Major modifications at the Village of Deerfield Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) were undertaken with the goals of simplifying the treatment processes, reducing the facility’s energy use, increasing the sustainability of the operation through an overall sustainability review, and enhancing the neighborhood.

Originally constructed in 1954, the last major upgrade prior to this project took place more than 30 years ago and some of the plant still contained 60-year-old components that were well beyond their useful life.  Leading up to the renovation, the plant experienced numerous costly equipment failures that put the plant at risk of not meeting environmental performance requirements.

Since an alternative location for the WRF was not feasible, an essentially new facility needed to be designed and constructed on top of the existing and operating facility, all while continuing to meet stringent permit effluent limits throughout construction.  The construction sequence was meticulously crafted to coordinate demolition, construction of new buildings, modifications and additions to structures, and installation of site piping and process equipment.

The treatment process prior to this project was extremely complicated for a facility of this size with three sewers tributary to the plant discharging flows at two locations.  The process required every drop of wastewater to be pumped three times within the plant and treated through trickling filters and diffused air activated sludge; both aerobic and anaerobic digestion was used for biosolids stabilization. All processes were manually controlled, requiring extensive operator attention.  In addition, the plant used labor-intensive and weather-dependent sludge drying beds for biosolids dewatering.

The new facility, however, is simplified to a single location for the influent, which is pumped once, utilizes an energy-efficient denitrifying activated sludge system (biological treatment that minimizes aeration requirements) and a single biosolids stabilization process, and employs centrifuges for dewatering.  Chemical effluent disinfection was also removed and replaced with UV disinfection.

The facility appearance was also drastically improved through removal of the trickling filter domes and the odorous sludge drying beds, repaving of worn roadway, and replacement of the dilapidated chain link fencing with attractive decorative fencing.  Construction of a new energy efficient, LEED Silver certified administration building and publicly accessible restrooms and secure park storage were also added to make it more of an asset to the community.

Although the overall renovation increases the plant’s treatment capacity and adds new processes, it is estimated that the new plant will use 7 percent less electricity and 46 percent less natural gas and have an overall energy reduction of 21 percent.

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