Firm Wins River Plant Improvement Project

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has awarded the engineers at Burns & McDonnell a contract to design $31.9 million in improvements to the Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has awarded the engineers at Burns & McDonnell a contract to design $31.9 million in improvements to the Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Located just south of the Missouri River in Maryland Heights, the plant is one of five major treatment plants operated by MSD. It receives and treats wastewater from much of West St. Louis County, including Maryland Heights, Creve Coeur and Chesterfield.

"West St. Louis County has undergone significant growth since the 1980s when the plant was built," said Todd Heller, operations division manager for MSD. "The plant today operates slightly over its rated capacity. With more growth projected, it's necessary to prepare the plant for the next 20 years."

The Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant is rated to treat 28 million gallons of wastewater a day, and is currently treating about 30 MGD with no significant problems, according to Heller.

"So one of the first questions we're asking," he said, "is whether or not we should consider having the plant re-rated," he said.

Over approximately the next two years, Burns & McDonnell engineers will look at that issue and others as it assesses the plant's capacity and condition, projects future needs and then designs the improvements needed to accommodate them.

Some improvements are relatively obvious, according to Dave Mizell, project manager for Burns & McDonnell.

"We know the plant's headworks is reaching the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced. Some piping will also need to be upsized to handle increased flows in the future. There are also a variety of electrical and mechanical systems that will likely require upgrading, as budget and needs allow," he said.

By Spring 2004, the firm is expected to submit a report with recommended improvements for MSD's consideration. During the contract's second phase, Burns & McDonnell will complete final design on the selected improvements.

A total of $31.9 million has been budgeted for Missouri River Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements.

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