Waste Water

BZ Corners Rafting Station

Hood River, Oregon


USDA Forest Service Region 6, Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area.

EMS assisted in the siting, design and inspection of the onsite wastewater treatment system, and provided a thorough Operations and Maintenance Manual and training for US Forest Service staff. The system serves a seasonal use trailhead and river access facility on the White Salmon River. The project area was very small in size and located in an environmentally sensitive location used seasonally by the general public. A system design was required that could adapt to the large fluctuations in flow during special events. This system also requires a winterization shut down and spring start up.

EMS worked with multiple subcontractors and regulatory agencies including several sub contractors and a large engineering firm. Special formatting and timely delivery of design were imperative. EMS also worked to develop a useable operations manual for the system installation and provided formal training of staff both on and off site.

EMS designed a shallow subsurface drip irrigation system to fit into a small area, with the bulk of treatment provided by the existing soils. Large attenuation tanks would time dose the surge in flow to multiple dispersal zones during the larger events held at the site. It was also specifically designed for easy use and maintenance service. Regular inspections and a start-up meeting with staff at the site ensured efficient and property construction.

Camp Arrah Wanna

Welches, Oregon


2006-08 Repair and upgrade of existing church camp on-site wastewater treatment systems. Total Wastewater System Design: 10,175 GPD.

Background. The camp was under pressure from DEQ to either repair the existing system to current standards or close the camp. During the process of developing the design, it was discovered that the swimming pool, a central feature of the camp’s activities, also needed to be totally replaced. Without the pool, the attractiveness of the camp to membership would be severely diminished and the whole social value of the summer curriculum impacted. This greatly impacted available funds for the onsite wastewater treatment system.

Issues & Challenges

  1. This camp is located in a high water table.

  2. The park was served by outmoded and undersized septic tanks.

  3. The existing drain fields were scattered around the park and not properly maintained.

  4. New drainfield was installed inappropriately in a high water table area, without adequate pretreatment.

  5. The camp location is in the foothills of Mount Hood and under snow during the winter and spring, delaying construction and restricting the timeframe for construction.

Solutions. The existing systems have been monitored and provided with proper maintenance, temporarily extending the life of that system. A new Recirculating Gravel Filter System has been designed, approved by DEQ under a WPCF permit and is currently under construction.

Current Status. The camp sewage system is not failing and presents no public health threats at this time.