Energy-saving wastewater treatment enhancements designed by Black & Veatch for Missouri project

COLUMBIA, MO, March 1, 2010 -- Construction is now under way on upgrades to the Columbia (Mo.) Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant that serves more than 100,000 area residents...

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• Improvements benefit growing community and bolster facility's reliability, efficiency

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Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant
COLUMBIA, MO, March 1, 2010 -- Construction is now under way on upgrades to the Columbia (Mo.) Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant that serves more than 100,000 area residents. The improvements will enable the city of Columbia to handle increasing wastewater treatment demand more efficiently, while improving the quality of treated water discharged into nearby wetlands. Black & Veatch designed the upgrades to improve reliability and reduce energy consumption.

"Black & Veatch has provided valuable engineering expertise in support of our water and wastewater treatment goals for more than 30 years," said John Glascock, Columbia Director of Public Works. "This project is the culmination of more than seven years of planning that will help us to proactively meet the future needs of our growing community in a sustainable manner."

The $62 million project, partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2012. Among its many benefits, treated wastewater from the plant will meet new and future discharge requirements. The enhanced water quality will benefit wildlife habitats at the nearby Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, which receives water discharged from the plant via a unique series of constructed wetlands that provide additional, naturally occurring water treatment.

An upgrade to the plant's solids processing facility will reduce vehicle traffic and resulting emissions by approximately 70 percent. Odor control measures will also be implemented as part of the improvements. In addition, the plant will make more efficient use of methane gas, a waste product of the treatment process, to produce power onsite.

"Energy is one of the primary costs in operating and maintaining water and wastewater treatment plants," said Dan McCarthy, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's global water business. "Many of the designed upgrades at the Columbia facility include measures for increased energy efficiency, energy recovery and reduced energy consumption. This project is a strong example of how new technologies and processes can not only aid in plant expansion but also lead the way for green, sustainable solutions."

Additional information:

• Missouri Governor Jay Nixon joined Bill Rice, Acting Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7; Mark Templeton, Director of Missouri Department of Natural Resources; Darwin Hindman, Columbia Mayor; Bill Watkins, Columbia City Manager; Steve Hunt, Columbia Environmental Services Manager; and Glascock at a groundbreaking ceremony on 14 January to officially launch the construction phase of the project.

• A dewatering step will be added to the facility's existing solids processing method, reducing the need for liquid biosolids to be transported by tanker truck to an off-site location. This will reduce local truck traffic as well as vehicle carbon emissions, fuel costs, vehicle miles and wear-and-tear on neighboring streets by approximately 70 percent.

• Methane gas is produced when organic materials break down during the wastewater treatment process. To capitalize on this renewable energy resource, a new methane gas cleaning system and two 400-kilowatt engine generators will be installed as part of the digester complex. The resulting combined heat and power system will increase the amount of methane gas used through the engine generators by 36 percent and increase the amount of electricity capable of being generated by 67 percent compared to the existing system.

• Other energy efficient enhancements include adjustable frequency drive pumping units, submerged fine bubble diffusers and high-efficiency blowers.

• Chemical use for treatment processes will be reduced, creating a more efficient and environmentally friendly approach for meeting both required permit limits for ammonia removal and future limits for total nitrogen.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients' needs and provide sustainable benefits. Solutions are provided from the broad line of service expertise available within Black & Veatch, including conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, program management, construction management, environmental, security design and consulting, management consulting and infrastructure planning. With $3.2 billion in revenue, the employee-owned company has more than 100 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries on six continents.

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