Wilmington, Delaware

Operating and maintaining one of nation’s largest wastewater public-private partnerships

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  • Two women engineers in PPE smile for the camera
  • Clean water filtering through a clarifier
  • Group of engineers in PPE

The City of Wilmington, Delaware, is home to approximately 70,851 residents, making it the most populated city in the state. The Wilmington water and wastewater facilities provide water treatment to both the city and much of the northern Delaware region, including approximately 400,000 residents in northern New Castle County. With a high population comes the necessity for safe, quality water. In 2020, the city selected Jacobs for a 20-year contract to operate and manage its wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), combined sewer overflow facilities and its Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility (REBF).

The Wilmington WWTP processes 168 million gallons of wastewater per day. The city received a $36-million Clean Water State Revolving Fund to construct the renewable energy and biosolids facility, which disposes of 7,000 wet tons of Class-A biosolids that are sent as fertilizer to crop fields in Pennsylvania, Delaware and local golf courses.

“It’s exciting to see the partnership with Wilmington strengthen as we leverage our full-service capability to support their needs. Successfully delivering this project is based on our operations and maintenance expertise but also relies on our engineering, consulting, including intelligent technology applications, and a programmatic delivery. It’s an integrated approach that no other firm in the industry can provide.”

Greg Fischer

Greg Fischer

Jacobs Vice President of Operations Management and Facilities Services

Biosolids management

The facility uses a dryer to make Class A biosolids, evaporating water to take biosolids from 22% to 90% total dryness. This massive reduction in water decreases the number of tons being disposed from 41,000 per year down to 10,000, also greatly reducing the number of biosolid trucks from 1860 down to 460. This sustainable action is one way Wilmington reduces GHG emissions.

Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR)

The LCRR represents major changes in drinking water regulations impacting all nationwide public water systems. After the LCRR’s promulgation, Jacobs proactively engaged the city to navigate the complexities of the regulatory framework and identify the best compliance strategy specific to them. Our local teams successfully leveraged existing project delivery relationships to propose a drinking water-focused additional engineering services program for LCRR compliance that provides integrated solutions for the city.


When proposing to assume operations and maintenance of the Wilmington facility, Jacobs recommended updating the collections system by putting eyes on the system via Aqua DNA technology. With Aqua DNA, the city can see the collection system flows and levels at any given time. Our team is installing underground battery-operated, remote data collection radios across the city, allowing the entire collections system to communicate through AI to a master dashboard, ultimately increasing accuracy and efficiency with the hope to prevent sewer overflows into the river.


Jacobs is heavily involved with the community in which we serve. The team participates in multiple events, including an annual food drive to help stock the local Wilmington food bank; the mayor’s toy drive during the holidays; a back-to-school drive for a local homeless shelter; park cleanups multiple times per year and instruction for a wastewater apprenticeship program in cooperation with the Delaware Rural Water Association at William Penn High School. The team also steps up during major events that affect the entire community such as assisting with flood recovery efforts. 

Our work in Wilmington by the numbers

  • 20

    Signed contract years to operate and manage Wilmington’s WWTP, combined sewer overflow facilities and its Renewable Energy Biosolids Facility

  • $ 36 M

    Clean Water State Revolving Fund to construct a renewable energy and biosolids facility for its treatment plant

  • 99 %

    Biosolids by land application in second contract year, with a goal of reaching 100%

  • 320

    Million-gallon capacity of wastewater treated per day during wet weather

  • $ 600 K

    In savings per year for the city from energy cost reductions

“What the city was looking for in an operator was somebody that was going to be a partner. This is a long-term relationship – a 20-year contract with two possible two-year extensions for a total of 24 years. So far, Jacobs has been meeting our needs 100 percent.”

Vince Carroccia

Deputy Commissioner City of Wilmington Department of Public Works

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  • Wastewater treatment system
  • Largest dryer of its kind in the U.S.
  • Two men in yellow Jacobs PPE vests and white hard hats walk into a control room

Meet some of our Wilmington team

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    Ron Gillenardo, Project Manager

    Ron is responsible for day-to-day operations and maintenance, profits and loss and engineering of the Wilmington WWTP, which includes 47.5 full-time employees. Ron serves as the regulatory point of contact and is responsible for the air, water and biosolids permits.

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    Aleksey Reznik, Operations Manager

    Aleksey is the operations manager and is responsible for the operations, process control and regulatory reporting of the Wilmington WWTP. Aleksey supervises a contingent of 16 operators, which includes four lead operators and a chief operator.

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    Sean Terranova, Maintenance Manager

    Sean is responsible for all the preventative and corrective maintenance of the facility and has a team of two lead mechanics, mechanics, electricians and parts manager. Additionally, he oversees the maintenance connection computerized maintenance management system.

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    Liie Hill, Engineering Manager

    Liie not only supervises the team of engineers who work at the facility, but also is the caretaker of the capital program. Liie provides engineering leadership for the WWTP and oversees the REBF.

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    Giovanna Cimino, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Manager

    Giovanna is responsible for the safety programs and is the point person for clearing all vendors through our safety protocols. She is an integral part of the Jacobs management team in Wilmington and sets the vision and direction for the implementation of our HSE programs.