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Proper Maintenance Is Key To Midge Fly Reduction At New Jersey Wastewater Treatment Plant

With 27 years of experience maintaining the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in the central New Jersey town of Hightstown, plant superintendent William Searing is considered an expert in his field. The plant he supervises has the capacity to treat one million gallons of water daily and serves the community of 5,300 residents.

"In our business, no news is good news," said Searing. "That's why we maintain a strict maintenance and monitoring program that prevents problems, such as nuisance insects, before they surface."

Before the facility was upgraded in 1990, the plant employed a labor intensive process that included a once a week flushing to clean filters and, hopefully, kill fly larvae. It was not an effective or efficient solution. "The neighbors would complain about the insect population and odors associated with flooding. The flies were annoying to our employees," said Searing.

"We learned about Strike and that it was the only product approved by the EPA to control midge flies in our particular application. We have been using it successfully in our trickle filters since flooding was discontinued sometime after the 1990 plant upgrade," Searing explains. "It really works well."

The Hightstown plant uses Strike® as an integral part of its maintenance plan from March through November — the prime midge fly season. During those months, the plant mixes a labeled dosage of Strike® into a 35 gallon holding tank. The solution is released into the trickle filters over a 24 hour period.

"We typically treat about 700,000 gallons of water a day and more in the summer months," said Searing. "With Strike, the maintenance is easy and we know the fly population will be minimized as well as complaints from our neighbors."