Sanitary Sewer Overflows – Is There a Solution?

USST’s See, Clean, & VerifyTM Services Save Time and Money

Sanitary Sewer Overflows – Is There a Solution?  Yes, especially if the overflow is caused by an obstruction.   When working with a customer who is facing issues with sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) first tries to understand the problem.  At USST, our experience has been that every sewer pipeline system is unique and collects debris differently and gaining visibility into the pipeline is the first step. 

Recently, a county in Southwest Florida was at risk of SSO from their large diameter sanitary sewer pipeline, which encompassed over 15,000 feet.  USST was called in to perform our See, Clean, & VerifyTM services using our combined CCTV crawler and sonar imaging to inspect or see where accumulation was occurring and perform an inspection of surcharged lines. 

“We went in and conducted a full inspection and met with the county to review our pre-cleaning report, which targeted areas of their sanitary sewer line that were of greatest concern with a high accumulation of sand and grit,” said Aaron Hood, Operations Manager at USST. “Working with the county, we established a targeted plan for 2,000 of the 15,000 feet of large-diameter sanitary sewer line, to remove accumulated material that was increasing the risk of SSO during a rain event.”

See, Clean, & Verify Large Diameter Pipe

Using our powerful Combination Truck and unique GritGone Process® to remove material from the pipes meant the county did not have to shut down operations or bypass flow.  Our knowledgeable crews removed over 100 tons of sand and grit from the sanitary sewer lines, restoring capacity, flow, and efficiency to the county’s sewer operations. 

This customer was very pleased with our post-cleaning report which verified that all the targeted areas of their sanitary sewer pipe obstructed by material had been cleaned.  Following this project, a few rain events occurred in the area that would have typically caused SSO, however, because of USST’s See, Clean, & VerifyTM services, there was no flooding for the customer to deal with.

See, Clean, & VerifyTM says it all.  Obtaining visibility in pipes allows for developing the best plan of attack.  By seeing what’s there, targeted cleaning of specific pipe segments yields a cost-effective solution that is verifiable,” said Denver J. Stutler, Jr., CEO at USST.  “When it comes to assessing and developing a strategy for cleaning large diameter pipe there is no one better at implementing USST’s See, Clean, & VerifyTM services than our Operations Manager, Aaron Hood.”

USST delivers on our promise to the operators responsible for maintaining critical wet infrastructure. Nothing says verified better than an image. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Learn more about the structures we clean here or email us for a free quote at

977 Tons of Sand Removed From EQ Tank

A Massive Job Calls for USST’s Expert Knowledge

A large primary clarifier serving as an equalization tank at a city’s wastewater treatment facility had accumulated 16-foot-high mounds of sand along the bottom, seriously reducing its capacity and potentially passing grit through the treatment process.  U.S. Submergent Technologies’ (USST) expertly trained crew set about to handle cleaning this massive 125-foot in diameter structure. 

Wastewater Tank Grit Removal
USST’s crew removed 977 tons of sand from this large primary clarifier in Central Florida. If you’ve got grit, USST can Grit ‘Er Done!®

“Our knowledgeable crews have a proven keen ability to navigate obstacles on the ground and this job presented some unique challenges,” said Paul Del Favero, Operations Manager at USST.  “This tank was huge, it’s covered, and the walls were about 25 feet high, so accessing the material inside was not going to be easy. By utilizing specialized equipment, we were able to set up our process inside the structure and clean out the sand efficiently and without damaging the structure.”

Crew members extended hydraulic lines and ran a 120-foot hose setting up a pump to run on our powerful Combination Truck.  Using our GritGone Process®, USST removed sand and grit while returning decanted water back to the plant for further treatment. The crew used reclaimed water from the facility to clean the structure. All these measures contributed to lowering our carbon footprint on this job site.

In total, 977 tons of sand were removed from this primary clarifier which holds on average 1.4 million gallons of water.  With capacity and flow restored, the facility is functioning more efficiently.


