Built in the 1960s, the Southside Water Reclamation Plant is the largest wastewater treatment facility in New Mexico and treats wastewater from Albuquerque, parts of Tijeras Canyon, and parts of Rio Rancho. The facility provides a source of clean water for use on city parks and golf courses that serve more than 600,000 residents. Since the water in the Rio Grande River is used downstream by Isleta Pueblo inhabitants for ceremonial purposes, Albuquerque’s cleaned water quality requirements are incredibly stringent.
PCL teamed with the owner to construct a new facility owing to the age and inadequate performance of the plant’s existing preliminary treatment facility. The new facility features a 72 MGD headworks facility, a 21 MGD lift station and the associated 84-inch and 72-inch reinforced concrete pipe and junction boxes, and odor control for all facilities. The project team installed a high-efficiency screening room with finer grit-removal technology to catch large objects in the wastewater coming into the plant.
The upgrades allow the screening room to catch more debris before wastewater enters the facility’s clarifiers, reducing long-term maintenance costs. The upgrades dramatically improve the efficiency of water treatment processes for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
To install structures that were as low as 25 feet below the water line, the project team conducted an extensive dewatering process. To accommodate the relocation of the existing 72-inch influent flow meter, the project team implemented bypass pumping, which ensured the facility remained in operation during construction and that no plant shutdowns occurred.