Emporia Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements (KS)


Burns & McDonnell and CAS Constructors – an Alberici Enterprise – provided the City of Emporia an integrated design-build team for the implementation of improvements necessary for the impending discharge permit requirements for effluent nitrogen (10.0 mg/L) and phosphorous (1.0 mg/L). The City desired to use design-build to implement needed improvements ahead of impending regulatory changes.


Improvements include reconfiguration of the conventional treatment facility to an integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) process for biological nutrient removal (BNR). All work was completed within the available space and site constraints on the existing plant site, while keeping the plant online and meeting the NPDES permit limits during construction.

The overall treatment facility improvements include: replacement of influent pumps and controls; new Parkson headworks fine screen and replacement of the existing screen element; new washer-compactor for debris processing and removal; new Headcell grit removal system; conversion of aeration basins to IFAS BNR, with dedicated anaerobic/anoxic, oxic and deox zones; new large bubble mixing system for anaerobic, anoxic, and deox zones; new Aerzen high-speed
turbo blowers for air delivery to the IFAS system; rehabilitation of final clarifiers and mechanism replacement; replacement of UV disinfection system and controls; repair of effluent pump station valving; new aerobic digester; new WAS solids thickening processes; provisions for stand-by power; and new 2,000-square- foot laboratory, office, and administrative space.


Our innovative solution is based on an integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) process, the first of its kind in Kansas, but one of more than six similar installations that our team has implemented across the nation for biological nutrient removal (BNR). Our approach was selected for the easy installation in the existing aeration basin, effectively eliminating the need to build separate anaerobic/anoxic basins for nutrient reduction—an area of significant cost savings for the City.

The collaborative-delivery application was proven through successful progression of the design without setback to the design team. Individual design packages allowed for City approval and early construction start dates to expedite the schedule and still meet budget goals.

“The team brought forward an innovative fixed-film treatment process that allowed us to repurpose existing infrastructure, significantly reducing project costs and schedule. The partnership and high level of dialogue that exists between the City and the Burns & McDonnell/CAS Constructors – an Alberici Enterprise – team is delivering results that the City is proud of.”
—Frank Abart, Former Public Works Director