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Safeguarding Pensacola's wastewater system from extreme weather

The relocation of the Main Street wastewater plant has greatly reduced its vulnerability.


The low-lying Pensacola region is vulnerable to severe weather, which demands extremely resilient public utilities.

In 2004, Hurricane Ivan struck Florida, killing 14 people and causing heavy damage to buildings, utilities, and infrastructure. About a quarter of a mile of Escambia Bay Bridge in Pensacola collapsed into the bay, and a 15-foot (5-meter) storm surge severely damaged the Main Street Wastewater Treatment Plant.


For more than a decade, Mott MacDonald has provided essential services for making the area’s wastewater treatment system more resilient to damage and outages from storm surges and other extreme weather events.

We were responsible for the design, permitting, public bid, and construction administration for the rehabilitation of Lift Station No. 4, an existing regional pump station, and for the infrastructure required to relocate the Main Street wastewater plant, including 22 miles (35 kilometers) of force mains and effluent pipelines.

As a result of these successful collaborations, Mott MacDonald was tasked with designing three master pump stations — a critical part of the renovated wastewater system for the Pensacola region.


The relocation of the Main Street wastewater plant to a new site more than 50 feet above sea level has greatly reduced its vulnerability. The new plant is an advanced wastewater treatment facility that provides reclaimed water for beneficial use.

Mott MacDonald’s design for the master pump stations optimized energy efficiency, reduced wear on the pumps, extended the lifespan of the wastewater system, and helped protect the system’s resilience in the face of extreme weather conditions.

Mott MacDonald minimized noise pollution during construction and ensured that facilities would be aesthetically compatible with their surroundings.

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