George, Miles & Buhr, LLC (GMB) is proud to announce that the firm was recently presented with the Delaware American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2009 Grand Conceptor Award for the upgrade and expansion of the Howard H. Seymour Water Reclamation Plant in Lewes, DE. This groundbreaking facility represents the first time that Membrane Bio-Reactor and Biological Nutrient Removal technologies have been implemented together by a municipality in Delaware.
GMB’s creative design approach has resulted in an advanced Water Reclamation Plant capable of removing significant pollutant and nutrient loads to the Lewes-RehobothCanal and the State of Delaware Inland Bays, and has created a facility that will serve the long-term growth plans of the City of Lewes.
In a coordinated effort with GMB, the Lewes Board of Public Works upgraded and expanded its existing 750,000 gallon per day (gpd) wastewater treatment facility to 1,500,000 gpd. The upgraded/expanded facility is expandable to 2,250,000 gpd, which will allow the Board to process future flows from its approved wastewater service area.
The Lewes Board of Public Works had three (3) main goals related to the Water Reclamation Project: 1) upgrade the existing facility that was experiencing operational challenges; 2) expand the facility to provide the capacity to serve the Board’s ultimate wastewater service area; and 3) provide nutrient reduction capabilities to improve the health of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the Inland Bays and meet their new NPDES permit requirements.
The new facility, completed in October 2007, meets these goals using an advanced wastewater treatment system that drastically improves its effluent biological oxygen demand (BOD), and total suspended solids (TSS), loads. The General Electric Zenon Membrane Filtration process has allowed the Board to reduce its BOD and TSS load to the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal by approximately 2,500 pounds per month, achieving incredible effluent concentration levels of less than 3 milligrams per liter (mg/l) and 0.5 mg/l, respectively. Additionally, the new process incorporates nutrient removal equipment that allows the Board to achieve effluent total nitrogen levels of less than 3 mg/l and effluent total phosphorus levels of less than 0.5 mg/l. The nutrient load reduction realized in the Canal totals approximately 3,200 pounds per month.
In addition to the membrane filtration and nutrient removal processes, the $11.7 million project includes a total upgrade to the headworks facility (new screening and grit removal capabilities), provides adequate flow equalization volume to allow for a constant flow through downstream processes, includes a new ultra-violet disinfection system, an upgraded solids digestion facility, upgraded emergency generation capabilities and a new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.
The project utilized a $1-million FederalState and Tribal Assistance Grant, thereby reducing the overall economic impact on the citizens of Lewes. Additionally, the project utilized an $11.6 million State Revolving Fund low-interest loan that provided a majority of project funding while saving the citizens of Lewes approximately $1,800,000 as compared to municipal bond financing at the time.