Richmond Hill’s New Wastewater Treatment Plant
Richmond Hill, Georgia – Earlier this week, the City of Richmond Hill held a ribbon cutting and grand opening for its new $25 million wastewater treatment plant facility at Sterling Creek. Savannah-based Hussey Gay Bell is the Engineer and Architect of Record for the plant which replaces the city’s original facility which went into operation in 1997. The new plant, a membrane bioreactor (MBR) system, will be able to treat up to 3 million gallons per-day – double its previous capacity of 1.5 million gallons per day. By installing additional membrane cassette equipment, the plant can readily be expanded to 4 million gallons per day, which the City is already permitted for. The plant will utilize several steps in treating sewage including biological treatment and solids separation via the membrane bioreactors. Treated effluent from the new facility will be pumped to the city’s current outfall location at Elbow Swamp.
“Six years ago when I was sworn in there were some plans to build a wastewater treatment plant; it wasn’t really state-of-the-art like this one is,” said Mayor Harold Fowler. “This system will not only meet today’s needs but all of our needs in the near future,” Fowler added.
“We are proud of this project and the successful partnership between the City and Hussey Gay Bell which led to the delivery of this state-of-the-art facility to the governing body and taxpayers,” said G. Holmes Bell, IV, PE, CEO of all Hussey Gay Bell companies. “It’s because of City Council’s decision to invest in the right technology – to not only handle growth, but also to do it in an environmentally sound way – that this facility will produce the highest quality effluent possible to put back into the Ogeechee River,” added Jennifer Oetgen, PE, Hussey Gay Bell’s Principal and Lead Project Engineer for the project.
In addition to Mayor Harold Fowler and city and county officials, the ceremony was attended by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter and state Rep. Ron Stephens.
The City of Richmond Hill received $23.5 million in loans to build the state-mandated Sterling Creek wastewater treatment facility – $10.5 million of which is from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), which provides communities throughout Georgia with low-interest loans to fund wastewater infrastructure and water pollution-reduction projects. The project is the largest the city has ever undertaken from a financial aspect. Constructed by Bainbridge, Georgia-based Bates Engineers/Contractors, Inc., the facility is expected to be fully operational by February 2016.