As Authority Engineer to the Gloucester County Utilities Authority (GCUA), Remington & Vernick Engineers (RVE) announces the Aeration System Upgrade and Energy Efficient Improvements project at the GCUA Wastewater Treatment Plant was named a 2018 New Jersey’s Leading Infrastructure Project by the New Jersey Alliance for Action. The award was presented Friday, February 6, 2019 at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ.
The energy efficiency improvements and anaerobic digestion, along with the combined heat and power upgrade at the GCUA, was managed by RVE as a $50 million program with eight construction contracts and two separate cycle years of New Jersey Infrastructure Bank funding. RVE has provided all survey, civil/site, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, environmental, process, geotechnical, hydraulic, control and construction management services for this program, with most of the same project team proposed herein.
The combined heat and power portion of the work involved two independent installation contracts: one for biogas conditioning; and a second for the engines and switchgear. The digestion system was put online under three other contracts (foundation, process, integration with existing facility) to expedite the decommissioning of the facility sewage sludge incinerator. The system boiler was designed for unconditioned gas until the conditioning system is operational; then the boiler will be offline once the engines are commissioned. Two additional contracts incorporated an overhaul on the plant secondary clarification and grit systems to improve energy efficiency and optimize plant solids control. The final contract was a significant energy improvement and process control as the aeration system is converted from manual valve control with constant speed blowers to an automated process. The eight contracts were procured in accordance with the various methods of Local Public Contract Law.
The program began in February 2015 as an application to the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, achieved all permitting and approvals and the foundation was completed in 2016. Through 2017, the facility’s solids handling contracts were complete and digestion process construction was underway. In 2018, the digestion process began commissioning as the aeration system modifications neared completion. This enabled the facility incinerator to come offline almost four months ahead of regulatory requirements with biosolids being beneficially reclaimed at the County landfill as daily cover in place of disposed ash. It is anticipated the GCUA wastewater treatment facility will achieve greater resiliency with combined heat and power in 2020, within five years of the program commencement.
“This comprehensive project required the coordination of funding programs, regulatory agencies and the expertise of design engineers, consultants and contractors.” says Dennis K. Yoder, PE, PP, CME, LEED-AP, RVE Executive Vice President and GCUA Authority Engineer. “The need for efficient and effective water treatment systems is the utmost priority of RVE and the GCUA and the public we serve. We are honored to be a member of the project team”.
The GCUA project was nominated by the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank – Environmental Infrastructure Staff as their leading project. The NJIB funds and oversees hundreds of infrastructure projects for water, wastewater, stormwater and transportation improvements each year.