February 07, 2018

Helena WWTP improvements project earns Grand Award from ACEC-Alabama

A Garver-led project that helped a wastewater treatment plant adhere to reduced permit limits has earned the Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama. The Helena Wastewater Treatment Plant Design Improvements project earned the award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama’s Engineering Excellence Awards contest. 

The project consisted of multiple improvements that helped the Helena WWTP meet strict effluent discharge limits for total phosphorus. Because it discharges into Buck Creek, reliable performance and operation of the Helena WWTP is essential to maintain the quality of this body of water frequently used by the citizens of Helena and surrounding communities for swimming, wading, canoeing, and fishing.

“The frequent-use of Buck Creek as a recreational destination requires the effluent coming out of this plant to meet stringent, near-reuse requirements,” said Garver Water Team Leader Brian Shannon. “The improvements being made to this plant will uphold the health and diversity of the natural species that inhabit Alabama’s most ecologically diverse river system.”

To help the plant meet the current and future total phosphorous requirements (0.20 mg/L and 0.043 mg/L), Garver first developed a facilities plan that included a plant-wide evaluation of existing treatment processes to identify shortcomings that hinder plant performance. That plan led to phased improvements designed to meet current and future requirements.

Phase 1 of the project, which was completed in September 2017,  included rehabilitation of the existing secondary clarifiers, new tertiary filtration equipment, new chemical storage and feed facilities, and a new UV disinfection process. Because the existing plant hydraulics were limited, the design team had to develop a unique disinfection and post-aeration strategy consisting of closed-vessel, low-pressure UV disinfection followed by a low-profile, cascade aeration system to provide treatment regardless of downstream water level conditions in Buck Creek.

This is the second Grand Award earned by a Garver-led project in the ACEC-Alabama contest. The Tuscumbia Water Treatment Plant and Supply Improvements project award in 2013, was the first in the state to use a blended series membrane process after Garver provided project design, funding assistance, bond issue assistance, construction management, and operation support in replacing a 60-year-old plant. The ACEC-Alabama Grand Conceptor Award for 2018 will be announced at the awards presentation in April.

To learn more about what Garver’s Water Team can do for you, visit GarverUSA.com/Water.

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