Growing a Company With a New Wastewater Pre-Treatment Plant


The U.S. agriculture industry increasingly relies on innovative bioscience companies to develop solutions for pest management, crop stress management, enhanced plant physiology and more. A proposed $146 million expansion of a Midwest-based bioscience company meant more jobs and increased tax base to the rural community the company calls home. However, the small community’s wastewater system couldn’t accommodate the increased volume of high-strength discharge resulting from the company’s fermentation-based production process.


To support the manufacturing plant expansion, the company committed to design and construct a pre-treatment plant that would reduce its high-strength wastewater to a level more comparable to domestic discharges, allowing for final treatment at the municipal plant. The investment would allow the company to continue contributing to the community economy, while meeting increased market demand for its products. But the pre-treatment facility had to be fully operational in less than three years to coincide with manufacturing startup.

The pre-treatment plant design and construction was completed on schedule, allowing the company to meet its manufacturing startup goals. A customized, three-phase design and construction process to accommodate the tight timeframe was led by SEH. Phase one included site grading and supporting utilities. Phase two included the construction of process and storage tanks. Phase three included the main process and interconnection with the municipal wastewater system.


  • Chemical conditioning of the fermentation wastewater to achieve a favorable pH
  • Using a Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) system to remove solids
  • Reducing and stabilizing BOD and TSS by sending DAF effluent to a mesophilic anaerobic digester
  • Removing biological solids by piping digester discharge to a Dissolved Nitrogen Flotation (DNF) unit where the solids are recycled or sent to sludge storage

Industrial Wastewater Pre-Treatment Plant Design


Biosciences Company


  • Wastewater Engineering