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Case Study


Every Challenge Has a Backstory

D.C. Water’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant serves more than 2 million Washington, D.C. area customers and treats more than 370 million gallons of wastewater per day. The client set a commendable goal to recycle the organic, nutrient-rich biosolids in an environmentally safe manner. This ambitious goal resulted in the largest biosolids-to-energy program of its kind in the U.S.

The client turned to OBG to provide construction management services for the facility.

OBG’s Focus on Solutions

Serving as construction manager (CM), OBG managed construction contracts with a scope and value of nearly half of the $400 million facility, comprising of many inventive features, including a new thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion process for conversion to class A biosolids; and a combined heat and power (CHP) plant with three digester-gas fueled 5-megawatt combustion turbine driven generators that are fitted with exhaust heat recovery to provide the steam needed for the thermal hydrolysis process. The generators operate in parallel with the electric utility, generating about 10 megawatts of total electric power, with a net 8-megawatt reduction in electricity demand at the Blue Plains advanced wastewater treatment plant.

Results that Matter

The impressive facility is among the largest advanced wastewater treatment plants in the world, providing over 320 tons of dried biosolids daily that are beneficially reused by the community. As an additional benefit to local residents, the plant offsets over 1 million miles of annual truck traffic and 1,800 tons of greenhouse gas emissions previously generated by hauling away the biosolids for disposal.