Construction Update/Fall 2021

Latest construction fliers

Several construction activities will take place over the next few months.

Ground Improvements

Soil placed to improve ground conditions remains in place. Geotechnical engineers determined that the poor soil conditions and high groundwater level where the new facility will be constructed would result in the new structures settling three to five feet unless the ground was stabilized prior to construction. To stabilize the ground, soil was hauled and piled on the footprint of the new facility. This pre-loading effort started in November 2020 and finished in May 2021. The soil pile (or pre-load material) measures up to approximately 26 feet tall (including the amount settled) and covers 23 acres, which is about the size of 18 football fields. This soil has already compressed the soil up to 6 feet in some areas!! A high-tech monitoring system was installed to monitor the settlement daily and to help engineers determine when the soil has settled sufficiently to begin construction of building foundations. The project’s Geotech Engineer is estimating the pre-load material (soil) should be able to be removed this winter or very early spring. Removed soil will be used on site for pipe bedding material or hauled offsite for use on other construction projects.

Sustainability & Recycling Facts

The project team is working hard to meet the criteria necessary to earn an Envision Platinum Award—the highest achievable level for this large infrastructure project. Envision is a rating system designed specifically to evaluate, grade, and recognize infrastructure projects that have incorporated or advanced sustainability, resiliency, and equity. “We are pushing for this project to have responsible planning and construction,” says the project’s Sustainability Manager Holly Lopez. “One of the advantages of the Envision protocol is how it encourages a holistic, sustainability approach that ends up having a positive impact on the community.”

Mechanical Dewatering Building

During the wastewater treatment process, solids are separated from the liquids. The solids are then treated biologically, physically, and chemically to produce a semisolid, nutrient-rich product known as biosolids. Historically, we have relied on using drying beds to remove water from the biosolids through solar evaporation. To reduce odors in neighboring communities and provide space for construction of the new facility, the drying beds were removed and have been replaced with a temporary mechanical dewatering system while the new three-story building is constructed. Construction of the mechanical dewatering building started at the end of November 2020, with excavation for the main foundation slab. This facility is located outside of the pre-load ground improvement area. To stabilize the ground beneath the new building, 144 16-inch diameter steel piles were driven 160 feet into the ground. The entire concrete base slab, including electrical conduit and plumbing, has been constructed, as well as the first-floor concrete columns. Construction of this deep foundation system was completed at the end of January 2021. Shoring work has begun for the second-floor suspended slab. The adjacent filtrate tank, which acts as a storage tank for the water produced from the mechanical dewatering building, has been completed below grade. The concrete roof should be completed by the end of August 2021.

As part of this work, the project is aiming for at least 25% use of recycled material in construction. So far 43,617 tons of recycled material has been used. The project also has a goal of 50% construction waste reduction. So far 57,900 tons of material has been recycled that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. Currently, all excavated materials have been sourced or reused within five miles of the project site.

What is Wastewater And Where Does It Go?

Every day an average of 35 million gallons of wastewater is treated at the Water Reclamation Facility. Wastewater is created by every one of us who live, work, and play in Salt Lake City. Few people think about where wastewater goes and how it is cleaned so it can be safely reused and returned to the environment. But our communities are safe, healthy, and thriving in large part because of the Water Reclamation Facility and our team’s commitment to meeting regulatory requirements following rigorous industry standards. Our quality of life would not be possible without this facility and the work our team does.

What Is Wastewater?

Wastewater is used water from homes, businesses, and industry. In homes, it comes from sinks, showers, bathtubs, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Wastewater includes human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps, salts, chemicals and more.

Treating Wastewater

The Water Reclamation Facility uses a series of physical, chemical, and biological processes to treat wastewater. These processes include screening, aeration, sedimentation, and disinfection. If not properly cleaned, wastewater can carry disease, impact fisheries and wildlife habitats, and change how we use our lakes and rivers for recreation.

Please be aware of the water you use and dispose of because your wastewater is collected in our sewer collection system, treated at our Water Reclamation Facility, and then returned safely to our canal system and ultimately Farmington Bay.

Top Contractors Hired to Build New Water Reclamation Facility

Project Will Create 150 Jobs

Three of the country’s largest and most respected engineers and builders — Jacobs, AECOM and Sundt/PCL Joint Venture— have been hired by Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities to the new Water Reclamation Facility. 

“Because the reclamation facility is a such a critical piece of infrastructure, we’re taking a strategic and methodical approach to its construction and that means having the very best team on board to make it happen,” said SLCDPU Director Laura Briefer. “The facility – which serves more than 200,00 people and treats about 35 million gallons of wastewater every day – must operate 24/7 without interruption, even during construction, and it must operate for decades.”

This $700 million project will take six years to complete and is one of the largest public works projects in Salt Lake City history.

The construction team expects to employ those experienced in the latest wastewater treatment technologies—local engineers, pipe layers, journeymen, skilled construction trade workers, foremen and general laborers.  In total, the contracting team expects to hire around 150 people.

About the Contractors

Jacobs is providing overall Program Management services to deliver the New WRF project. Jacobs leads the global professional services sector providing solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With approximately $12 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 50,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors. Jacobs holds an industry leading position across the entire water cycle, offering clients world-leading technical and environmental expertise to address complex challenges across water, wastewater, desalination and flood control challenges. Jacobs recently earned the distinction award for the Water Company of the Year at the 2019 Global Water Awards. The firm was ranked number one by Engineering News-Records in 2019 Top 500 Design Firms and by Trenchless Technology’s 2018 Top 50 Trenchless Engineering Firms. Jacobs is ranked the #1 Most Admired Company in the World in the Engineering, Construction category by Fortune Magazine

AECOM is providing Engineering Design services for the New WRF project. AECOM is a $20.2 billion global company, with 87,000 employees and more than 100 years of experience designing and managing water systems. AECOM has built numerous iconic projects, such as the World Trade Center, One Vanderbilt, and Hudson Yards. Some of AECOM’s related projects include Delhi Sewerage System, Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant, Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facilities, and Orange County Sanitation District P2-92 Sludge De-watering and Odor Project.  Fortune magazine named AECOM one of the world’s most-admired companies for five consecutive years. 

Sundt/PCL (Joint Venture) is providing Construction Management/General Contractor services to construct the New WRF project.  Sundt Construction is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors in the US. The 129-year-old firm is 100 percent employee-owned and known nationally for its commitment to quality and innovative approaches to construction services. Since the 1950s, Sundt has constructed some of the most complex water treatment projects in the Southwest. The firm employs over 2,500 people and has 12 offices throughout Utah, Arizona, Texas and California.

PCL Construction, established in 1906, is a group of independent construction companies that works throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia and ranked #7 on Engineering-News Record’s Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and building markets are supported by 4,000 full-time professional staff, 10,000 hourly tradespeople, and 31 offices. Together, they have an annual construction volume of $9 billion, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Some of their top recent projects include Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam Replacement, Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Facility, and San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility.