Riviera Utilities Wastewater Treatment Facility | WWD Weekly Digest

Dec. 27, 2021
Riviera Utilities houses the first aerobic granular sludge plant in the U.S. It manages the fine grit water of southern Alabama in a small footprint.

Serving the city of Foley, Alabama, the Riviera Utilities Wastewater Treatment Facility was designed to better manage the capacity for a region in Alabama with the fastest growing population in the state. The original plant was designed at 2 million gallons per day with a peak of 3.5, and this expansion nearly doubled both those figures to a 3.5 mgd average and 6 mgd peak in a limited footprint. The secret: the first ever aerobic granular sludge (AGS) treatment process commissioned in the U.S. 

Hear from Tony Schachle, chief engineer for the water and wastewater department for Riviera Utilities, bringing AGS treatment commonly used in Europe to the U.S., and its benefits for a small footprint capacity increase. Also, Lee Kibbler, water engineer for Riviera Utilities, discusses the challenge of dealing with challenging waters in Foley and the lessons he and his team learned while using this new treatment technology.

Project Stakeholders

  • Owner: Riviera Utilities
  • Designers: Goodwyn Mills Cawood, Day Structures
  • Contractor: Max Foote Construction


  • Intro: (0:00)
  • Community served by the project: (0:44)
  • Size and scale of the project: (2:04)
  • What requirements were needed to meet capacity increases: (2:45)
  • Project delivery method: (4:07)
  • Discharging to Wolf Creek, an Alabama Outstanding Waterway: (5:30)
  • Addressing Total Phosphorus limits through design and construction: (7:35)
  • Aerobic granular sludge technology selection: (9:36)
  • First U.S. AGS installation and commissioning: (12:29)
  • Fine grit and sand difficulties: (15:20)
  • Tony shoutouts: (19:05)
  • Lee shoutouts: (21:43)
  • Outro: (23:17)

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