Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements

Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements project

Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements

Approaching 75 years of service, the Virginia Initiative Plant has been a pioneer in the wastewater industry. Notable for patenting its wastewater treatment process in the 1980s, the facility was revitalized with another innovative treatment system. Facing a sanitary sewer overflow consent decree and imminent stricter treatment limits, the US$161 million Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements project lowered nutrient discharges, expanded hydraulic capacity, replaced aging equipment and placed HRSD at the forefront of efforts to restore the health and productivity of the Chesapeake Bay. 

A unique versatile bioreactor provides treatment flexibility, allowing the bioreactor to operate in series or in parallel with the existing 3-stage nutrient removal processes to achieve required effluent quality of 5 mg/l total nitrogen and 1 mg/l total phosphorus and increase the peak flow capacity from 80 MGD to over 100 MGD. Ultimately, the new bioreactor is a major contributor to maintaining and improving the health of the local waterways. Further, the design included a new preliminary treatment facility with an influent pump station that is capable of discharging portions of the peak flow to a new equalization tank where high wet weather flow events can be stored until being released back into the plant and treated before being discharged into the waterways. 

While the plant has been well maintained since the last overhaul 30 years ago, much of the equipment had reached the end of its useful life. New equipment will run more efficiently and enhance operational effectiveness while allowing HRSD to meet new, strict Clean Air Act standards. Moreover, the Virginia Initiative Plant project did more than improving water quality and enhancing reliable wastewater treatment; it also provided employment and increased the technical capabilities of contractors and suppliers. 

Completed on budget and on schedule in 2018, the project’s phased delivery approach met regulatory requirements and fast-tracked the construction schedule. 

Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvements project

Norfolk, VA
United States

100 MGD plant (~378 MLD plant)