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A Win-Win on City of Pasco’s Wastewater Treatment Plant

One of our core values at Murraysmith is tackling client challenges like they’re our own and working as an extension of the client’s team. When we work closely with our clients and understand their desires on a holistic level, we can efficiently deliver projects that are specifically tailored to meet their needs. Establishing solid relationships and building trust with clients is a win-win.

What does this philosophy look like in action? Take our work on the City of Pasco Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) as an example.

Currently entering construction, this project includes two new aeration basins, rehabilitation of two existing aeration basins, and a partial outfall replacement that will increase the WWTP’s secondary treatment capacity by over 50%. When Murraysmith originally completed the City of Pasco’s Wastewater Facility Plan (WWFP) in 2019, two high-priority projects were identified to support the City’s exceptional growth—a Phase 1 project focused on the liquid treatment train and a Phase 2 project focused on solids treatment. Equipped with existing knowledge of the facility and operator priorities from our work on the WWFP, our design team—Mark Cummings, Craig Anderson, and many others—jumped right in.

City of Pasco WWTP Aeration Basin and Blower Building

Collaborating closely with the City, the team identified areas for improvement in the original plan, like integrating a creative flexible process that allows the City to seasonally change selector operation between anoxic and anaerobic modes. For little to no additional capital expense, this process increases the capacity of the upgrades and significantly reduces energy consumption while still providing year-round filament control and improved clarifier solids separation.

WWTP Aeration Basin

With an aggressive one-year timeline to complete the design and receive Ecology approval for Clean Water State Revolving Funding, the team knew at the outset of the project they needed to work efficiently and diligently to meet the schedule. What they did not know was two months into their project, the coronavirus pandemic would hit, making it impossible to meet together and work in person, which significantly altered the design execution plan. Being personally invested in the success of the project and the City, the team regrouped quickly and pivoted to virtual meetings and used the unexpected turn of events as an opportunity to bring on Murraysmith subject matter experts in Boise, Spokane, Denver, Portland, Seattle and beyond to aid in the delivery of the project. With this approach and tremendous support from the City and Ecology, the project was completed, approved, and able to go to construction in time to meet the treatment demands of a new industry and local employer that is coming to town.

WWTP Aeration Basin

With Phase 1 improvements in construction, the team is currently working with the City on the next high priority project at the WWTP (Phase 2). This $20M WWTP improvement project will modify the facility’s waste-activated sludge thickening, biosolids handling, UV disinfection, and river outfall systems. Like the first phase of this project, with our team’s personal commitment to success combined with our deep contextual understanding, recent lessons learned, and a positive working relationship with the City of Pasco, the team is set up to continue maximizing resources, finding opportunities to add value, and enjoying the process along the way.

WWTP Process Diagram