Wastewater solids processing improvements to begin this spring

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A multi-year program to upgrade and increase wastewater solids processing capacity at the massive Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saint Paul will begin this spring with a two-year construction project.

Wastewater operators stand near the base of one of the Metro Plant’s three solids incineratorsThe goals of the initial project are to preserve existing solids processing infrastructure at the plant and optimize its performance. Each of the three existing solids incinerators and their associated energy recovery and air pollution control equipment will be shut down for eight-week intervals for renewal work.

A fourth incinerator will be constructed from 2022 to 2024. The added capacity from the fourth incinerator will allow for more extensive renewal to occur on the existing incinerators from 2025-2027.

“Because of the harsh environment inside the incinerators, they require renewal every five to seven years,” explained Stephen Norton, project manager. “The last renewal was completed in 2014. This initial project is needed to ensure the reliability of the existing solids processing facilities until the fourth incinerator is operational.

“During this initial project, we will also optimize the performance of our solids management process to reduce operating costs,” Norton said.

Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant Solids Renewal and Improvement Project Overview (PDF)

On March 11, the Council authorized a construction contract valued at $19.3 million for the initial renewal and improvements project.

Metro Plant Solids Management Improvements Facility Plan

Preliminary engineering of the fourth incinerator construction project is underway. The fourth incinerator will not only provide additional solids processing capacity during renewal of the existing incinerators, it will also serve forecasted regional population growth of 500,000 in the Metro Plant’s service area by 2050.

This project is part of a six-year capital improvement program that plans for investments in the regional wastewater system. The system protects public health, the environment, and fosters the economic growth of the region.

Posted In: Wastewater & Water