The City of Eau Claire recently hosted an open house for local government officials to showcase the major upgrades that have taken place at their 11.5-million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility. The $39 million project was the culmination of a collaborative Donohue/City partnership that spanned a decade of planning, phased design and construction, startup, and training assistance.
A key element of the recent project was the City’s decision to change the heart of its treatment system from a rotating biological contactor (RBC) process to an advanced biological nutrient removal (BNR) activated sludge system. The new BNR activated sludge system not only saved the City millions of dollars, as compared to upgrading the RBC system, but also significantly removes key nutrients and provides a much higher quality effluent than the previous system, in terms of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids.
Many of the plant’s other facilities and systems were upgraded to address capacity and condition issues. One key upgrade was the anaerobic digestion process, which converts the sludge produced in the treatment process to nutrient-rich biosolids that are recycled to farmland and biogas for energy production. Other upgrades included controls, backup power, and sludge handling systems. The result is a wastewater collection and treatment system to reliably meet the City’s needs and improve the water environment for decades to come.
“When we selected Donohue & Associates for our facility plan and design for our phase 1 and 2 we did so because of their expertise and commitment to wastewater treatment. The engineers and technicians at Donohue are the best in their field, and the final product that we received is proof of that passion and expertise,” remarked Jeff Pippenger, Utilities Manager for the City of Eau Claire.
Partners providing services to the City of Eau Claire for the project include:
- CD Smith Construction
- J.F. Ahern Co.
- Total Electric
- Donohue & Associates