It takes more than meets the eye to transition smoothly from an outdated waste system to one that is sustainable, energy-efficient and better protects the public. The entire human waste handling portion of the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant campus must be reconfigured to accommodate the new technology, called Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP).
THP is an innovative treatment process whereby human waste is treated in a high-pressure, high-temperature process before being pumped to anaerobic digestion. That is the process through which bacteria continues to convert organic matter into different forms by different microbe groups to a stabilized organic matter. Benefits of the new technology include the reduction of space, cost and environmental impact of human waste treatment, as well as the production of re-usable biosolids and biogas.
In order to build the new technology, equipment currently used to process our waste must be removed and replaced. The existing wastewater biosolids handling building, which has served KC Water customers for 60 years, will be demolished down to the pilings on which it sits.
Pilings, in the construction world, is a term used for poles sunk into the ground to a stable depth to provide stability to structures built on unstable grounds that have significant groundwater or are of soils that otherwise may not support a building. Re-using the pilings provides cost-effective options for the new structure. The existing building and its contents, minus anything that would have been of value to the City for future use, becomes the property of the design-build team as part of the negotiated contract.
As Kansas City’s waste is pumped to the Blue River and the other wastewater treatment plants in the system 24/7, so continues the work of the KC Water staff to deliver the most efficient treatment process, all while adapting to construction in every nook and cranny and accommodating the construction teams who are building the new treatment system.
View a time lapse video of the project site, by clicking the play button below.
Do you have a question about campus construction, the new system or how things work? Email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.