Bigfork WWTP Membrane Bioreactor Upgrade
Bigfork, Montana, is a rapidly growing community with a recreational-based economy on the shores of pristine Flathead Lake. The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is tucked onto a very small site, constrained by residential housing, and discharges into Flathead Lake. The Bigfork Water and Sewer District partnered with Morrison-Maierle during the planning process during which it was quickly identified that Bigfork would have to remove phosphorus to higher levels and also incorporate nitrogen removal at the wastewater treatment plant. The challenge of this project was to economically provide a higher level of treatment for a greater number of people, on a very small site. Morrison-Maierle recommended the plant be upgraded to a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) treatment system that utilizes activated sludge followed by membrane filtration to achieve additional nutrient removal within a very small footprint. One of the key elements of the project was to make the new MBR facility aesthetically pleasing for the nearby neighbors. The District made the decision to enclose the facility inside a building to eliminate the sight of basins and equipment and to reduce odors and noise. This treatment technology is the first of its type in Montana for a municipal application.
Award Winner: 2012 Region 8 Civil Engineering Project of the Year Award and 2013 ACEC of Montana Engineering Excellence Award