BIM rendering of the Breakneck Creek Regional Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant

Breakneck Creek Regional Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant

One of the fastest-growing sewage authorities in western Pennsylvania, the Breakneck Creek Regional Authority (BCRA) is adding an average of 300 new customers each year. It now serves more than 10,000 customers in seven townships and boroughs across Butler and Allegheny counties. In anticipation of this growing demand, BCRA adopted an Official Sewage Facilities Plan to increase system capacity using a phased approach, enabling it to offer high-quality service to its expanding customer base.

Gannett Fleming is provided design engineering services to implement a $13 million expansion that will increase the capacity of BCRA’s existing wastewater treatment plant from 3.0 to 4.5 MGD. The work includes the installation of two additional sequencing batch reactor (SBR) tanks and digesters, as well as a new solids handling facility, allowing the authority to continue meeting the needs of the communities it serves. Extensive building information modeling (BIM) facilitates design work by identifying potential conflicts with existing components, enhances coordination among team members, and clearly illustrates design solutions to the client.

What We Did

Executing a BIM workflow throughout the expansion project life cycle allows the entire team to work from shared 3D models that accurately reflect real-world conditions. This approach quickly identifies construction conflicts, reducing the need for changes and rework that could add to the project’s timeline or cost. It also allows for design and documentation to occur simultaneously, enhancing efficiency.

For the BCRA plant, BIM facilitated the design of two new SBR tanks along with fine bubbler diffusers to provide additional wastewater treatment. Four new blowers accommodate the tanks to deliver and maintain proper pressure in the system. The installation of a dissolved oxygen monitoring system in each tank enhances operational control. A BIM workflow also was used for the installation of two new digesters that increase sludge capacity and digester blowers and piping that ensure efficient operations.

Key Features

  • Additional SBR tanks and digesters expand hydraulic capacity to 4.5 MGD.
  • New digester building accommodates conveyance system that distributes dewatered sludge, as well as digester blowers and ancillary equipment.
  • Modification of existing sludge transfer pumps allows transport of digested sludge between new and existing digesters.
  • BIM workflow enhances coordination, facilitates efficient construction sequencing, identifies construction conflicts, and improves communication with the client.


  • Wastewater treatment capacity increased by 50%.
  • Plant expansion meets the needs of a growing customer base.
  • Full integration with existing wastewater treatment system.


Breakneck Creek Regional Authority


Mars, Pa.



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