Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) Hertel at Deer Real Time Control (RTC)

ACEC New York Diamond Award Winning Project






The Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) owns and operates the combined sewer collection and treatment system within the City of Buffalo. Through its Long-Term Control Plan, the Authority recognized that a number of “smart sewer” technologies could reduce the occurrences of combined sewer overflows (CSO) by creating in-line storage (ILS). One such technology is the real time control (RTC) structure that stores wet weather flows within the existing collection system.

Wendel performed engineering services including wastewater, stormwater, civil, mechanical, electrical and structural as well as environmental review (SEQR), grant assistance, and controls to install an RTC structure at the Hertel at Deer ILS site. Wendel’s team included 30% MBE and WBE participation, going beyond the 20% project goal.

The Hertel ILS is one of the largest ILS sites in the United States. The location for an RTC site was selected to maximize the storage volume available upstream of the ILS chamber without increasing the risk of basement backups. The structure consists of a chamber (36’Lx43’Wx16’H) constructed with four (4) mechanical gates (5’x5’) that close during wet-weather events to store flow within the existing pipe, freeing up capacity in other areas of the system. The Hertel RTC chamber was designed to provide approximately 4.4 MG of storage during CSO events.

This project’s innovative “smart sewer” technology leveraged underutilized existing assets instead of relying on entirely new construction. Wendel assisted the Authority in obtaining a $2,850,000 grant under the Water Quality Improvements Project (WQIP) Program. The Hertel ILS is the largest constructed ILS to date for BSA, yielding a remarkable cost/benefit of $0.68/gallon captured. This provides a cost-effective method of dealing with combined sewer overflows. The project also reduced the overflow volumes at the Sewer Patrol Point (SPP) by 20%, or 139 MG from entering the Niagara River.  Construction of this project began in April 2019 and the project was completed in December 2019.  The project was under budget and on delivered to the client on time.