Cox Creek Water Reclamation Facility Presents New Beginnings for Anne Arundel

Anne Arundel County celebrated a milestone earlier this month with the completion of the Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) Upgrade to the Cox Creek Water Reclamation Facility, a 30 million gallon per day municipal wastewater treatment plant located in Curtis Bay, MD. 

The largest capital project in Anne Arundel County's history, the treatment plant will lead to significant improvements to the area’s local waters by reducing nitrogen discharged from the facility into the Chesapeake Bay by 50% as well as reducing phosphorous discharge by 80%. The state-of-the-art membrane filtration system at Cox Creek is the first of its size in the state of Maryland.  

A decade worth of planning and construction for the new facility officially ended July 12, 2017 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, where Former Governor Bob Ehrlich, County Executive Steve Schuh, Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles and the surrounding community celebrated a huge step forward in the future of Anne Arundel's water system.

Heery’s relationship with Anne Arundel County dates back to 1988 when the firm began assisting the County with managing and expediting its backlog of public works and utility projects. Twelve years and more than 320 projects later, Heery has managed design and construction of nearly $1 billion in public works and utilities projects.

Currently, Heery is managing projects from planning and budgeting through design, procurement, construction and performance phases in the same capacity as the Bureau of Engineering’s in-house project management staff. In addition to specific projects such as the $140.8 million Cox Creek ENR Upgrade, Heery has managed entire programs such as the Elevated Water Storage Tanks Program. The team has also assisted in developing the County’s tools critical to achieving consistent project delivery results, including the County’s Project Management Manual and the Sewer Pump Station Priorities Matrix.  

Work at Cox Creek consisted of multiple contracts associated with the ENR and non-ENR funded upgrades. The project included phased demolition of existing facilities and construction of a new membrane filtration facility, influent flow meter, two rectangular primary clarifiers, fine screen facility, ENR reactors, four-stage Bardenpho bio-reactors, chemical feed systems, membrane, gravity thickener, odor control system, upgraded power distribution system, equalization basins and a high rate clarification. 

Heery Senior Project Manager Richard Meehan noted the project’s complexity explaining, “we are dealing with a biological process, therefore is was imperative to maintain full operations while managing the construction of the project.” In addition, Heery successfully managed the design phase including the separate $10 million procurement of the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) equipment package. This involved complex technical, legal and procurement facets and fixed the basis of design for the support processes and facilities. This equipment eliminates the need to construct more conventional aeration tanks and secondary clarifiers requiring large areas of real estate which are not available at this constrained location.

The Cox Creek facility processes waste from approximately 38,000 homes and businesses in north Anne Arundel, the largest water reclamation facility of the County’s seven major wastewater treatment facilities and is also the largest single contributor of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Chesapeake Bay.