Hopewell Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility

HDR Wastewater Upgrade Project for Hopewell Water Renewal Advances to National Engineering Competition

The Hopewell Phase 2 project has earned a Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia and will advance to the organization’s national competition, held in April.

Wastewater solutions are never textbook in Hopewell, where an incredible 85 percent of wastewater comes from industrial sources. After a 2012 Phase 1 Project, which separated domestic flow from industrial flow, Phase 2 reduces the total nitrogen discharged into the James River, a primary tributary to the nationally treasured and ecologically critical Chesapeake Bay.

The unique solution used on this project was to remove nitrogen from a segregated flow combining domestic and a portion of the industrial flows using a moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR). By only treating this segregated stream, the wastewater temperature could be kept below the threshold for biological nitrogen removal, avoiding the high cost of wastewater cooling and tertiary treatment. Following nitrogen removal treatment, the segregated flow is blended with the high temperature industrial flow to lower overall temperatures required for further secondary treatment. In addition, the wastewater disinfection process was moved to the MBBR effluent, which reduces the amount of chlorine used saving nearly $500,000 annually by day one, and growing to nearly $1 million in annual savings by 2040.

The Phase 2 improvements also provide the needed treatment capacity for the city’s growing manufacturing industry, which currently contributes $1.6 billion in economic output to the region.

Completed four months ahead of schedule and $14 million under budget, this Hopewell Water Renewal project will allow the Chesapeake Bay to remain America’s largest and most productive estuary for decades to come.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.