Camp Branson Septic System

CLIENT:  The Curators of the University of Missouri         DATE:  2017


  • Alternatives Study for Camp Operation                      Total Engineering Budget: $49,126.00
  • Preliminary & Final Engineering Design                       Construction Cost:           $81,000.00
  • Construction Contract Documents
  • Construction Observation

As a lessee to the United States Forest Service (USFS), the Camp Branson Geology Field Camp is subject to annual inspections of its facilities.  During their July 6th, 2016 inspection, it was discovered the septic system servicing the caretaker’s cabin and the Sacajawea bathhouse was malfunctioning.

Upon receipt of this notice from the USFS, the University of Missouri contacted James Gores and Associates to provide a temporary solution for the 2017 camp – understanding construction of a new system would likely not be feasible over the winter – and an alternatives analysis for three different septic system configurations.  James Gores and Associates prepared a plan of operations for submittal and approval from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the United States Forest Service. This plan allowed the University to hold their summer geology camp at the facility utilizing the shower facilities for grey water only. We also prepared options for the University of Missouri for a new septic system.

Once the University had selected their preferred alternative, the Presby – Advanced EnviroSeptic System, James Gores and Associates prepared the final design of the system.  This necessitated obtaining proper training from Presby as a certified design preparer for their systems.

During the 2017 runoff on the Popo Agie River, a stanchion supporting the upper camp’s sanitary sewer line was dislodged. This damaged the rest of the structure supporting the sewer line.  The camp’s caretaker asked if we could also provide design services to replace the upper camp sanitary sewer support structure which crossed the secondary channel of the Popo Agie River. James Gores and Associates worked to prepare a design of a glue-lam beam to support the structure. Because the design of this structure was completed after the permit to construct was obtained from the Wyoming DEQ, it was necessary for it to have the exact same dimensions as the previous beam it was replacing.

Construction of the project began in December 2017 and was substantially completed in January 2017.  The Presby – Advanced EnviroSeptic components were installed within two days of completing the excavation.  The upper sanitary sewer line was completed last, after the glue laminated beams from Boise Cascade were delivered.  The contractor replaced five 20-foot rotted beams with three 20-foot and one 40-foot Douglas fir glulam beam.

This project was completed with only one change order for less than 4% of the total construction contract.  The change order consisted of imported fill to make up for lost volume from very large boulders found during excavation, and reconnection of the overhead power to the bathhouse using NEC approved hardware.

This project was completed on-time and on-budget.


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