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Disinfection Improvements Project at Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant Earns Envision Gold

(FAIRFAX, VA - October 8, 2019) - The Disinfection Improvements Project at the Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant (NMCPCP) owned and operated by Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) has earned an Envision Gold award for sustainability.

The NMCPCP is a 67 million gallon per day (mgd) wastewater treatment plant in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Plant had an aging sodium hypochlorite disinfection system that was in need of rehabilitation or replacement. Through a detailed evaluation of alternatives, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection was selected as the chosen solution for the NMCPCP.

The project includes a UV facility, an auxiliary chemical storage and feed facility, separate disinfection for water reuse/plant water purposes, reuse water pump station, plant water pump station, filter backwash storage and pumping, a new outfall pipe and associated electrical improvements. Under the innovative leadership of Fairfax County’s DPWES, the Disinfection Improvements Project is the first public works project in the county to use virtual reality to enhance design and construction processes. It is also the first in the county to use the Construction-Management-At-Risk (CMAR) alternative project delivery method; a method in which a commitment is made by the Construction Manager to deliver a project within a Guaranteed Maximum Price, allows for a more qualification-based approach for selecting contractors and equipment manufacturers and helps streamline the construction process. The collaborative approach to project delivery has enabled the project team to be proactive in finding innovative solutions to the various project issues and concerns as they have emerged.

Fairfax County DPWES continues to work in close collaboration with their design engineer, Hazen and Sawyer, and their CMAR, Ulliman Schutte Construction, for the delivery of this award-winning sustainable project which is currently 49% complete.

“We are honored that this is the second Envision award achieved by Fairfax County DPWES. Wastewater utilities projects, although might not be visible to the communities they serve, actively create more livable and resilient communities.” said Guiying Xiao, Project Manager of DPWES. “We have always been driven by the principles of sustainability throughout our project planning and implementation and we are fortunate to provide environmental, social, and economic benefits to the community. Working alongside community partners who value sustainability and support efforts like this have increased the positive impact on our local waterways.”

“Ulliman Schutte has been a privileged partner with Fairfax County on various Design-Bid-Build improvement projects at NMCPCP since 2010. Being a member of the CMAR team in partnership with Hazen and Fairfax County has been an incredible experience. Through strong collaboration during preconstruction and the transition into construction, the team managed to add value to the project by incorporating innovative ideas to an already sustainability focused design,” said Joshua Pavlus, Ulliman Schutte’s Project Manager.

“Since 2013, we have been thrilled to partner with Fairfax County on this important project to continue their process of infrastructure renewal and assist the County in maintaining their stellar performance at the NMCPCP. Adding this Envision Gold rating to the project, represents a great achievement for the whole project team as we progress through construction and soon into actual operation. The overall commitment to sustainability by the whole team is impressive and this award is acknowledgement of what the wastewater industry does every day – protects our environment and health” said Matt Van Horne, Hazen’s Project Manager for this project.

“This project demonstrates both innovation and leadership in sustainability,” said Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s Managing Director. “I am pleased to present the Envision Gold award for sustainable infrastructure to Fairfax County and its project partners for the Disinfection Improvements Project.”

The Envision sustainable infrastructure framework assesses project sustainability across five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Resilience. These key areas contribute to positive social, economic, and environmental impacts on a community during the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects.

Key factors contributing to the Disinfection Improvements Project earning an Envision Gold award include:

Public and Worker Health and Safety a Top Priority The UV system selected for the Plant exceeds safety regulatory requirements for both plant workers and the general public. Furthermore, the project incorporates numerous innovative safety features to ensure worker safety when performing operations and maintenance tasks near the UV channels.

Effective Collaboration and Teamwork Through Use of Innovative Project Delivery Method As part of the CMAR process for this project, a value engineering study was completed to increase the value of the project design through improved functionality, capital and life-cycle cost avoidance while maintaining a high-quality project that meets the needs of stakeholders and the overall project objectives. As a result of this study, several design improvements that resulted in cost savings and sustainable benefits were incorporated, including reusing salvageable material from the project for other on site uses, re-purposing two existing buildings for future beneficial use by the county, and incorporating LED lighting.

Protection of the Availability of Freshwater Resources The project team conducted a thorough analysis of water requirements for the project and found many ways to reduce potable water use for plant operations, thereby protecting the availability of freshwater resources in the area. In total, the project is capable of producing up to 8.7 mgd of treated plant water for use within the plant and 6.6 mgd of reuse water for offsite uses.

Reduction in Chemical Use at the Plant The nature of the UV disinfection process eliminates two major chemical uses at the NMCPCP: sodium hypochlorite for disinfection and sodium bisulfite for dechlorination. This helps to protect multiple species in Pohick Creek.

Reduction in Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse Gas Emissions The project design included two major components that helped to reduce the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of the facility: elimination of sodium hypochlorite and sodium bisulfite, and modification of the hydraulic grade line of the facility.

For more information on this project, please contact Matt Van Horne at

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