Rialto Regional Biosolids Processing Facility

Project Details

  • Project Type:
    Biosolids Processing Facility
  • Location:
    Bloomington, CA
  • Delivery Method:
  • Design Engineer:
    HDR Engineering, Inc.
  • Constructed Value:
    $83.4 million
  • Completed:
    December 2008
  • Project Highlights:
    • Innovative facility for converting wastewater biosolids to E-Fuel using a patented process
    • Design-build delivery met client’s budget and schedule expectations
    • Extensive mechanical and piping work required specialized labor and resources
    • Excellent safety record
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Rialto Regional Biosolids
Processing Facility

EnerTech Environmental, Inc.

To us, a construction company needs to do a lot more than pour concrete. We require a firm to become a part of our team, understand what our needs are, and constantly communicate all the issues. They must solve problems, offer solutions, and be willing to work closely with our team. To do this successfully, a construction company must heavily invest in pre-construction activities. For us, Filanc has made this investment and the result is a superior product. We will work with Filanc again.
Kevin Bolin
CEO of EnerTech Environmental
The disposal of wastewater treatment by-product, known as biosolids, presents both economic and environmental challenges to facilities worldwide. In Southern California, wastewater treatment plants have typically processed biosolids in drying beds and then paid to haul it to desert areas in Arizona or the central valley of California. However, these areas are growing increasingly reluctant to accept biosolids from outside the region. The cost and greenhouse gas emissions involved with hauling has also made local treatment a more attractive option.

Renewable energy company EnerTech Environmental pioneered a process to convert biosolids to renewable energy. The Rialto Regional Biosolids Facility in Rialto, California is EnerTech’s first ever commercial facility for converting biosolids into fuel using their patented SlurryCarb™ process. At full capacity, the facility will produce over 60,000 tons of E-Fuel per year. Currently, five local agencies deliver biosolids to the facility, and local cement kilns are using the resulting E-Fuel as an environmentally sound alternative source of energy.

The facility consists of four major components:
  • A receiving area that includes scales and a 30-foot-deep pit with receiving bins and conveyor belts. Biosolids are brought into the receiving area on trucks and loaded into the bins, which transport them to two 150-foot-tall storage silos.
  • The SlurryCarb™ facility develops the pressure and heat needed to reach a reaction condition. This reaction changes the chemical structure of the biosolids to allow the removal of excess water. This facility also includes two cooling towers.
  • A drying facility where the biosolids are dewatered. Water that is removed is treated and discharged in accordance with Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) plant requirements.
  • The E-Fuel silo where the finished, dried product is stored before being shipped to its destination.


Examples of Filanc’s achievements include:

Filanc and HDR collaborated with EnerTech to design and construct this state-of-the-art facility. During the design process, Filanc participated in the development of the plans to provide constructability reviews. Filanc led the construction of the entire facility, including the extensive amount of mechanical work for the SlurryCarb™ and drying facilities as well as the conveyor and piping systems needed to transport material throughout the site. The plant began to receive its first deliveries of biosolids in October 2008. The facility was substantially complete on schedule in December 2008.

Some highlights of Filanc’s successes include:
  • Safety: Filanc’s work on the Rialto facility was an example of safety excellence. The project went over 3,500 hours with no lost time incidents or accidents. The team leading the work on the project was recognized by Filanc for their safety achievements.
  • Teamwork: Because of the innovative and unique nature of the project, Filanc was able to involve a core group of employees in many trades – including carpenters, millwrights, and foremen – who had been with the company for several years. This team exemplified the Filanc culture on the project in terms of expectations for quality, safety, and teamwork.