Tuesday, September 10, 2024
8:45 AM - 9:15 AM
Location Name
Lessons Learned - BGMU WTP Expansion
Drinking Water Treatment

Bowling Green Municipal Utilities (BGMU) operates a conventional water treatment plant (WTP) which serves the City of Bowling Green and Warren County, Kentucky. The existing WTP was commissioned in 1928 and improved several times, including in 2002 and 2006. In 2016, amid a surging population in the service area and new disinfection byproduct regulations, BGMU began the process of increasing treatment capacity, reliability, and resiliency to meet the needs of its customers. Working alongside BGMU, Smith Seckman Reid (SSR) undertook the planning, design and construction administration of an expansion project that would ultimately result in a facility capable of treating 45 MGD and expandable to 60 MGD in the future. The expanded facility was commissioned in October 2023, positioning BGMU to continue providing high quality water consistently and reliably. But like all multiyear and multifaceted design and construction projects, the treatment plant expansion was not without its own unique set of critical decision points and challenges. This presentation will explore the project team’s experiences, insights, and triumphs in navigating BGMU’s water treatment plant expansion project, offering valuable lessons for water and wastewater professionals undertaking similar projects. Specifically, we will discuss the following: 1. Incremental vs. Singular Expansion: The design team faced the crucial decision of adopting either two incremental 7.5 MGD expansions or a singular 15 MGD expansion. This decision involved a detailed cost-benefit analysis to determine the most efficient and cost-effective approach. 2. Meeting Stage 2 DBPR Requirements: The changes to sampling and compliance methodology for disinfection byproducts was novel at the time of project initiation. BGMU’s historical data revealed that its treatment process operation and distribution system operation could maintain byproduct levels below the revised standards, but there were some challenges to overcome with HAAs in Warren County extended service area. 3. Navigating Construction Challenges: The project transitioned to the construction phase just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding complexity to an already intricate process. The presentation will delve into how the team adapted to new safety protocols and quarantine constraints, ensuring both safety and efficiency in project execution. The presentation will showcase the strategies employed to tackle each challenge, highlighting lessons learned, adaptive measures implemented, and collaborative problem-solving. Despite the hurdles, the project was delivered successfully, meeting the Owner's objectives and ensuring the water treatment plant's capacity to serve the growing community.