Peppers Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority
The Pepper’s Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority (PFRWA) was formed under the Virginia Water and Sewer Authorities Act, Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended. The Articles of Incorporation were adopted by the forming members of the Authority on August 8, 1977. The original incorporating political subdivisions of the Authority were the City of Radford, Town of Dublin, and the Counties of Pulaski and Montgomery. The purpose for which the Authority was formed was to acquire, finance, construct, operate and maintain facilities for developing and operating a wastewater equalization, pumping, treatment and disposal system for the long-range needs of the proposed service area. The sizing of the facilities was to be 3.25 million gallons per day (MGD). The Articles of Incorporation were amended and restated on November 20, 1979, at which time the Town of Pulaski was added as an incorporating political subdivision of the Authority. At that time, the sizing of the facilities was increased to 6.0 MGD, and was increased again to 9.0 MGD prior to there ever being any flow received into the regional system.
The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of eight (8) individuals appointed to four-year terms by the governing bodies of the member political subdivisions served by the Authority (the “member jurisdictions”). Selection of the Board of Directors is as follows: two (2) to be selected by the Council of the City of Radford; one (1) by the Council of the Town of Dublin; two (2) by the Council of the Town of Pulaski; one (1) by the Board of Supervisors of Montgomery County; and, two (2) by the Board of Supervisors of Pulaski County. The Board of Directors has adopted a set of Rules and Regulations that determine the manner in which the Authority administers its many programs.
The Authority is considered a wholesale transmission and treatment authority, and establishes rates, fees and charges annually during the development of the annual budget. Invoicing of the member jurisdictions occurs monthly based on the flows delivered to the Authority’s facilities for pumping, transmission and treatment, as well as for debt service, capital improvements projects and other charges. Each member jurisdiction is responsible for their respective collection and pumping systems, and for billing of their residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Radford Pump Station and Force Main
The Radford Pump Station (RPS) is located in the City of Radford and is owned and operated by the Authority. The RPS offers Class I Reliability operation, in that emergency standby power is available 100% of the time, the pumping facilities include redundancy, and the facility can be observed and, if necessary controlled, 24/7/365 from the Authority’s main treatment facility. The average daily flow through the RPS is presently 1.5 MGD. Three pumps provide a maximum capacity of 11.5 MGD and a peak capacity of 8,500 gpm. A fourth pump is “hot” and available for use if one of the other three pumps experiences a failure. All pumps are controlled by variable frequency drive units for control and energy usage optimization. Flows leave the RPS through a twenty (20) inch Class 51 ductile iron force main that is cement lined. This is a “low head” force main of approximately 6,300 feet in length. The RPS force main terminates at the New River Pump Station.
New River Pump Station, Equalization Facility, and Force Main
The New River Pump Station (NRPS) is located in the Fairlawn area of Pulaski County, and is also owned and operated by the Authority. The NRPS also offers Class I Reliability operation, in that emergency standby power is available 100% of the time, the pumping facilities include redundancy, and the facility can be observed and, if necessary controlled, 24/7/365 from the Authority’s main treatment facility. The average daily flow through the NRPS is presently 4.5 MGD. Three pumps provide a maximum capacity of 18 MGD and a peak capacity of 12,750 gpm. A fourth pump is “hot” and available for use if one of the other three pumps experiences a failure. All pumps are controlled by variable frequency drive units for control and energy usage optimization. The NRPS also provides screening and grit removal processing prior to pumping. Flows leave the NRPS through a thirty (30) inch Class 51 ductile iron force main that is cement lined. This is a “high head” force main of approximately 8,500 feet in length. The NRPS force main terminates at the treatment facilities.
The NRPS is also the location of a 4 MG equalization facility (NREQ). This facility is capable of taking side-stream flows during heavy storm events, as well as taking all flows during maintenance and/or repairs of the NRPS force main or the main treatment plant. The NREQ can be operated locally or from the Authority’s main treatment facility. Although the NREQ does not increase the overall capacity of the NRPS, it does provide a level of redundancy and flexibility in how the Authority deals with excessively high flows during significant rain events.
Treatment Facilities and Outfall
The treatment facilities of the Authority are located in the Fairlawn area of Pulaski County. The biological process is conventional activated sludge, with primary and secondary clarification occurring before and after the biological process respectively. Solids are separated from water in the clarifiers, with the solids being processed on site and eventually disposed of in a landfill (where they assist in the formation of methane gas that is utilized by the landfill to generate electricity). The clean water is then disinfected and discharged to the New River through an outfall pipe of varying size and approximate length of 5,200 feet, and capable of carrying no less than 18.0 MG before impacting the hydraulic gradient of the treatment facilities. The treatment facilities also offer Class I Reliability operation in that emergency standby power is available 100% of the time, the facilities include sufficient redundancy, and the facility is staffed 24/7/365.
The discharge permit (Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System) is issued to the Authority by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The current permit (VA0062685) became effective on October 1, 2014 and expires September 30, 2019. A copy of the permit is available for inspection at the treatment facility. The permit is issued for a design capacity of 9.0 MGD, with a peaking factor of two resulting in a peak flow capacity of 18.0 MGD. In the spring of 2010, the facility processed nearly 18 MG over a 24 hour period, with no violations of the VPDES permit. This flow was highly unusual and the result of extraordinary rain events. The current average daily flow of the treatment facilities is approximately 4.6 MGD, with an average peak daily flow of approximately 7.5 MGD. The Authority also holds a VPDES permit for a design capacity of 18.0 MGD; however, facilities would have to be constructed at the NRPS and force main, and the main treatment facilities before the 18.0 MGD permit could be activated.
Significant Industrial User Pretreatment Program
The Authority also administers a significant industrial user pretreatment program in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. Each member jurisdiction of the Authority has also adopted the Authority’s Rules and Regulations, or the content thereof related to the industrial pretreatment program, into their sewer ordinances. In most cases, the Authority administers the member jurisdiction pretreatment programs through a letter agreement with the member jurisdictions. Copies of the Authority’s Rules and Regulations are available in electronic format upon request. Included in the Rules and Regulations is Appendix “A” that contains the numeric limitations for compatible and non-compatible pollutants. In the case of BOD and TSS limits, discharges in excess of the stated limits are allowable under a surcharge program, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In the case of excessive sulfate discharges, a surcharge program is approved by the Authority Board of Directors, but participation in the program must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In the case of other forms of TDS (sodium chloride, potassium chloride, etc.), the Authority can evaluate such commercial and industrial client needs on a case-by-case basis.
Contacting the Authority
The Authority can be contacted through any of the following means:
AdministrativePepper's Ferry RWTA
P.O. Box 2950
Radford, Virginia 24143-2950
Administrative Office – (540) 639-3947
Administrative Office Fax – (540) 633-0215
Deputy Executive Director
Treatment Plant Superintendent
Technical Services Manager