SMITHFIELD - The lagoon sewage treatment system being installed at Friendship Park is part septic tank, part swimming pool and part lawn sprinkler.
Add it all together and the Friendship Park board says it will bring development to the park.
James Branagan, a member of the Friendship Park board, said the lagoon sewage treatment system is pretty basic, even though the price tag is about $435,000 - much lower than constructing a conventional sewage treatment plant.
LAGOON SYSTEM — James Branagan, Friendship Park board member, sits on the wall of the sand filter, part of the lagoon sewage treatment system being installed at the park. Park board members said the sewage treatment system will allow the park to become developed.
The park board received $212,000 in a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission and $61,000 from the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association. The commissioners also donated $100,000 in county recreation funds. Branagan said the $100,000 from the county commissioners was used for the design.
The lagoon sewage treatment system sits on a hill above the lake. The park board still has to install about 5,500 feet of pipes and two lift stations to connect the peninsula at the lake and the campgrounds.
The system begins with the sewage being pumped into a buried tank that will separate the solids and liquids, much like a septic tank. The liquid gets pumped into a lagoon covered with thick plastic, where an aerator will allow naturally occurring biological growth to "work" on the liquid for a period of about two weeks.
The water then is pumped to a filtering system where organic solids will be filtered out. The water then is pumped back into the lagoon.
"The process gets a cleaner effluent," Branagan said.
The water then is put through a sand filter, where any remaining solids are filtered out. Branagan said the sand filter will help eliminate ammonia from the liquid, especially in colder weather.
The water then gets pumped into a tank which will add chlorine. Branagan said chlorine tablets, similar to what is added to a backyard swimming pool, are dropped into the tank. He said the chlorine will kill any type of virus and bacteria.
The water then is pumped to a storage lagoon. The water then will travel through pipes to a nearby hillside, where it will be sprayed onto the land using sprinklers. Branagan said there are 20 sprinkler sites about 100 feet apart, which have been approved by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
"We can only spray the water in warmer weather. That is why we have a storage lagoon," he said.
"It is kind of a simple process, which is what we wanted out here. It won't require a lot of maintenance. We didn't want to discharge the effluent so it ends up in the lake," Branagan said.
Because Friendship Park is mainly strip-mined land, Branagan said the water being sprayed onto the ground may actually help spur growth of plants and trees because of the nutrients in the water.
The county's water and sewer department will be paid to have a certified sewage plant operator check on the system every so often to make sure it is working correctly.
Utility Contracting of Youngstown started work on the system about five weeks ago and it is nearly complete. Branagan said there still is some electrical work to be completed. The park board hopes to have the system up and running by July, about the time when new camping sites will be opening at the park.
The sewage treatment system also may help the county fair board during and after the fair. The fairgrounds aren't connected yet but tanker trucks could dump the sewage at the lagoon system.
The lagoon system is designed to handle about 5,000 gallons of sewage a week. The fair generates about 100,000 gallons of sewage during fair week.
He said sewage from the fair slowly will be added to the lagoon system to see how it handles the influx.
Branagan said 25 campsites will be ready in July, with another 25 opening next year. There are already 18 campsites at the Pugliese Campgrounds.
County Commissioner Tom Gentile told Branagan at the commissioners' meeting this week that he wants all 50 campsites to open as soon as possible to capture revenue from renting the sites. Branagan said the park board has received numerous calls from gas well workers interested in placing campers at the park. Gentile said the county could get $300 to $400 a month for the campsites, which would help the park become self-sufficient.
Branagan said the park board wants to build bathrooms at the peninsula and bathhouses at the peninsula and campsites. He said the park board envisions a lodge at the peninsula, the location of the annual wine festival, or a restaurant opening in the park.
"We finally have the infrastructure in place - water, sewer and electricity. We now have the flexibility to grow," he said.