Skip to content


July 25 - 28, 2022

Huntington Convention Center Cleveland, Ohio Visit Event Website

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 million gallons per day (MGD). The Akron Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) design can treat peak flows up to 220 MGD through primary and secondary treatment systems. The purpose of the BioCEPT 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 the 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 the recreation season. 

The $68M BioCEPT facility became fully operational on December 27, 2021, ahead of the consent decree deadline. The 2½-year construction experienced challenges due to several issues, including its complexity, poor soil conditions and the impact on the continuous operation of the WRF during construction. This presentation 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 
  • The progress of the 18-month Demonstration Study required by the consent decree, including initial findings and observed performance of the system thus far. 
B&N Presenter:

Mike Starkey, PE

Mike Starkey, PE,