New Landmark DFA Facility Designed and Engineered by Lumos.

[ Written by Steven G. Moon, P.E., Fallon Location ]

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It’s a good thing we were drinking our milk AND eating our Wheaties during this project. We needed all that energy to pull together six Lumos divisions working with three major entities including Big D Construction and the City of Fallon as well as the DFA, in addition to multiple design teams strung out from Nevada to Wisconsin to California to New Zealand. The project was two years in the making at a cost of $85 million. Lumos put the final touches on the DFA Milk Drying Plant in March of 2014 when the last of 181,000 square feet of landscaping was complete. But that’s just the beginning of the story.

Toward the end of 2011, the City of Fallon, Churchill County and the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) began talks to locate a DFA Ingredient Plant in Churchill County. A 31.5 acre site was selected within the City’s New River Business Park, and the journey toward establishing a state of the art Milk Drying Facility was underway. From project’s inception, Lumos has been an integral part of not only the DFA Team, but has also partnered with the City of Fallon to assist them in establishing the necessary infrastructure to support the magnitude of such a project for both local and international communities, and has also provided construction services to the prime contractor, Big D Construction in order to facilitate final construction.

City of Fallon

Lumos’ initial work for the City of Fallon consisted of the boundary and topographic mapping of the site, prepared a Boundary Line Adjustment Map to establish the parcel to be developed and created the necessary roadway and utility easements to provide the footprint of the infrastructure backbone. The roadway and utility networks were determined through a collaborative process between the City and DFA; each stakeholder’s requirements were evaluated and incorporated into the final roadway and utility network.

Lumos prepared three separate design packages for the City to complete their portion of the project, based on their needs and to account for the staging of activities between the construction of the New River Parkway and the DFA Plant itself. Ultimately, 1,500 linear feet of New River Parkway was constructed from its previous terminus,extending along the east edge of the DFA property and connecting to the Wildes Road intersection to produce an efficient primary access to the DFA Plant and provide a vital roadway connection for the City. Within the New River Parkway construction limits, the City also constructed 1,400 linear feet of 8-inch deep sewer system and over 1,600 linear feet of 8-inch water line; which when looped with the existing system, can produce nearly 2,700 gpm to the DFA site. To wrap up the final site layout, Lumos produced cost effective landscaping and irrigation designs to enhance the appearance of the corridor and to tie into the landscaping pallet of the DFA facility.


The civil site design for the DFA Plant itself instituted a unique set of challenges, as one would expect with the development of an $85 million project. Some of the opportunities included working with an international design team, designing the utility network which was comprised of multiple sewer waste streams from the DFA Plant and the integration of pretreatment prior to discharge into the City’s sewer system.

Lumos worked with multiple design teams in locations which spanned from Milwaukee, to Oakland to New Zealand. Through effective communication and continual coordination, Lumos was able to seamlessly integrate the needs and goals of the design team.

The multiple waste streams were managed through a design of three separate gravity sewer systems which handle domestic sewage separately from the DFA Trade Waste stream and the overflow Cow Water Waste stream. The Trade Waste stream proved to be the most difficult to handle as the pH, temperature and discharge flows can substantially differ depending on the cycle of the plant. The pH and temperature were accounted for by specifying a polypropylene sewer pipe to withstand these variables, also the pipe size and slope were optimized to account for both the low and high flow conditions to be encountered.

The integration of pretreatment prior to discharge into the City’ sewer system was accomplished by isolating the DFA Trade Waste stream beginning at the building and installing a triplex sewer lift station with the capability of delivering waste flows through multiple connection points at the on-site Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), as well as having the capacity to manage flow back from the WWTP in unbalanced or emergent situations.

Once above ground, Lumos provided a civil site design that accounts for a half a million square foot developed area. The plan effectively manages traffic through the site,establishes the security required by a food grade facility, allows for contingencies for future expansion and creates a drainage and landscaping concept that provides for low maintenance and sanitary conditions in and around the building. The developed site is comprised of 171,500 SF of PCC Paving, 2,500 LF of gravity sewer, 181,000 SF of landscaping and gravel mulch stabilized areas, 2,800 LF of 6, 8 and 10-inch waterline and 3,900 LF of 8′ chain link security fence.

Big D Construction

In its consummate role of team player, Lumos worked with Big D Construction through the life of the project. From consultation on design concepts to final construction staking, Lumos was also a key partner on the Big D team. Lumos provided building staking for the 100,000 SF DFA Plant and the 500,000 SF of developed site, as well as specialty services such as plumbness verification of the 150 foot tall drying tower, anchor assembly confirmation for the tank gallery and imbedded anchor as-built surveys to assist in the fabrication of the multiple suspended metal platforms.

In total, Lumos provided a wide array of services encompassing nearly all of Lumos’ capabilities: Boundary and Topographic Surveying, Geotechnical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Surveying,Materials Testing and Special Inspection. These services were offered and delivered in light of the unique opportunities in which Lumos was willingly challenged, namely, working with numerous local agencies and several contractors, as well as collaborating with multiple engineering and architectural firms, of which some were local, and some were halfway around the world. Ultimately Lumos was able to deliver a quality project for our clients -the City of Fallon, Dairy Farmers of America,and Big D Construction.

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