Russellville Pollution Control Facility Expansion

Project Description

The CMAR delivery method was not commonly used by Arkansas’ water and wastewater industry prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. HW employed the approach for this project pre-pandemic hoping to gain value from contractor collaboration and save time with early equipment procurement. It was unknown at that time that a looming pandemic would make that innovative decision instrumental to the success of the project which would facilitate an end to over 20 years of consent administrative orders. Less than one year after the project began, the pandemic struck causing fear and uncertainty. Soon followed the hand sanitizer, face masks, and the dawn of the virtual meeting. Next came lockdowns across the country and globe that drastically extended material delivery schedules and sparked unprecedented price increases. Many traditional projects stagnated because of the uncertainty. HW’s innovative approach allowed this project to stay on schedule and within budget.

This project eliminated SSOs and increased the capacity of the plant by nearly 50%. Another innovative aspect of this project was the adoption of biological phosphorus removal techniques to control filamentous outbreaks. The plant’s influent contains a higher concentration of VFA than typical due to area food industries. An anaerobic selector was employed to sequester the VFAs and mitigate filament growth. This selector also provides reduced effluent phosphorus at no additional cost. Other significant plant improvements included grit removal, expanded aeration volume and blower capacity, secondary clarifier improvements, peracetic acid disinfection, and sludge mixing. The project’s final construction cost of $16.6 million was 51% less than RCC’s master plan estimate despite the challenges of COVID-19. The CMAR finished $206,000 below their GMP and HW helped RCC receive a $5 million ARPA grant. The project finished $23 million below RCC’s $34 million estimate.