November 2013, Vol. 25, No.11


DC Water (Washington, D.C.) awarded its approximately $215 million Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station and Enhanced Clarification Facility project to PC/CDM Joint Venture, which brings together PC Construction (South Burlington, Vt.) and CDM Smith (Cambridge, Mass.). 

The design—build project will be constructed at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C. The tunnel-dewatering pump station (TDPS) and the enhanced clarification facility are part of the larger D.C. Clean Rivers Project, mandated under a federal consent decree between the U.S., D.C. government, and DC Water, to build tunnels to temporarily store combined sanitary sewer and stormwater overflows until they can be pumped to the treatment facility. Currently, stormwater runoff from DC Water’s 1878-km2 (725-mi2) service area can overwhelm the system and treatment facilities with a diluted mix of stormwater and wastewater, resulting in potential overflow into the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, as well as Rock Creek. 

Major project components include construction of a 946,000-m3/d (250-mgd) TDPS that will pump a diluted mix of stormwater runoff and wastewater to the new 946,000-m3/d enhanced clarification facility, which will use a ballasted high-rate clarification process. Treated effluent will be disinfected before discharge to the Potomac River. The TDPS and enhanced clarification facility will be expandable to 1.9 million m3/d (500 mgd) in the future. 

The overall tunnel project for DC Water is expected to be completed by March 2018.   

 The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) agreed to make significant upgrades to reduce overflows from its sewer system and pay a $2.6 million civil penalty to resolve alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations stemming from discharges of untreated wastewater.   

The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a complaint against SAWS. The complaint alleges that between 2006 and 2012, SAWS had approximately 2200 illegal overflows from its sanitary sewer system that discharged approximately 87 million L (23 million gal) of untreated wastewater into local waterways in violation of its CWA discharge permit. EPA said it confirmed these violations during a 2011 field inspection and record review. 

As part of the settlement, SAWS will conduct systemwide assessments, identify and implement remedial measures to address problems that cause or contribute to illegal discharges found during those assessments, and initiate a capacity management, operation, and maintenance program to proactively reduce sanitary sewer overflows. The plan must be fully implemented by calendar year 2025.  

In the early years of the consent decree, SAWS will take actions that will result in reduction of sanitary sewer overflows. In addition, SAWS will conduct water quality monitoring to identify potential additional sources of bacterial contamination that could be contributing to impairment of the Upper San Antonio River. 

To come into compliance with CWA, SAWS is expected to spend $1.1 billion. The State of Texas is a co-plaintiff in this case and will receive half of the civil penalty. 


The Orange County (Calif.) Water District (OCWD) board of directors agreed to explore a partnership with Poseidon Water (Boston) and study the feasibility of purchasing up to the full capacity of the drinking water that will be produced by Poseidon’s proposed 189,000-m3/d (50-mgd) Huntington Beach (Calif.) Seawater Desalination Project.  

OCWD manages a large groundwater basin that provides water to 19 municipal and special water districts that serve 2.4 million customers in north and central Orange County. OCWD operates the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) — the world’s largest water purification system for potable-water reuse. Operational since January 2008, GWRS has been able to produce up to 265,000 m3/d (70 mgd) of water. But the board resolved that without the development of additional new local water resources, groundwater producers would be forced to significantly increase the amount of imported water they require.   

In May, the board unanimously resolved that it is the district’s policy to consider and develop a variety of local water resources — including seawater desalination — to ensure that sufficient water supplies always are available to the residents and businesses in the service territory. 


CDM Smith (Cambridge, Mass.) was recognized with four awards from the Design–Build Institute of America (Washington, D.C.) for its 2013 National Design–Build Project Awards (NDBPA) competition. 

A 7600-m3/d (2-mgd) nanofiltration water resource recovery facility (WRRF) addition for the City of Dania Beach, Fla., won an NDBPA national award in the water/wastewater category. This new treatment-process-based expansion complements and integrates with the city’s existing 11,000-m3/d (3-mgd) lime-stabilization WRRF to meet increased drinking water demands and improve finished water quality.  

A stormwater and industrial process wastewater treatment system at the new Johnson Controls Inc. (Milwaukee) lead-acid battery recycling center in Florence, S.C., also won an NDBPA national award in the water/wastewater category. The integrated treatment facility treats process wastewater generated by the recycling center with chemical pretreatment, clarification, and sand filtration to meet permit limits for safe discharge to the city sewer system.  

The LANXESS high-performance materials compounding plant in Gastonia, N.C., won an NDBPA honor award in the industrial/process/research facilities category. The new compounding plant consists of a 3300-m2 (35,000-ft2) production building and an administration/laboratory building with 930 m2 (10,000 ft2) of high-density raw-materials storage warehousing, truck loading and unloading facilities, and large material silos.    

The Stockton (Calif.) Delta water supply project won a merit award in the water/wastewater category. The $220 million surface-water supply project, which provides a supplemental water supply under the city’s first water right, includes an intake and pump station, 29 km (18 mi) of untreated- and treated-water pipeline, an ultrafiltration-membrane water treatment plant, and an administration/operations building that is the city’s first structure to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Washington, D.C.) Gold rating. 


Xylem (White Plains, N.Y.) won a contract to provide a dissolved-air flotation (DAF) pretreatment system to help ensure an uninterrupted potable-water supply to Abu Dhabi Emirate and the east coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The source water in the Gulf of Oman is subject to harmful algal blooms, sometimes called “red tides,” which are large concentrations of potentially toxic aquatic microorganisms. Xylem’s Leopold Clari-DAF® system is more than 95% effective in removing these microorganisms prior to desalination.   

