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Media Resources

Orenco’s Marketing Department provides assistance to members of the media interested in contacting researchers, staff, or engineers. We can set up interviews and photography sessions, provide background information, and arrange for an article to be created on industry-related topics.

To the right, you’ll find links to a variety of information about Orenco and our technology. The fact sheet and corporate history summary offer basic information about Orenco and its operation. 

Contact Jennifer Wimber to be added to our mailing list for press releases and electronic media advisories. You can reach her via email.

News Releases

Orenco Celebrates 40th Anniversary, Makes Organizational Changes

Orenco Celebrates 40th Anniversary, Makes Organizational Changes 


SUTHERLIN, ORE., February 2, 2021 — Orenco Systems, Inc., is celebrating four decades of protecting the world’s water. As part of reaching this milestone, the company is making some significant changes that better reflect its plans for the future.

After 40 years, founder Hal Ball has announced his retirement from day-to-day involvement in the company. Co-founder and former executive vice president Terry Bounds will serve as both chairman of Orenco’s board of directors and president over the research and development, operation and maintenance, and facilities departments of the company.

“It feels pretty amazing to have achieved this milestone,” says Bounds, “and we couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone we’ve worked with over the past four decades, both inside and outside Orenco.” He adds, “We’re also incredibly excited to continue developing innovative, science-based solutions to protect the world’s water for decades to come.”

Orenco is also instituting some organizational changes in this anniversary year. The company will now operate in three distinct divisions to provide more focused service. Jeff Ball will serve as president of Orenco Water, while Eric Ball has been named president of Orenco Composites. Travis Wood, former president of Franklin Control Systems, is the new president of Orenco Controls. And former legal counsel Scott Saulls will serve as Corporate President.

As mentioned above, Orenco’s wastewater-focused operations will now be known as the Orenco Water division. The company’s founders have always believed in the “One Water” approach to water conservation and management, and the Orenco slogan is “Protecting the World’s Water.” Jeff Ball says, “We see water as our most valuable resource, no matter where it appears in the water cycle.”

Based in Sutherlin, Oregon, Orenco Systems has been designing and manufacturing energy-efficient water and wastewater products, large-scale composite structures, and controls products since 1981. The company employs about 400 people and has more than 300 points of distribution worldwide. For more information, visit

News Release

Water & Wastes Digest “Top Projects” Award for Vero Beach, Florida

Septic-to-Sewer Conversion Helps Clean Up a Florida Community 

SUTHERLIN, ORE., October 7, 2016 — For the second year in a row, an Orenco® Systems’ wastewater installation has received a “Top Projects” award from Water & Wastes Digest magazine. Winners of this coveted award are selected based on the challenges presented by their projects and how they met those challenges.

This year’s award-winning project is located in Vero Beach, Florida, a densely populated city adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s east coast. Many of the city’s on-lot septic tanks and drainfields were failing, and experts believed that nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria from these systems were contributing to the pollution of the watershed. To address these concerns, approximately 1,500 septic systems are now being replaced with an Orenco Sewer™ system.

Darren Paschke, a Project Manager in Orenco’s Municipal Systems group, coordinated the project. “We are excited to be recognized again this year by Water & Wastes Digest,” says Paschke. “The engineer in Vero Beach did his homework and, after analyzing several types of wastewater collection, determined that Orenco Sewer was the most cost-effective solution.”

Robert J. Bolton, P.E., is the Director of Water and Sewer for Vero Beach. While researching various sewer options, he contacted other cities that had already installed Orenco Sewer. He found they were able to maintain their systems with minimal staffing and negligible maintenance issues. “At this point,” says Bolton, “I determined that Orenco products led the industry.” And, according to Bolton’s calculations, the cost of installing an Orenco Sewer was less than half of what it would have cost to expand the city’s gravity sewer system.

