Library is available. If you see something you like, contact our Marketing Coordinator, Stacey Werner, at (800) 348-9843, x375. She can arrange for you to get whatever you want in the correct file format and resolution.

However, to ensure that you respect our intellectual property rights, you must follow a few guidelines. Our document, Orenco Systems, Inc. Intellectual Property Policies (APC-GEN-1), explains these guidelines simply.



10/10/08 Update

Visit Us at WEFTEC

Orenco Systems and Orenco Controls will be at WEFTEC October 19-22 in booth 20138. Find us on this interactive floor plan of the venue. Visitors to our booth will see a new video explaining how Orenco effluent sewers provide a cost-effective, sustainable solution to communities needing to accommodate septic abatement, fringe development, or service area expansion. They'll also find out about "hybrid" systems that use both Orenco Effluent Sewers and gravity sewers. And they'll see the custom controls that are the brains behind our technologies -- and numerous other applications -- providing SCADA functionality at a fraction of the price.

If you're going to WEFTEC and would like to make an appointment to meet one of our engineers, call Tyler Molatore (Engineered Systems) at (800) 348-9843, x416, or Jerry Snyder (Orenco Controls) at (800) 348-9843, x273.


Lacey, Washington Case Study: 

"Early Effluent Sewer Adopters Develop Hybrid System"

In 1986, Lacey installed Orenco effluent sewers to provide affordable wastewater infrastructure in its expanding service area. All the effluent sewer mains discharge into the city's gravity sewer infrastructure. Now, Lacey has a hybrid system that includes about 100 miles of gravity sewer mains with 7,800 connections and 46 miles of effluent sewer mains with 2,800 connections. As an early adopter of effluent sewers, Lacey has had more than 26 years to experiment with various O&M protocols. In 2007, at Lacey's request, Orenco's Asset Management Group began analyzing the city's maintenance protocols and made recommendations to reduce costs while still providing outstanding customer service.





Canyonville, Oregon Case Study: 

"As Canyonville Developments Grow, Orenco's TCOM Panels Adapt"

At the Seven Feathers casino resort in Canyonville, Oregon, TCOM panels from Orenco have been controlling wastewater facilities since 1994. In 2004, as the surrounding community has grown, seven new TCOM panels were purchased to serve a new 0.5-mgd water and wastewater system. These panels were programmed for peer-to-peer networking. When a new SCADA setup supervised by Allen-Bradley RSView software was designed, the TCOM panels were simply reprogrammed. There has been no loss in the panels' original functionality, and they can still be remotely accessed via TELNET. This means that, if a problem arises, Orenco's electrical engineers can still call the panel to diagnose the problem or adjust the programming. The TCOM panels also retain their paging capabilities, thereby supplying backup to the SCADA system's paging function.


9/12/08 Update 

We Build Big Flow Inducers for Big Tanks

For big tanks that don't require filtration (such as effluent pump tanks for commercial and community systems), Orenco can build flow inducer "towers" for multiple pumps. Built of PVC pipe and fiberglass sheet, the towers can be any height and accommodate any number of pumps. They can be installed in concrete or fiberglass tanks. In the tank, they rest in a small basin, as shown in the photo at top right.

The four-pump tower shown at top right was installed in a tank at the Yellowstone Club resort in Montana. Some five-pump towers installed at Westport, Washington are shown at bottom right.

For more information, call Orenco's Engineered Systems department at (800) 348-9843.  








Two Residential AdvanTex Performance Summaries Updated

We've updated two Performance Summaries that document the real-world performance of our Residential AdvanTex Systems. AdvanTex Performance Summary, Nutrient Reduction: TN, NH3, TP provides data on nutrient removal, and AdvanTex Performance Summary, General Reduction: cBOD5, TSS, FC documents reductions in cBOD5, total suspended solids, and fecal coliform. These documents summarize the results of third-party field testing as well as Orenco's own field testing. For example, there are initial results from a third-party test that's been running in Pennsylvania since 2005, as part of that state's Technology Verification Program. It involves 9 homes where AX20 systems are running in "combo mode," a combination of Mode 1 and Mode 3 in which effluent from the pod recirculates into both the primary compartment and secondary compartment of a 1500-gallon processing tank. A particularly large ongoing test that is included is our North Carolina approval test, which has been running since 2003 with 50 homes. This test, a second-party test conducted under state oversight, includes some AX100 systems installed on large beach houses, in addition to AX20 systems.

