Synopsis: Finding ways to accommodate local regulations, challenges of mountain terrain, and anticipated growth of a village. Application: HighStrengthFAST® system on mountain terrain for a small village. __________________________________________________________________________________________________ The centuries-old Banian Village in southeastern Europe was literally at a crossroads. Thanks to a recent rash of articles in trendy travel magazines, Banian Village had become an out-of-the-way vacation destination. While the villagers loved playing host to tourists and welcomed the boost to the local economy, the demands of the additional and transitory population were severely staining the village’s infrastructure, particularly its wastewater treatment system. The need to upgrade was critical and immediate, as hotels, restaurants, and residential builders were eager to expand, but this was limited by geographic challenges of the mountain itself. Growth over the mountain was restricted from development. Villages were quite protective of their agrarian cousins on the “other side,” where fertile soil had fed and supported both farmers and the villagers for centuries. Since most of the new construction was hotels and restaurants the existing system could not handle the hydraulic or biological load. In fact, due to the food and drink this is a high strength biological load as compared to average household wastewater. Recent reported sightings of Imperial Eagles in the mountain treetops had brought birders to the areas in flocks, carrying high-powered binoculars and sharing jottings from their notebooks. Village elders still talked about days when eagles were common, but avian populations had largely diminished in recent decades. The hope that the eagles might be returning to the mountaintop had raised the environmental consciousness of the village to new heights. This further upped the ante for a proposed wastewater treatment upgrade. Any new system would be critically examined in terms of its impact on groundwater, land, natural water pathways to the sea, indigenous flora. And, of course, the system would have to be practically invisible, in both sight and smell, to the villagers and the influx of visitors. In short, the chosen wastewater treatment solution had to be perfect. Josef Danko, the village’s chief municipal planner, would present the recommended wastewater treatment plan. He had been logging long days at his office at the Bureau. Many of those hours were spent consulting with his former university classmate, Peter Brinov, a current distributor for BioMicrobics wastewater treatment systems, finding ways to accommodate local regulations, the challenges of the mountain terrain, the anticipated growth and demands on the system, and the sensibilities of the villagers. Peter had promised to play a trump card at the meeting, an expert from BioMicrobics who happened to be consulting with customers in a nearby region. Josef questioned his colleague, “Why do you get a sheepish grin whenever you mention this ‘expert.’?” “He’s just, well, a bit unusual in the way he, uh, well you will see,” Peter replied. “But his talent will blow you away, I promise.” On the day of the meeting, the Bureau’s grand hall was packed with folks from every aspect of Banian Village life: families with centuries of history in the village, resort management, restaurateurs, housing developers, farmers from the “other side,” media representatives, environmental groups. The crowd parted briefly to allow the passage of Ivan Danko, Josef’s grandfather, to roll his wheelchair to the front of the crowd. The elder Danko, perhaps more than anyone present, represented the heart of the village. The tall windows were flung open to admit cool mountain breezes. Josef greeted the assembly and opened with a quick recap of the committee’s activity. He announced, “We have several options for the new wastewater system, but we have asked a very special envoy to present the details to you.” He looked over to Peter, expecting him to go to the door to usher in their guest. Instead, Peter, grinning largely, gestured to the window, as a robotic figure in blue and silver glided though the opening and touched down near the podium. “Hello!” he said. “I’m Robust, from BioMicrobics. I understand that so much of your village’s future depends on making the right decision here tonight. Shall we get started?” Robust politely explained that their current system could not handle any more hydraulic load and still provide the necessary treatment. To make matters worse, much of the flow is coming from the new construction consisting of restaurants and hotels. “The strength of the commercial wastewater is four times stronger than household wastewater” Robust announced. Villagers who at first were shocked into silence by his appearance and his unconventional entrance realized he was speaking their native dialect flawlessly. Totally disarmed and instantly comfortable, they began firing questions: “Will this protect our groundwater?” “Will this system handle our current and future wastewater needs?” “Will we be able to add more development to our existing land? “Can our village really continue to grow?” “Could we be related?” “Yes, yes, yes, yes—and perhaps distant cousins!” Robust replied, laughing. The townspeople then began asking “Why?” “How come?” “What causes that?” “Why is some wastewater so strong?” Robust blushed “Well wastewater from a home is showers, sinks and toilets only!” “While historically the wastewater from hotels and restaurants consists of a much higher concentration of undigested foods and drinks.” “So the biological system must be- How Can I Word It… “MORE ROBUST” or at least four times stronger to treat this new wastewater!” The audience seemed to understand as they never thought about this before. They just were seeing the obvious, eagles; tourists, more roads, facilities and such. He explained the advantages of installing two HighStrengthFAST® treatment units in series to accommodate the mountain terrain and how this would enable village expansion and growth in spite of the geographic and legislative restrictions. Josef glanced over at Peter, who nodded in Robust’s direction as if to say, “Didn’t I tell you?” Robust then went on to explain the options. “You can have a larger HighstrengthFAST® system or do individual systems for each new restaurant and hotel as they are built.” “The water can be reused for irrigation.” Eventually Robust had exhausted all the villager’s questions. As if on cue, the crowd turned to the patriarch in the room, Ivan Danko. He gave his grandson a fond smile before he stated in a powerful voice that belied his frail countenance, “Well, what are we waiting for?” Work soon began in earnest with little apparent disruption to normal village life. Robust dropped in (literally) from time to time to monitor progress and touch base with Josef and Peter. The resorts and hotels proceeded with plans for growth, and the farm families on the other side of the mountain contentedly tended their lush fields. Months later, after the new wastewater treatment system had been thoroughly and successfully commissioned, Robust found Josef and his grandfather lunching at one of the newly expanded resorts. “I just came by to say farewell and thank you for allowing BioMicrobics to provide the wastewater system for your village,” he told Josef. He noticed Ivan looking pensively at the group of birders at the next table as he idly fingered the controls of his wheelchair. “They’re looking for eagles,” Ivan said softy. Robust turned to the old man, “Would you like to join them?” “The mountain makes no concessions to wheelchairs,” Ivan answered. Robust said, “No, but I have the technology. Drink your tea, Josef, we’ll return shortly.” After securing the village patriarch in his wheelchair, Robust slowly rose above the veranda, holding the chair aloft, and carefully advanced toward the mountaintop. An hour later, Robust gently lowered the chair back onto the veranda. Josef’s anxious look vanished as he saw the broad smile on his beloved grandfather’s face. “There is a nest, Josef,” he exclaimed. “Come; let me tell you about the fledgling I saw in it.” “And look just over there, you cannot see it, but that is where the HighstrengthFAST® is!” Josef again felt like a seven year old as he listened to his grandfather eagerly talk about the eagle. In the distance, a flash of blue and silver grew smaller and smaller until it finally disappeared behind the mountain.