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Oilseed Crush Plant


A national agribusiness company was set to construct a processing plant in the upper Midwest. The site they chose had all of the required amenities, including: railroad, water, sewer, natural gas, electricity and highway infrastructure. Weak, soft soils and extremely flat topography made the site challenging to build on. Because of the flat topography, the design team had to address drainage concerns for the many interconnected buildings as well as along the rail infrastructure that served the facility.


The site consisted of a number of buildings connected by roadways, railroad tracks and other impervious areas. Because of the flat topography, a series of interconnected drainage ditches, culverts, a nine-acre stormwater pond and a 4,000 gallon per minute stormwater pump station were constructed to convey water away from the structures.

It was important to have a single design team working on the grading, drainage, railroad tracks and roadway design. The design team was able to make frequent changes and adjustments to optimize the earthwork balance, drainage and final elevations of the buildings. Because every aspect of the project was very closely tied together, changing one element resulted in changes to several others. SEH staff from various disciplines including wastewater, water, stormwater and geotechnical engineering supported the design team.

To prevent potential flooding from a nearby creek, it was decided to raise the railyard tracks by six inches, keeping them out of possible flood areas. As a result, the associated receiving building and other structures were raised to correspond with the tracks. The stormwater system serving the facility was also altered to effectively manage the water. By having a single, multidisciplined team working on the project, they were able to easily adapt to project changes along the way.

This project is a good example of how we can update and modify an entire site design very quickly based on changes to a single part of it.
Bryan Remer, PE, P.Eng* – Project Manager
*Professional engineer registered in IA, MN, ND, NE, OK; BC, AB, SK, ON, PEI, NS.

Oilseed Crush Plant



  • 6 miles of railroad track
  • Stormwater pump station
  • Sanitary sewer pump station with sampling and metering
  • Concrete site roads


  • Architectural
  • Civil engineering
  • Railroad
  • Environmental engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Stormwater
  • Water resources
  • Wastewater