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USA: Wastewater Treatment

Emerson to Upgrade San Francisco's Wastewater Plant

| Editor: Alexander Stark

The Southeast Treatment Plant is responsible for treating nearly 80% of the city’s flows.
The Southeast Treatment Plant is responsible for treating nearly 80% of the city’s flows. (Source: Pixabay CC0)

Emerson has been awarded a 15-year design-build contract with a volume of $ 20 million for a comprehensive automation project to modernize San Francisco's Southeast Treatment Plant.

Pittsburgh/USA — Built in 1952, the Southeast Treatment Plant is the city’s largest wastewater facility, responsible for treating 57 million gallons (approx. 216 million liters) of wastewater per day. During heavy rains, it has the capacity to treat up to 946 million liters per day.

The automation project is part of the city’s Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP), a 20-year, multi-billion-dollar investment to upgrade the aging sewer infrastructure that serves more than 800,000 customers and ensures a reliable and seismically safe sewer system now and in the future.

San Francisco's Largest Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Southeast Treatment Plant is responsible for treating nearly 80 % of the city’s flows. The plant’s existing control systems were becoming obsolete and required operators to manually perform a number of processes. Replacing the existing controls with Emerson’s Ovation control technology will provide predictive intelligence to help prevent potential failures and offer other benefits including the capability to simulate plant conditions, simplify maintenance workflows, and optimize asset performance, the company announced.

The contractor will implement the $ 20 million upgrades project in five phases over 15 years — seven years of design-build followed by eight years of service and support.

“This project is vital to our ability to continue to provide high-quality, efficient and reliable sewer services,” said Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “The control system upgrade is an important element in the overall modernization program, and we look forward to implementing automation technologies that will help optimize our operations for years to come.”

Intelligent Controls and Security Systems

The new system will interface to the plant’s computerized maintenance management system. According to the manufacturer, maintenance will no longer have to be conducted at scheduled calendar-based intervals, but will be performed only as necessary, based on predictive data about equipment condition and actual runtime. Emerson will also provide its control system security and simulation solutions to enhance protection against cyber threats and help improve knowledge transfer.

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As the design-build contractor, the company will work with several local business enterprises and its design subcontractor, engineering firm MWH, now part of Stantec. MWH has collaborated with Emerson on wastewater enterprise automation projects in Detroit as well as San Diego, Oakland and Sacramento, California.

MWH will perform the design work and develop the field verification methods, while the contractor will be responsible for design support, project management, hardware procurement and assembly, programming, testing, installation, commissioning, training and field service.

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