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Innovative Membrane Bio-reactor Treatment Selected for Fast-Track Wastewater Treatment Plant

Innovative Membrane Bio-reactor Treatment Selected for Fast-Track Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades Using a Design-Build Approach

Project Name
Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
BioKyowa Inc.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requires all wastewater treatment plants in the state to meet limits for bacteria (E. coli) in their effluent. Industrial WWTPs are no exception. BioKyowa, in Cape Girardeau, produces a line of amino acid products that generate a highly variable amount of high-strength wastewater. While the plant does not treat human waste, it does experience a form of E. coli bacteria as a byproduct of the manufacturing process.

BioKyowa was faced with a completion timeline of only 18 months when new limits were required of its WWTP. With other, more traditional forms of disinfection deemed infeasible due to extreme variations in loading of the WWTP, Black & Veatch selected an innovative, state-of-the-art application of membrane bio-reactor (MBR) treatment for removal of bacteria. Black & Veatch and BioKyowa collaborated on a progressive design-build approach, integrating design and construction, to advance the project on the fast-track schedule. 

The project also included design and construction of new aeration basins, membrane tanks, membrane equipment building, electrical upgrades and ancillary equipment such as blowers, sludge pumps, and additions to the existing SCADA. 

Expedient Execution

The delivery model allowed initial work to begin on the upgrades before design had been completed. The team worked closely with MDNR to not only gain acceptance of the design-build method, but also for the innovative equipment used for treatment. It required an accelerated pilot demonstration of the MBR process in only 47 days.  Black & Veatch’s follow-through with the required documentation for fast-track permit review facilitated the receipt of a construction permit in less than 30 days, helping to expedite the project’s schedule by several months. 

The new facility was delivered within the established budget of $8.1 million and on time – just 13 months from preliminary design to substantial completion. The upgraded plant is now in full operation, and its effluent quality has been significantly enhanced. 

Demand for BioKyowa’s products continues to grow, and with the upgraded WWTP, the plant can expand production – creating new jobs and continuing to be a major component of Cape Girardeau’s economy – while decreasing its environmental impact on the Mississippi River. The design features modular components that are easily expandable for increases to plant capacity in the future.

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