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September 26 - 28, 2022

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Cincinnati, Ohio Visit Event Website

Tuesday, September 27
3:15 - 4:00 pm

The City of Akron was required by consent decree to install a biological chemically enhanced primary treatment (BioCEPT) facility to achieve a minimum capacity of 60 MGD. The Akron Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) is designed to treat peak flows up to 220 MGD through primary and secondary treatment systems. The purpose of this project was to construct flow equalization and biological high rate, wet weather treatment, for flows above 220 MGD and up to the design peak flow of 280 MGD.

The BioCEPT facility includes storage of approximately 10 million gallons. If wet weather flows exceed the storage capacity, treated overflows from the BioCEPT system combine with WRF Secondary Effluent and are directed to the WRF disinfection system. Overflow from the BioCEPT system must meet requirements for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS); the combined BioCEPT overflow and WRF secondary effluent must meet the Consent Decree requirements for e-coli during recreation season.

The $68M BioCEPT facility project achieved full operation on December 27, 2021, ahead of the consent decree deadline. The 2½-year construction project was challenging due to a number of issues including its complexity, poor soil conditions, and impact on continuous operation of the WRF during construction to name a few. This paper will discuss:

  • The consent decree requirements and project background.
  • The project design team, involvement of various stakeholders, and continuous communication.
  • The various options considered, design challenges, and the final basis of design.
  • How construction was phased to keep WRF operational throughout construction.
  • How WRF staff and the contractor were able to play collaboratively in the same sand box under the oversight of the construction manager.
  • The system start-up and issues encountered.
  • Performance thus far including effects on other WRF elements, e.g. plant water, RAS, hydraulics, etc.
  • The consent decree required 18-month Demonstration Study.

B&N’s Brian Gresser, PE, will be joined by the City of Akron’s Water Reclamation Facility Superintendent Stephen Baytos. Stephen has been a Certified Wastewater Operator since 1998. He was promoted to Plant Manager in Elyria, where he wrote his Class IV Certification, achieving it in 2012. He has a Class III Water Supply Certification. His BS degree is from Youngstown State University and his Master’s degree is from Ohio University.  

B&N Presenter:

Brian Gresser, PE

Brian Gresser, PE, Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer