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Delivering a New Drinking Water Treatment Plant for Rocket City, Alabama 

Aerial view of the 12 MGD surface water treatment plant
As a trusted consultant to Huntsville Utilities, Tetra Tech provided site selection, design, permitting, and construction management services for the $90 million Southeast Water Treatment Plant (WTP) program.

The Southeast WTP surface water facility is designed with an initial capacity of 24 million gallons per day (MGD)—expandable to 96 MGD—to supply safe drinking water in Huntsville, home of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Our initial services included site selection and permitting through the Tennessee Valley Authority. To ensure compliance with the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (DBPR), Tetra Tech used our Leading with Science® approach to implement a pilot study to test several treatment technologies.


  • Completed one year ahead of schedule resulting in cost savings for the client
  • 3D modeling resulted in no design change orders during construction
  • Pilot study looked at eight treatment technologies for DBP control
  • 96 MGD total build-out capacity

Components of the WTP include conventional settling and filtration treatment, granulated activated carbon, on-site residuals management, a laboratory and administration building, and high-service pumping facilities. The design included provisions for the installation of ultraviolet disinfection as a contingency for future compliance needs.

The raw water intake facility includes a trapezoidal channel for delivery of 48 MGD that expands to build-out capacity with the replacement of pumps. The raw water main includes 3.5 miles of 42-inch ductile iron pipe (DIP) and the finished water main includes 7.5 miles of 48-inch DIP, of which approximately 600 linear feet 60-inch jack and bore under Highway 431 and the Paint Rock River.

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