Ave Maria Water Treatment Plant and Water Reclamation Facility (FL)


  • $19-million design-build-operate (DBO) water treatment plant (WTP) and water reclamation facility (WRF) project with fast-track delivery and innovative solutions
  • Record housing sales resulted in wastewater treatment process revisions, requiring CH2M to re-phase the project and reduce overall costs with no schedule impact
  • Effectively partnered with the owner, design consultants, and subcontractors to meet project milestones
  • Winner of 2007 Design-Build Institute of America Merit Award for water/wastewater projects over $15 million and Florida Section of the American Water Works Association’s Best Tasting Drinking Water Contest

CH2M HILL converts former farmland to a new city

Located on 5,000 acres of former farmland, Ave Maria is a new city development consisting of a university and surrounding community of residential units, retail stores, medical facilities, hotels, public schools, and parks. CH2M began work on this $19-million DBO project in 2005 and was responsible for design, permitting, construction, and operation of the water and wastewater facilities, including a natural treatment wetlands treatment system being developed on the greenfield site.

The natural treatment wetland system is open to 100 percent unrestricted public access, providing a sustainable, environmentally beneficial, wet-weather storage system. 160 acres of cypress wetland and marsh were restored for public use. Facilities within the wetland system include hiking trails, boardwalks, information kiosks, and scenic overlooks.The WTP design is a 1.25 million gallons per day (mgd) membrane softening facility. Concentrate from the WTP is sent to the 1.25-mgd WRF for disposal. Three water supply wells provide raw water for the system.

The WRF design includes a 0.9-mgd activated sludge secondary treatment, an effluent filtration system for high-level disinfection which is expandable to 5 mgd to meet projected growth, an influent screening head works, equalization basin, package treatment unit constructed in a pre-stressed concrete tank, separate redundant clarifier, chlorine contact basin, reject pond, effluent pumping station, electrical building, and standby generator system. Effluent from the WRF will be used for reclaimed water irrigation.

Overall development schedule met

CH2M HILL met the overall development schedule by preparing permits early in the development of the construction documents. While the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reviewed the permit applications, construction document preparation continued, saving time in the schedule. Early discussions and presentations to the permitting agencies helped to streamline the process. Procurement of equipment was also started early in the schedule, prior to completion of the final construction documents so that delivery of key equipment wouldn‘t slow construction.

CH2M operates new facilities

Completed in 2006, CH2M OMI is contracted to operate the newly constructed facilities for up to 20 years based on four recurring 5-year contracts.