KWS Manufacturing

Flex-Wall Belt Conveyor for Conveying Biosolids at Somerset WTP Somerset, KY

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Somerset WTPEnd User or Owner

Somerset WTP
Somerset, KY

Consulting Engineer

Bell Engineering
Lexington, KY


Judy Construction
Cynthiana, KY

Plant Name and Location

Somerset WTP - Pitman Creek
Somerset, KY

General Description

Somerset, KY built a new sewage treatment plant at Pitman Creek that is one of the most updated in Kentucky. “It is so futuristic … so computer driven, it could be operated by one man,” said Charlie Dick, the city’s utilities manager. Sewage entering Pitman Creek from the new plant is drinkable when treated. Among the plant’s innovations are ultraviolet lights over which treated water runs. Ultraviolet light rays add a final purification step that eliminates the need for chlorine. The effluent is also aerated by two blowers followed by a step cascade system prior to being discharged into Pitman Creek. Called an “Oxidation Ditch” plant, the new sewerage facility is at the same site of the Pitman Creek plant built in 1970. The new facility will increase treatment capacity from 3 million to 4.4-million gallons a day. The plant is laid out so that it can be upgraded to a treatment capacity of 8.8 million gallons a day, sufficient for the city’s needs during the next 25 to 30 years. Currently more than 99 percent of homes and businesses in the corporate limits are served by the city’s sewerage system.

The project at Pitman Creek involved modifications and additions to the existing Waste Reclamation Facility’s Solids Handling Facilities including biosolids processing improvements. A new Belt Filter Press was added to improve dewatering. KWS Environmental provided a flex-wall belt conveyor to convey dewatered biosolids from the new belt filter press to the truck load out area in a clean, efficient manner.

Design Parameters

  1. Type of Sludge: Municipal Dewatered Biosolids
  2. Material Density 45 to 80 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Solids, percent by weight: 16 to 19-percent
  4. Capacity (max): 2.8 Wet Tons per Hour
  5. Capacity: 70 Cubic Feet per Hour
  6. Duty: 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week
Somerset WTP

KWS Advantages

KWS Environmental worked closely with Bell Engineering and other process equipment suppliers to resolve layout issues that prevented the use of the anticipated 28-foot long inclined belt conveyor. Several iterations of the design were required along with an alternate design utilizing shaftless screw conveyors. KWS Environmental presented a horizontal, inclined flex-wall belt conveyor for the approval of Bell Engineering. The flex-wall belt conveyor was the best solution because the belt filter press could be installed closer to the ground reducing installation costs and improving accessibility for maintenance.

As an ISO 9001 certified company, KWS Environmental ensures that every design follows a rigid, documented process based on solid design theory and many successful installations.

Somerset WTP

Special Features

KWS provided an L-path flex-wall belt conveyor that was fully enclosed to contain odor and eliminate spillage. A turnbuckle support arrangement was provided to allow the conveyor to be supported from the building wall and keep the loading area free from obstruction. The turnbuckle supports were field adjustable which simplified installation by the contractor.

A full length stainless steel drain pan was located under the bottom of the conveyor and used to control any free liquid and reduce housekeeping issues.

A belt take-up assembly was used to allow periodic adjustment of the belt.

KWS supported the installation, commissioning and training by providing a qualified and registered engineer familiar with the project, design requirements and equipment delivered.


"The conveyor went together well in the field and operates smoothly and very reliably."

Seth Nutt, Project Manager – Judy Construction

Somerset WTP Somerset WTP
Biosolids / Sludge

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