Media Release

Precast Concrete Tanks for West Virginia Wastewater Treatment Plant Protected by Penetron


This completion of the $24.3 million Wastewater Improvement Project in Ripley and Evans, West Virginia, was completed in December 2023 and brought the plant in compliance with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection guidelines. PENETRON ADMIX SB, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified to protect the precast concrete structures used for the new wastewater treatment plant from water and effluent.

Located in northwestern West Virginia, Ripley has a population of about 3,100 and is the county seat of Jackson County, which borders the Ohio River and Ohio. Evans, a community of over 1,800, lies 4.5 miles west of Ripley.

The City of Ripley Utility Board owns and operates a public wastewater collection and treatment system within the city limits and in Evans. The Ripley wastewater treatment plant was first built in the 1920s to serve both business and residential users and discharged treated effluent into Mill Creek. Over the decades, major improvements were made to eliminate direct discharges into Mill Creek by constructing sewer lagoons and pumping stations.

The Ripley Utility Board initiated the Wastewater Improvement Project in 2013 in response to orders – and the resulting fines levied by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) – for both Ripley and Evans to comply with the water quality standards and current environmental laws.

Completed in 2017, Phase I of the Wastewater Improvement Project included the repair and rehabilitation of existing manholes, construction of new lift stations, and upgrading problem areas within the collection systems.

“The new wastewater treatment plant now meets the environmental guidelines, ending long-term compliance challenges for both communities,” adds Christopher Chen. “As with most municipal infrastructure projects, the completed upgrades will help ensure future growth and economic development for Evans and Ripley.”

The 2nd phase of the project comprised the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. The new concrete structures – inlet and grit chambers, settling tanks and aeration basins – were precast components delivered by Dutchland, a specialist in the design and manufacture of precast post-tensioned concrete tanks and custom designed wastewater treatment plants.

“Penetron collaborated with Dutchland to provide an optimal waterproofing solution and maximize the service life of the precast concrete elements at the new Ripley plant,” adds Christopher Chen. “After reviewing the cost benefits, convenient packaging, and quick local delivery from the Penetron production plant in Allentown (PA), PENETRON ADMIX SB was specified for all precast concrete elements.”

PENETRON ADMIX SB was used to treat 1,200 yds3 of concrete. Adding PENETRON ADMIX SB to the concrete mix reduces concrete permeability, increases corrosion and chemical resistance, and enables self-sealing of any hairline cracks to enhance the durability of the precast concrete components.