The Town of Valdese operates The Lake Rhodhiss Wastewater Treatment Facility, a 7.5 MGD (million gallons per day) plant, to service the eastern region of Burke County. Wastewater from Burke County, Connelly Springs, Drexel, Rutherford College, Valdese, and some of Hildebran flows to the treatment facility. The facility is staffed by ten employees. These employees are responsible for monitoring all the flow come into the plant through ongoing sampling and testing, both at the plant and at the industries located in the service area.
The Division of Water Quality, (DWQ) oversees the operation of the plant. Just as all other plants in the state we are faced with the challenge of dealing with FOG (Fats, oils, and grease) in our sewer system. FOG affects the collection system leading to the plant as well as the plant itself. The State has determined that many if not most of the SSO (sanitary sewer overflows) in the state are caused by issues with FOG. Citizens can help decrease the potential for SSOs by following a few simple guidelines. Restaurants and food service establishments should also be following best management practices. Every citizen and business can make a difference in protecting the sewer system. Click here to view the FOG ordinance for the Town of Valdese.
Valdese achieves beneficial reuse of Biosolids through composting. All solids that are removed from the waste stream are dewatered and mixed with woodchips. The woodchips come from limbs and trees that the Town picks up from the residents of Valdese. The woodchips and Biosolids are mixed together. The compost then goes through a process to meet state guidelines. The compost is given away, free of charge to the public. Many landscapers and mulch yards take large quantities of the compost.
The Lake Rhodhiss WWTP staff continues to strive for perfection in the process of wastewater treatment, protection of our natural resources, and our environment. Though we realize that perfection is impossible, this gives an incentive and goal to try to achieve. Above all, we are committed and dedicated to the protection of our natural resources, which in this case are the Catawba River and the surrounding communities. The Lake Rhodhiss WWTP facilities are open to the public at all times and everyone is encouraged to visit and tour the facility for a better understanding of the process and operations.
The North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources requires wastewater treatment facilities to file an annual report. You can view the report (up to date until July 2016) by clicking here.