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Foley, Alabama

Riviera Utilities Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrade

3.5 MGD

“GMC is to be highly commended for their willingness to actively pursue technology that is sustainable due to the energy requirement reduction, cost effective through tankage size reduction and more operator friendly by simplifying nutrient removal. The engineering and operations staff at the Wolf Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility look forward to moving wastewater treatment to a new level for the citizens of Foley by working with engineering thought leaders such as GMC, Aqua-Aerobic Systems and Royal HaskoningDHV, in pursuit of our facilities’ expansion.”

— Lee Kibler, Riviera Utilities Superintendent of Water


Riviera Utilities executed a contract with GMC to upgrade the Wolf Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility in Foley, Alabama due to future nutrient limits and to increase capacity due to rapid economic growth in the service area and future anticipated growth. The major challenge with upgrading the biological process and increasing capacity was the limited amount of available space at the plant and having to keep the existing process in operation during construction.

Top Project

Water and Wastes Digest

Wastewater Project of Distinction

Global Water Awards

First Installation in US

of AquaNereda Technology

Environmental Stewardship Award

Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP)

Best Project Award Winner

ENR Southeast

AquaNereda® Aerobic Granular Sludge technology was chosen as the basis of design due to its ability to produce the same effluent quality as a well-designed enhanced biological nutrient removal facility in a much smaller footprint and with significantly less energy usage. Utilizing aerobic granular sludge (AGS) for biological treatment, the upgraded facility will be the first full-scale installation of such technology in the United States. The AquaNereda® Aerobic Granular Sludge will replace the current extended aeration oxidation ditch process.

For the AquaNereda® process, three (3) new AGS reactors were constructed with a total capacity of 3.5 MGD on a max monthly flow basis. The reactors have the capability to pass a total peak day flow of 6.0 MGD. The process operates similar to a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) and utilizes aerobic granules to perform the treatment. Instead of the typical 5-step SBR treatment cycles, the AquaNereda® process has a 3-step process cycle – simultaneous feed and discharge, aeration, and settling. Each cycle has a duration of 3.5 hours (Feed/Discharge: 72 min; Aeration: 123 min; Settling: 15 min). The process cycles are staggered for the reactors allowing one reactor to always be in fill stage, therefore pre or post equalizations are not necessary for the AGS process.