The BioCEPT facility achieved full operation, officially, on December 27, 2021 ahead of the mandated completion date. This facility has the ability to treat an additional 60 million gallons of wastewater per day and allows the plant to provide full biological secondary treatment of wastewater for up to 280 million gallons per day. With the completion of the BioCEPT project, Akron is one of the few wastewater treatment facilities in Ohio that provides biological treatment of 100% of the flow it receives.
Through the Integrated Planning process and two amendments to the Consent Decree, Akron was able to revise the project schedule and change to a more suitable technology providing greater environmental benefit. With these revisions, the BioCEPT project meets the required performance standard with less complicated operation, lower maintenance and capital cost, and involves less chemical use. Additionally, with the amendments, the BioCEPT project’s estimated capital cost had a savings of $39 million and a financial savings of over $66 million. Financial savings were made possible through a combined effort of Ohio EPA and the City working together to use innovative financial measures.
BioCEPT is a high rate, wet weather treatment process where biological microorganisms are used to stabilize untreated wet-weather wastewater. After biological treatment, chemicals are added to further treat and purify the water. The excess flows treated by the BioCEPT process are combined with the conventionally treated wastewater prior to disinfection and release to the Cuyahoga River to meet EPA requirements.
As part of the project, the City of Akron will conduct an extensive demonstration study as required by the U.S. EPA. That study is set to begin in May. Results from this study may be used to expand treatment capacities at other wastewater treatment plants nationwide.