Cooperative Extension Service

Mountain On-Site Wastewater Center
at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Fletcher, NC.

The Mountain On-site Wastewater Research and Education Center is located at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Fletcher, NC. The training center's purpose is generally parallel to its "sister sites" located in Bolivia, Guilford County, Plymouth and Raleigh: that is, to display and demonstrate conventional, alternative and innovative onsite wastewater treatment system components. However, the Fletcher center addresses specific design, technology and maintenance issues commonly encountered in the mountain region of North Carolina. As the site plan indicates, a wide range of system components are included and additional displays will be added over time. These are working demonstrations, but only clean water is used.

FSign5 F-Longshot1 Fletcher Site Plan

Gravity Flow

One of the first displays installed at the site was a demonstration of different gravity-fed trench technologies. Fed from a concrete septic tank, five serially dosed trenches have been installed above grade. The trenches include conventional gravel, polystyrene aggregate, chamber system, large diameter pipe and panel-block. The display includes a concrete drop box, and stepdowns constructed of corrugated ABS and PVC.

Gravity Gravity EEEZZZFlow Infiltrator

Copy-of-LDP-Soil PanelBlock1 F-
GravityStepDown PVC-

Pretreatment and Distribution

The Pretreatment and Distribution area includes an above-grade display of concrete and polyethylene tanks. Also on display are a peat biofilter, a recirculating fixed media filter and a single-pass fixed media filter. There are also examples of several distribution devices, including a concrete pressure manifold box.

Pretreatment F-D-Box3 D-Box2br>

SimTech-Manifold-Box1 FAST-Complete1

Low Pressure Pipe

Low Pressure Pipe (LPP) systems are widely used throughout North Carolina. Thus, the Fletcher site includes an above-grade demonstration of a fully operable LPP installation. We recently added an example of a polystyrene aggregate trench to the demonstration and hope add include a chamber system as well. In addition, four LPP systems are installed below-grade for use during inspection and maintenance workshops: those have "built-in" problems commonly encountered by operators.


Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation technology is one of the most recent additions to the Center. Two different manufacturers have installed above- grade versions of this technology, including control panels, floats, manifolds and dripper lines. The displays are fully operational and completely accessible to visitors.

Drip Irrigation Drip Irrigation Drip 


The first workshops were offered at Fletcher during the second week of June 2002. Subjects included Onsite Technology, Soils, Drip Irrigation and LPP Operation and Maintenance. For additional information on upcoming events at this and other training centers, please click the cartoon.

Onsite 100 Onsite100


Visitors are welcome. However, persons whose visits are not connected to an organized workshop must contact Dr. Jim Rideout or Dwaye Tate prior to their visit.

Fletcher Training Center Map Fletcher training center map in relation to Ashville

Many Thanks

We are indebted to the following vendors and entities who have donated materials and/or labor to the Fletcher Training Center thus far. Their assistance is invaluable and much appreciated. Website links are included as a courtesy to companies who have helped with the center and does not constitute endorsement of products by North Carolina State University.

Aqwa, Inc.
American Manufacturing, Inc.
B and B Concrete Products
Bio-microbics, Inc.
Bord na Mona Environmental Products U.S., Inc.
Buncombe County Health Dept.
Burke County Health Dept.
Cherokee County Health Dept.
Confederate Sales, Inc.
CSI Custom Controls
Dellinger Septic Tank Co.
Duane Lyda Septic and Grading
EZFlow, LP Now Ring Industrial Group
GAG Sim-Tech, Inc.
Geoflow Subsurface Drip Systems
Harry Warren, LLC
Haywood County Health Dept.
Henderson County Health Dept.
Hughes Supply of Asheville
Infiltrator Systems, Inc.
Jackson County Health Dept
Kingsway Ready-Mix
Nature Works, Inc.
NC Division Of Environmental Health
Norwesco, Inc.
Polylok, Inc.
Price Marketing, Inc.
Blue Diamond Industries, LLC
SJE Rhombus, Inc.
Shoaff Septic Tank Co.
Southeast Soil Science
Southern Concrete Materials, Inc.
Mr. Rick Stillwell
T and J Panels
Mr. J.E. Tyson
Zabel Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Zoeller Co.

Go to Onsite Wastewater Page

Go to Carolina Onsite Page

Please address any questions to Dr. David Lindbo, Assistant Professor, Extension Specialist.

This page designed and created by Nancy Deal, Extension Associate, and Roland O. Coburn Research Technician on 7/25/02.
Last Updated 2/21/08.