Dr. Randall A. Wirtz, P.E., of Strand Associates, Inc.®, was selected as the recipient of the 2016 National WEF Schroepfer Innovative Facility Design award for his work on Dubuque, Iowa’s Water and Resource Recovery Center (W&RRC) project.

Numerous innovative solutions were implemented into the W&RRC upgrade to provide cost savings, sustainability, long-term usability, reliability, capacity, and energy efficiency. Main improvements included replacing energy-intensive, sludge incinerators with energy-producing anaerobic digestion and codigestion facilities, toxic chlorine gas disinfection with environmentally friendly Ultraviolet (UV) lamps, and building an Energy Star-rated administration building that uses treated wastewater for heating and cooling.  A new SCADA system, screening and grit management systems, primary clarifier and equipment, odor control covers, and sustainable, cost-saving, low-maintenance landscaping were added.

The project benefits are far-reaching and accruing:

  • Recycled 98.6 percent of all demolition and construction materials, which prevented 24,133 tons from being landfilled
  • Eliminated the release of 52 tons of toxic chlorine gas and 4,715 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere annually
  • Produces 12.5 tons of beneficial Class A biosolids (fertilizer) per day to support the state’s agricultural economy
  • Annual cost savings of $606,000 are anticipated in 2015 alone through producing its own electricity, improved operational efficiencies, and streamlined processes
  • Supports local industries by providing critical processing services, which not only substantially decrease manufacturers’ carbon footprints, but is expected to generate $240,000+ in annual revenue for the City
  • The center will be electrically self-sufficient by 2017!

Click here for more information on this innovative project.