Our crews quickly and safely remove debris from all kinds of environments under various conditions. Structures and situations we specialize in include:

  • Tanks with high walls while in operation
  • Large-diameter pipes in submerged or surcharged conditions with no bypass
  • Deep wet wells while in service
  • Splitter boxes or box culverts while in operation

If you have a problem that needs solving, chances are we’ve handled it in the past and can offer a solution. We employ a variety of different methodologies to capture debris using our versatile, one-of-a-kind Combination Truck.

If you’ve got grit, USST can Grit ‘Er Done!®

Call one of our knowledgeable project advisors for a free site assessment at 844-956-1129 or email

Probing vs Complete Visibility Inside Wastewater Tanks

SediVisionTM Reveals Over Three Times The Amount Of Material Than Estimated

In central Florida, a wastewater treatment facility was experiencing loss of capacity and inefficiency with one of its aeration basins.  They probed this 140 by 40-foot digester from a few accessible spots along the walkway and hit concrete every time, indicating minimal material buildup.  However, the aeration basin was still using more energy than required and seemed to be suffering from a loss in capacity.  This facility could not logistically drain this tank down and wanted to know precisely what was occurring under all that dark water. 

U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) was called in to perform SediVisionTM on this critical structure to gain complete visibility under the dark water.  In just a few hours, sufficient data was collected from the tank and our team got to work compiling this information to provide complete visibility of the location and volume of material inside.  SediVisionTM revealed that a large amount of material had accumulated along the center portions of the tank, which are not accessible from the walkways.

“Traditional probing of this structure would have led to estimating the amount of material at about six inches across the bottom, or over 100 cubic yards of material.  This would have been a considerable underestimation of the actual amount of material inside this tank,” said Keith Sommers, Senior Cost Estimator at USST. 

SediVisionTM provides complete visibility under dark water in wastewater tanks, which until now, was unheard of in our industry.  This exciting solution allowed USST to estimate the amount of material based on reliable data, allowing the customer to better plan (or predict), and schedule maintenance.   

“In the end, there was nearly three times the amount of material inside this tank,” continued Mr. Sommers.  “Nearly 350 cubic yards of material had accumulated throughout the center of this large structure, decreasing efficiency of the aeration basin and depleting capacity at this facility.”

If you have a wastewater tank that for any reason cannot be drained down, let SediVisionTM provide you with complete visibility.  Eliminate the guesswork and plan your wastewater tank maintenance with confidence.

SediVisionTM leads to better knowledge, a better investment, and longer-lasting infrastructure.

Let us show you how it works: or 844-958-1207.

Laser Focus: Safety on the Road at USST

On any given day at U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST), crews mobilizing Class 8 (any vehicle over 33,000 lbs.) commercial vehicles equipped with specialized cleaning equipment, depart from our operations hub in Orlando Florida.  Their destinations are wastewater treatment facilities and critical wet infrastructure all over Florida and parts of the Southeast.  Their purpose is clear; to safely restore the capacity of wet infrastructure nobody notices but everybody relies upon.  When this professional group of experienced and knowledgeable CDL drivers gets on the road, one word, and one thing is at the top of everyone’s list, safety.  

“At USST, we employ professional CDL drivers because it is a serious business moving heavy equipment and operating commercial vehicles on the road,” said Paul Meding, General Manager at USST.  “We scrutinize our drivers based on the highest safety standards and hold them accountable through our company’s Driver and Fleet Safety Program.  We focus on ongoing training and providing resources for our drivers to do their best on the roads.  The unique type of equipment we’re using every day furthers the need for our emphasis on safety.  These efforts lead to better employee productivity and a significant reduction of the risks we must face.”

