DLA Energy Utility Services contracts two Wastewater Treatment Plants at Fort Polk

By By Irene Smith, DLA Energy Public Affairs | June 08, 2017

FORT POLK, Louisiana --

A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating two new and improved wastewater treatment plants was held to meet the growing needs of the Army Garrison Fort Polk installation, Louisiana, May 24.

Defense Logistics Agency Energy Utility Services provided the specialized contracting and technical expertise for the two newly constructed wastewater treatment plants. 

“Utilities privatization is a method by which military installations can obtain safe, reliable, technologically current and environmentally sound utility systems at a relatively lower cost than they would under continued government ownership,” said DLA Energy Utility Services Director Martha Gray. “In the privatization process, military installations shift from the role of owner operators to that of smart utility service customers.”

Wastewater treatment plants remove contaminants from wastewater, primarily household sewage. Physical, chemical and biological processes are used to remove these contaminants and produce environmentally safer, treated wastewater, also known as treated effluent. A byproduct of sewage treatment is usually a semi-solid waste that has to undergo further treatment before being suitable for disposal. The contaminated water from the plants is converted to safe water that meets public health standards through the treatment process. 

“The two wastewater treatment plants were authorized under the existing 50-year utility services contract for a total cost of $87,418,921.82,” said DLA Energy Utilities Service Contracting Officer Farheena Khan. “The work began in 2013 and included demolishing the existing dilapidated plants, built in the 1940s, and constructing two new efficient WWTPs equipped with modern technology.”

Khan was instrumental in awarding the contract. DLA Energy Contracting Officer Kenneth Richardson and Contract Specialist Jonathan Willsher worked with Khan to provide contract administrative details from start to finish. 

DLA Energy Utility Services supports the military services’ UP programs to build energy security and resiliency by improving utility systems at military installations across the U.S.

“It was an honor for my team to ceremoniously acknowledge all the hard work that went into this massive project and the beginning of two brand new WWTPs provided to Fort Polk for more than 50  years to come.”

Khan worked with the system owner, American Water Operations and Maintenance, whose team created the design for the new wastewater plants and performed the work that included demolishing the outdated plants and constructing the two new wastewater treatment plants.

“This project will improve Fort Polk’s mission assurance and have a positive environmental impact for the next 50 years,” Khan said. “It will fulfill all current wastewater treatment requirements on post and it has potential to increase the overall treatment capacity to accommodate future projected growth.”

The new WWTPs will function 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The new North Fort Plant is capable of treating 1.8 million gallons of wastewater per day and the South Fort Plant is capable of treating 4.6 million gallons of wastewater per day. Additionally, the local environment and the waters receiving flow from these new plants will reap the benefits of improved treatment and higher quality effluent, Khan explained. 

Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk Commanding General Army Brig. Gen. Gary Brito said the new wastewater treatments plants have long-term benefits to Fort Polk.

“Every soldier and family member wants to know they have clean water,” Brito said. “The intellectual investment of making this decision a couple years ago is going to last many years providing quality of life to our soldiers and families.”