DC Water’s $470 million Biosolids Program at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant

Program Overview & Benefits

In 2009 DC Water launched a program to convert its Class B, lime stabilization sludge processing facility located at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant into an innovative, sustainable Class A biosolids system. The program centers on the implementation of a Cambi™ thermal hydrolysis process, anaerobic digestion, and final belt filter press dewatering. The new biosolids processing facilities also include a combined heat and power system which utilizes digester gas to produce up to 10 megawatts of net renewable energy and steam. These process improvements will reduce DC Water’s utility-wide carbon footprint by up to 36% by producing renewable energy and significantly reducing the amount of biosolids hauling.

Program Objectives

A decade of research and development efforts shaped program objectives with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Thermal hydrolysis followed by anaerobic digestion was selected for its unique ability to convert wastewater solids into a stable, low odor, Class A biosolids product. A turbine-based combined heat and power system was selected due to its ability to utilize digester gas to produce renewable energy while simultaneously producing all of the steam required for the thermal hydrolysis process.

Participating Companies  (**WDBC Member Firms)    

  • **Brown and Caldwell | Biosolids Program Manager
  • Pepco Energy System (PES) with **Black & Veatch and Ulliman Shutte | Combined Heat and Power Design, Construction, and Operations
  • A Joint Venture Team of PC Construction/**CDM Smith | Main Process Train Design Build Team
  • **Arcadis | Construction Management for MPT, CHP, and FDF
  • **CH2M | Final Dewatering Facility Design
  • Corinthian Contractors | Final Dewatering Facility (1C) Construction
  • PC Construction | Final Dewatering Facility (2C) Construction
  • Earth Tech (**AECOM) | Site Preparation Construction Management
  • Alberici Construction | Site Preparation Construction