The City of Akron continues major expansion of its Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), originally opened in 1928, to manage wet weather flow. The city contracted with The Great Lakes Construction Co. in 2013 to construct Step Feed Phase 1, which expanded the conventional secondary treatment capacity to at least 130 million gallons per day (MGD). Step Feed Phase 2 upgrades in 2018, also constructed by Great Lakes, utilized Plant performance from Phase 1 which included an additional expansion of the WRF secondary treatment capacity to 220 MGD. The most recent upgrade being constructed by Great Lakes – BioCEPT – is a 60 MGD high-rate treatment system utilizing a relatively new technique called “Chemically Enhanced Primary Treatment” (CEPT). Additionally, the process has a biological contactor (Bio) on the front-end. While CEPT is becoming a popular alternative for cities with combined sewers in the treatment of wet-weather flows, the “Bio” component in Akron’s BioCEPT makes it unique; so unique that the city agreed to perform an extensive demonstration study upon the project’s completion. The results will be studied by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to determine BioCEPT’s effectiveness as compared to conventional secondary treatment.
The BioCEPT Project included new BioCEPT tanks, channels, pumping, piping, building, and equipment, new plant influent channels and flow metering, new primary flow splitting structure, new Return-Activated Sludge (RAS) BioCEPT pumping system, refurbishment of one-half of existing Storm Retention Tanks (SRT) as emergency side-stream storage, demolition of existing Decant Basin, new Storm Detention Basin, demolition of existing SRT tanks, electrical and instrumentation and control, and all other appertaining work. Construction will be complete in the Summer of 2021.