September 18, 2020
Hansen, Allen & Luce (HAL) is helping the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities (SLCDPU) design its new Water Reclamation Facility, parts of which are now under construction. A nearly $350 million loan for the project from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, was announced this week.
The project is to construct a new water reclamation facility while simultaneously decommissioning portions of the existing 55-year-old facility on the same site. The project is motivated partly by a need to replace and modernize the aging infrastructure and partly by new state and federal regulations that limit nitrogen and phosphorus in the treated effluent. The new facility will be able to treat 48 million gallons per day (MGD) of municipal wastewater and will include biological nutrient removal (BNR), an advanced treatment process, that will improve water quality to benefit the lower Jordan River, Great Salt Lake, and surrounding wetlands.
The $711 million facility is one of the largest public works projects Salt Lake City has ever undertaken. As part of a team led by AECOM, HAL is supporting sustainability certification, designing the site (including demolition, grading, drainage, potable water piping, and other underground utilities), and providing services during construction.
Planning had already been under way for several years when HAL began work in 2018. Construction started in October 2019 and will run through 2024, overlapping with the remaining design. The site is being surcharged with extra soil to accelerate settlement, and wick drains (pictured above) are being installed to remove the water before setting the building foundations. To date the existing drying beds have been demolished and new biosolids storage pads are under construction.