Aging infrastructure and a growing population were the catalysts for Hillsborough County’s Northwest Hillsborough Wastewater Consolidation Program. The County provides wastewater service to 500,000 customers and reclaimed water to 15,000+ residents. The County’s population is expected to increase 46% by 2040. The cornerstone of the program was the Northwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility (NWRWRF) expansion.
The single largest capital improvement project in County history, the $193.2-million project retired two 40-year-old facilities and transferred flows to the NWRWRF. Benefits included:
- improved overall operation, functionality, and treatment efficiencies by consolidating plant maintenance/operations to one site/facility—incorporating flow equalization reduces peak demands for power and buffers influent water quality to allow more consistent and uniform treatment;
- increased capacity to triple previous rated capacity;
- minimized community impacts by implementing advanced technologies, strategically siting treatment components, enhancing wetland buffers to reduce odor and noise, and adding a trail system;
- will meet the region’s wastewater needs through 2040 through greater capacity and improved technologies.
The County selected a design-build (D/B) delivery method with McKim & Creed as the design criteria professional (DCP), Tetra Tech as the Engineer of Record, and the joint/venture team of Garney/Wharton Smith as the designer-builder. The D/B approach accelerated project delivery, allowed the older facilities to be abandoned more quickly, and avoided the added expense of interim rehabilitation of those facilities.
At the height of construction, the project team included 17 engineering firms and nearly 100 subcontractors with more than 300 workers on site. The team included 14 local MBE/DBE firms that were responsible for $21 million of the project scope, helping to stimulate the local economy following the Great Recession.
Value engineering resulted in $10.7 million in owner savings. These funds were invested back into the project as additional features and were used to relocate remote monitoring equipment to the NWRWRF site for better access and management.
This project was awarded a 2022 Engineering Excellence Honor Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC-FL).