Orenco Sewers use underground tanks at each home to collect wastewater solids, with pump-outs needed only 7-10 years, depending on occupancy.i The liquid waste is pumped to a treatment facility. Energy requirements, operation and maintenance needs, and life-cycle costs for the system are all typically much less than those for a traditional gravity sewer system.ii

i Orenco Systems, internal tests, based on a 95% level of confidence.
ii Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, Decentralized Systems Performance and Costs Fact Sheets,

Media Kits

WEFTEC 2020 Media Kit

Orenco Features Prelos™, the Next Step in Sewer Evolution 


SUTHERLIN, ORE., September 30, 2020 — Orenco® will feature its Prelos™ Wastewater Collection System and AdvanTex® Wastewater Treatment System at WEFTEC Connect, the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference, held online this year from October 5th through 9th. Orenco’s virtual booth will also showcase the company’s advanced technologies in Composites and Controls.

Introduced just last year, Prelos is a pressurized liquid-only sewer that’s based on Orenco’s four decades of community sewering experience. “Prelos uses small-diameter, shallow-bury pipe that significantly lowers the cost and disruption of sewer installation,” says Mike Saunders, Market Segment Leader for Orenco’s Engineered Systems Department. At the core of the Prelos system is the Prelos Processor, a complete, high-quality package of compatible, long-lifespan components, designed to provide primary wastewater treatment at the source and engineered to be watertight.

A Prelos sewer conveys partially treated wastewater to the treatment facility without the need for lift stations, providing additional cost and energy savings. It allows for smaller, lower cost treatment plants,1 and its ease of maintenance contributes to documented2 low life-cycle costs. A Prelos sewer project in Potters Mills, Pennsylvania, was featured in the June 2020 issue of Water Environment & Technology magazine.

The Prelos Wastewater Collection System pairs perfectly with Orenco’s AdvanTex line of wastewater treatment systems, including the AX-Max™, a recirculating packed-bed filter with a highly efficient, engineered textile media. A recipient of WEF’s 2011 “Innovative Technology Award,” AdvanTex technology is known for its reliability, small footprint, and low maintenance requirements. The AdvanTex AX-Max is pre-plumbed and easy to install, either individually or in multi-tank arrays, and can be installed in a central treatment location or distributed among multiple locations. Two pairs of AX-Max units have been installed along the environmentally sensitive Scenic Rim Trail in the Gondwana Rainforest of Queensland, Australia. (See our Scenic Rim Project Profile, included in this media kit.)

Orenco Composites™ (, a division of Orenco Systems®, manufactures custom fiberglass products for multiple industries, from transportation to utilities to telecommunications. It specializes in DuraFiber™ buildings, rectangular tanks, basins, enclosures, and wet wells.

DuraFiber buildings are strong, lightweight, and virtually maintenance-free. They come with a variety of special options, including windows, heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation systems. They’re designed not to leak, warp, crack, or splinter, and they don’t rot or rust, because no wood or exposed steel is used in their construction. DuraFiber buildings are a hassle-free project solution, allowing engineers to focus on more challenging design issues.

Orenco Controls™ (, another division of Orenco Systems, produces high-quality standard, custom, and OEM control panels. Its Standard TCOM (STCOM) panel remotely monitors and controls treatment systems with real-time efficiency while remaining invisible to the public. The STCOM has easy-to-use software and allows operators to access and monitor systems from any web browser, whether on a smartphone, desktop, or laptop. It currently supports Orenco’s AdvanTex Treatment Systems and will soon be expanded to a wider variety of applications.

Orenco Controls offers a selection of industrial control panels, including the OLS Series panel, featuring a logic controller with user-friendly interface graphics that make it easy to operate. OLS Control Panels come with either integrated starters (an economical choice) or variable-frequency drives (VFDs), which optimize system operation. These panels are ideal for a variety of pumping applications, including lift stations, water boosting, stormwater pump stations, dewatering, and sludge pumping.

Based in Sutherlin, Oregon, Orenco Systems has been designing and manufacturing energy-efficient water and wastewater products since 1981. The company employs about 360 people and has more than 300 points of distribution worldwide. For more information, visit

To arrange an interview, contact:

Mike Saunders (Wastewater Collection & Treatment Products), 941-661-5776

Darren Simmie (Composites Products), 541-784-6423

Jerry Snyder (Controls Products), 541-580-5781


1 As seen in the Montesano, Washington, liquid-only sewer system.

2 Bill Cagle, Terry Cargil, and Roger Dickinson, “20-Year Life Cycle Analysis of an Effluent Sewer (STEP) System,” 14 (paper presented at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, Chicago, IL, October 2013).





