MWRD’s Calumet Facility Receives Coveted Engineering Award

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Chicago, IL – The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) recently received the coveted 2010 Chicagoland Excellence in Engineering Project Award by the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) for its new Centralized Boiler Facility (CBF) at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), located at 400 East 130th Street, Chicago.

The MWRD was one of four recipients of awards bestowed by the professional organization that serves as the state branch of the National Society of Professional Engineers, which is comprised of 45,000 engineers throughout the country.

THE CBF is a stand-alone facility housing four large boilers. This facility generates high steam used for the treatment plant’s various processes and provides heating to occupied spaces.

The MWRD received its award for the Mechanical Division of projects considered in the local competition. Other categories receiving awards included civil, environmental and structural.

The CBF was designed with current as well as future demands in mind, and not only supports most of the Calumet WRP’s heating demands to date, but will also accommodate facilities currently under construction, such as the Influent Pumping Station and the Grit Removal Facility.

This facility centralizes the boiler needs of the plant and eliminates the cumbersome accumulation of 16 smaller boiler units that are strategically located throughout the plant.

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The four boilers are designed to simultaneously burn both natural gas and digester gas as

a fuel source. Digester gas is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process.

By having the ability to maximize the use of this free energy source, the CBF will reduce the plant’s use of natural gas, resulting in both economic and environmental benefits.

In addition, the CBF reduces the number of boilers the plant needs to operate and maintain, as well as natural gas consumption, since the boilers can be modulated to satisfy fluctuating demands. The actual plant foot print decreases as well as these facilities do not require separate boiler rooms.

The CBF was the answer to combat rising energy costs caused by the substantial increase in heating requirements of existing aging boilers.

ISPE is the local chapter of NSPE provides a viable means for professional Chicagoland engineers to obtain professional development hours towards licensing. They also showcase engineering projects and share knowledge with peers, students and the public. ISPE consists of 21 chapters throughout the State of Illinois. It is governed by a board of directors made up of an elected executive committee and representatives appointed from each of the 21 chapters.

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