google-site-verification: googleac31132f3d1837d9.html

Projects • Alcoa Water Treatment Plant

Alcoa Water Treatment Plant

Alcoa, Tennessee

The City of Alcoa, located on the eastern edge of Tennessee is home to roughly 10,000 residents.  Prior to SSR’s involvement, the city’s public works and engineering department was relied on a single conventional water treatment plant originally built in 1963.  This facility used a conventional filtration system for the removal of turbidity and organics from surface water, from the nearby Little River. However, due to maintenance concerns, the plant’s continued use of this technology was problematic.  In conjunction with the City, SSR conducted a thorough investigation of options to rehabilitate the existing treatment plant to meet current and impending regulation changes. The evaluation indicated that the plant’s useful life was over and that it should be replaced.

The City elected to construct a new 16.0 MGD water treatment plant across the street from its existing facility. The goal of the new water treatment facility was to continuously treat highly variable surface water in respect to flow and water quality. Due to the variable nature of the raw water quality, it was imperative that the new filtration system be able to handle a myriad of different process changes without detriment to the system integrity, the finished water quality or quantity, and not require existing operation support or maintenance. SSR continued to work with the City throughout the piloting of membrane systems, design, and construction of the plant.

In April of 2007, The City of Alcoa’s new membrane filtration facility came on line. SSR provided all civil, process, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and instrumentation design and construction administration services as well as Resident Project Representation. The completed treatment scheme includes enhanced coagulation and PAC for disinfection byproduct control, immersed membrane ultrafiltration for pathogen control and onsite hypochlorite generation for primary and secondary disinfection.

The Alcoa Water Treatment Plant was one of the first direct coagulation ultrafiltration water treatment plants in the region. SSR designed a competitive piloting and proposal program that allowed fierce competition between rival membrane manufacturers.  The piloting also identified that a long held paradigm that membranes were fouled by excessive turbidity was false.  The selection process not only resulted in a better facility design for the City of Alcoa, but it also dramatically decreased the capital cost of the completed system.

This type of design innovation resulted in the Alcoa Water Treatment Plant being recognized as the Tennessee Public Works Project of the Year in 2007. The plant has received numerous other awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Kentucky-Tennessee Section of AWWA, and the Kentucky Contractors Association.


  • City of Alcoa

Project Completion

  • 2007

Awards & Distinctions

  • Tennessee Public Works Project of the Year, 2008
  • ACEC Engineering Excellence Honor Award, 2008


Project Size

  • 16.0 MGD