For about 40 years, the Town of Maysville was served by a 180,000 GPD wastewater treatment plant that discharged into the White Oak River. Over time, the plant deteriorated and fell out of compliance with its NPDES permit. As a result, the state of North Carolina placed the Town under a Special Order by Consent (SOC) a designation that indicates a wastewater treatment facility is non-compliant and effectively places a moratorium on all new wastewater hookups. Under the SOC, the Town could not permit any new development until the wastewater situation was resolved and faced penalties and fines if the compliance issues were not resolved in accordance with the SOC.
The Town was highly motivated to address the issue, but lacked the budget for a full-scale replacement or new plant construction. WithersRavenel worked with the Town to develop an economical upgrade design that included adding influent screening and grit removal, replacing the aeration system, diffusers, and blowers; renovating the clarifiers and sludge return piping, converting the chlorine contact chamber to a filtration unit; and UV disinfection. A staged construction plan allowed the pump station to remain operational while the improvements were being made. WithersRavenel also helped the Town obtain grant money from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
Even with the supplemental grant funding, the lowest bid for the project came back about $200,000 over budget. Rejecting all bids, WithersRavenel negotiated pricing with a local contractor to achieve the project goals for less cost. For example, because the contractor was local, it was more affordable for them to fabricate the static screen and steel filters in their shop than purchase equipment from another company. This collaboration typical of a design–build project though on a conventional design–bid–build contract, enabled WithersRavenel and the contractor to deliver a wastewater treatment facility that produces tertiary treated effluent compliant with the NPDES permit while staying within a limited budget.