ProjectsHopewell Water Renewal 4A-1 Light, Phase 2

Hopewell Water Renewal 4A-1 Light, Phase 2


City of Hopewell


Hopewell, Virginia

The City of Hopewell is known for its industry. The Hopewell Water Renewal facility is a 50mgd wastewater treatment plant adjacent to the James River that receives an unprecedented 85% of its influent from industrial sources, posing a unique challenge for the publicly-owned treatment works.

The industrial wastewater generated from the region’s manufacturing core results in a high nitrogen discharge from the facility into the James River – a primary tributary to the nationally treasured and ecologically critical Chesapeake Bay.

This project expands on previous work that segregated domestic and industrial flows. Phase 2 reduces the total nitrogen discharge below state and EPA requirements and included significant improvements to the existing, aged treatment processes, including: a new influent screen, two pump stations, new forcemain, existing forcemain improvements, chemical system additions and upgrades, five Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) tanks, a new blower system and building, a dissolved air flotation (DAF) system and building, effluent re-aeration, upgraded electrical, SCADA, and fiber optic distribution, and solids handling improvements.

The design-build team faced several challenges, including high wastewater temperatures, variable influent characteristics, frequent spike-loading, and high concentrations of volatile organic compounds. To resolve these concerns, the team chose an advanced moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) coupled with a high-rate dissolved air flotation system. This unique, proprietary system will help Hopewell Water Renewal (HWR) remove more than 12 million pounds of nitrogen from the river and bay in its first two decades of operation – roughly 1,600 per day.

These improvements will secure reliable and compliant wastewater treatment for the city’s residents, industrial manufacturers, and businesses into the foreseeable future. They will also improve James River and Chesapeake Bay water quality by decreasing the total nitrogen discharged to these water bodies.

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