Taming Tigers and Wrestling Anacondas

Prepared for the 2014 NC American Water Works Association & Water Environment Association (AWWA-WEA) Annual Conference by Tim Baldwin, PE, Senior Vice President, McKim & Creed, Inc.

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Pender County’s Commerce Park was created as a vehicle to attract industry, jobs, and growth to the 421 corridor specifically and the county as a whole. Public utilities for the park include gas, rail, interstate access and a 2-mgd Surface Water Treatment Plant (WTP) owned and operated by Pender County. Master plans also recommend constructing a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) adjacent to the WTP.

In the spring of 2013, the county was one of several governmental entities in discussion with RC Creations, LLC, a division of Acme Smoked Fish (Acme) of Brooklyn, NY, which was investigating construction of a new facility in the mid-Atlantic region. In August of 2013, RC Creations selected Commerce Park for its new facility. A focal point of the negotiations was Pender County’s ability to construct a new WWTP to accommodate the high-strength wastewater generated from the proposed fish processing facility, effectively eliminating the need for Acme to provide pretreatment prior to discharge to the county system.

Initially, RC Creations indicated an 18-20 month schedule for construction of the new fish processing facility. Shortly after the park was selected for the project, RC Creations introduced a revised schedule that had the new industry online and operational in approximately 12 months.

To meet the new schedule, Pender County and McKim & Creed developed a two-phased approach. After consideration of multiple options, Phase I consists of the influent plant pump station and an equalization basin that will be incorporated as part of a pump and haul operation. These facilities will serve as a primary collection point for the RC Creations waste stream and can be constructed within the revised schedule.

Phase II includes the remaining WWTP facilities and will be designed and constructed semi-concurrently with Phase I. The final WWTP will have a capacity of 0.5 mgd and will utilize an NPDES permit that was acquired via inter-local agreement the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA). The NPDES provides for a point discharge to the Cape Fear River of up to 4 mgd; however, permit provisions allow for construction in incremental capacities as demands warrant. To accommodate the high-strength waste stream and provide a unique and sustainable facility, the facility process will be designed as an Adaptive Ecosystem utilizing a unique combination of moving media, fixed media, and plants in varied environments and reactors.

This paper will examine the proposed project, schedule challenges, and phasing options, and will address the NPDES permit acquisition, agreements with CFPUA for allocated capacity in the new WWTP, future tenants, and the Adaptive Ecosystem process.

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