Automotive Dealership Expands into Rural Land with
OriginClear Modular System

Closed-Loop Toilet Water System Improves Asset Values
And Demonstrates Environmental Leadership

This proud American business just became a Net Zero conservation hero! We all love when the community and environment win in collaborations like this, garnering local political support for projects that make a difference and showing that business has a role to play. With OriginClear’s self-contained, closed loop recycle and reuse Modular Water System™, there is NO drainfield and NO direct discharge. Result = ZERO impact on the local environment from this advanced blackwater treatment system.

Point-Of-Use “Instant-Infrastructure” Solved Lack of Local Sewer Access & Increased Property Asset Value

“This project has enabled the business to expand into low-cost real estate that could not be connected to municipal sewage,” said Daniel M. Early, PE, OriginClear senior engineer. “The closed-loop recycling system compared favorably with the cost of a commercial-grade septic system while avoiding potential groundwater contamination and reducing potable water demands. It’s an elegant solution for a problem many expanding businesses face.”

Dan described the challenge and the solution in detail in a recent interview on the company’s weekly CEO Briefing channel.


This study shows how an OriginClear point-of-use Modular Water System transformed a property that couldn’t be developed from a “stranded asset” into a producing, profitable and more valuable asset while exercising environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards.

A major automotive dealer wanted to open a strategically placed mid-Atlantic dealership in a highly desirable, customer-oriented location. Our client faced a difficult situation in that its preferred real estate location did not have access to public sewer and was land and soil constrained such that a conventional on-site wastewater disposal system could not be installed.

The client worked with its consulting engineer and determined that, if possible, a decentralized closed-loop wastewater recycling system might enable the successful development of the potentially valuable piece of real estate.

The engineer contacted OriginClear’s local rep, who conveyed the idea of utilizing an advanced Modular Water System and demonstrated how OriginClear’s closed-loop Zero-Liquid-Discharge (ZLD) blackwater recycling system would replace an on-site disposal system and enable the customer to develop the subject property and open the intended dealership. An additional primary benefit was the substantial increase of the real estate asset value of the property.

After evaluating the cost benefit analysis and favorable environmental stewardship aspects of the project, the auto dealer was eager to proceed and committed to implementing the closed-loop system, which would treat the facility’s raw sewage to a tertiary level compliant with current wastewater reuse standards such that the reclaimed wastewater could be recycled in toilets and urinals.

The Factory-Prefabricated & Fully Assembled System Was Delivered Ready For Rapid-Install


  • 96-inch ID x 102-inch deep multi-compartment high-density polyethylene (HDPE) membrane bioreactor (MBR) vessel 
  • 120-inch ID x 40’ L multi-chambered Effluent Pump Station & Sludge Digester (EPS-SD) Vessel
  • 8’ x 8’ factory-assembled modular waste water treatment plant (WWTP) equipment building
  • Treatment capacity is nominally rated at 1,500 gallons per day (GPD)

Automated Processes Treat the Wastewater to a Tertiary Standard, Making the Water Suitable for Reuse

Wastewater discharged from the dealership receives a first level of treatment in a primary clarifier chamber whereby solids and non-digestible matter are settled from the raw sewage.

A flow equalization (FEQ) chamber is employed and provides temporary storage of the pretreated water and wastewater that may come in large surges throughout the day. The stored wastewater is systematically dosed to the downstream membrane bioreactor (MBR) system for final biological treatment. An analog level sensor provides real time monitoring of FEQ water levels, and auxiliary mechanical float switches provide redundant operational control.

Site of completely installed OriginClear® Modular Subsurface Wastewater System

The MBR system provides advanced biological treatment of organics still contained in the pretreated wastewater and enhanced liquid-solids separation. A continuous aeration process scours and clears the membrane, which allows for sustainable effluent filtration. Analog level sensors provide real-time liquid level monitoring and system control.

The filtered water is pulled through the system by suction pressure. A dedicated pumping system provides precise flow control, and sophisticated flow metering is used to monitor the process. The membrane system is equipped with a backwash Clean-In-Place (CIP) feature, providing systematic backwash of the membrane filtration unit. These pump systems are controlled by an intelligent programmable logic control (PLC).

Biosolids and accumulated biosolids are pumped from the waste point to a dedicated sludge holding chamber. The sludge is aerated while held to digest any organics and, after digestion, is periodically pumped and hauled away for final disposal.

The recycling water then receives final treatment in the form of a redundant disinfection system using ultraviolet (UV) light and tablet chlorination, ensuring the treated waters are rendered sterile. The fully treated wastewater meets the required specifications for compliance with wastewater reuse standards, as demonstrated in the table below.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Performance





1500 GPD


350 mg/L

<20 mg/L


350 mg/L

<20 mg/L


40 mg/L


Fats, Oils, Greases (FOG)

<10 mg/L

<1 mg/L


6.5 – 8.5

6.5 – 8.5

Fecal Coliforms


< 14 N/100 mL

BOD-Biological Oxygen Demand is a measurement of the amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) that is used by aerobic microorganisms when decomposing organic matter in water. When BOD levels are high, dissolved oxygen levels decrease because the oxygen that is available in the water is being consumed by the bacteria.
TSS-Total Suspended Solids 
is the dry-weight of suspended particles, that are not dissolved, in a sample of water that can be trapped by a filter that is analyzed using a filtration apparatus.
TKN-Total Kjedhal Nitrogen 
is the U.S. EPA-approved parameter used to measure organic nitrogen and ammonia.

Computer-Automated Control System Enables Continuous & Effective Reflush Supply

The highly treated effluent is temporarily stored in a 10,000-gallon storage chamber equipped with an auxiliary aeration system that contributes dissolved oxygen to the reclaimed water, further improving final effluent water quality. The master control panel automatically operates the effluent recycling system, and pumping is monitored in such a way that reclaimed water can be continuously and effectively resupplied to the dealership for toilet and urinal re-flush purposes.

Monitoring Station & Control Panel With Ancillary Equipment

A PLC-based (Programmable Logic Controller) panel provides automatic operation of the wastewater treatment system. The panel is equipped with web-based internet alarming capability. The web-based access feature permits remote monitoring and operation functionality in real time and is connected to the local internet network.

Additional ancillary equipment external to the waste water treatment plant tankage is also installed in the properly engineered equipment enclosure.


Early Stage Conclusions & Results

The auto dealer’s cost benefit analysis evaluated real estate purchase cost and value, life cycle potable water purchase costs as well as onsite wastewater disposal costs, all of which were not only improved by implementing this form of closed-loop recycling system but elevated cheap rural land to many times its value. Most importantly, OriginClear’s closed-loop recycling system enabled the customer to develop the subject property, which was the deciding factor when construction would not otherwise have been possible.

Initial performance of the system, after working with our local rep, the owner and the owner’s installation contractor, is excellent and on-target for the startup phase. OriginClear will continue to monitor and evaluate performance to ensure this system achieves its full potential and our primary goal of sustainable reuse has been accomplished.

This point-of-use, modular system is important and unique with regard to its ability to protect the local environment from environmental pollution while at the same time reducing potable water demands and their inherent purchase costs. This is a perfect example of how an OriginClear Modular Water System enabled self-reliant water independence with across-the-board benefit to the end user client.

Fully Treated Blackwater Recycled For Toilet Reflush

View Closed Loop Blackwater Applications Here

View Compact Modular Wastewater Treatment Systems & Products Here

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