In The News

Water Environment & Technology, November 2020

“Out of Sight, Top of Mind”

“A properly designed, well-maintained, and successfully operated wastewater treatment system will yield a positive effect on a property’s bottom line, its environmental profile, and its guest experiences.” Read More >

WaterWorld, September 2020

“Sewage Solutions”

“With the nearest municipal sewer system about 3.5 miles away, the Pennsylvania village of Potters Mills – traditionally served by on-lot septic systems – needed a more accessible solution to their sewage problems.” Read More >

Water & Wastes Digest, September 2020

“Effluent Sewer Addresses Odor & Aging Infrastructure”

“Orenco offered a sewer solution that would meet the city’s budget, which was an effluent sewer for wastewater collection followed by an AdvanTex AX-MaxTM wastewater treatment facility. Because of the first two failed proposals, the URS engineer was hesitant to make a third, but research revealed the septic tank effluent pump (STEP) collection system used in this sewer would provide a significant cost savings over the gravity sewer specified in the first two proposals.” Read More >

Water Quality Products, September 2020

“Effluent Sewer Addresses Odor & Aging Infrastructure”

“Orenco offered a sewer solution that would meet the city’s budget, which was an effluent sewer for wastewater collection followed by an AdvanTex AX-Max wastewater treatment facility. Because of the first two failed proposals, the ... engineer was hesitant to make a third, but research revealed the septic tank effluent pump (STEP) collection system used in this sewer would provide a significant cost savings over the gravity sewer specified in the first two proposals.” Read More >

Water Environment & Technology, June 2020

"In Search of a Scaled Solution”

"Located too far to connect to the nearest city’s sewer system, Potters Mills needed an effective, affordable wastewater collection and treatment system that was easy to install, operate, and maintain with minimal disruption to residents’ daily lives. After a thorough review of the available options, Potter Township, which governs the village, chose to install a pressurized, liquid-only sewer system that feeds into a new advanced attached-growth treatment process with a history of serving small communities and small-flow applications." Read More >

WaterWorld, April 2020

"Effluent Sewers Down Under”

In early 2009, a record-breaking heat wave struck the state of Victoria in southeast Australia, making already dry conditions even worse. In addition, strong winds and low humidity combined to create some of the highest-risk fire conditions ever experienced in the region. Fierce winds knocked down power lines, resulting in fires that quickly grew into the largest, most destructive firestorm in Australia’s modern history. The community of Kinglake West, home to about 1,000 residents, was dramatically impacted. Much of the town needed to be rebuilt, including its infrastructure.Read More >

World Water, Mar/Apr 2020

"Reliable, Onsite Wastewater Treatment in Australian Outback”

"The Wirib Tourist Park was earmarked as an ongoing sustainability project and is part of the government indigenous food security program, servicing three local indigenous communities, which rely on fish from a nearby creek as a source of food. Unfortunately, the park’s existing AWTS [aerated wastewater treatment system] was undersized and couldn’t adequately treat the wastewater flows produced onsite, particularly during periods of high occupancy. When the AWTS overflowed, the creek received untreated wastewater." Read More >

Water & Wastes Digest, March 2020

"Liquid-only Sewer Briefing”

"Liquid-only sewers (also known as “effluent sewers”) have proven to be a cost-effective solution for municipalities, new subdivisions, and a variety of other areas in need of sewer. As opposed to the big pipes and deep excavations typically required by gravity sewers, liquid-only sewers use small-diameter, shallowly buried mainlines that follow the contour of the land and are easily installed with light-duty equipment, minimizing disturbance to the surrounding area.Read More >

World Water, Sep/Oct 2019

"Nitrogen-Reduction Treatment Systems for Long-Term Operations”

