Facilities Planning and Upgrade of Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant

The Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant is the largest of New York City’s 14 wastewater treatment plants. In operation since 1967, the plant serves over one million residents and a 15,000 acre drainage area. As a key subconsultant, Burns’ Structures Group is providing facilities planning, structural engineering and design and construction support services for the 10-year, $5 billion expansion and improvement program to upgrade the existing 310 MGD plant to an ultimate capacity of 700 MGD. Facility improvements include the replacement of existing equipment and facilities, as well as the installation of additional equipment, all accomplished while the plant remained in service.

Major components of Burns’ structural design were the disinfection facilities, support building, grit/aeration/sedimentation tanks, screening and residuals building, sludge loading dock, underground influent and effluent conduits, nature walk and construction management building. The full upgrade, bringing the plant into compliance with the Water Pollution Control Act Amendment of 1972, is projected to be complete by 2014.

Design Challenges

  • Complicated construction phasing to permit construction, rehabilitation, and modification works to proceed while maintaining operations of the plant and allowing traffic access for construction and plant operations
  • Foundation designs of various structures in different soil strata and conditions, requiring a combination of foundation systems including mat foundation, H-piles, concrete-filled pipe piles and caissons
  • Watertight excavation support systems to protect adjacent structures and minimize migration of groundwater into the deep excavation areas
  • Seismic design of large, heavy structures that house major equipment or contain a large liquid mass to minimize movement of the structures and prevent leakage
  • Design and construction sequencing of the 36-inch to 96-inch diameter air mains that span over active tanks and their supports
  • Meeting stringent regulatory, permitting requirements and overcoming community hurdles

Burns Roles

  • Facilities planning
  • Structural engineering design
  • Construction support services
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Facilities & Infrastructure
Client: New York City, Department of Environmental Protection

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