Ellwood Water Treatment Plant, Pennsylvania American Water, Wampum, PA

BH provided engineering design, permitting, and construction phase services for the new Ellwood Water Treatment Plant (WTP). Due to the age and condition of the existing WTP, Pennsylvania American Water decided to build a new WTP at a new location. The new Ellwood WTP is initially rated at 8 MGD, with an expansion capacity for 16 MGD, and will serve approximately 18,000 people in southern Lawrence and Butler Counties and northeastern Beaver County. The new treatment facility withdraws raw water from both the Beaver River and Connoquenessing Creek.  BH employed the latest in 3D design technology and met an aggressive schedule for the design of the project, while coordinating extensively with permitting agencies to satisfy numerous new source water requirements and stringent treatment objectives.

Plant Design

The WTP is housed in a 23,000 SF building that will include administrative offices and maintenance shops, as well as the control room and laboratory. The building includes meeting space and an inviting entrance design. All treatment processes are housed within the building and include:

  • Two 60,000 gallon pretreatment contact basins with mixers to provide pretreatment flexibility
  • Chemical coagulation and three stage flocculation
  • Inclined plate sedimentation and telescoping sludge collectors
  • Granular activated carbon filtration
  • 5 log removal/inactivation of Cryptosporidium through the addition of UV disinfection
  • Further T&O control using UV-Oxidation (hydrogen peroxide dosing upstream of UV units)
  • Conversion to chloramines for distribution system disinfection
  • 3 million gallon finished water clearwell and horizontal split-case high service pumps
  • Bulk chemical storage and truck unloading facilities
  • Separate chemical feed rooms for powdered activated carbon, liquid lime, caustic soda, sodium permanganate, coagulant, multiple polymers, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, aqua ammonia, and corrosion inhibitor.

Residuals Handling

Process wastewater flow to one of two covered clarifiers and clarified wastewater is discharged to the Beaver River. Solids flow to a covered thickener and then are dewatered using centrifuges. Dewatered solids are loaded into trucks or roll-off containers and hauled off-site for beneficial reuse. The centrifuges, feed pumps, and polymer feed systems are housed in a separate 9,000 SF building.

Electrical and Controls

BH provided complete electrical power and controls design, including:

  • Plant-wide SCADA system
  • Control wiring and SCADA interfaces for equipment and instrumentation
  • New medium voltage electrical service and distribution
  • Medium voltage emergency standby generator
  • Process equipment power feeders, including starters, MCCs and VFDs
  • Low voltage distribution system at each building
  • Lighting and convenience power
  • Low voltage systems including telecom, security and fire alarm
  • Security including access control and video surveillance
  • Distribution Piping

This project also included 3,400 LF of 16-inch water main that is one point of connection used to provide finished water to the distribution system. The design included a highway boring, a railroad boring and one stream crossing, as well as all required permitting.


The project required extensive permitting, including:

  • DEP Public Water Supply Permit including extensive new source water requirements
  • County E&S, Stormwater Management, and Land Development Permits
  • DEP Water Quality Management Permit
  • DEP Industrial Waste NPDES Permit
  • Township Sewage Holding Tank Permit
  • Township Building Permit/Occupancy Permit
  • PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit
  • Township Road Opening Permit

Site Design

The WTP is located on an extremely tight site with significant topographic relief adjacent to two major railroad tracks. Extensive site grading and stormwater management facilities were required. A paved access road provides access to all facilities, including tractor-trailer truck access for chemical deliveries and solids removal. The treatment process required extensive yard piping and electrical duct bank routing.