Food Production Line Wastewater Pretreatment System


Gannett Fleming provided design and design-build services to upgrade a wastewater pretreatment system to handle higher loads from a major food-production line expansion project. As part of the effort, the field team reconfigured and made operational a previously inadequate dissolved air flotation (DAF) system to enhance the removal of suspended oils and solids.

A carefully considered sampling program informed the assessment of in-plant water use and sanitation/production, which revealed opportunities to reduce water consumption and enhance operational efficiency. Pretreatment retrofits now provide improved treatment of wastewater before it enters the municipal system.

What We Did

As part of the initial work, we reviewed existing wastewater data and developed a sampling plan and program needed to fill in data gaps, such as flows and loads associated with both sanitation and production-only operations. This enabled the team to assess varying product types, ingredients, and impacts on wastewater, and it met pretreatment requirements for publicly owned treatment works (POTW). We also evaluated chemical management for balancing influent pH, optimizing DAF treatment, and achieving permit requirements.

Along with a new DAF system, the project included installing new pumps and a new screening system housed in a new building, as well as adding a pH balance system to the existing equalization tank and optimizing other related infrastructure, such as chemical systems, electrical, HVAC, and instrumentation and controls (I&C) systems. Throughout the effort, our firm worked closely with the client and local municipality to obtain the appropriate approvals and permits.

Key Features

  •  Sampling plan and program enabled accurate assessment of impacts to meet compliance with POTW requirements.
  •  Reconfigured and upgraded DAF improves industrial wastewater treatment.
  •  System upgrades enhance efficiency and optimize operations.


  • Design-build delivery of upgraded pretreatment systems.
  • Enhanced removal of fats, oils, grease, and suspended solids from wastewater.
  • Water use assessment identified improvement opportunities.


Confidential client


Hagerstown, Md.



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