Wastewater Discharge Permit for an Agricultural Grower and Processer

Center Pivot Irrigation
Spray irrigation for disposal of wastewater

The Project

Envirologic was retained by a grower and processor of vegetables to determine a method for disposing of its process wastewater while remaining in compliance with state regulations. Previously, the process wastewater was discharged to a basin immediately adjacent to a wetland. Due to rising water levels, the adjacent wetland flooded into the basin, making the basin no longer suitable for receiving the wastewater. The client was ordered by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to cease discharging wastewater into the wetland.

Project Solution

Envirologic evaluated the regulatory options for disposal of the process wastewater and determined that the most effective and expeditious solution was spray irrigation, which involved using the wastewater to irrigate crops on site. Envirologic evaluated the soil and groundwater characteristics of nearby agricultural fields to determine whether they were suitable and capable of receiving large volumes of water.

After confirming the soil could absorb the necessary volume of wastewater, Envirologic prepared and submitted an application for a groundwater discharge permit to EGLE. Envirologic concurrently prepared a Discharge Management Plan that detailed the specific procedures for discharging wastewater to the fields and an Operation and Maintenance Plan for the equipment used to spray irrigate the wastewater.

EGLE granted permission to discharge the wastewater to the fields in time for harvest. Their permission to discharge required analyses of wastewater samples during discharge. Envirologic collected the required samples and submitted the analytical results to EGLE, along with the volume and application rates of wastewater discharged to the fields. Envirologic also prepared and submitted the monthly discharge reports to EGLE.

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