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Industrial Fabric Covered Buildings




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Village of Bartlett Public Works Water Treatment Plant

Fabric Covered Buildings are Ideal for Waste Water Treatment Solutions


Milestones Building & Design Public Works Buildings 11 - Waste Water Treatment Solution

Natural light penetrates the membrane cover, eliminating the need for artificial lighting.


Location: Bartlett, IL
Building Size: (4 each) 62' W x 90' L
Application: Waste Water Treatment Plant - Fabric Covered Building

The Village of Bartlett in Illinois purchased four tension fabric structures to cover their aerobic digesters at their waste water treatment plant.  Located just 40 miles from Chicago, the facility handles the waste water for 26,000 people residing in three different counties.  "We have twelve individuals employed with the sewer department who take care of the treatment plant as well as nineteen lift stations and the total sewer system within the Village of Bartlett," says Ron Johnson, Waste Water Supervisor.  "This treatment plant is considered a medium to large size treatment facility."

The four fabric buildings are 62' wide x 90' long and cover two sludge tanks each.  "One of the problems we had in the past was controlling the temperatures during the winter as well as containing odors.  Since we have had the fabric covered buildings we've been able to hold the heat in during the winter so the bacteria can do it's job and we no longer have odor complaints from nearby residential areas," says Johnson.  "The aerobic digesters take in sludge from two parts of our facility.  One part is the waste activated sludge from the activated sludge system, and the other is the primary  sludge from the primary clarifiers.  The basic operation of the clarifiers is to stabilize the organic matters in the sludge.  From here we take it to a  sludge press and put onto farm fields."

"The tension fabric structure is working very well for us; the building is not going to deteriorate and it's pretty much maintenance free." -Ron Johnson

The Village of Bartlett chose fabric covered buildings because of the structure's ability to perform in a corrosive moist environment.  The galvanized steel frame system is clad with a triple-coated anti-corrosion barrier and a Gatorshield coating.  The polyolefin characteristic of the cover fabric is inert to ammonia gasses and is not biodegradable.  "We looked at a PVC system that was designed to completely cover the digesters, but that would have caused us problems of getting to the sludge for sampling, temperature readings, etcetera," says Johnson. 

"We also looked at aluminum and corrugated steel structures, but the high moisture levels in this type of environment would quickly deteriorate metal structures.  We designed each of the fabric buildings to have a side access so we could open it up to lower a hoist down within the tank, clean the digesters or install equipment."

Another benefit with the fabric buildings is the translucent qualities of the fabric membrane.  "We don't need any natural lighting in the tension fabric structures, nor do we require the installation of explosive proof fixtures or personnel needing to change light bulbs.  The white cover provides us more than enough natural light inside the building, even on gray and overcast days.  The fabric building system is working very well for us; the building is not going to deteriorate and it's pretty much maintenance free," says Johnson.


Milestones Building & Design Public Works Buildings 9 - Waste Water Treatment Solution

The four 62' wide x 90' long fabric buildings cover two sludge tanks each.


Milestones Building & Design  Public Works Buildings 10 - Waste Water Treatment Solution

The  buildings were installed over the existing sludge tanks and designed with side accesses for installing equipment and cleaning the digesters.


Milestones Building & Design Public Works Buildings 12 - Waste Water Treatment Solution

The fabric covered buildings provide odor control and year-round temperature moderation.


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