Temporary wastewater solids handling facility: Design and construction

Posted in: Municipal, Water


photo2-200x262pxDuring a wastewater treatment solids handling facility construction project, your wastewater solids must continue to be dewatered and conditioned for safe land application or sending to the landfill. You’ll need a temporary facility. Many wastewater treatment facility owners or contractors are opting to have a single firm plan, build and operate a temporary facility during major construction projects.

Planning, building and operating a temporary dewatering facility takes considerable experience and expertise. Understanding what your consultant is doing and why during a major construction project will help make sure the temporary facility performs as expected.

Key issues in the planning phase

A well-functioning temporary dewatering system starts with a solid plan that meets the needs of the contractor, project engineer and you (the client). Planning begins with an evaluation of solids dewatering treatment options along with a layout by a multi-discipline team of engineering and operations experts. When considering treatment options, the consulting firm must meet both your and the contractor’s scope as well as contractual requirements while operating their temporary system.

Consider these issues when you are developing the temporary facility’s operations contract with your consultant:

  • Who purchases equipment, or should it be rented
  • Chemical costs
  • Engineering of the new facility to accommodate current and future needs
  • Operation and staffing requirements
  • Safety and project management

photo3-250x192pxOnce the contractor has defined operations performance criteria, then the equipment must be selected such as belt filter presses, centrifuges and temporary pumping and electrical equipment. We’ll look at the size of the equipment, its conveyance and storage, and constraints to its layout. Other planning considerations include chemicals, energy requirements and the cost of operation during the construction project along with long-term use of the temporary facility.

A successful temporary dewatering facility plan starts with a trusting relationship between the contractor, engineer and client. The team must work through the risks and benefits, opportunities for efficiency and project safety. They must agree on these basics early and then communicate regularly throughout the project. The operations firm will also need to work closely with equipment suppliers.

Lastly, a qualified consulting firm must have all the required treatment licensing. This includes preparing their staff with training of on-site issues, meeting safety requirements and final discharge requirements.


Troy Gallagher

About the Author

Troy Gallagher has focused his 25-year+ career in the water and wastewater field, working for both industrial and municipal clients. Before joining Mead & Hunt, he started and built his own water and wastewater consulting, engineering and training company. Troy now serves as Market Leader responsible for new business development and teaming relationships to pursue nationwide opportunities in  water and wastewater treatment within diverse markets (municipal, aviation, food and dairy, and industrial).

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One response on “Temporary wastewater solids handling facility: Design and construction

  1. It makes a lot of sense that you would need some kind of a facility that would allow you to dewater your wastewater so that the sludge can be used. Investing in a good system that will allow you to dewater while also getting sludge where it needs to go would be a good idea. That way you don’t have to worry about moving anything anywhere.

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