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Tighe & Bond Receives 2021 ACEC/CT Engineering Excellence Award

Upgrades at Plainville Water Pollution Control Facility Protects Connecticut’s Water Quality

Tighe & Bond was recently recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut (ACEC/CT) with an Engineering Excellence Award. The project team received the award for the design of phosphorous removal upgrades at the Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) in Plainville, Connecticut.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) set new phosphorous limits after it was determined the nutrient was negatively affecting water quality in the state’s freshwater rivers and streams. While phosphorus is a naturally occur­ring element that is an essential nutrient to support plant growth, excessive amounts contribute to the dense growth of algae and suffocation of marine life. This meant that the Plainville WPCF needed to reduce the amount of phosphorous leaving the facility by 88 percent. In anticipation of these changes, Tighe & Bond prepared a Phosphorus Removal Plan to determine how best to meet the new phosphorus limits.

The plan recommended the addition of a Filter Building that would house new multi-point chemical addition and disc filtration processes to reduce the amount of phosphorous from the facility’s water. The design also included cost-effective improvements to the existing WPCF including a larger sludge processing system, raising the facility’s existing UV Disinfection System for improved flood resiliency, new flow equalization tanks to stabilize the effluent from the facility’s Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs), and filter influent pumps to lift the flow up to the disc filters.

The project was completed four months ahead of schedule and $1 million under budget. The upgrades have enabled the Town of Plainville to meet its phosphorous limits. The new system continues to remove phosphorus from the treated water the facility discharges daily into the Pequabuck River which joins the Quinnipiac River and Long Island Sound. The renovations to the WPCF also meet all state and federal environmental regulations and ensures the protection of surrounding bodies of water.

Tighe & Bond and their project partners were honored at the ACEC/CT Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in June 2021.