Virginia CZM Program: 2015 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

3

Grantee:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Project Title:

Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF) Match- City of Hopewell Wastewater Treatment Plant Nutrient Removal Upgrade

Project Description as Proposed:

The Hopewell Regional Wastewater Facility (HRWTF) is a 50 MGD secondary wastewater treatment plant that presently treats approximately 27 MGD of combined industrial and domestic wastewater. About 85 percent of the total flow is generated by five local industries: Honeywell, Ashland Aqualon, Evonik Goldschmidt, Rock Tenn, and the Virginia American Water Co. Domestic sources include the City of Hopewell, Prince George County, Fort Lee Military Base, and a federal correction complex. Treated effluent from HRWTF is discharged to Gravelly Run, a tributary of the James River. The HRWTF was retrofitted with “BNR-equivalent” technology under a prior WQIF grant (#440-S-00-01).

As a significant discharger into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the HRWTF has a nutrient cap and  wasteload allocations established for total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) (per Virginia’s Water Quality Management Planning Regulation 9 VAC 25-720). The current allocations are 1.83 million lbs/year of TN and 0.075 million lbs/year of TP.

Since the future market for nitrogen credit purchases is uncertain (cost for credits is not established after 2017 and future credit availability may be limited) and future nitrogen influent loads are likely to increase from both domestic and industrial sources, HRWTF must implement nitrogen reduction improvements. These Phase 2 improvements will expand on the Phase 1 improvements completed in May 2012, which achieved partial segregation of domestic and industrial flows in the initial treatment stages of the plant. The Phase 2 improvements will reduce HRTWF’s effluent ammonia concentration and enable the plant to meet its TN waste load allocation requirements.

The Phase 2 improvements further the segregated treatment concept in which biological nutrient removal (BNR) is achieved in only a portion of the influent flow. Since the industrial influent component inhibits nitrification due to high temperatures (37+ degrees C), frequent spike loadings, high concentrations of volatile organic compounds, chemical inhibitors, and other variable influent characteristics, two streams that contain a substantial nitrogen load, domestic and Honeywell, will be segregated from the stream which contains the majority of the heat load from Rock Tenn. The ratio of Honeywell flow to the segregated (domestic) stream will be targeted at 40% of the design average Honeywell flow to avoid excessive nitrification inhibition. However, capability to treat up to 100% of the design average Honeywell flow will be designed into the project to allow for maximum nitrogen removal as conditions vary. This separate treatment approach eliminates the need for cooling prior to BNR treatment and balances the need for BNR on the Honeywell stream with its potential for nitrifier inhibition.

Due to the nitrifier inhibition potential from Honeywell’s flow, a moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) system was selected for the BNR design in the segregated treatment stream. This system is resistant to spike loads of inhibitory compounds and offers more protection to the nitrifying biomass versus suspended growth systems. Since only a portion of the flow passes through nutrient removal with the segregated treatment approach, the final effluent quality for HRWTF is determined by the dilution of the segregated flow into the remaining industrial streams. The segregated treatment system (domestic and a portion of Honeywell flow) will be designed to fully nitrify and partially denitrify the wastewater. This will be re-combined with industrial flows downstream in the process and further treated resulting in a final effluent total nitrogen of 15.0 mg/l or less on an annual average basis. The Phase 2 improvements are not expected to affect effluent total phosphorus and grant funds are not being used for any modification of the TP removal process.

Federal Funding:

$0 - Match only

Project Contact:

Walter Gills; 804.698.4133; walter.gills@deq.virginia.gov

Project Status:

10/1/15 - 1/31/17; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Final Project Summary serves as Final Product. 

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

This Phase 2 project (WQIF Agreement #440-S-14-02; $49,129,657 grant) involves upgrading the Hopewell Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (HRWTF), an existing 50 MGD wastewater treatment plant, to reduce the effluent ammonia concentration and enable the plant to meet its TN waste load allocation requirement.  As a significant discharger into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the HRWTF has a nutrient cap and wasteload allocations established for total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) (per Virginia’s Water Quality Management Planning Regulation 9 VAC 25-720).  The current allocations are 1.83 million lbs/year of TN and 0.075 million lbs/year of TP.

The Phase 2 improvements further the segregated treatment concept in which biological nutrient removal (BNR) is achieved in only a portion of the influent flow.  Since the industrial influent component inhibits nitrification due to high temperatures (37+ degrees C), frequent spike loadings, high concentrations of volatile organic compounds, chemical inhibitors, and other variable influent characteristics, two streams that contain a substantial nitrogen load, domestic and Honeywell, will be segregated from the stream which contains the majority of the heat load from Rock Tenn.  The ratio of Honeywell flow to the segregated (domestic) stream will be targeted at 40% of the design average Honeywell flow to avoid excessive nitrification inhibition.  However, capability to treat up to 100% of the design average Honeywell flow will be designed into the project to allow for maximum nitrogen removal as conditions vary.  This separate treatment approach eliminates the need for cooling prior to BNR treatment and balances the need for BNR on the Honeywell stream with its potential for nitrifier inhibition.

Due to the nitrifier inhibition potential from Honeywell’s flow, a moving bed bioreactor (MBBR) system was selected for the BNR design in the segregated treatment stream.  This system is resistant to spike loads of inhibitory compounds and offers more protection to the nitrifying biomass versus suspended growth systems.  Since only a portion of the flow passes through nutrient removal with the segregated treatment approach, the final effluent quality for HRWTF is determined by the dilution of the segregated flow into the remaining industrial streams.  The segregated treatment system (domestic and a portion of Honeywell flow) will be designed to fully nitrify and partially denitrify the wastewater.  This will be re-combined with industrial flows downstream in the process and further treated resulting in final effluent total nitrogen of 15.0 mg/l or less on an annual average basis.  The Phase 2 improvements are not expected to affect effluent total phosphorus and grant funds are not being used for any modification of the TP removal process.

Construction for the City of Hopewell’s wastewater treatment plant upgrade with the segregated treatment system continues.  Construction began in July 2014 and is scheduled to be complete in July 2017.  To date, $41,973,118 of the $49,129,657 grant has been paid to the City.  Between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016, reimbursements totaling $20,746,639 have been made to the City for this project, which exceeds the $757,096.00 in State General funds needed to provide a match for the Coastal Zone Management Program.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email:Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy toVirginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

 

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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