"Smart Town" Sewage Plant

By Paul Fournier | September 28, 2010

Construction crews are expanding the private wastewater treatment plant of a 3,000-acre development in Plymouth, Mass., to accommodate growth of the upscale, mixed-use community.

Owner Pinehills LLC, a cooperative effort of New England Development and The Green Company, is spending more than $1 million to boost capacity of the sophisticated sequencing batch reactor (SBR) system and related filtration basins for The Pinehills, winner of the National Association of Homebuilders' "Best Smart Growth Community" and "Best Master-Planned Community" awards in recent years.

A joint venture of Horton Construction Co. Inc. of East Providence, R.I., and G. Lopes Construction Inc. of Taunton, Mass., is responsible for building construction and site work at the plant, with construction management handled by American Water Management of Fall River, Mass.

According to Robert Johnson of the Brockton, Mass., regional office of Veolia Water Northeast, plant operator, the upgrade will double treatment capacity through the addition of a new SBR processing tank, several effluent equalization tanks and a Rye filtration field, together with a new grit removal system and new buildings to house controls, valves, pumps, and other appurtenances.

G. Lopes is performing all of the site work including excavation for the new tanks and Rye field, while Horton Construction is forming and placing concrete for the SBR structure and installing one, 12,000-gallon and five, 24,000-gallon concrete tanks that have been supplied by the Rehoboth, Mass., plant of Rotondo Precast.

Doug Mann, job superintendent for Horton Construction, noted that in spite of the severe cold weather that struck the area earlier this year, progress has been good.

"We had to use ground heaters to keep the forms warm while we poured the SBR tank," said the 23-year veteran of the construction industry. He said the coils of the 300,000-Btu E-1100 Ground Heater, which contained 180-degree glycol, were placed right on the concrete forms for the walls and foundation of the SBR tank, a structure measuring 43 feet by 70 feet by 20 feet tall, with 20-inch-thick walls and a 2-foot-thick slab. An accelerator was added to the 4,000-psi concrete by the supplier, Lawrence Ready Mix, to prevent freezing.

For the placement of the precast tanks, the contractor employed a 240-ton, hydraulic Grove crane. According to Rotondo's plant manager, Larry Waterman, each of the four, 24,000-gallon tanks have internal dimensions of 10-foot span, 8-foot rise and 48-foot-8-inch length, and consist of six mid sections and two end sections. The heaviest sections weigh approximately15 tons.

The smaller, 12,000-gallon tank was comprised of two mid sections and two end sections.

Mann said he expects to complete the Horton-Lopes portion of the project by July 2007.

The expanded plant is designed to serve the needs of an ever-growing community that is unique in character. The master-planned development includes retail and commercial space, several golf courses, single-family homes, townhouse condos, and luxury apartments — all located to maximize views while emphasizing privacy.

And though it encompasses some 3,000 acres, the development leaves about 2,000 acres in pristine condition, with narrow roads winding through rolling wooded hills, nature preserves and ponds, and miles of foot paths and scenic trails.