Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility Expansion
Sarasota County owns and operates the Bee Ridge Water Reclamation Facility (BRWRF), a secondary wastewater treatment facility designed to produce 12 million gallons per day (mgd) in reclaimed water. In 2020, the County embarked on a monumental effort to expand this facility’s capacity to 18 mgd and upgrade its processes to achieve Florida’s standards for advanced wastewater treatment (AWT).
This BRWRF Expansion and AWT Conversion Project is a direct response to the many needs emerging out of a growing region in Southwest Florida. Even as service demands increase and existing assets age, the County must adhere to regulatory treatment and discharge requirements that become more stringent with each passing year. All the while, the County remains committed to implementing actionable measures that protect their local waterbodies, which are vital to the state’s overall quality of life, health, and economy.
The project meets these needs through innovative yet cost-efficient solutions that prioritize sustainability. By expanding and enhancing to AWT, the BRWRF will be capable of reliably serving growing communities with high-quality treated water that offsets damaging groundwater withdrawals and reduces concentrations of nutrients (e.g., phosphorous and nitrogen) that are discharged to the environment. With improved effluent quality, the County can confidently comply with current and future regulations while gaining flexibility in their water reuse options, which now include the sustainable use of reclaimed water for irrigation, local aquifer recharge, and eventually indirect potable reuse (IPR).
The County retained Carollo as the primary designer of the enhanced BRWRF, supporting Garney Construction, Inc., who serves as this project’s construction manager at risk (CMAR). This alternative project delivery structure was selected to expedite the project schedule and meet the County’s goal of planning, designing, and building this enhanced facility by the end of 2025.
After assessing numerous treatment alternatives through comprehensive pair-wise analyses, Carollo and the County decided to achieve AWT at the BRWRF through the use of biological nutrient removal (BNR) basins and what will be Florida’s largest membrane bioreactor (MBR) filtration system. Additionally, Carollo’s design will be developed against Envision®’s framework for sustainability and resiliency and incorporate the following key components:
- New headworks with robust odor control using self-sustaining biotrickling filters and noise-mitigation measures.
- New permeate pumping, air scour blowers, and chemical facilities.
- Conversion of existing aeration basins to flow equalization basins.
- High-level disinfection using chloramination to minimize disinfection by-product (DBP) formation.
- An additional 2-million-gallon ground storage tank for reclaimed water storage.
- New visitor center for hosting educational workshops, facility tours, and school visits.
At this time, Carollo is developing the project’s 70 percent design as Garney prepares to begin construction in early 2022. Nearly half of the project’s $219 million costs will be financed by the EPA’s prestigious Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan, which recognizes the importance, innovation, and benefits of this project from the federal level. Carollo’s application support will help the County save over $22 million through WIFIA’s low-interest financing.