Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant Headworks and Wet Weather Equalization Facility

Baltimore, Maryland
City of Baltimore Department of Public Works
Year Completed: 

Clark Construction, in a joint venture with Ulliman Schutte, replaced the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant's existing headworks to increase influent capacity by 315% to 752 million gallons per day. The project also improved screening facilities, pumping stations, and the grit removal process.

The Headworks and Wet Weather Equalization Facilities Improvements project was constructed under Baltimore's first-ever Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) alternative procurement. A departure from the way the City procured and managed construction projects for the past 100+ years, this project approach enabled the successful delivery of critical infrastructure upgrades at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant, protecting local waterways and setting a new standard for the City of Baltimore’s public works projects. 

The project’s new construction included a coarse screen facility, influent pumping station, fine screen facility, grit removal facility, wet weather storage tanks, electrical substations, and structures to incorporate the facility with the existing wastewater treatment plant. The new coarse screen facility and influent pumping station features four 200 MGD coarse screens, four 70,000 GPM influent pumps and motors, four 60,000 GPM influent pumps and motors, and associated piping, valves, and flow meters. The fine screen facility includes six fine screens and two sets of solids handling equipment and the grit removal facility includes eight traveling bridge grit removal systems, grit removal pumps, grit slurry troughs, grit classifiers, and solids handling equipment.

A grit blower building, sanitary pumping station, two 18-million-gallon wet weather storage tanks, and a storage tank valve vault were constructed, along with the installation of buried piping systems and completion of backfill and surface restoration following each installation. Modifications to the main electrical substation, and installation of odor control systems, stormwater management facilities, and erosion and sediment controls were also included in the scope of work. Improvements to existing structures included the dewatering pump station and fine screen facility, modifications to the main electrical substation, selective demolition, and sitework.

2021 ENR MidAtlantic Best Project, Water/Environment