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AECOM to upgrade one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the U.S.

  • AECOM to upgrade one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the U.S.
  • Through an Energy Savings Performance Contract, AECOM will retrofit Los Angeles’ Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, which serves five-million residents, businesses and industries.

About the entity

AECOM became an independent company formed by the merger of five entities. While our official founding was in 1990, many of our predecessor firms had distinguished histories dating back more than 120 years.


AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure consulting firm, today announced that it has been selected to perform work through an Energy Savings Performance Contract for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts’ Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP) in Carson, California. The contract includes upgrades to the pure oxygen production process, which can result in more than $1.3 million in energy, water, and maintenance cost savings annually and more than $8 million in avoided capital expenditure. AECOM was competitively selected to complete the project feasibility study and will now move to final design, construction, commissioning, and performance guarantee, with a contract totaling over $41 million.

“We’re honored to partner with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts to upgrade its JWPCP facility, leveraging the strength of our technical expertise from designing and constructing many large-scale, multi-phase water projects to help improve service for millions of people across Los Angeles,” said Lara Poloni, AECOM’s president. “We are the largest environmental firm as ranked by ENR, and this important project reflects our commitment to lead in environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practices and make a positive impact on the communities we serve.”

“We are excited to have hired AECOM to complete this important retrofit for our agency. They have the special expertise required to successfully complete this complex project. Performing this work through an Energy Savings Performance Contract gets us a completed project sooner, which will provide savings to our ratepayers sooner,” said Paul Mikulas, supervising engineer in the Sanitation Districts’ Wastewater and Solid Waste Design Section.

AECOM’s scope of work includes the replacement of two 150 tons per day backup Cryogenic Oxygen Generation Plants with two Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) units, which is critical to the plant’s biological system and the facility meeting effluent requirements. The current Cryogenic Systems require multiple days to startup and achieve the required oxygen purity and production levels, making it imperative that the two backup units operate continuously. The main advantage of the new VPSA units is they will not need to operate continuously.

“The JWPCP is a 400 million gallons per day, activated sludge treatment plant that serves five-million residents, businesses and industries in Los Angeles County. The pure oxygen system is one of the most critical facilities in the treatment plant,” said Annika Moman, senior vice president of AECOM’s Design and Consulting Services group’s Energy practice. “The new VPSA units utilize adsorption media to separate oxygen from ambient air, achieving oxygen purity and production levels within a few hours. Thus, these units will not operate continuously, resulting in substantial energy, operation, and maintenance cost savings.

AECOM’s previous work in this space includes project and construction management for similar retrofits of wastewater plants, including experience in optimizing downstream oxygen utilization through better operations and controls, understanding environmental impacts to attain required permits, and expertise in energy engineering that includes the establishment of a well-documented baseline and detailed measurement and verification plans.

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