FSCJ tech lab trains cutting edge of wastewater treatment

Florida State College at Jacksonville recently opened its new Instrumentation and Control Technology Center, a lab of advanced equipment used for student training. The lab is the result of about $550,000 funded from a National Science Foundation grant and donations from Rayonier (NYSE: RYN), U.S. Gypsum Co. and other donors and is part of a college-wide initiative to pair students and workforce needs. "Education is workforce investment, and workforce investment is ultimately economic development," Douglas Brauer, FSCJ Dean of Engineering and Industry.

The center also includes a miniature wastewater treatment plant donated by OnSyte Performance. The plant is designed to handle waste for single family homes, ranging from three to eight bedrooms. The plant can be considered as an alternative to the 250 septic tanks that are currently installed in Florida every day and, therefore, a possible solution to the eventual phase out of all septic tanks in the state.

The plant cycles waste and water multiple times to repeat a biological treatment process until 90 percent of its nitrogen has been removed and the water reaches drip line standards. The cleaned water is then released to irrigate the surrounding area. No chemicals are used in the process. The concrete molds are poured in Palatka, and the electronics are manufactured in Jacksonville. "We've planted our first flag here in Jacksonville," said Senior Vice President Jeff Littlejohn.

Training on the miniature facility, which is remotely controlled, allows FSCJ students to be at the forefront of their deployment and positions FSCJ as the training center for this technology.

Taken from by Will Robinson - Reporter, Jacksonville Business Journal June 12, 2019, 8:08AM, EDT.

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