Helping Buchanan Go With The Flow

Windemuller’s automation group was enlisted to complete a design-build project for the City of Buchanan’s new wastewater treatment plant. This project consisted of upgrading controls, integrating a new SCADA system and tying the old headworks building into the new system. In addition to our automation team, Windemuller’s service and communications departments helped get the job done.


The Buchanan Waste Water Treatment Plant is responsible for removing suspended solids from the water before it flows back into the environment. On a daily basis, an average of 1.5 million gallons of wastewater pass through the plant, with a maximum design flow of 3.75 million gallons per day. The original plant was built on the St. Joseph River in 1938. Since then, numerous upgrades and expansions have been completed, such as the new headworks building the Windemuller automation team worked on back in 2010. Due to our strong, ongoing relationship with the City of Buchanan, Windemuller was given the opportunity to perform the automation and control work on the new and improved plant.

The Challenge

For this specific project, the City of Buchanan built the new wastewater treatment plant on the same property as the original, in an adjacent location on higher elevation. This was a challenge for our team due to the fact that the existing plant was still in operation while the new plant was in the startup phase. The number one priority during this transition was to ensure the tanks did not overflow.

Additionally, our team went into this project with gaps in the initial plan. Our team had an overview of the work that needed to be completed, however we did not have all the information up front at the start of this project.

The Solution

Throughout this project, the Windemuller team collaborated extremely well with our partners. With the new and old wastewater treatment plant running simultaneously, our team worked closely with the mechanical company and engineer to ensure the transfer to the new plant went smoothly. Windemuller and our partners maintained constant communication regarding each team’s priorities to ensure everyone could do their job efficiently and effectively.

Having an experienced team was another huge benefit while working on this year-long project. Several of our team members had previously completed service work at Buchanan or worked with similar wastewater treatment plant customers. This plant’s transformation was a rewarding project that our team was proud to be a part of. Meanwhile, the City of Buchanan is looking forward to fully operating out of their brand-new, state-of-the-art facility.

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