At USST, we utilize duel-facing dashcam and GPS monitoring systems while our fleet vehicles are being driven and operated, our drivers benefit from constant monitoring, vehicle inspections, ride alongs, and professional coaching behind the wheel.  As professional drivers at USST, driving records, history, and patterns define skill level and professionalism on the road.  We are committed to providing ongoing training, resources, and support for our drivers.  These are some of the ways in which our company stands out from others in the industry and our well-deserved reputation for getting the job done safely is a direct result of those efforts. 

Recently, a State Trooper from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division met with the USST Operations team to discuss safety on the road and foster an open dialogue on commercial vehicle safety.  The FHP Trooper discussed good driving habits, pre-trip inspections and preparations, state policies for commercial vehicles on the road, and ways to avoid distracted driving, which includes any activity (visual, manual, or cognitive) that takes your focus off the road even for a second.

“USST is constantly looking for ways to help our team grow in their professional roles,” concluded Mr. Meding.  “The essential work we perform can be dangerous and we know we can always do more, better, this keeps our company on the latest techniques when implementing our Health and Safety plans in the field.  I am proud of our crews for the work they perform safely every day and their willingness to embrace standards and practices that nurture our company’s culture of safety.”

364 Tons of Material Removed from Town’s Wastewater Plant

USST Crew Responds to Changed Conditions Adeptly

In rural Northeast Florida, a municipal wastewater treatment plant operating at .4 MGD was reaching critical capacity loss with their surge tank.  This large multi-chamber tank, which is essential to the overall health and functionality of daily operations at the plant, required cleaning.  U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) was called in to assess the structure and remove the buildup of sand and grit throughout this wastewater tank.

“This project was estimated to have 36 tons of material in the tank, but once we got on-site, we were dealing with at least seven feet of material along the bottom of this structure, much more than originally expected,” said Paul Stephenson, Foreman at USST.  “Combining our experience and knowledge from cleaning hundreds of wastewater tanks, our crew was able to handle several challenges presented on the ground with accessing and removing the material in the safest and most efficient manner possible.”

USST’s crew overcomes challenges on the ground with their knowledge and experience. Our patented versatile Combination Truck allows us to get the job done safely and efficiently.

USST’s versatile Combination Truck has a 49-foot extendable boom, which was necessary to reach over the tank’s 20-foot wall, and by extending a 150-foot hose to our truck’s powerful vacuum, the crew reached and disposed of 23 loads of material.  In total, 364 tons of sand and grit were removed from the wastewater tank, noticeably improving the water quality, flow, and overall operating systems at this plant.

“In our industry when there is a lack of visibility, it creates uncertainty,” said Keith Sommers, Senior Cost Estimator at USST. “Planning around uncertainty is difficult and can cause changes in the scope of work. In this instance, once the tank was drained down, there was ten times more material inside than originally estimated. This is exactly the reason USST created SediVisionTM which offers complete visibility in full wastewater tanks.”

If your wet infrastructure is suffering from capacity loss due to the accumulation of material, let USST Grit ‘Er Done!®

Contact one of our knowledgeable sales representatives for a free quote at or 844-958-1207.

Case Study: 630-Tons of Sand & Grit Removed from Oxidation Ditches

Florida Sand and Grit Grant Program Covers Restoration Costs


Two oxidation ditches at two wastewater treatment plants serving the City of Mount Dora were due for cleaning, having accumulated a significant amount of sand, grit, and debris over 15-years. This loss of capacity was increasing energy costs and reducing efficiency at these treatment plants. U.S. Submergent Technologies’ (USST) knowledgeable crew was called-in with our versatile Combination Truck, able to handle multiple setups to complete these projects.


A large oxidation ditch measuring approximately 50-feet wide by 330-feet in length was the first structure our crew tackled. While this oxidation ditch was in full operation, USST utilized the Combination Truck’s downhole pump and 49-foot extendable boom combined with our GritGone Process® to remove approximately 287-tons of sand and grit material. The tank did not have to be drained down or taken offline for our crew to perform the cleaning.

