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.

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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

20 Tons of Material Removed From Northwest Florida Wastewater Facility

Challenging Structure Cleaned Safely by USST Crew

A wastewater treatment facility in Northwest Florida had a structure that was particularly difficult to access and was full of FOG, sand, grit, and rag material. Their influent trough and effluent channel were suffering from a loss of capacity due to build-up. U.S. Submergent Technologies’ (USST) experienced and well-trained crew was called in to remove this stubborn material.

“Due to flow issues, our crew worked at night to resolve this challenging situation. The structure was 30-feet tall and once you are up there, the material was 25-feet down. Safety is the single key factor with any job we perform, and I value our knowledgeable crew members for implementing the utmost precautions and safety measures to get this job done right,” said Paul Del Favero, Operations Manager at USST.

USST’s crew safely performed confined space entry to clean a challenging structure in Northwest Florida.

USST crews go above and beyond whenever confined space entry is required and follow our company’s detailed Confined Space Program. Crew members ensure that the presence of any atmospheric hazards are eliminated through explosion-proof ventilation, constant monitoring of air quality, and the use of intrinsically safe lighting.

Learn more about the culture of safety at USST by clicking here.

The USST crew utilized a Davit Arm to get in and out of this challenging structure, which was drained down and bypassed. USST’s versatile one-of-a-kind Combination Truck’s extendable 49-foot boom allowed for access and its powerful vacuum was used to remove sand, grit, FOG, and rags at approximately 25-foot depth from the bottom of the structure, without any issues.  Our vacuum is powered by a blower capable of delivering nearly double the CFM of a standard vacuum truck, allowing the crew to remove large amounts of wastewater residuals and complete the job thoroughly and on schedule. 

In total, 17-cubic yards or an estimated 20 tons of material were removed from the structure, restoring collection capacity to the facility.

Got Grit? USST can Grit ‘Er Done!®

Let us show you how our Combination Truck makes restoring treatment or collection capacity easier than you think. 

Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (844) 958-1207 or email

Cleaning a Wastewater Tank – How Much Will It Cost?

Plan Your Maintenance with Confidence Using SediVision

U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) understands the cost of cleaning a wastewater tank is directly associated with the amount of material and the difficulty required to reach and remove it. Given the importance of how much cleaning a tank will cost, accurately estimating the amount of material in the tank is just as vital.

The SediVisionTM perspective allows you to see what’s below turbid water in wastewater tanks with no need for drain down.

In our industry, we often run into the question – How much will it cost to clean this tank? Well, that depends on a few factors such as the amount of the material, the type of material, where the material is located, and the work required to reach and remove it. If a tank cannot be drained down to provide a visual assessment, then an estimate of quantity must be used. Probing is often used to estimate how much material is in the tank. However, typically only certain points can be probed, and these areas may not be representative, resulting in a significant under or over estimate.

USST has developed a more accurate means to determine how much and where material is in a wastewater tank. SediVisionTM is a state-of-the-art decision-making tool that maps the distribution and volume of material under turbid water in a wastewater tank. This allows wastewater managers to properly plan for maintenance and cleaning with confidence. SediVisionTM provides more accurate quantities for estimating. Better estimates of quantity result in fewer change orders and greater certainty.

SediVisionTM also reduces unnecessary cleaning activities when no material is present, saving time and money. When reliability matters, SediVisionTM can not only tell you how much material is in your tank, but it can also verify all the material was removed after cleaning. This way you know the job was done right and that capacity has been restored to your facility.

Eliminate the guesswork and plan your maintenance with confidence. Contact us to learn more about SediVisionTM at (844) 949-1032 or email

One Year Later – The Impacts of COVID on the Wastewater Industry

U.S. Submergent Technologies Reflects on the Past Year 

It has been a year since our lives were impacted by a global pandemic. Who would have thought we would live through something like this? The coronavirus created a crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes. COVID has personally and professionally challenged each of us to adjust our lives and adapt to new norms in our society. Words like personal protective equipment, social distancing, contact tracing, and essential workers became part of our vocabulary, and the way we conduct business has changed.

In March 2020 life seemed to come to a halt and that is no different in the wastewater cleaning industry. Many stopped meeting face-to-face, offices closed, and remote interfacing became the standard. Local governments became cautious on spending and this included infrastructure maintenance. When the pandemic first hit, U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) found that our reputation and customer relationships built over the years were vital components in carrying us through the lockdown as essential service providers.

