People prefer not to think about their sewage and tend not to……unless something is wrong.
In 1999 in the City of Shepherdsville, Kentucky, something was wrong. When it rained, overwhelmed sanitary sewers deposited raw sewage in back yards, in the streets, and even near the local high school! To fix the problem, Shepherdsville doubled its wastewater treatment plant capacity–but it wasn’t enough. By 2007, the plant was at 92% capacity and the city risked a sewer tap ban that would stymie economic development.
At about that time, nearby Jim Beam distillery wanted to shutter its private wastewater treatment plant and tap into Shepherdsville’s system. This idea seemed laughable at the time, given the strain on the city’s existing system. Qk4’s proposed solution to the plant expansion deftly handled the following needs:
Handle 1.6 million gallons daily (in equivalent domestic wastewater volume) from the Jim Beam Clermont distillery
Anticipate the rapid population growth of the service area
Capture sewer overflows.
The first of its kind in the world. Qk4 proposed using the Integrated Fixed Film/Activated Sludge (IFAS) system. The breakthrough element in the design was the use of the IFAS process in an oxidation ditch—something never before done. This creative solution enabled Shepherdsville to complete the job affordably and quickly, and it yielded immediate economic benefits.
As a direct result of this project, Jim Beam selected the Clermont distillery as its World Tourism Center and added 50 jobs there.
Our process uses the Anox-Kaldnes media used in Anox-Kaldnes HYBAS Moving Bed TM biofilm technology & HYBAS TM (IFAS) biological process and is supported by pilot scale and full scale data from existing municipal treatment facilities using the Anox-Kaldnes HYBASTM biological process for ammonia-nitrogen & nitrate-nitrogen removal.
Never before has anyone deployed the Integrated Fixed Film/Activated Sludge (IFAS) process in Kentucky—nor anywhere else in the southeastern United States. Further, no one in the world had ever used IFAS in our fashion. Because we needed to stay within the existing plant’s footprint, we had to design a creative way to use the IFAS process in the city’s required oxidation ditch format. Use of IFAS in this unique format will allow operators, municipalities, and engineers who are currently working with an oxidation ditch to consider IFAS for future capacity increases.
Client Cost Savings
Total budgeted construction cost of $12.6 million dollars was achieved with an actual cost of $11.9. Construction of traditional oxidation ditches to handle similar flow would have taken five oxidation ditches consuming six acres and $8 to $10 million more than the proposed system. At that cost, Shepherdsville may not have been able to undertake this project in this economic climate. The city recouped the additional engineering design fee 40 times over by the savings achieved in the construction costs.
The City of Shepherdsville is proud of the recent Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion project that Qk4 helped us tackle. Given Qk4’s thoughtful leadership, hard work, and willingness to take calculated risks, they deserve to be proud, too.
This project was important to Shepherdsville. We aim to have Jefferson Community and Technical College (Kentucky Community and Technical College System) build a dedicated campus in Shepherdsville. The plant expansion will enable it. Further, our economic development team… can now include in our proposals that we can handle up to 3 million gallons of additional flow without any plant upgrades. They can merely plug in and get to work.
That gives us advantages that other cities our size (9,344) cannot offer.
Notably, the project was completed within our $12,000,000 budget and finished ahead of our deadline.