- Written by: Eric Gundberg
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When an emergency repair is needed at a wastewater treatment plant in New Jersey, plant managers invariably turn to Spectraserv Inc. to help get the plant back up and running. The full-service pollution control company, which was founded in 1961, is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary in the industry.
The South Kearny, N.J.-based company has been headed by Steven Townsend, a chemical engineer and Spectraserv’s president, since 1983, and it has evolved into the waste management and construction partner of choice for hundreds of municipalities and industrial clients in the region to repair or construct new facilities to handle liquid and dewatered wastes. Over the last decade alone the company has completed more than 2,500 contracts, and currently is under contract for over 60 projects.
Spectraserv initially launched as Modern Transportation, a company that transferred liquid waste generated by municipal and industrial customers to transfer stations or provided barge transport services of residuals. Over the years, as the company prospered, Modern Transportation introduced different divisions to accommodate all of its customers needs, and adopted the new company branding Spectraserv to reflect its diversification.
Today, the company, including subsidiaries A&S Transportation Company and Sanitary Waste Carriers, offers clients expertise in waste management, construction services, wastewater facilities design and engineering, tank, digester and lagoon cleaning, as well as environmental services for food processing and industrial facilities. This spectrum of services provides the most cost-effective, environmentally sound expertise to any project.
Different Divisions Complement Each Others Skills
Francis Senske, an engineer with experience in the environmental field and the senior vice president of technical services at Spectraserv, outlines what he feels is one of the company’s biggest strengths as follows: “We have a large staff of 100 personnel between our various divisions, which complement each other. We might be in the middle of a digester clean-out job and discover the facility needs repairs and renovations, and our guys in that division can handle that.”
Spectraserv’s multi-disciplined staff includes managers, engineers, scientists, mechanics, drivers, operators, craftsman and laborers that can utilize tank trailers, vacuum trucks, barges, dewatering presses, construction tools and other specialized equipment to solve clients’ toughest solid waste and wastewater management challenges. With its many hands-on capabilities Spectraserv can deliver a single solution or an integrated package of services. The company’s team of professionals typically works on projects in the quad-state area of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, but Townsend says that his crews have completed or maintained contracts throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in the past.
Depending on a client’s need and budget, Spectraserv can draw on the select professional, technical and facilities resources each project requires, and Townsend is proud of the reputation for flexible turnkey services that the company has earned over the years. Additionally, he assures all the regulatory compliance of all business ventures considered and implemented. “We are the company that wastewater facilities turn to when they need emergency repairs,” he says. “They know our crews will get the problem fixed quickly, efficiently, and more importantly the right way the first time.”
A wastewater facility in Trenton, N.J., recently had a situation where two of its clarifiers became overloaded with solids. The municipal employees attempted to fix the problem themselves but soon turned to Spectraserv when it became apparent the town workers were unable to handle the situation. “We got the call on Friday and were there by Saturday, and we cleaned out the entire tank with our personnel and trucks and had it back up and running in no time,” boasts Townsend.
Innovative, Proactive Solutions
Spectraserv is currently working on a renovation project for the New York Power Authority to improve wastewater treatment facility digester gas systems in four NYC plants. “The object of these modifications is so that the wastewater facilities will be able to release and harness methane gas for help generating power at each facility,” explains Townsend. “It reduces the facilities draw on the grid, and effectively recycles methane.”
Spectraserv has a stellar track record for work performance, and it should also be noted that the State of New Jersey awarded the company an A-901 clearance in 1988. This certification, which is needed to perform solid waste services in the State of New Jersey, is renewed annually on the basis of an extensive investigation by several state agencies into the background of the company and its principals (owners and key personnel). Receipt of an A-901 clearance enables Spectraserv to be licensed in accordance with the terms and conditions of state law, and enables Spectraserv to receive approvals for the siting and operation of waste and wastewater management activities.
Spectraserv has entered into and successfully completed contracts for the transportation, treatment, and disposal/beneficial reuse of waste and residuals and the construction/rehabilitation of water and wastewater treatment plants. Throughout its operations the firm has repeatedly proven its ability to develop and implement both large and small waste management and construction programs for clients with complex specifications and different timelines, and the company remains committed to delivering its array of services with the utmost respect for employee safety.
Municipal and industrial employees typically can fix minor repairs at wastewater plants, but history has shown that when there’s no easy fix to a problem informed customers turn to Spectraserv Inc. for comprehensive solutions.
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