Wastewater Treatment

The Town of Forest City, North Carolina began a comprehensive wastewater treatment program with the construction of the Riverside Drive Water Reclamation Facility in 1959. Operations began in 1960 with improvements in 1983, 1988, 1991 and 1997. Design capacity is 4.95 million gallons per day (MGD),current flow is 1.0 MGD.


View the 2017 System Performance Annual Report



NC0025984 Wastewater Treatment Plant located at 397 Riverside Dr. in Forest City is a 4.95 MGD plant consisting of the following units:

  • Influent mechanical step/bar screen and manual bypass screen.

  • Aerated traveling bridge grit chamber and grease removal.

  • 5 smaller first stage aeration tanks with floating aerators (none in service at this time due to flow decrease)

  • Second stage aeration basin with floating aerators (4.0 MGD Capacity)

  • Dual secondary clarifiers (75ft diameter)

  • Chlorine contact chamber and step aeration.

  • Chlorine gas feed equipment.

  • Sulfur Dioxide gas feed equipment for dechlorination.

  • Aerobic Digester with diffused air system (approximately 0.450 MG capacity.

  • Aerobic Digester with floating aerator (approximately 0.230 MG capacity.

  • (2) Waste pumps approximately 500 gpm direct to digester, and 375 gpm to thickener.

  • 1 meter Envirex gravity belt thickener.

  • Enviroquip 2.0 meter belt filter press (14% - 17% solids.)

  • Sludge storage building for Class B cake land application.

  • Average flow is approximately 1.25 MGD.



The citizens of Forest City can be proud of the high standards and excellent environmental record of this facility. The Town is committed to protect the environment and provide this essential service in a cost effective and safe manner.



Design capacity:

4.95 MGD

Current flow (discharge):

1.00 MGD

Effluent BOD:

10 mg/L daily average

Septage receiving station:

10,000 gal. Capacity

Biosolids annual production:

105.88 dry metric tons

Biosolids building storage capacity:

Approximately 800 cubic yards

Biosolids storage time:


Population served:

8,500 domestic customers 5 major industries

Biosolids are distributed by Souther Soil Builders operating under permit No. WQ0037135



NC0087084 Wastewater Treatment Plant located at 219 Broad River Blvd. in the Riverstone Industrial Park. The plant is a 0.05 MGD SBR plant consisting of:

  • Influent mechanical bar screen and manual bypass screen.

  • Pre-EQ basin with maximum capacity of 0.017 MG and max design flow rate of 13839 gpm.

  • SBR basin with minimum capacity of 0.043 MG and a maximum capacity of 0.063 MG.

  • Decant flow rate (average high to low) 313 gpm. Sludge waste rate of 100 gpm.

  • Post SBR EQ basin maximum volume of 0.0156 MG. Flow control valve feeds chlorine contact chamber at a rate of 0-0.033 MG.


The SBR has a default program for permitted flow rate of 5 cycles/24 hour day:

  1. Mixed-Fill              35 minutes (anoxic condition)

  2. React-Fill              109 minutes (bowers running with floating mixer)

  3. React Phase         35 minutes (influent pumps are locked out)

  4. Settle                    45 minutes

  5. Decant                  64 minutes

  6. Idle                       0-64 minutes (integral with decant)

  7. Sludge Waste       2.26 minutes (integral with decant)


The cycles have programmability built in by PLC. These have been adjusted as needed to accommodate the small flow rate currently received by the plant. Sludge waste is conducted manually  as needed. The plant was built in 2003 and began operation in November 2013 with  the start up of the Hicks Grove Lift Station for the Horsehead Corporation site. Influent flow currently between 0.003 MGD and 0.008 MGD of domestic flow from industries within the industrial park and adjacent Horsehead Corporation.



Jeff Dotson is the Plant Superintendent. Jeff holds a Grade IV North Carolina Biological Wastewater Certification and has over 27 years wastewater experience.

email: jeffdotson@townofforestcity.com


Chief Wastewater Operator

Sonny Penson holds a Grade IV North Carolina Biological Wastewater Certification and has 24 years of wastewater experience.  Sonny serves as the plant Chief Operator and ORC.

email: sonnypenson@townofforestcity.com


Pretreatment Coordinator

Jacob Hodge holds a Grade IV North Carolina Biological Wastewater Certification and serves as the plant pretreatment coordinator.

email: jacobhodge@townofforestcity.com


Laboratory Analyst

Tommy WIlson holds a Grade IV North Carolina Wastewater Certification and serves as the Laboratory Supervisor.


Treatment Plant Operators

Tim Atkins holds a Grade IV North Carolina Wastewater Certification and serves as the Fats, Oils, and Grease Coordinator.

Caleb King holds a Grade IV North Carolina Wastewater Certification.


For more information or to schedule a tour contact:

Jeff Dotson, Superintendent

P.O. Box 728

Forest City, NC 28043

Phone: 828-248-5217

email: jeffdotson@townofforestcity.com

fax: 828-247-1626


Sonny Penson, Chief Wastewater Operator

P.O. Box 728

Forest City, NC 28043

Phone: 828-248-5217

email: sonnypenson@townofforestcity.com

fax: 828-247-1626