Xylem will develop the new pretreatment DAF system for the Fujairah 1 Independent Water and Power Plant, which is owned by Emirates Sembcorp Water and Power Co. (Fujairah, UAE), a joint venture between Abu Dhabi (UAE) National Energy Co., Sembcorp Industries (Singapore), and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. The new system will have a capacity of 136,000 m3/d (reverse-osmosis output) to accommodate an anticipated 15% increase in the population by 2016. It will serve both the existing and new seawater reverse-osmosis plants, which have a combined capacity of 306,760 m3/d and will be one of the world’s largest operating hybrid desalination plants. 


The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) board of directors extended its partnership with Veolia Water (Paris) to continue providing interim executive management services through December 2014. The extension builds on the successes and momentum established during the initial term of the contract and supports the board’s goal to become the regionally recognized expert on water quality, utility management, and stakeholder responsiveness. 

During the partnership’s first year, a team of water and wastewater experts from Veolia helped PWSA improve the utility’s customer service and performance levels by conducting in-depth diagnostics of current operations, developing specific recommendations for improvement, and supporting PWSA employees in implementing initiatives aimed at reaching new performance metrics. The analysis and resulting operational changes helped PWSA reduce its cost of operations and helped increase the utility’s revenue by resecuring a large commercial customer. The total effect of these changes is nearly $2.4 million annually. The partnership also reduced customer hold times by 50% and enabled PWSA to approve an annual budget without the need for a water-rate increase.   

PWSA provides water and sewer services to more than 300,000 consumers throughout the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. 


Siemens Energy (Munich) received a contract from Indonesia to deliver a Zimpro wet-air oxidation system. The technology will be part of a new gas-processing facility in Indonesia, where it will treat wastewater that is the result of the gas-production process. The contract was awarded by a consortium consisting of PT Inti Karya Persada Tehnik (Jakarta, Indonesia) and PT Adhi Karya (Persero) Tbk (Jakarta). As general contractors, both companies are working together to build the gas-processing facility for the state-owned Indonesian oil-and-gas PT Pertamina EP.   

The Gundih gas-processing plant is under construction in Blora in Indonesia’s Central Java province. The facility will have a daily gas-production capacity of 1.4 million m3 (50 million ft3) after startup at the end of 2013. The wet-air oxidation system will treat a mixture of alkaline wastewater and wastewater generated during sulfur recovery by destroying odorous and high chemical oxygen demand pollutants and generating an effluent that meets Indonesian environmental regulations for discharge.  


The City of San Diego (Calif.) Public Utilities Department awarded CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.) a contract to provide optimization consulting services to streamline the city’s water and wastewater operations. The optimization program will provide a blend of operations, management, and engineering capabilities to increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and generate additional revenue. 

San Diego’s water infrastructure system is one of the largest and most complex in the U.S. Located in a semiarid desert region with little rainfall, San Diego imports 90% of its water to meet the needs of 1.3 million people. The city maintains and operates more than 5311 km (3300 mi) of water lines, 49 water pump stations, 130-plus pressure zones, and more than 984 million L (260 million gal) of potable water storage capacity in a variety of standpipes, elevated tanks, and concrete and steel reservoirs. 

Under the contract, CH2M Hill will conduct a comprehensive operational optimization study to review and evaluate San Diego’s water and wastewater facilities and operations to determine if improvements can be made in the areas of energy utilization, water production and distribution, chemical usage, data utilization, wastewater solids processing and disposal, operator staffing, and warehouse practices and procedures. The study findings will be used to produce implementable recommendations.  

Also, CH2M Hill’s joint venture CH2M Beca Limited with Beca (Auckland, New Zealand), an engineering consultancy, was selected by Watercare Services Limited (Auckland) as the professional engineering advisor to upgrade the biological nutrient removal (BNR) system at the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant in Auckland. The water resource recovery facility upgrade will further improve Auckland’s water quality by reducing the nutrients going into the Manukau Harbour and increasing the capacity of the existing system that will help accommodate the city’s growing population.  

This project continues CH2M Beca’s role at the Mangere plant and will involve the design and tender of documentation for a 2 m3/s-capacity increase using BNR in a four-stage Bardenpho configuration. Subsequent stages will encompass the site supervision, as well as management of construction contractor and plant commissioning assistance and operator training. 
The project is scheduled for handover to Watercare in 2017.   


The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD; Lakewood, Calif.) and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County signed a historic 30-year, recycled-water purchase agreement that will eliminate the need for water from Northern California and the Colorado River for groundwater recharge. 

 Historically, WRD has purchased more than 61 billion L (16 billion gal) of recycled water and 26 billion L (7 billion gal) of imported water annually for groundwater replenishment. This agreement will enable WRD to offset the imported water component of its water portfolio with highly treated recycled water.  In total, WRD will use 87 billion L (23 billion gal) of recycled water annually.  Imported water no longer used by WRD will be conserved and subsequently become available for other uses throughout the state.   


In July, CenterPoint Energy (Houston) rewarded the Blue Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant in Shakopee, Minn., with a $150,000 rebate for energy savings. The savings stemmed from a new solids processing facility completed last year. With the help of new anaerobic digesters to process solids, the plant produces methane biogas for fuel, replacing most of the need for natural gas from CenterPoint. 

The produced biogas fuels a dryer that processes solids into fertilizer pellets and saves an estimated $500,000 a year that would otherwise be spent on natural gas. The biogas fuel produced has enough capacity to heat about 900 households.   

The $150,000 is a rebate for natural gas that was saved because the biogas offsets the need for natural gas, conserving the natural gas and the global-warming emissions that burning the natural gas would have created.  


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