Trash it – MCWD pleased with Huber Step Screen system

Press release

Mammoth Lakes, California – December 27, 2018 – The Mammoth Community Water District made a $289,000 investment last year to install a new trash removal system at the wastewater treatment plant. Trash in the wastewater collection system clogs pumps and pipelines and decreases the life expectancy of treatment plant machinery.

Tyler Nelson and Steve Sornoso standing in front of the trash removal system.

The new Huber Step Screen trash removal system consists of a vertical, screened conveyer belt that pulls trash out of the wastewater, washes and then compacts it. All wastewater received at the treatment plant first flows through the trash removal system.

“Having trash washed and compacted, minimizes unpleasant odor and disposal cost” described Tyler Nelson, Wastewater Chief Plant Operator, “the system reduces
maintenance needs, improves the sludge quality and helps prevent over flows and system failures. The HuberStep Screen exceeded our expectations; we are very happy with the improvement.”

Since installation, Wastewater Operations and Plant Maintenance staff have been impressed by the 25 cubic yards of compressed trash removed in its first year of operation. Steven Sornoso, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, is charged with the weekly maintenance of the new system. When asked what items are typically found, Sornoso reported, “condoms, tampon applicators, zip lock bags, rags, clothes and the so called ‘flushable’ wipes are common daily items.” Steven also added, “Cell phones, toys and money are found on a regular basis.”

Prior to the new removal system, all of these items went through a grinder and each step of the treatment process.

MCWD staff toured multiple wastewater facilities prior to selecting this trash removal system. Huber Technologies is an equipment company specializing in wastewater technology solutions. The system was installed by MCWD’s talented Plant Maintenance staff minimizing MCWD’s costs.

MCWD customers can do their part to keep sewer collection and treatment costs low by only flushing human waste and toilet paper, which is designed to break down in the sewer system on the way to the plant.

Anything else belongs in the trash. Wipes are those most common and problematic item that gets flushed, even if they are advertised as flushable, throw them in the trash.

Keeping grease out of the drain is also critical. Grease narrows sewer pipes and wreaks havoc on the wastewater plant processes.

Want to learn more about the wastewater treatment plant? Join us for our annual public tour this spring.


MCWD provides water and wastewater utility service to the Town of Mammoth Lakes and surrounding areas. MCWD strivesto provide reliable, affordable utility service to our customers and to conduct our
operationsin a manner reflecting our stewardship role. We encourage our customersto practice responsible use of our limited water resources, and to take advantage of the information and services available to support this goal.


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