San Francisco Public Utilities Commission awards $939 million water pollution control plant project

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digester rendering sf
Conceptual rendering of the proposed digester facilities (SF Public Utilities Commission)

MWH Constructors and Webcor Builders, in a construction joint venture, have been awarded a $939 million contract by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to serve as construction manager/general contractor for the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities Project, the companies say in a news release.

The Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant (SEP) was built in 1952 and is SFPUC’s largest wastewater treatment facility, treating 80 percent of San Francisco’s sewage and storm water flows. The Biosolids Digester Facilities Project (BDFP) aims to replace existing digester facilities with new, expanded, reliable, modernized and relocated facilities, as well as improve energy recovery and maximize control of odors.

“It is a privilege to be selected with our partner Webcor Builders by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission for this project and we look forward to delivering a more modern and reliable high-performing biosolids facility to the city,” MWH Constructors president Blair Lavoie said in a statement. “Our partnership with Webcor Builders combines unique and relevant experience in water and wastewater facilities and integrates the complementary expertise and resources of two leading general contractors to provide the highest quality service and best partner for the sustainable development of San Francisco’s water infrastructure and community.”

The contractors say that the BDFP is one of the first projects in the U.S. to use the Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis Process (CambiTHP). The CambiTHP will enable the new facilities to produce higher quality biosolids, capture and treat odors more effectively, and maximize biogas utilization and energy recovery to produce heat, steam and energy.

Construction is expected to begin in summer 2018 with completion in the summer of  2025. The project will be constructed in two parts to allow for continued use of the facilities. Part one includes the demolition and site preparation of the eastern portion of the SEP and existing asphalt plant, and construction of the new facilities on the site. Part two involves the demolition of the central shops and western portion of the SEP, with final completion of the new biosolids digester facility following.

“We are pleased to work with MWH Constructors on a project that supports upgrades to aging infrastructure and increased efficiency for the SFPUC,” said Jes Pedersen, CEO of Webcor Builders. “Our complimentary expertise and project experience are well-aligned to meet the needs of a growing population while maintaining a commitment to the highest sustainability standards.”

As the third largest municipal utility in California, SFPUC provides more than 2.6 million residential, commercial and industrial customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water services. The BDFP is part of the Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP), a 20-year, multi-billion-dollar citywide investment to upgrade aging sewer systems that aims to ensure a reliable, sustainable and seismically safe sewer system into the future.

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