The Ford Motor Company Wixom Assembly Plant assembled all of the Lincoln models that are produced by Ford. This large facility was faced with upgrading their existing wastewater treatment facilities for discharge to the Norton Creek which is a tributary of the environmentally sensitive Huron River. Ford Motor contracted with HRC to provide the necessary engineering services to eliminate their existing sanitary wastewater treatment facility, to help close seven surface impoundments used for polishing treatment before discharge and to construct new industrial wastewater pretreatment facilities for a flow of 1 MGD.
The treatment system includes chemical precipitation for removal of environmentally toxic heavy metals from the waste streams, dewatering of the wet sludge to a dry solid form and transporting the resultant solids to a licensed hazardous waste disposal site. Treatment is conducted in a batch mode, which assures a more homogenous waste stream thereby reducing chemical costs, and providing greater flexibility and control of operations. Separate facilities are provided for the initial treatment of chrome and electrocoat paint waste prior to introduction into the general waste stream. Two filter presses were provided to dewater the solids. The final effluent from the facility is discharged to the City of Wixom municipal wastewater treatment facility.
HRC provided separate bid packages for each piece of the process and then provided construction management services for construction by Ford’s own construction group, Rouge Construction and Environmental Services. Construction was accomplished for a cost of $11 million, which was under budget and within the time schedule necessitated by EPA-RCRA deadlines.
A unique public and private partnership was developed for this project in which Ford Motor was able to abandon their existing sanitary wastewater treatment facility and eliminate their discharge to the Huron River. The stringent NPDES discharge limitations would have required a costly upgrade of the sanitary facilities in addition to the new industrial pretreatment facility. Consequently, Ford Motor entered into an agreement with the City of Wixom to provide capital in proportion to Ford’s required capacity in the municipal wastewater treatment plant.
The Ford Motor Company, Wixom Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Facility has provided an economical solution to a complex wastewater disposal problem and has demonstrated an effective and efficient method for treating the varied waste streams associated with automobile assembly operations