Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Facility Plan

Sugar Creek WTP Expansion Facility Plan | Charlotte, NC, US
Sugar Creek WTP Expansion Facility Plan, Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities | Charlotte, NC, US
Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

When originally constructed in 1929, the Sugar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) was one of first activated sludge plants in the United States. Eight decades later Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities' (CMU) Sugar Creek WWTP again will be viewed as an industry leader. By using the Three Pillars of Sustainable Design model, Sugar Creek will be one of the first wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. to comprehensively incorporate sustainable design initiatives into its wastewater treatment plant expansion project.

In May 2007 a system-wide wastewater treatment plant expansion study recommended several projects be considered, including a two-phase expansion that will take Sugar Creek from its 20 million gallons per day (mgd) rated capacity to 34 mgd. Soon after this study was completed, CMU selected HDR to develop a facility plan for the expansion.

A carbon footprint analysis was utilized to make select treatment plant process and facility layout decisions. Another element of the current plan is for the addition of a small-scale water reuse system. One of the options the team has suggested is an upgrade to conventional activated sludge with chemical phosphorus removal. The final facility plan is scheduled to be completed late in 2008.

As other elements of this plan continue to be developed, a major goal for this expansion will be the incorporation of sustainable design principles. HDR is using the Three Pillars of Sustainable Design, or triple bottom line, approach to incorporate various sustainability components into the project.

Among the specific issues that will be addressed are:

  • Water quality - wastewater treatment and storm water management
  • LEED building design
  • Energy efficiency of equipment and processes
  • Process right-sizing
  • Adaptive reuse of buildings
  • Stream and habitat restoration
  • Community interface with the facility - building architecture, tree buffers; odor, noise and light pollution control
  • Waste management - use of recycled materials/local materials, waste diversion
  • Community stakeholder group input into the sustainable design concepts

In addition, the Sugar Creek WWTP is integrating a recreational regional greenway trail through the existing wastewater treatment plant site. CMU also is leveraging this accessibility to the site as an opportunity to educate the public on environmental stewardship and wastewater treatment.