ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball dedicated the new Biosolids Addition No. 8 at the Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant. When the project broke ground in 2017, it was the largest capital project in Howard County. The innovative Biosolids Addition No. 8 allowed the County biosolids program to achieve a Class “A” permit. Class A biosolids are disinfected to a level that inactivates pathogens and are subject to fewer site-specific controls. Impacting the region, Howard County recycles its biosolids to farms in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Class A Biosolids add organic matter to soil, improve soil properties, provide plant nutrients, increase crop yields, and reduce soil erosion. The Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant produces 35 tons of biosolids each day. Photos can be found here.
The Biosolids Addition project was no small feat – with more than 8 years from planning and design to completion and more than 450,000 manhours. Most impressively, this plant continued to operate throughout construction. Congratulations to the many individuals who worked on this project, and to our Department of Public Works for continuously improving and advancing innovative, environmentally sound and accepted biosolids management practices.
Eight years in the making, the Biosolids Addition No 8 is the second largest capital project in the history of Howard County. The project planning began in 2012, was designed in 2015, and construction started in February 2017. It was a significant undertaking to completely rebuild the solids handling portion of the plant while continuing to operate the plant and without a permit violation. The capital project budget for the Biosolids Addition was $117 million.
“This ambitious project entered the planning phase over eight years ago. With a budget of more than $117 million, it was the largest capital project in the County at the time,” said Tom Meunier, Director of the Department of Public Works. “Its scope was challenging as it required a complete rebuild of the solids handling portion of the plant, which had to remain in full operation while meeting all discharge permits.”
The Clark team constructed a new Dewatering and Drying Building and renovate existing process structures while the plant remains fully functional. The upgrade eliminates the need for lime stabilization, and adds anaerobic digestion, direct heat drying, centrate treatment, enhanced odor control facilities, and other process and electrical upgrades.
"Through the use of the construction manager-at-risk delivery model, the entire Clark team collaborated to deliver the Addition 8 Biosolids Facilities that not only will provide significant operational savings to the County but also provide for a cleaner environment,” said Brian Walker, Vice President and General Manager for Clark Construction.
About Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant
The Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant serves the central part of Howard County, which contains 56% of the County's population, this includes the towns of Columbia, Savage, and North Laurel. There are 820 miles of gravity and force main sewer pipe that carries wastewater to the plant. Most of the rural western part of Howard County utilizes septic tanks. Waste from septic tanks in this area is transported to the plant by truck. The eastern portion of the County, including Ellicott City, Elkridge, and Jessup is served by the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore City.