All Aboard Florida, Brightline MiamiCentral Station, Miami, FL

all aboard florida miami station
View of MiamiCentral

MiamiCentral is a state-of-the-art train station being constructed in downtown Miami for the Brightline passenger rail connecting Miami and Orlando. During construction, tests revealed elevated concentrations of arsenic in the groundwater.

This meant that the contractor could not use ordinary dewatering methods during construction of the foundations for the rail station and commercial towers. The arsenic levels in the groundwater (30-40 ppb) exceeded the arsenic limits applicable to the discharge of water (10 ppb). As a result, the contractor could not discharge the groundwater without first reducing the arsenic levels.


Facing regulatory pressure and a tight construction schedule, All Aboard Florida needed a turnkey solution. They engaged SCS Engineers to design a dewatering system that could handle the estimated dewatering volumes, secure required permits, and then construct, operate and maintain the system.

Outcomes and Benefits

Within one week of receiving a notice to proceed, SCS had designed, permitted and mobilized a 1,500-gpm treatment system consisting of four 18-foot-tall treatment vessels containing approximately 50,000 pounds of granular activated alumina.

To extend the life of the activated alumina, SCS included a series of bag filters on the influent side of the groundwater treatment system. This system successfully reduced the high levels of arsenic in the groundwater, allowing dewatering for the foundation work to proceed.

Because the treatment system was so effective, All Aboard Florida also engaged SCS to deliver another system. The additional capacity saved more time in the construction schedule.

SCS staff operated both systems simultaneously without shutdowns or delays, over weekends, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays until the dewatering was finished.


“In our eyes, SCS’ diverse expertise with issues ranging from due diligence during property acquisition to civil design during site redevelopment, makes them the turnkey consulting firm to retain for environmental services.”

Jose M. Gonzalez, Senior Vice President-Corporate Development at Florida East Coast Industries