Newtown Creek Alternative Thickening Evaluation Named ACEC NY Diamond Award Winner

For the Newtown Creek project, a total of 21 unique thickening alternatives were evaluated utilizing 40 parameters to facilitate a comprehensive, unbiased comparison of all options.

The Newtown Creek WWTP is the largest of the NYCDEP’s fourteen plants. A $4.6B upgrade program to achieve second treatment and increase wet weather capacity from 620 to 700 MGD is nearing final completion. The plant continues to achieve high treatment levels with modernized facilities that are cost-effective to operate and maintain.

In 2013, the Bureau of Wastewater Treatment (BWT) completed a preliminary study concluding that thickening alternatives should be evaluated to improve performance, simplify operations, reduce maintenance, and decrease operating costs.

Numerous thickening alternatives were considered including, but not limited to: gravity belt thickeners (GBTs), rotary drum thickeners, and new centrifuges.

BWT recently initiated a project to pilot test a GBT alongside existing centrifuges for one year to evaluate performance under real world conditions in order to fully quantify O&M impacts and cost savings. During the pilot test, Hazen will coordinate sample collection and laboratory analysis, routinely monitor GBT operation and performance, and prepare a final evaluation report.

(NEW YORK, NY – November 5, 2015) – The Newtown Creek Alternative Thickening Evaluation project has been named an ACEC-NY Engineering Excellence Diamond Award winner.

The New York City Bureau of Wastewater Treatment partnered with the project team, including prime consultant Hazen and Sawyer, to evaluate the feasibility of numerous biosolids thickening alternatives, focusing on operation and maintenance (O&M) impacts and potential cost savings. Broad and ambitious in scope, this comprehensive study involved review of the life cycle costs associated with existing operations and all alternatives. A matrix was used to compile the 20 alternatives and evaluate each using 40 quantitative parameters to facilitate direct, unbiased comparisons. Capital and O&M costs were used to calculate 20-year net present values (NPVs) and payback periods.

The study phase of this project determined that Gravity Belt Thickeners (GBTs) could offer significant benefits compared to the existing centrifuges. Projections indicate that GBTs could potentially reduce annual O&M costs by $3 M by improving performance, simplifying operations, reducing maintenance, and decreasing energy consumption. Those savings could generate a 20-year NPV savings of $21.5 M. Consequently, the capital investment in GBTs could pay for itself in 10 years.

The winners will be honored at the 49th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) Gala, which will take place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on March 19, 2016. The winner of the Empire Award — an award given to the highest rated project in New York State — will be announced at the EEA Gala. All Diamond Award projects designed and built in New York State are in contention for the Empire Award.

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