8/22/08 Update 

DOWRA Article Outlines Differences Between 

Test Center Performance and Field Performance

There's often a world of difference between results produced in the lab and those produced underground. Nicholas Noble, Orenco's Government Relations Rep, has written an article titled "Public Confidence in Onsite Systems Requires Field Testing and Field Standards for Performance," which was published in the July 2008 DOWRA News, the newsletter of the Delaware On-Site Wastewater Recycling Association. Noble explains that bench tests have significant limitations in assessing long-term performance under variable conditions for a number of reasons:

  • They use a nontypical, weaker waste stream.

  • Their "stress tests" don't simulate real stresses.

  • Their tests are performed under unrealistic temperature conditions.

In Orenco's opinion, approvals should be based on field testing in addition to test-center testing. Once systems are approved, a percentage should be monitored in the field at the manufacturer's expense. Online recordkeeping should be required so that regulators can monitor service visits and sampling results.

As Noble writes, "A robust field test standard would allow governments and homeowners to feel confident about relying on advanced onsite treatment." And that would be good for our industry.


Tchobanoglous Paper Calls for Management of 

Decentralized Systems

In 2003, Dr. George Tchobanoglous won the $50,000 Clarke Prize awarded by the National Water Research Institute for contributions to water science and technology. We've added a copy of his Clarke Prize Lecture, "The Importance of Decentralized Wastewater Management in the Twenty-first Century," to our online Document Library. Aimed at a general audience, it explains that, to meet the increasing demand for decentralized treatment systems while protecting public health, diligent management of these systems is necessary.

Tchobanoglous points out that society needs to start thinking of wastewater as a resource, not something to be disposed of. To use it efficiently, wastewater should be treated and reused as close to the point of generation as possible, for which decentralized systems are well suited. Tchobanoglous mentions textile filters as a good treatment method and advocates shallow gravelless drainfields as way to exploit the soil's treatment capability without contaminating groundwater. He also mentions online monitoring of treatment systems as a valuable tool for management.

8/1/08 Update 

New Catalog Supplement Makes Ordering Common Parts Easier

We've developed a streamlined supplement to our product catalog that includes the most commonly needed items for installation and repair of onsite products. It includes risers, lids, and effluent filters for use with all kinds of tanks. The new General Onsite Products Catalog Supplement also offers two pre-spec'd ProSTEP Pump Packages: one for gravity-flow drainfields and one for pressurized drainfields and secondary treatment systems. There are also two pre-spec'd Control Panel Kits, complete with floats: one for on-demand dosing and one for timed dosing.



New Option Enables VeriComm (VCOM) Panels

To Communicate Without Landline

These days, many homes don't have landlines, but do have high-speed Internet connections. But our AdvanTex Treatment Systems need to communicate with the service provider. So Orenco has developed an option that enables our VeriComm (VCOM) remote telemetry panels to communicate via a high-speed Internet connection instead of a landline.

All VCOM panels being made now are Internet-compatible. Panels can be ordered with the Internet connection installed (model code: IP Connection Panel), or current Internet-compatible panels can be easily upgraded later with the IP Upgrade Kit (model code: IP Upgrade Kit). This consists of an Ethernet adapter that has an integral CAT5 Ethernet connection, and an integral RS-232 serial connection. Power and communication software are already built into the panel, so the upgrade is plug-and-play.

We're also offering versatile Dual Configured Panels (model code: Dual Configured Panel), for use with either an Internet connection or a landline. These require our phone line surge arrestor (model code: EOSPA). When ordering the Dual Configured Panel, use the IP product code, and order the surge arrestor as an additional line item.

For more information, contact your AdvanTex Dealer. If you don't know who that is, visit our new, easy-to-use Distributor Locator. A link to it is at the top of every page of, or use the link that follows.

7/11/08 Update 

Learn More About Designing Effluent Sewers and 

AdvanTex Treatment Systems

Orenco continually offers training courses of interest to designers and engineers of residential, commercial, and effluent sewer systems. Some classes are held at our headquarters in Sutherlin, Oregon, and others are held elsewhere around North America. CEUs are often available.

For example, there are still a few spots left in our next two-day AdvanTex Boot Camp, July 17 and 18, to be held at Orenco's headquarters. Using classroom and hands-on instruction, instructor Mark Gross shows participants how AdvanTex systems work, how to design systems for various applications, and how to troubleshoot problems. Cost is $100.

Our engineers can also come to you and train you and your staff in system design, installation, and maintenance. To arrange that, call Shawn Rapp, Training Coordinator, at (800) 348-9843, x332.

Bookmark our training information page below, and refer to it for up-to-date schedules. A link from the page allows you to register online.


