The Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) has broken ground on the 250-mgd Richard Miller Treatment Plant for its new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system, which will be one of the largest UV disinfection drinking water facilities in North America when it is commissioned and operational by early 2013.

The system will use eight Calgon Carbon Sentinel 48-inch Chevron reactors.

The project is a non-mandated initiative to protect constituents from microbial contaminants in the Ohio River. For example, one wastewater treatment plant located near Alexandria, Ky., discharges 11 miles upstream of the city's drinking water intakes.

The EPA has identified UV disinfection as one of the best technologies to inactivate pathogenic microorganisms, such as cryptosporidium, which killed more than 100 people and sickened 400,000 during a 1993 outbreak in Milwaukee.

In 2006, CDM, in partnership with Carollo Engineers, was awarded a contract by GCWW to provide design and construction engineering services for the new UV disinfection system and facility. The team performed process engineering, preliminary design, and final design services. The team also will provide engineering services during construction, start up, and commissioning of the UV facility.

The partnership was key to the cost efficiency and success of the initial design phase of the $20 million project, according to Jason Fleming, a supervising engineer with GCWW. The construction contract was awarded to Adams Robinson of Dayton, Ohio.

To offset the increased energy demand of the UV treatment process, the project also includes the installation of solar panels capable of generating up to 394 kilowatts (kW) of electricity, making it one of the largest solar-generated electric supply installations in Ohio.

The 7,200-square-foot roof of the new UV building will be able to support a solar array with a maximum generating capacity of 72 kW, and the project also will add a 279 kW photovoltaic solar array rooftop system at its Chester Park Place facility on Spring Grove Avenue, which currently produces 42 kW by a solar array. The addition of the 1,188 solar panels is expected to reduce the annual electricity usage at the Spring Grove facility by 12%.

That solar project is funded by $775,665 from the Ohio Department of Development's $96 million State Energy Program.