"A proper analysis of nitrogen-reduction systems is critical to finding the most effective treatment process for specific locations. Tristian Bounds of Orenco Systems illustrates how a nitrogen-reduction treatment system was evaluated for a recreational vehicle (RV) resort project in Deschutes County, Oregon, United States (US).Read More >

World Water, Jul/Aug 2019

"Rural Water Utility Builds Customer Base with Wastewater”

"To expand system capacity and customers, South Alabama Utilities adopted a utility-managed, effluent-only sewer and decentralized wastewater treatment approach, which continues to generate more business in its rural service area after almost 20 years. Mike Saunders of Orenco Systems, Inc. and Lindsay Tucker, PE of Garver Engineering report.Read More >

World Water, Mar/Apr 2019

"Myth Busting: The Value of an Interceptor Tank in Effluent Sewer Systems”

"An interceptor tank, as part of an effluent sewer, provides low- cost, low-energy primary treatment of wastewater."

"Treatment process savings due to lower-strength wastewater from an effluent sewer include reduced energy demand, reduced chemical use, less biosolids handling, and less biosolids disposal. These combined expenses can make up a substantial portion of the total wastewater treatment cost." Read More >

World Water, Jan/Feb 2019

"Effluent Sewer and Treatment System Solve Wastewater Crisis”

"In 2007, the picturesque community of Piopio, New Zealand, was on the verge of a wastewater crisis."

"Residents may not have realized the urgent need for a sewer and sewage treatment system, but the governing Waitomo District Council had identified the town as qualifying for wastewater funding through the national Ministry of Health. After a thorough bidding process that considered various treatment options, the Council chose an Orenco Effluent Sewer and AdvanTex Treatment System, given its robust treatment and low operating and capital costs." Read More >

Water & Wastes Digest, December 2018

“2018 Top Water & Wastewater Projects: Riviera Utilities”

"Riviera Utilities’ primary goal with its project was to design a cost-effective and reliable treatment system to replace the intermittent sand filter being used to treat wastewater from the Diamondhead community near Hot Springs, Ark. ..."

"The utility had received an engineering proposal for a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) treatment facility at an estimated cost of more than $2 million ... The company instead contacted PMI, an engineering services firm. PMI recommended a two-stage treatment process: recirculating media filters (RMFs) followed by Orenco AdvanTex AX100 wastewater treatment systems. This would cost one-third as much as the SBR proposal and would reduce the long-term costs of operation and maintenance." Read More >

World Water, September/October 2018

“Decentralized Wastewater Reuse Goes Mainstream”

"As the demand for water recycling continues to grow, and an increasing number of successful water reuse projects prove that recycling can be done safely at smaller scales, the future looks bright for decentralized recycling projects to become mainstream." Read More >

Water & Wastes Digest, September 2018

“Adjust the System”

"Effluent sewer systems can benefit small communities and isolated developments, including reducing up-front capital costs, lowering life-cycle costs, improving system performance at low flows, reducing maintenance, increasing reliability and decreasing operation requirements. These can save utilities thousands of dollars in up-front and life-cycle costs.

"With decentralized collection technologies available — such as effluent sewers — communities and utilities should consider implementing impact-fee adjustment for specific users based on organic, hydraulic and operational impacts. With this billing system, those using technologies that reduce the impact on the wastewater collection and treatment system pay lower fees." Read More >

Water Reuse & Desalination, Summer 2018

“Sustainable Reuse at National Scout Reserve”

"The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) installed an energy-efficient, graywater reuse system for disposing of the graywater generated by the 336 shower buildings at its showcase camping and training facility, the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve ... An array of AdvanTex® AX20-RTs – 224 in all – and two AdvanTex AX-Max™ units process the graywater and treat it for reuse in toilet flushing." Read More >

World Water, July/August 2018

“Onsite STEP System Handles Seasonal Peaks at US National Park”

"The onsite effluent sewer system installed at Stinson Beach, part of the United States National Park Service system, keeps the facilities running smoothly during peak season when visitors rise to 5,000 per day." Read More >

Onsite Installer, March 2018

“New Methods for System Monitoring”

"VeriComm enables users to view data related to the performance of the system, any alarm conditions, and excessive use. The system is an effective tool in the septic industry toolbox for monitoring system performance and preventing problems." Read More >

