Site Development and Foundation Planning for a Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion

December 14, 2020

A wastewater treatment plant commissioned in 1978 is undergoing a major expansion. Planning various phases of the 8-hectare expansion at this site requires an understanding of the site response during and after construction, and the potential impact on adjacent properties and infrastructure. The expansion project requires nominally 5 m of site grading fill for flood protection. The site is underlain by loose to compact fine sand over firm to very stiff clay stratum that extends to great depths. Ground improvement is required to mitigate the liquefaction hazard in the fine sand stratum, and preloading is proposed to reduce post-construction settlements in the deep clay. Site development and foundation systems for the plant expansion project were evaluated by conducting settlement analyses which accounted for the historic and future site loading and 3-D modeling of soil layers with interpolation between borehole and cone penetration test (CPT) locations. The numerical model was calibrated to match short-term and long-term settlements measured at the plant site. The analyses were carried out to assess the effects of past loading, proposed preload and surcharge heights, lateral extents and durations as well as vibro-replacement ground improvement on post-construction settlements. Two design options were considered for the preload footprint across the site and foundation system for proposed facilities. It is shown that limiting the preload extent and founding some of the proposed structures on deep friction piles reduce the predicted settlements of adjacent infrastructure and result in reasonable performance for the proposed facilities. Ghandeharioon, A. and S. Ahlfield. 2019. “Site Development and Foundation Planning for a Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion,” in Proceedings of the Deep Foundations Institute 44th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 15-18 October 2019, Chicago, IL. Hawthorne, NJ: Deep Foundations Institute.