Now that we have arrived at the one-year anniversary of this pandemic, we want to look back and share lessons learned.  We asked our team about their experiences from the past year, in the field and the office, as we try to assess the impact COVID has had on our industry.

The initial reaction from everyone at USST was gratitude to be healthy and employed during this pandemic. As essential workers, providing a vital service to the health of communities, USST crews got it done safely. Our crew members faced many challenges to keep critical wastewater infrastructure flowing throughout the pandemic. This included further adapting our already rigorous safety measures to include CDC COVID-19 guidelines. The passion and respect we have for the work and industry has never been stronger. While it has been a long year, we have endured, and with a vaccine now available there is hope normalcy can be restored.

If you have a challenging situation that needs attention, USST’s Combination Truck makes restoring treatment or collection capacity easier than you think. 

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

Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (844) 958-1207 or email

60 Tons of Material Removed from Coastal Treatment Plant

USST Focuses on Problem Areas to Restore Plant Capacity

A coastal wastewater treatment plant in North Florida was experiencing a loss of capacity and a decrease in flow due to sand and grit accumulation in their structures. U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) was called in to assess the situation. Our knowledgeable and experienced team probed the facility and discovered a buildup of sand and grit in the aeration train, effluent channel, and anoxic tank structures.

USST’s Combination3® Truck has a 49-foot extended knuckle boom and can clean hard-to-reach places.

“Due to location, coastal water treatment facilities absorb year-round activity from people doing yard work and going to the beach. When that happens, fine silty sand ends up in the drainage system causing tremendous capacity loss for treatment facilities,” noted Paul Del Favero, Operations Manager at USST. “I am proud of our crew members for assessing the situation, finding the problem areas, and restoring flow to this facility safely and efficiently. Our cleaning efforts have resulted in healthier water returning to the ecosystem.”

Using USST’s Combination technology and GritGone Process®, crews removed 60 tons of paint filter dry material from three structures. Our patented Combination truck is more than just a simple vacuum truck; it has a jetter, vacuum, downhole pump, and 49-foot extended knuckle boom fully integrated on one chassis, delivering a powerful punch in the submergent cleaning industry. Our trucks can clean in wet conditions, while a facility remains online with no need to alter treatment flow, saving time and money.

Check out our video to learn more about the Combination technology.

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

Over 22 Tons of Material Removed from 52 Feet Below Grade

A Hazardous Challenge Met by USST Crews and Equipment

In an urban area of Central Florida, two wet wells had filled up rapidly with rag, FOG, and sand and grit material. These structures serve as master lift stations for a city, (commercial and residential areas) keeping wastewater moving 52 feet below grade to the wastewater treatment facility. U.S. Submergent Technologies’ (USST) equipment was able to remove this stubborn material from the depth required and our crews came in to meet this challenge head-on, safely, and efficiently.

USST’s knowledgeable and well-trained crew members safely remove stubborn material from a deep well structure.

“This is the deepest wet well we have cleaned and might be the deepest in Florida,” said Paul Del Favero, Operations Manager at USST. “I applaud our team and their continued emphasis on safely getting the job done.”

Safety is the most important thing at USST, and a deep well is one of the most dangerous structures to clean in our industry. Our crews undergo competent person confined space entry training and possess hundreds of hours of experience for this type of job. USST also factors in precautions such as fall protection, atmospheric monitoring, explosion-proof ventilation, OSHA-10 training, and intrinsically safe lighting. Additionally, our patented and versatile equipment can handle removing a wide range of waste found in wastewater especially from deep wells.

Approaching this challenging project with the highest safety measures, USST crews employed a 60-foot ladder, Davit Arm, SRL winch, six-point harnesses, lifelines, and full PPE gear when moving in and out of these underground structures. The wet well structures were drained down and gates and pumps were locked out and tagged out to ensure there was no engulfment risk.

Using our patented Combination Truck’s powerful vacuum, crews removed over a foot of material expeditiously and without issue. USST’s vacuum delivers nearly double the CFM of a standard vacuum truck, which allows our crew to remove large amounts of wastewater residuals from 52 feet below grade and complete the job on schedule. 

In total, capacity was restored after 22 tons of material was removed from both deep well structures quickly and safely for the city’s wastewater system.

USST employs a variety of methodologies to capture debris using our versatile, one-of-a-kind Combination Truck and expertly trained crews, to learn more please call 844-956-1129 or email