Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades Generate Lower Lifecycle Costs
Ebensburg, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
The Ebensburg Wastewater Treatment Plant was exceeding their permitted hydraulic capacity established by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental (PADEP). To maintain compliance with their Corrective Action Plan, they looked for assistance determining the most cost-effective way to manage their excess plant flows as well as allow for plant expansion greater than the current capacity of 1.25 million gallons per day (MGD).
The Borough of Ebensburg selected Kimball as their engineering consultant to provide a number of services ranging from engineering design, construction oversight and project management for the upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant to address their excessive flow challenges and increase capacity from 1.25 MGD design flow with 4.0 MGD peak flow to a 2.0 MGD design flow with a 5.5 MGD peak flow.
Kimball prepared and assisted with grant applications for the $4.7M upgrade, which resulted in a $2.4M PENNWORKS grant, $800K PENNWORKS loan, and $1.5M in a low interest loan from PENNVEST. Kimball also helped to implement a number of new cutting-edge technologies that deliver lower lifecycle costs, improved safety and operation efficiency for the Ebensburg Wastewater Treatment Plant. Examples of this include:
- The installation of a UV disinfection system to replace chlorination for disinfection and de-chlorination.
- An automated mechanical bar screen to remove heavy solids prior to treatment.
- A grit washer removal system to eliminate sand and gravels prior to treatment.
- Upgrading of the Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) process using a smaller blower, thereby decreasing plant electrical consumption.
- Converting the SBR process from coarse bubble to fine bubble aeration, larger decanters, and new mixers and updated control system to increase plant hydraulic capacity.
- The existing belt filter press was replaced by a centrifuge for dewatering. This replacement significantly lowered transportation and disposal costs of solids and is a much cleaner process.
- Conversion of the clarifiers to aerobic digestors.
- The addition of a septage dumping station.
Since the project was completed, the excess flow issues at the Ebensburg Wastewater Treatment Plant have been resolved and the plant is experiencing a number of supplementary benefits. There is a reduced need for manual labor resulting in lower plant operating costs. The new mechanical bar screen has reduced non-sewage solids and floatables formerly treated in the plant creating operational and discharge challenges. Their UV system eliminates the need to control and monitor residual chlorine within the limits of PADEP discharge permit.
The upgrades also eliminated the safety hazards and security risks of having gas chlorination stored on-site. Additionally, the plant is experiencing greater continuity of operations in the event of a power failure due to the installation of a new generator. As part of the project, antiquated clarifiers were converted into sludge digesters to provide them with additional capacity for sludge handling. Another large benefit is their ability to generate revenue by providing contracted sludge dewatering services for other plants.