San Francisco WWTP to receive major biosolids upgrades

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission awarded Brown and Caldwell an $80 million contract for biosolids upgrades at WWTP.

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WALNUT CREEK, CA, August 1, 2013 -- San Francisco's Southeast Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities Project, a $1.5 billion capital investment that will provide critical upgrades for the city's wastewater system, will receive $80 million in planning and engineering services that have been awarded to Brown and Caldwell, a leading nationwide environmental engineering consulting firm, by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC).

The project will result in the replacement of all biosolids processes at San Francisco's Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant, including anaerobic digesters, solids dewatering, solids thickening, odor control, and energy recovery facilities.

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SFPUC's Southeast Plant is in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood and is the largest wastewater treatment facility in San Francisco, treating 80 percent of the city's total flow. Some of the biosolids facilities date back to the plant's original construction in the 1950s and have reached the end of their useful life. SFPUC’s goal is to leverage the need to replace this aging system in a way that enhances the city's goals for sustainability, flexibility and community benefits.

When complete, the vision is for the Southeast Plant to have a world-class biosolids system that produces a Class A biosolids product, achieves beneficial reuse of treatment byproducts (including biosolids and biogas), maintains stringent non-detectable odor levels, and integrates with the community to improve aesthetics and safety, as well as to provide opportunity for education and job growth.

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Early in the project, Brown and Caldwell's team will help SFPUC determine which biosolids treatment technology to use. SFPUC has expressed interest in and is now piloting an emerging technology -- thermal hydrolysis process (THP) pretreatment. Across Europe, THP has proved to reduce digester volume and offer many resource recovery benefits. As the program manager for North America's first installation of THP in Washington, D.C., Brown and Caldwell brings a crucial perspective to help SFPUC make the best decision for its facility.

"With our company roots beginning in San Francisco on Sansome Street in 1947, we are delighted to be working with the SFPUC on this project," said Craig Goehring, CEO of Brown and Caldwell. "We have an accomplished team of international experts and local businesses joining us, and a fully engaged group of community stakeholders."

Brown and Caldwell is leading a team that includes major partner CH2M HILL, as well as a variety of subconsultants that include twelve San Francisco local business enterprises. Tracy Stigers, Vice President at Brown and Caldwell, will serve as Project Manager, with Dave Green, Vice President at CH2M HILL, as Deputy Project Manager, and Perry Schafer, Vice President at Brown and Caldwell, as the Biosolids Task Leader.

The project planning and definition phase is expected to last 25 months. The new biosolids facilities are expected to be fully designed, constructed and operational within 10 years.

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