Lap of Luxury

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Courtesy of Bio-Microbics, Inc.

In 2007, the Malibu Beach Inn underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that included a new onsite system to comply with regulations.

Situated on Billionaire’s Beach in downtown Malibu, Calif., the 47-room hotel abuts the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the nation. The designer of the onsite system, John Yaroslaski, P.E., of Ensitu Engineering Inc. in Morro Bay, faced challenges with environmental issues, high groundwater, odor control and the need for a traffic-rated drainfield.

Installer Russell Mosser of Mosser Plumbing & Heating Inc. in Marina Del Rey spent nine months battling rocks and boulders, contaminated soils, tight spaces, potential cave-ins, traffic, and workers on scaffolding.

Just starting the system with its two fixed-activated sludge treatment (FAST) units, sequencing batch reactor, chlorination, and sand filtration gravel pack drainfields took a month. The Inn reopened in October 2007. The onsite system functions perfectly.

Site conditions

Soils are silty sand with rocks and boulders. The water table is 8 to 11 feet below grade. The property is between the Pacific Ocean and a canyon cliff across the Pacific Coast Highway. System components Yaroslaski designed the system to treat 12,000 gpd. Its major components are:

  • 5,000-gallon one-compartment grease tank. Most tanks are concrete and made by Jensen Precast from Fontana, Calif.
  • 5,000-gallon one-compartment septic tank.
  • Existing 5,000-gallon dosing tank retrofitted with two 3.0 FAST aerobic treatment units from Bio-Microbics Inc., Shawnee, Kan.
  • 6,000-gallon flow equalization tank with 30-inch diameter screened pump vault and two P-50 1/2-hp high-head effluent pumps from Orenco Systems Inc., Sutherlin, Ore.
  • Four-compartment fiberglass tank (sequencing batch reactor custom designed by Ensitu), Xerxes Corp., Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Chlorination and dechlorination units.
  • Flow meter.
  • VENTSORB odor control unit from Calgon Carbon Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 24 solenoid valve boxes.
  • 1 1/4-inch purple PVC piping (for reclaimed water) with 1/8-inch emitters every 2 feet and orifice shields.
  • Custom-built Web-based monitoring system and control panel from IPC, Laguna Hills, Calif. 

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