West Point is one of the most prestigious military academies in the world, yet its water infrastructure is outdated and does not currently reflect this level of prestige. In 2016, Ramboll teamed with Reynolds Construction, a leading water and wastewater contractor, to help American Water, the largest publicly-traded US water and wastewater utility company, to pursue the utility service contract for the US Military Academy at West Point. American Water was successful with the pursuit and currently maintains a 50-year water and wastewater operations contract at the West Point Garrison in New York.
Ramboll and Reynolds will be delivering a variety of upgrades to the water facilities at West Point through a design-build approach. Ramboll is serving as the lead designer as well as the designer, fabricator and programmer (control system integration) for the instrumentation involved with the upgrades, which include a full SCADA system for the water and wastewater facilities.
The West Point water system is served by two water treatment plants (WTP) and is divided into five separate pressure zones. Upgrades include:
- Lusk WTP: upgrades to this more than 80-year-old facility include full rehabilitation of all eight filters and their associated valves and rate of flow controllers; replacement of the flocculation system; backwash pump replacement; all new instrumentation for the filter system; and all electrical upgrades associated with these improvements
- Queensboro and Popolopen Dams: these dams, which provide the source of supply to the Lusk WTP, are in disrepair and will be upgraded to restore the dams and bypass
- Stoney Lonesome WTP: upgrades to this 60-year-old facility include full rehabilitation of all four filters and their associated valves and rate of flow controllers; all new instrumentation for the filter system; and all electrical upgrades associated with these improvements
- Tanks: several of the ground-level storage tanks, including a variety of types such as steel and concrete, throughout the base will be replaced
- Fenton Tank/Pumping Station: 2 mg of 100-year-old underground storage will be replaced with wire-wound prestressed concrete tanks. The adjacent pumping station will be fully renovated including pumps, piping, electrical and building upgrades.
- Merritt Road PS and PS 910: upgrades to two distribution system pumping stations, including internal upgrades for one and full pumping station replacement for the other
- SCADA: full new SCADA system for the entire water system, including replacement hubs (monitoring and control) at the Lusk WTP and the American Waters main office
- Hydraulic model: outside of the design-build contract, Ramboll is developing and calibrating a hydraulic model for the water and wastewater collection systems
Design, construction and startup work for all upgrades will be completed in early 2023.
Innovative and sustainable solutions at Target Hill
Following the great collaboration with American Water and its selected general contractor (NE Remsco) during the study and preliminary design stage, Ramboll has recently signed a contract with American Water to upgrade the current Target Hill wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) at West Point with a focus on innovative and sustainable solutions.
One of the featured solutions is called primary filtration. The conventional way to remove raw solids is primary clarification, but the existing primary clarifiers at the treatment plant have performed poorly and were identified for retrofit to meet the demands of needed liquid sludge storage. Thus, the upgraded and re-rated WWTP will feature the innovative filtration technology called primary filtration. Successfully piloted on site, primary filtration is an emerging technology for solids capture and capacity increase. It is a contained process with the ability to adjust the amount of solids removed through the filter (remaining solids going forward to biological treatment) and the volume of solids transferred for processing. The technology therefore leaves a much smaller carbon footprint and allows a more flexible operation overall by managing the amount of solids removed before biological treatment.
The final design will also include an optimized version of a waste-to-energy plant. Each day, food waste and other organic wastes from the Garrison will be collected and brought down to be macerated and pre-heated to become part of the treatment system. The gas produced in this process will be used for power and heat at the plant. The food waste-to-energy system has also been integrated into academic life at the Garrison, as Ramboll has been collaborating with fourth-year cadets and their professors on their environmental engineering class project. For the past three years, the class project has included Target Hill WWTP-based projects with assistance from Ramboll, including the food waste-to-energy design this year.
The upgrades at Target Hill (2.3 mgd average daily flow rating) include:
- Screening and grit removal renovations (7.5-mgd peak)
- Replacement of the influent pump station
- Retrofit of aeration tanks for influent flow equalization
- New primary filtration (and primary sludge pumping)
- New step-feed/plug-flow biological treatment reactors and secondary clarifiers (and aeration blower system, RAS/WAS and secondary scum pumping)
- UV effluent disinfection
- New treated effluent outfall
- Chemical storage and feed systems
- Liquid sludge storage retrofit (unthickened, thickened, stabilized)
- New solids dump station (including food waste and fats-oils-grease receiving and pretreatment)
- Anaerobic digestion upgrades and expansion
- Combined heat and power
- New mechanical sludge thickening and dewatering
- New control building and laboratory
- Process control system and SCADA
All upgrades at Target Hill are expected to be constructed between June 2021 and October 2023. In addition, Ramboll will also provide construction-phase services, including engineering and inspection.