Facility expected to improve wastewater treatment capabilities and water quality
Spokane County, Wash., commissioners selected full-service engineering, procurement, construction and operations firm CH2M HILL to design, build and operate a new wastewater treatment facility.In January 2009, Spokane County commissioners gave CH2M HILL the nod to begin the designing and permitting for the facility, valued at nearly $130 million. Spokane County's new Regional Water Reclamation Facility (RWRF) is expected to significantly improve its wastewater treatment capabilities, serve anticipated population growth and meet septic tank elimination goals, while improving water quality and the environment by reducing phosphorus and other nutrient discharges to the Spokane River. The design-build-operate (DBO) approach minimizes short-term capital expenses and long-term operational costs.“CH2M HILL is committed to providing the county with the greatest possible value for its new water reclamation facility,” said Spokane County RWRF Engineering Manager Rick Smith. “A single-entity DBO provider delivering all phases of this project assures the county that one company is responsible and accountable for meeting project timelines, wisely managing public resources and protecting our environment for the next 20 years.”The 8-million-gal-per-day (mgd) water reclamation facility will be expandable to 24 mgd and will use state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor and nutrient removal treatment to reduce phosphorus levels in the effluent to below 50 ppb.CH2M HILL will design the facility with a focus on minimizing the environmental impact. The firm’s sustainable-design approach not only ensures that the facility will meet regulatory requirements and leverage the best available treatment methods, but it is also crucial to the plant’s operations. The sustainable design allows energy recovered through digester gas production, process heating and co-generation systems to generate electricity to help run the facility. A U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver rating will be met for several key buildings. The design team also has committed to subcontract construction work to local business enterprises to support the local economy and retain as much work (and the county’s investment) within surrounding communities.The plant, expected to begin operations in 2012, will be operated by CH2M HILL for 20 years.