Water Design-Build Council Blog

Project Spotlight: U.S. Navy Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Posted by Admin on Wed, Sep 25, 2013 @ 09:55 AM

Indian Head Water T  P  6 27 11The Maryland Department of the Environment began working toward a cleaner Chesapeake Bay by breaking ground to construct an upgrade to the Indian Head Wastewater Treatment Plant. They chose WDBC member Haskell to upgrade and expand their existing .5 MGD sewage treatment plant to reuse quality effluent meeting the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act.

The plant design included enhanced nutrient reduction technology that delivered dramatically reduced levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from being discharged into the Chesapeake Bay from that region. Excess nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, degrade water quality, which negatively impact the ecology of the Bay and its tributaries.

The Indian Head Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade is a USGBC LEED Silver Certified facility -One of the first in the nation.


This project was carried out on an active facility on an active military base. Throughout the upgrades, there could be no disruptions to the plant’s current usage. The site of the military base - in Indian Head, Maryland - also housed a number of unforeseen circumstances. The jobsite was hit with a flood, hurricane and earthquake during the course of the project, all of which did not affect the timeliness of the schedule or the outcome of the project. Another problem was discovering that the filter backwash had not been accounted for in the total flow values defined by the Navy’s design criteria.


Upon learning about the unaccounted filter backwash, Haskell immediately developed solutions to address this issue in the most cost effective manner. After presenting potential solutions, the facility's owner directed Haskell to increase the size of the SBRs, which resulted in an increase in contract value and extended the completion date by two months. 


The Indian Head Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade has removed an estimated 22,842 lbs. of nitrogen, annually, that would have been discharged directly from the plant into Mattawomen Creek, the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. 

“Haskell was an outstanding contractor. Extremely safe job site, excellent quality control, very well managed. Haskell truly raised the bar.”

- Joshua M Carnahan, LT, CEC, USN, NAVFAC
Construction Manager, NAVFAC Washington

Indian Head Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

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Topics: Haskell