Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Update your browser

all things water®

Contact Us

498 Seventh Ave, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018

(212) 539-7000

Keeping Pace with SWIFT

Fast-Track Design/Build of a 1 mgd Managed Aquifer Recharge Facility

Andrew Newbold, Dwayne Amos, David Briley - Hazen and Sawyer; Lauren Zuravnksy, Christopher Wilson, Charles Bott, Germano Salazar-Benites - HRSD

Last Modified Jan 24, 2024

SWIFT Research Center Facility Infographic

Learn more about the SWIFT Research Center, an advanced treatment facility that incorporates an 8-step process to prepare the water for recharging the Potomac Aquifer.

The Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Research Center represents a critical step toward meeting future regulatory requirements by advancing the conceptual development of Hampton Roads Sanitation District’s (HRSD) SWIFT program. The SWIFT Research Center includes a 1 mgd advanced water treatment facility that provides a platform for research, public outreach, and operator training. The facility will operate and collect 18 months of water treatment operating performance data and aquifer recharge hydraulic response data that will form the basis for completing future phases of the program. The importance of meeting a tight schedule and taking ownership of a high quality product led HRSD to choose competitively negotiated Design-Build procurement.

After selecting the Crowder Construction Company-Hazen and Sawyer team, the project team immediately began collaborating on value engineering, permitting milestones, and optimization of treatment process concepts. Final design of the SWIFT Research Center was completed in June 2017 and the Center is on schedule to begin operation in March 2018.

The SWIFT project will treat wastewater – which totals over 100 million gallons each day – to standards that will meet that of drinking water. It will also be given the exact same profile, including the salinity, as the groundwater. Once it’s been processed, the water will be pumped back into the aquifer.

This presentation will provide an overview of HRSD’s SWIFT Program and discuss why HRSD chose competitively negotiated design-build for this project. The presentation will also review the unique aspects of the project which included: early collaboration by the Hazen and Sawyer and Crowder Construction Company team during the proposal-phase conceptual design development; prioritization of design and procurement of long lead process equipment; leveraging the capabilities of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and virtual reality software to rapidly develop and refine design concepts; engaging HSRD’s staff at all levels early in the design process in order to meet all of the facility’s intended uses; maintaining a proactive approach to managing challenges during design, permitting, and construction; and advance planning and early completion of permitting milestones. The presentation will also review lessons learned and summarize other elements that contributed to the success of the project.

HRSD has the capacity to treat up to 249 mgd of wastewater and serves a population of nearly 1.7 million people in the southeastern region of Virginia. HRSD has developed and is advancing its SWIFT Program which provides an innovative solution for managing regulatory requirements while addressing many of the region’s water challenges. The multi-phase SWIFT Program will add advanced treatment processes to up to seven of HRSD’s wastewater treatment facilities to produce water that exceeds drinking water standards and is compatible with the receiving aquifer. At full-scale, the SWIFT program will significantly reduce nutrient loading to the sensitive Chesapeake Bay, limit saltwater intrusion into the Potomac aquifer, reduce land subsidence, and provide a sustainable source of groundwater, a necessity for continued economic expansion of the region.