Fact Sheet Helps Compare Power Consumption and Costs of 

Advanced Treatment Systems

Our Fact Sheet, How to Compare Power Consumption of Advanced Treatment Systems, explains how to calculate power consumption for various kinds of onsite systems. It also gives sample calculations and typical monthly power costs for an intermittent sand filter or drainfield ($0.58/month), a recirculating packed-bed filter ($1.48/month), and a suspended-growth aerobic treatment unit ($27.35/month).





6/20/08 Update 

Orenco's Asset Management Group Helps Managers of 

Larger Systems

Orenco's Asset Management Group is a resource for owners, managers, and operators of Orenco Effluent Sewer Systems and Commercial AdvanTex Treatment Systems. Services include the following:

  • Optimization of operational performance

  • Life cycle cost data

  • O&M protocols and O&M manuals

  • Operator training and Operator Forum

  • Scheduling of equipment R&R

  • Troubleshooting assistance and product support

  • Stakeholder presentations and resident/user education

Between them, our Asset Management Group has more than 50 years' experience with effluent sewer technologies, engineering, and management:

  • Bill Cagle, National Accounts Program Leader, supervises Orenco's Asset Management program and is responsible for strategic planning. A former regulator, Bill understands the needs of all sectors of the decentralized wastewater industry.

  • Mike Saunders, National Accounts Leader, is a former utility engineer responsible for a combined sewer system with 26,000 conventional gravity connections and 6,000 effluent sewer connections. Mike analyzes -- and makes recommendations on -- the relationships between system design, management, costs, performance, and rates.

  • Darren Paschke, Post-Sales Account Manager, worked in production management at Orenco for many years. He acquired an extensive knowledge of our effluent sewer and commercial treatment products and how they work in the field. Darren works with system managers to optimize operations.

  • Dave Norlin, Post-Sales Account Manager, also works with system managers to optimize operations. Dave has nearly 20 years' experience in product sales and technical support and provides troubleshooting assistance and recommendations.

If you are working with a municipality, utility, or other entity that'sconsidering an Orenco Effluent Sewer System or Commercial AdvanTex Treatment System, contact Orenco's Asset Management Group at 800-348-9843 to find out more about their post-sales support.  


Textile Filter Bibliography Available

We've compiled a bibliography of journal articles, conference papers, and textbook chapters about textile filters in general as well as Orenco's AdvanTex textile filter treatment systems.








Homeowner's Manuals Available in English and Spanish

Orenco has English and Spanish versions of a Homeowner's Manual for users of conventional septic systems, secondary treatment systems, and effluent sewer systems. The manuals explain the do's and don'ts for inside and outside the house . . . do's and don'ts that help maximize system life and minimize maintenance. They also explain what to do in the event of an alarm and emphasize the need to secure the system's lids. We recently redesigned both versions and streamlined them into six-page brochures. Download it below, or call Orenco to request a printed copy.


6/6/08 Update 

New Flyer Showcases Municipal Wastewater Projects

Our new flyer, Affordable Wastewater Solutions That Fit Your Community, summarizes ten municipal wastewater projects we've done in communities of various sizes around the country. It also describes the services provided by Orenco's Engineered Systems Department. If you would like additional copies of this flyer, please contact our Marketing Manager, Sandra Huffstutter, at (800) 348-9843 x214.






Water Softener Commentary Finds Wide Audience

Mark Gross, Orenco's Training Manager, has been leading Orenco's efforts to encourage regulators to require water softener brine to be routed around septic tanks. A brief commentary by Mark, "Water Softener Discharges Do Harm Septic Systems -- And the Problem is Easy to Solve," has appeared in more than 15 publications. The commentary contains good talking points that you may be able to use in explaining the water softener brine problem -- and our cost-effective solutions -- to installers, homeowners, and regulators in your area.


Residential AdvanTex Design Criteria Updated

We've updated our AdvanTex Design Criteria for Residential Applications. We added several drawings, and we made the following changes to the text:

Page 3: Added Table 3, "Required Tankage and Number of Filter Units: Systems Using Separate Septic/Recirc Tanks." Clarifies the requirements for processing and recirculation tank volume.

Page 4: Added references to the AdvanTex Performance Summary, giving effluent quality results from real-world studies.

Page 5: Added explanation of reserve volume in system.

Page 6: Added section about discharge equipment options (pump basin or pump tank).

If you have any questions about designing residential AdvanTex systems, contact your nearest AdvanTex Dealer.  