The second oxidation ditch measured approximately 40-feet wide by 130-feet in length, and a drain down was necessary to effectively reach the material. Our experienced crew safely executed confined space entry protocols and procedures to clean this structure.


In total, approximately 630-tons of material was removed from these two structures and disposed of off-site, restoring capacity, efficiency, and flow to the City’s treatment plant. By restoring capacity USST estimates the City saved over $1.5 million in capital expense to rebuild the treatment capacity. In other words, the cost of maintaining existing treatment volume is much less than re-building the oxidation ditches treatment volume.

USST worked with the City of Mount Dora to take advantage of Florida’s Sand and Grit Grant Program, which makes it possible for publicly owned facilities averaging 3MGD or less to address the issues of sand and grit accumulation by reimbursing 50-100% of restoration costs. To learn more about this program call (941) 404-3405 or email

View the entire case study here.

Over 55 Tons of Material Removed From Municipal Wastewater Plant

USST’s Crew Navigates Tight Spaces and Difficult Access

A municipal wastewater treatment plant in Central Florida required regular maintenance on their aeration basin, digester, and headworks to remove built-up sludge, sand, grit, and rag material.  U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) was called in to tackle the job using our powerful and versatile Combination Truck and knowledgeable crew.

“This was our third time back to this facility for regular maintenance,” said Paul Del Favero, Operations Manager at USST.  “Our company track record of safety on the job site and our crews’ ability to understand and overcome problems on the ground are all contributing factors to our outstanding reputation in this industry.”

USST’s knowledgeable crews have cleaned hundreds of wastewater tanks over the years. This experience is valuable when navigating challenges on the job site to restore capacity and efficiency to a facility.

USST’s crew mobilized to the site, bringing with them a powerhouse of knowledge and equipment.  Our Combination Truck is outfitted with a 49-foot extendable boom, downhole pump, and jetter.  The facility’s headworks structure was 25-feet high and because of the extended reach of our Combination Truck, the crew was able to safely access the material and remove it expeditiously.

In total, just over 55 tons of material were removed from the facility and disposed of off-site.  The closed-loop cleaning system of the Combination Truck translated to odor and noise control for the facility and surrounding community.

“The challenges this project presented to our crew involved navigating tight spaces and tight access.  This required extensive confined space entry protocols to be employed along with strategic equipment positioning.  In the end, we overcame these challenges, accomplished the job efficiently, and restored much-needed capacity to the facility,” concluded Paul Del Favero.

Got Grit? USST can Grit ‘Er Done!® Reach out to one of our Project Advisors for a free site assessment or to learn more about USST’s specialties in removing material from hard-to-reach environments.  

Call (844) 956-1039 or email us at

Case Study: 402-Tons of Material Removed from Oxidation Ditch While in Operation

Florida Sand and Grit Grant Program Aides in Restoration Costs


An oxidation ditch at the Lake Wales Wastewater Treatment Plant had accumulated over the course of a few years a large amount of sand and grit material. This accrued material was causing a loss of capacity, a decrease in flow, and the plant was not functioning efficiently.

The facility’s treatment process is comprised of a Type 1 Oxidation Ditch operating as a conventional activated sludge treatment facility measuring 320-feet by 70-feet. U.S. Submergent Technologies’ (USST) knowledgeable and experienced crew was called in to clean this large structure while it remained online.


USST’s powerful and versatile Combination Truck can clean in wet or dry conditions with no need to drain down or alter treatment flow. Using our 49-foot extendable boom, downhole pump, and outriggers to compensate for a slope against the wall of this structure, crews were able to reach and safely remove the material using the GritGone® Process. This process involves separating sand and grit from the slurry for disposal while the water is returned to the oxidation ditch for treatment.


In total, approximately 402-tons of material was removed from the oxidation ditch, the equivalent of 141 fully loaded F-150 trucks. By restoring capacity USST estimates the City saved over $1 million in capital expense to rebuild the treatment capacity. Meaning, the cost of maintaining or restoring capacity of existing treatment volume is much less than re-building the oxidation ditch treatment volume.

