Advanced Technology Enhances Systems to Safeguard Chesapeake Bay

Washington, DC (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HDR of Virginia Beach and Newport News, Va., has earned a Grand Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 53rd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements project in Norfolk, Va.

The project was one of six top awards received by HDR in the 2020 EEA awards which were presented during the Virtual EEA Gala in December.

A $161 million upgrade to this pioneering wastewater treatment facility redoubles the Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s efforts to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay. A unique versatile bioreactor integrated with the plant’s existing nutrient removal processes ensures compliance with more stringent requirements for discharge quality, while also increasing peak flow capacity from 80 to 100 million gallons per day with the capability to handle more than 120 million gallons per day in the future.

To prevent heavy storm-related flows from overwhelming the plant, a new preliminary treatment facility and pump station channels portions of the peak flow to an equalization tank for temporary storage until full treatment capacity is available.

Ten buildings, more than 90 miles of 100-foot-long foundation piles, and a 108-inch-diameter pipeline were installed to support structures and utilities over a closed landfill. Limited soil stability and tight site constraints required an underground, pile-supported utility corridor 20 feet below grade to support miles of underground piping.

The project was among a record 203 entries in last year’s EEA Awards representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February and was conducted by a national 35-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.