Water Reclamation Facility - Wastewater

Project Summary:

Project Type:
Wastewater Treatment

City of Dickinson


The City of Dickinson, ND has experienced significant growth since 2005 and the existing wastewater treatment components were at the end of their useful life. The population increase, aging equipment and need to address more stringent nutrient limits for future regulations led the team to evaluate a mechanical treatment facility option.  After a thorough Preliminary Engineering Report (PER), it was recommended that a water reclamation facility (WRF) be designed for a phased growth plan to meet immediate needs and potential future growth.  Apex Engineering Group was retained by the City of Dickinson to plan, design, and administer the construction of a new, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility to support the City's growing population and infrastructure.

Project Details:

Apex was tasked with completing a PER for the City to forecast wastewater flow and loading projections for a twenty-year planning period. The PER also evaluated innovative treatment technologies including: integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS), moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), membrane biofilter (MBR), Biological Active Filter (BAF), Tertiary Filtration, and Pre-thickened Membrane Aerobic Digestion (PAD-K) to address some of the state’s most stringent effluent nutrient regulations. Before selecting treatment technologies, Apex and City staff toured wastewater facilities across the country that utilize these technologies allowing both Apex and City staff to witness first-hand operation and visit with numerous wastewater operators regarding their opinions of the operation, maintenance and costs of the various treatment components.

Ultimately, an IFAS system was recommended for the liquid portion of the WRF to biologically reduce total phosphorus and total nitrogen in plant effluent prior to discharge. The IFAS system was also selected to provide consistent, quality effluent intended for two million gallons per day reuse in a diesel refinery. A membrane thickened (PAD-K) aerobic digester was selected for biosolids stabilization, and liquid land application will be utilized for biosolids disposal. Due to the rapid population expansion, Apex utilized a flexible, modular approach when designing the WRF to prevent an unnecessarily large facility, which would have been expensive to construct and difficult to operate. The flexible design will allow the City to double the capacity of the WRF in the same footprint, thereby maximizing City owned property while allowing for future expansion. Apex incorporated wet-weather flow diversion into the design of the facility to divert high flows away from the new WRF to the City’s existing stabilization ponds, thereby utilizing existing infrastructure to more economically and effectively manage wet-weather flow events. State Revolving Funds, Oil Impact Grants, and sale of reclaimed effluent for reuse purposes are being used as funding sources.

The state-of-the-art facility treats an average daily flow of 3.65 million gallons. The facility serves as a regional wastewater treatment location for the City of Dickinson, surrounding communities, area industries, septage haulers, and crew camps. The WRF conserves potable water by providing reuse water for irrigation, refinery process water, oil field fracking water, and facility plant water.  Startup of the new facility occurred as scheduled in June 2014. The Dickinson WRF is the first of its kind in North Dakota, utilizing innovative biological treatment technology and biosolids thickening.  The facility will treat water to some of the most stringent effluent standards in North Dakota to date.

Back to Projects