World Water, November/December 2017

“Responsible Water Recycling: Decentralized Solutions for Water Reuse”

"Increasing demands on the planet’s limited fresh water supply are a source of immediate concern. In many places, demand exceeds supply. By implementing effective treatment technologies and reuse strategies, the effects of drought and population growth on water supplies can be alleviated. Decentralized water reuse solutions can play a pivotal role in water conservation and management. Properly treating waste-water – both blackwater and greywater – at or near the point of generation relieves pressure on potable water resources and provides many other environmental and economic benefits. Decentralized systems also minimize environmental footprints, increase opportunities for public education and awareness, and provide for a more sustainable future." Read More >

Water Environment & Technology, April 2017

“A Decentralized Solution for a Small Village”

"Christiansburg, Ohio, was experiencing serious issues with failing onsite wastewater systems. Septage odors were common, especially after heavy rainfalls, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) detected high levels of fecal coliform in nearby West Honey Creek in 2012. Village leaders stepped up their efforts to seek a cost-effective system for wastewater collection and treatment ..."

"After reviewing cost comparisons, [village] council members decided that an effluent sewer followed by packed-bed treatment was their most cost-effective option. It also offered the ease of operation that would enable the village to affordably manage its own facility." Read More >

Water & Wastes Digest, January 2017

“How to Compare Sewer Technologies Using Life-Cycle Cost Analysis”

"Pressure sewers can provide affordable service to municipalities, new subdivisions, and areas where gravity sewers are difficult and expensive to install. Effluent and grinder sewers are today’s dominant pressure sewer technologies. When evaluating these two options, lifecycle cost analysis is an effective tool for comparison, especially when actual costs can be used."

"In 2010, the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WERF) developed two reliable resources for evaluating sewer technologies: (1) a “Wastewater Planning Model,” allowing users to compare life-cycle costs and (2) a series of collection system “Fact Sheets” for different types of sewers, including design characteristics, performance, and cost estimates. When performing life-cycle cost analysis using WERF’s documented figures, it’s evident that pressure sewers can be an affordable option." Read More >

Water & Wastes Digest, December 2016

“2016 Top Water and Wastewater Projects: Vero Beach Sewer System Extension”

"Until recently, approximately 1,500 failing septic systems served large portions of Vero Beach. These systems were degrading the Indian River Lagoon adjacent to the city with excessive nutrient loads and pollution ..."

"Robert Bolton, director of water and sewer for the city of Vero Beach, began investigating other options. He settled on an Orenco effluent sewer system, also known as a Septic Tank Effluent Pump (STEP) system, which was estimated to cost $11 million in comparison to the original $22.5 million proposal [for gravity sewer]." Read More >

Onsite Installer, June 2016

“An Iowa Farm Community Finds Solution to Wastewater Woes”

“The State of Iowa determined it was time to modernize the wastewater system in Woden, a cluster of homes in the rural north-central part of the state … The previous system consisted of individual septic tanks for each home, but they discharged into a ditch that ran into the channelized Lindsey Creek along the eastern side of Woden. Replacements are being ordered for direct discharge systems across the state.

“… Engineers from Jacobson-Westergard & Associates in Estherville, Iowa, designed a system to handle the community’s wastewater without the expense of a small treatment plant. Each property received a 1,600-gallon concrete septic tank … These are dual-chamber tanks with half dedicated to settling and the other half housing an Orenco Systems model PF100511-30 effluent pump package with floats already in place. The tank provides settling and primary treatment.

“… Mains and lift stations move wastewater uphill to a lagoon about a half mile north of Woden, where tertiary treatment of the effluent occurs.” Read More >

Corporate Biographies

Hal Ball

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Terry Bounds

Executive VP
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Eric Ball

Senior Vice President
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Jeff Ball

Senior Vice President
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Rhonda Amer, HR Director

Rhonda Amer

Human Resources Manager

Blake Johnston

Sales Manager for Wastewater Products
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Brent Ballow

Electrical Controls Division Manager
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Angela Bounds

Marketing Manager
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