Value Engineering of a $2 million WWTP Plant Expansion

A Case Study (download )


East Coast Property Developer

Services Requested:

Type of Treatment

  1. Biological – Batch Reactor Activated Sludge
  2. Physical – Sand Filtration, UV Disinfection

An East Coast developer needed to expand a wastewater treatment plant before opening a new housing development. His Consulting Engineer presented a design with a plant expansion cost of $1.8 million to accommodate both the flow capacity increase and additional nutrient removal requirements. However, the high cost of the plant made the contractor’s planned development expansion economically unfeasible.

Wastewater Experts, Inc. was hired to Value Engineer the design and determine if any cost savings were possible. A detailed review of plant operating history revealed that the history of failures was quite readily addressed with a low-cost flow-equalization basin. After on-site investigations and a thorough review of the operating history of the plant and of the existing and proposed designs, Wastewater Experts, Inc. showed that the proposed expansion design had underestimated the capacity of the existing facilities and over-estimated the amount of capacity required for the application. The Designer had relied upon textbook values without referencing actual treatment results at the plant.

Wastewater Experts, Inc. recommended a design which optimized use of existing facilities with a modest addition of new capacity. The new design would achieve the required nutrient removal ability by converting to a modified SBR process. 

The total cost for all of the new proposed modifications was $1.2 million - a 33% reduction from the original design. The Developer’s housing expansion was now feasible and the plan initiated.