Construction Update Winter 2023

Several construction activities will take place over the next few months.

New Biosolids Storage Pad Constructed and In Use

The new biosolids storage pad has been constructed and is in use. This storage pad replaced an existing facility and is used to temporarily store stabilized biosolids when immediate hauling offsite cannot be achieved due to weather or other unforeseen conditions. Because of the pad’s location on the southern boundary of the facility, and the fact that the biosolids are stabilized, the public should not be able to detect odors from the storage pad.

Pre-Load Material Removed

A large pile of soil was placed at the site to improve ground conditions and prevent uneven settlement as the facility is built. The 1.6 million tons of fill material stood 35 feet tall, covered 23 acres, and compressed the underlying soil up to 6 feet in some areas. A high-tech monitoring system was installed to continually monitor the settlement. When the monitoring showed that the soil was sufficiently consolidated, the fill material was removed to the level of the original wick drain construction. A majority of this fill material has been stockpiled for future use in the construction of the new plant, while the rest is being hauled away for use on other projects. Stabilizing the ground using this method, rather than other ground improvement options, saved approximately $40 million. Once the construction of the dewatering system is complete by the end of August, excavation can begin for the headworks facility, primary clarifiers, blower building, biological nutrient removal facility and secondary clarifiers.

Mechanical Dewatering Building Construction Continues

Construction of the mechanical dewatering building started on November 30, 2020, with the excavation for the main foundation slab. To create a solid foundation for the building, 144 16-inch-diameter steel piles were driven 160 feet into the ground in the location of the future building. Steel piles are basically a hollow steel pipe with each end capped, that are driven into place with a heavy hammer at the top of the pile. The piles were filled with concrete and rebar. Pile construction was completed in March 2021. Preloading soil and allowing the ground to settle over time as is being done elsewhere for the project was not an option for this building. Since completing the piles, the first, second and third levels of the building have been framed and concrete floor slabs have been poured. The roof level of the building will be complete by mid-July. The mechanical dewatering building removes excess water from the biosolids physically and chemically to produce a soil-like, nutrient-rich product that is used for land application or landfill cover.

Odor Reduction

You may have noticed a reduction in the strength and frequency of strong odors coming from the Water Reclamation Facility. One of the primary sources of odors from the Facility were the biosolids drying beds, which were demolished at the beginning of the project. The drying beds have temporarily been replaced with screw presses located north of the anaerobic digesters. When the mechanical dewatering building is complete, the temporary dewatering will be decommissioned, and solids drying will be transferred to the new building. The building will have a rigorous odor control system designed to capture and treat air prior to release into the atmosphere. Other sources of odor, such as the influent pump station, headworks facility and primary clarifiers will also be constructed with odor control systems.

UV Disinfection Building

The New Water Reclamation Facility will use ultraviolet light to disinfect the treated wastewater prior to discharging the water to the environment. Excavation for the ultraviolet disinfection building began in April and 42 of the 129 auger cast piles have been completed. Auger cast piles are a type of drilled foundation in which the pile is drilled to the final depth in one continuous process using a continuous flight auger. The project team’s decision to use auger cast piles saved the project approximately $2 million compared to the steel pile option due to the recent escalation in steel prices. In addition, the placement of the concrete slab at the base of the concrete channel where the partially treated water enters the UV disinfection building was completed in late April.

New Substation

The excavation for the new substation, which will transfer power from Rocky Mountain Power to the New Water Reclamation Facility project, was completed in late April. Construction of concrete foundations will begin late August and will be complete by mid-October. The weight of the substation and soil conditions at this location did not require significant ground improvements prior to construction.

Top Contractors Hired to Build New Water Reclamation Facility

Project Will Create 150 Jobs

Three of the country’s largest and most respected engineers and builders — Jacobs, AECOM and Sundt/PCL Joint Venture— have been hired by Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities to the new Water Reclamation Facility. 

“Because the reclamation facility is a such a critical piece of infrastructure, we’re taking a strategic and methodical approach to its construction and that means having the very best team on board to make it happen,” said SLCDPU Director Laura Briefer. “The facility – which serves more than 200,00 people and treats about 35 million gallons of wastewater every day – must operate 24/7 without interruption, even during construction, and it must operate for decades.”

This $700 million project will take six years to complete and is one of the largest public works projects in Salt Lake City history.

The construction team expects to employ those experienced in the latest wastewater treatment technologies—local engineers, pipe layers, journeymen, skilled construction trade workers, foremen and general laborers.  In total, the contracting team expects to hire around 150 people.

About the Contractors

Jacobs is providing overall Program Management services to deliver the New WRF project. Jacobs leads the global professional services sector providing solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With approximately $12 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 50,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors. Jacobs holds an industry leading position across the entire water cycle, offering clients world-leading technical and environmental expertise to address complex challenges across water, wastewater, desalination and flood control challenges. Jacobs recently earned the distinction award for the Water Company of the Year at the 2019 Global Water Awards. The firm was ranked number one by Engineering News-Records in 2019 Top 500 Design Firms and by Trenchless Technology’s 2018 Top 50 Trenchless Engineering Firms. Jacobs is ranked the #1 Most Admired Company in the World in the Engineering, Construction category by Fortune Magazine

AECOM is providing Engineering Design services for the New WRF project. AECOM is a $20.2 billion global company, with 87,000 employees and more than 100 years of experience designing and managing water systems. AECOM has built numerous iconic projects, such as the World Trade Center, One Vanderbilt, and Hudson Yards. Some of AECOM’s related projects include Delhi Sewerage System, Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant, Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facilities, and Orange County Sanitation District P2-92 Sludge De-watering and Odor Project.  Fortune magazine named AECOM one of the world’s most-admired companies for five consecutive years. 

Sundt Construction/PCL (Joint Venture) is providing Construction Management/General Contractor services to construct the New WRF project. Sundt Construction is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors in the US. The 129-year-old firm is 100 percent employee-owned and known nationally for its commitment to quality and innovative approaches to construction services. Since the 1950s, Sundt has constructed some of the most complex water treatment projects in the Southwest. The firm employs over 2,500 people and has 12 offices throughout Utah, Arizona, Texas and California.

PCL Construction, established in 1906, is a group of independent construction companies that works throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia and ranked #7 on Engineering-News Record’s Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and building markets are supported by 4,000 full-time professional staff, 10,000 hourly tradespeople, and 31 offices. Together, they have an annual construction volume of $9 billion, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Some of their top recent projects include Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam Replacement, Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Facility, and San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility.

Timelapse Videos

Dewatering Plant
Main Drying Beds
Northwest Drying Bed
Tower Crane

Construction Flyers