wastewater management Program
Program Manager Contact Information:
Wastewater Management Program Manager | 252-466-3631
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point and its outlying fields have their own wastewater treatment facilities. The intent of the Wastewater Management Program is to ensure that domestic and industrial wastewater generated by the installation and its outlying fields is adequately treated and that the program remains in compliance with all applicable permits, rules, and regulations.
Marine Corps policy requires that all Marine Corps installations and activities comply with all applicable environmental requirements, which may include Federal, state, local, Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Navy (DON), Marine Corps, and MCAS Cherry Point rules, regulations, and requirements. Legal and other environmental requirements related to the Wastewater Management Program are maintained on the EM Portal.
A complete description of the responsibilities of the Wastewater Management Program is available on the EM Portal. Major components of the Wastewater Management Program include:
- Permit and fee submittals
- Wastewater treatment plant operations
- Spray irrigation
- Residuals land application
- Wastewater collection system
- Septic tanks
- Operator training (discussed under Training and Communication)
Permits and Fees
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Division of Water Resources (DWR) issues permits for discharges from the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), wastewater reutilization and residual disposal, and the collection system at MCAS Cherry Point and/or its outlying fields. It is the responsibility of the Wastewater Management Program Manager to ensure that the appropriate permits are obtained and renewed and that applicable permit renewal and annual operating fees are submitted in a timely manner to NCDEQ.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation
The Air Station has a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge treated effluent from the domestic WWTP to the Neuse River Basin. In addition, the installation is holder of three non-discharge permits (outlying fields – BT-11, Atlantic, and Bogue) with no discharge of effluent to surface water. These permits require monitoring and analysis of treated effluent and submission of analytical results to NCDEQ. It is the responsibility of the Wastewater Management Program Manager to work closely with the Public Works Department (PWD) Utilities/Operator in Responsible Charge (ORC) to ensure that the treatment plants are operating efficiently and that the treatment operations are not in violation of the permit or other applicable rules and regulations.
Spray irrigation is used at MCAS Cherry Point and the outlying fields as a means of utilizing reclaimed wastewater for irrigation purposes rather than discharging treated effluent to the Neuse River Basin. It is the responsibility of the Wastewater Management Program Manager to work closely with PWD Utilities to ensure that the spray irrigation systems at the Air Station and outlying fields are in compliance with their respective permits and other applicable rules and regulations.
Residuals Land Application
The handling and disposal of residual sludge represents one of the most challenging problems the installation must solve. MCAS Cherry Point recognizes that disposing of wastewater residuals is costly and that environmental benefits can be derived from land application. MCAS Cherry Point has made land available in close proximity to the treatment facilities to allow disposal of residuals and reduce costly disposal fees. Whenever the sludge is being added to land surface it acts as a natural fertilizer for land improvement.
Wastewater Collection System
Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) from the Air Station’s wastewater collection system can have a significant impact on the environment and increase public health risks. Some of the causes of SSOs include inadequate capacity, inflow and infiltration as a result of aging infrastructure, and blockages within the wastewater collection system due to grease build-up or root intrusion. The Wastewater Management Program Manager works closely with PWD Utilities and the PWD Maintenance and Repair Division to ensure that the wastewater collection system is properly operated and maintained.
Existing septic tanks located at the Air Station and/or outlying fields are used only for the disposal of domestic sewage. The Wastewater Management Program Manager works closely with PWD Utilities and the PWD Maintenance and Repair Division to ensure that existing septic tanks are properly operated and maintained to prevent inappropriate discharges of sewage to the ground surface or surface waters and ultimately non-compliance.
Personnel employed to operate the domestic water treatment plants, spray irrigation systems, residual land application system, and wastewater collection system are required to receive training and hold certifications as stated within 15A North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) 8B, Certification of Operators.
The risk of negative environmental impacts from MCAS Cherry Point operations may be assessed by analyzing the practices that occur at the facility. Aspects are the characteristics of these practices that can cause an impact to the environment or other resources. It is Marine Corps policy that all Marine Corps installations identify and assess the environmental risk of the practices and aspects associated with each environmental program. Significant practices and/or aspects associated with this program include:
- Chemical treatment/Wastewater discharge
- Wastewater treatment/Spill
When necessary, objectives and targets (O&T) are developed in order to minimize the environmental risks posed by the facility’s practices and to track progress towards achieving environmental goals. Any O&Ts related to the Wastewater Management Program and their associated actions to improve performance will be maintained on the EM Portal. Currently, there are no O&Ts associated with this program.
Inspections related to wastewater management must be conducted according to Air Station permit requirements. In addition, the Wastewater Management Program is evaluated under each annual internal Environmental Compliance Evaluation (ECE) and each triennial Benchmark ECE. Findings and corrective actions from these audits are maintained on the EM Portal.