It’s the largest construction project in the history of the Clayton County (Ga.) Water Authority (CCWA) and it’s finally coming to fruition—ahead of time and under budget. The new W.B. Casey Plant opened for business and early signs are that it is living up to its billing as a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility.
This past summer marked the completion of wastewater transfer from the old Casey Plant to the new water reclamation facility, as the CCWA celebrated a milestone in the opening of this latest capital improvement project. The $55 million plant finished under its original $61 million price tag, and also opened almost a year ahead of its construction schedule.
“This project is the culmination of years of planning and execution by our staff, our engineers and the contractors and the results are even more than we hoped for,” said Wade Brannan, general manager of the CCWA. “Not only do we have a plant that will improve our operations and expand our capacity for wastewater treatment, but we have saved valuable time and money for our customers as well.”
CCWA plant operators have finished their training on the plant’s equipment and treatment processes, handled preliminary testing and passed the initial inspection of the facility by state regulatory officials from the Environmental Protection Division. As a result, the start-up that involved the new Casey Plant treating just a small percentage of wastewater flow from the old plant has now graduated into the facility handling all of the water reclamation previously done at the original site.
The old Casey Plant now awaits demolition with the R.L. Jackson Water Reclamation Facility, which will also be decommissioned in the coming months. The wastewater treatment processes being handled at the two older facilities have been consolidated into the single new plant, following the recommendation of engineering consultants from CH2MHill who four years ago chartered an aggressive 10-year master plan for the authority. The new Casey Plant, fully permitted for operations, features more efficient treatment processes, as well as an advanced form of effluent leaving the plant. With a wastewater treatment capacity of 24 mgd, the new facility also surpasses the previous combined capacity of the old Casey and Jackson plants, which totaled 19.5 mgd.
In addition to providing advanced treatment of wastewater inside the plant, the new Casey facility will also capitalize on improved efficiency in the secondary treatment of wastewater leaving the plant by utilizing both conventional land applications systems and constructed wetlands. Additional benefits include the most effective form of odor control available in the industry, to accommodate residences and businesses in the area.
The authority has praised the efficiency and teamwork of the construction crews assembled by Brasfield & Grove, who were awarded the contract to construct the Casey Plant.
“This project is the epitome of a team effort, from the funding that made it possible, to the master plant that put it on our capital improvement schedule, to the construction and opening of the facility,” said Pete McQueen, chairman of the board of directors for the CCWA. “We have had some of the best people in the industry working on this plant, and the customers of this authority will ultimately benefit from our investment in their expertise.”