5/16/08 Update 

36-in. Riser and Lid Available for Large Fiberglass Tanks

Our new 36-in. Kor-FloTM PVC riser and fiberglass lid can be used for access to large fiberglass and concrete tanks. The Kor-Flo PVC riser has bolt catches that allow secure attachment of lid bolts to the riser's double walls. The fiberglass lid has a structural foam core and weighs only 40 lb, yet can support a 2500-lb wheel load. (It's not rated for vehicle traffic, though.) Options include foam insulation, a carbon odor filter, and a sealing gasket.


PEF Low-Head Effluent Pumps Now Available

We recently added low-head PEF Effluent Pumps to our line. Manufactured by Franklin Electric, PEF pumps are used primarily for pumping effluent to low-pressure (gravity) dispersal areas. Their epoxy-coated cast-iron motor housing and other corrosion-resistant internals make them highly durable in wastewater applications. Both 115 VAC and 230 VAC (60 Hz) models are available; both are UL listed for wastewater.

5/2/08 Update 

PF Pump Line Expanded, PumpSelect Updated

Orenco's new PF line of high-head effluent pumps, introduced in the summer of 2007, has now been rounded out to a total of 56 pump models. These pumps, manufactured by Franklin Electric to Orenco's specifications, are the successors to our P pump line, which used a Franklin motor that has been proven for more than 20 years in effluent pumping applications. In the PF pumps, both the motor and the liquid end are made by Franklin.

Our free software, PumpSelect, has been updated to include pump curves for all the new pumps. Visit our Downloads page for the Windows or Mac version of PumpSelect.  




Fact Sheets Summarize Green Benefits of Orenco Products

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The LEED rating system originally covered only commercial buildings, but last fall USGBC introduced "LEED for Homes." Increasingly, builders, developers, engineers, and architects are asking how using AdvanTex Treatment Systems or Orenco Effluent Sewers can help their projects earn points toward LEED certification. Orenco has released four new fact sheets that provide this information.

The "LEED Profiles" suggest language that you can use in your application to support the awarding of specific LEED credits.


The "Environmental Profiles" address the green benefits of AdvanTex and of effluent sewers, in general.

4/18/08 Update 

Universal Flow Inducer Holds Pump and Float Tree

For pump tanks on small commercial systems, reuse or disinfection systems, and other places where you might use a high-head pump without filtration, we've developed our Universal Flow Inducer, which holds a high-head pump and a float tree. The mounting flange slides to accommodate any tank depth. Model code: UFI-4.



12/5/08 Update

  • AdvanTex's Nitrogen Reduction Capability Saves Hillsdale $200,000
  • Design/Build Firm's Newsletters Showcase Innovative Wastewater Projects


10/31/08 Update

  • Two-Piece Tank Saddle Introduced
  • How to Use Orenco's Graphics and Text in Your Presentations


10/10/08 Update

  • Visit Us at WEFTEC
  • Lacey, Washington Case Study: "Early Effluent Sewer Adopters Develop Hybrid System"
  • Canyonville, Oregon Case Study: "As Canyonville Developments Grow, Orenco's TCOM Panels Adapt"


9/12/08 Update

  • We Build Big Flow Inducers for Big Tanks
  • Two Residential AdvanTex Performance Summaries Updated


8/22/08 Update

  • DOWRA Article Outlines Differences Between Test Center Performance and Field Performance
  • Tchobanoglous Paper Calls for Management of Decentralized Systems


8/1/08 Update

  • New Catalog Supplement Makes Ordering Common Parts Easier
  • New Option Enables VeriComm (VCOM) Panels To Communicate Without Landline


7/11/08 Update

  • Learn More About Designing Effluent Sewers and AdvanTex Treatment Systems
  • Fact Sheet Helps Compare Power Consumption and Costs of Advanced Treatment Systems


6/20/08 Update

  • Orenco's Asset Management Group Helps Managers of Larger Systems
  • Textile Filter Bibliography Available
  • Homeowner's Manuals Available in English and Spanish


6/6/08 Update

  • New Flyer Showcases Municipal Wastewater Projects
  • Water Softener Commentary Finds Wide Audience
  • Residential AdvanTex Design Criteria Updated


5/16/08 Update

  • 36-in. Riser and Lid Available for Large Fiberglass Tanks
  • PEF Low-Head Effluent Pumps Now Available


5/2/08 Update

  • PF Pump Line Expanded, PumpSelect Updated
  • Fact Sheets Summarize Green Benefits of Orenco Products


4/18/08 Update

  • Universal Flow Inducer Holds Pump and Float Tree