Gwinnett County, located in north central Georgia near Atlanta, found itself needing to replace six aging wastewater treatment plants to increase capacity. A new building (or buildings) by itself was not enough, as the county Department of Water Resources (DWR) also was looking to update the processes used to treat the incoming water.
Rather than restoring each of the facilities, the DWR has decided to expand and update the Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), moving its holding capacity from 14.5 million to 22 million gal per day. Development began in February 2006 and is ongoing, with completion expected at the end of 2012.
Taking this approach, the DWR essentially will consolidate the six existing buildings into one state-of-the-art facility. Besides increasing capacity, it will decrease operating costs and the amount of pollution discharged into the Yellow River basin.
Even a brand-new facility, however, is only as good as its upkeep. For that reason, DWR is utilizing a computerized maintenance management system to keep the plant running in tip-top shape. The operation and maintenance staff will be able to use the new system, which will link to the county’s asset management system, to generate and track work orders for routine and corrective maintenance.
Concerns for the environment, both natural and man-made, are of top priority to all involved. In the spirit of being a good neighbor, the Yellow River WRF will employ enhanced odor control measures to keep the surrounding area pleasant.
The hope for the new operations center is that it can achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. It would be the first LEED certification for the DWR, which it would use to establish itself as a model for future facilities and facility improvements.
“The Yellow River project is being designed and constructed through an alternative project delivery approach that is providing excellent value to the owner, ahead of schedule and under budget,” said Jim Grum, project manager. “Our integrated project team is excited to have our project chosen as one of the 2011 WWD Top Projects.”