Outside of Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Repairs

Failing facility to fully functioning wastewater treatment plant in 3 years.

Project Facts

Location Bessemer, Alabama
Owner Jefferson County Environmental Services Department
Size 100 feet deep
Status Completed 2009


The Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was built 100 feet deep into bedrock and houses a $52-million pump station. Several elements of this underground structure, including the six-foot-thick floor slab, failed and needed to be thoughtfully repaired. 

The underground wastewater treatment plant lit up.

Emptied wastewater treatment tank with materials to conduct repairs.

Construction workers repairing the wastewater treatment tank's cracks and leaks.

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About the project

When several elements of the underground structure of the Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant failed, including the six-foot-thick floor slab that partially flooded the pump station and rendered it inoperable, Walter P Moore performed a post-failure investigation. The structural analysis used conventional and finite element methods, material testing, groundwater studies, and geophysical testing for possible sinkhole conditions. 

When the analysis found that the ruptured slab also left a nearby wall with a two-inch crack, approximately 100-feet long, the repairs needed to focus on wall/floor thickening using 25,000 epoxy grouted dowels, as well as stabilization with 700 rock anchors, bracing for unsupported vault walls, urethane crack injection to reduce groundwater infiltration, and epoxy injection of cracked concrete. 

Despite the magnitude and the challenges of the repairs, the pump station was restored within three years of the failure and is now fully operational.

Water filling an outdoor tank outside of the Valley Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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