The Bear Creek facility began operation in 1958 as a conventional trickling filter plant with anaerobic sludge digestion and drying beds. In 1976, the original plant was converted to a 0.5 MGD activated sludge (extended aeration) facility with aerobic digestion. In 2001, upgrades included an equalization basin (abandoned trickling filter), diversion pump station to transfer excess flow to the Henry Count Water & Sewerage Authority, an additional aerobic digester (abandoned clarifier), and a belt press for sludge dewatering.
With many parts of the original plant being between 30 and 50 years old, flow increasing due to population growth, transfer of excess flow to Henry County becoming operationally prohibitive, plant having difficulty meeting EPD permit and changes from EPD in future discharge limits. The City Council acted to abandon the aging original plant in favor or an expanded facility that would meet Hampton’s needs for growth and environmental stewardship. Contraction began in May 2008.
The City of Hampton completed the 1.75 MGD expansion of the Bear Creek WPCP in December 2009 and went on line in January 2010. New equipment includes an influent pump station, 2 bar screens (1 automatic and 1 manual), a grit removal unit, an aeration basin, 2 effluent settling tanks, 2 ultraviolet disinfection units, and effluent aeration system, high rate blowers, chemical pumps and a plant water pump station. Solids handling uses 2 aerobic digesters followed by the relocation of the existing belt filter press to dewater solids. The dewatered sludge is taken to local landfill. A future equalization basin and effluent filtration were planned for and can be installed when needed.
The selection of a 1.75 MGD facility was based on 20-year projections for the City of Hampton and the adjacent planning area. The flow meets the Georgia Environmental Protection division’s allocation for Bear Creek. The facility discharges to Bear Creek, a tributary to the Flint River that eventually drains into the Gulf of Mexico.