In addition, USST worked with the City of Lake Wales to take advantage of Florida’s Sand and Grit Grant Program, which makes it possible for publicly owned facilities averaging 3MGD or less to address the issues of sand and grit accumulation by reimbursing 50-100% of restoration costs.

To learn more about this program call (941) 404-3405 or email

View the entire case study here.

USST can dispose of more material at a higher production rate without the added weight of water, resulting in a paint-filter dry material. Our crews cycle roll-off vehicles while on the job, steadily removing the material with no need to stop work, which increases the rate of production.

Develop Your Maintenance Program With Confidence

Complete Visibility Leads to Better Stewardship

One of the biggest challenges facing America’s wastewater infrastructure is it’s often out of sight, which means there is a high probability it’s also out of mind. Unlike potholes, which cannot be ignored, the condition of our wastewater tanks is not as obvious. In our business, the first step to understanding a problem is being able to see the problem. Since the water in wastewater tanks is turbid or dark water, it’s impossible to see how much and where material has accumulated.

Proprietary and confidential. Do not distribute.
© 2021 U.S. Submergent Techologies, LLC. All rights reserved.

The solution, provided by U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) is SediVisionTM, a remarkable decision-making tool designed for complete visibility in wastewater tanks. Knowledge gained from SediVisionTM helps managers responsible for the maintenance of critical wet infrastructure allocate precious resources, develop a maintenance program based on accurate data, and target cleaning efforts for an efficient maintenance process.

With SediVisionTM, you can avoid setbacks in the scope of work, schedule, budget, and change orders by knowing precisely how much and where the material is in your wastewater tanks. This information is also beneficial in evaluating wastewater treatment plant efficiencies like energy use, water quality, and chemical use.

SediVisionTM gives you the tools necessary to establish tank cleaning, inspection, and maintenance schedules with confidence.

Contact us to learn more at (844) 949-1032 or email

A Business Built on Problem Solving

USST Rises to Resolve a Variety of Challenges

At U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) problem-solving skills and processes are critical components of running a successful business. We have been refining these skills over time through constant training, practice, and learning so we can address problems that have a greater degree of complexity. As our experience and reputation have grown, so has the degree of difficulty in the problems our customers face.

Recently, a customer in Southwest Florida had a digester that had gone septic. The microorganisms inside this structure died off and were no longer breaking down organic material. This situation had become an emergency and within hours of being on-site, USST’s Operations Manager, Paul Del Favero had performed an assessment and mobilized sealed roll-off boxes and tanker trucks to begin removing the dead sludge or dark water.

While most vacuum trucks have only a vacuum, the GritGone Process® features our innovative jetter and downhole pump system to produce successful results other technologies cannot match.

“Our capacity to understand the situation, organize, and respond quickly is what sets USST apart from anyone else in this business,” said Paul Del Favero. “We transported 45,000 gallons of dark water per day from the facility until the job was complete. The ability to coordinate hauling and disposal of this material was nothing short of impressive.”

Having experts and well-trained crews in the field has taken USST to new opportunities outside of Florida. In Tennessee, USST traveled to two facilities to remove sludge, sand, and grit from an anoxic basin and a wet well. Our versatile Combination3® Truck functions as a standalone cleaning system for challenging, hard-to-clean environments. Our capacity restoration services help extend the life of existing infrastructure, saving time and money.

USST’s Paul Del Favero concluded, “years of hard work has gone into building our outstanding reputation and credentials. Our crews exceed expectations on the job site again and again. It is because of USST’s track record of safety, reliability, and attention to detail, our expertise and services are being requested more often outside the typical wheelhouse. We have the capability to address challenging problems and look forward to continuing to meet those challenges head-on.”

If you’ve got grit, USST can Grit ‘Er Done!®

Call one of our knowledgeable project advisors for a free site assessment or to ask any questions you may have at 844-956-1129 or email