Project Merit: Water/Wastewater

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Black & Veatch (Overland Park, KS; www2.bv.com) for three large water and wastewater projects demonstrating innovation in treatment facility design. First, Black & Veatch performed various studies and provided engineering design and construction-phase services for the Butler Drive Water Reclamation Facility, the single largest capital project ever undertaken by the city of Peoria, Arizona. The 10 million gallon per day (mgd) Butler facility uses membrane bioreactor technology to produce high-quality effluent in combination with a much smaller footprint, process stability, operability, and improved noise and odor control compared with other conventional technologies, according to the company. Second, Black & Veatch assisted Thames Water in the modernization of the 800 million liter per day (mld) Hampton Water Treatment Works in west London. Following numerous assessments and studies, Black & Veatch, recommended the refurbishing of 32 rapid gravity filters (RGFs) rather than the replacement of the 70-year-old filters. According to Black & Veatch, the upgraded facility exemplifies the "three Rs" of sustainability-reduce, recycle, reuse-through reduced power and water consumption, the reuse of existing assets, and the recycling of reclaimed materials. Finally, Black & Veatch completed Stage 1 of the Sembcorp Changi NEWater Plant (SCNP) in Singapore, the country's fifth and largest NEWater facility, which started commercial operations in July 2009. The plant supplies Singapore with 69 mld of high-quality recycled water. The design of the SCNP minimized land use and construction costs by placing the main NEWater facilities on the roof of the Changi Water Reclamation Plant (CWRP). The treated water from the CWRP is pumped directly to the SCNP as feedwater, minimizing the extent of pipework for conveyance. SCNP relies on advanced water treatment process steps, which include microfiltration membranes, reverse osmosis membranes, and ultraviolet disinfection.

Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, CA; www.brownandcaldwell.com) for innovative pump station design in connection with a fast-tracked dam replacement project in Greensboro, North Carolina. When Greensboro officials discovered that alkali-silica reactivity had compromised the dam for Lake Townsend-the city's primary water supply-they fast-tracked the dam for replacement. First, though, a new 30 mgd pump station had to be built to provide water during construction. Rather than replicate the existing pump station, Brown & Caldwell engineers suggested a design that improves the intake, reduces construction requirements, and requires less than half the horsepower to achieve the required flows. The design, using innovative pump cans and optimal pumps for the job, saved nearly $1.5 million in construction costs, reduced horsepower by 60% and cut energy use by 25%. Instead of four 300 to 500 horsepower pumps in the original station, the design called for five 100 horsepower variable speed pumps. Some city officials doubted that the smaller pumps could meet target flows, even after a pump curve analysis validated the design. The operators supported the approach, however, and it was confirmed by a quarter-scale 3-D model by an independent lab. When the station was activated in 2009 it exceeded the 30 mgd target.

CH2M HILL (Denver, CO; www.ch2m.com) for leading a 10 year program to plan, design, and oversee construction of the major features of the Albuquerque Water Resources Management Strategy program. The program is aimed at diverting, treating, and using the city's 48,200 acre-feet per year allocation of San Juan-Chama water from the Rio Grande. The project began with CH2M HILL planners and treatment process specialists assisting Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority in evaluating more than 20 treatment process alternatives to select the most appropriate and cost-effective technologies for the plant. The new San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Treatment Plant is the centerpiece of a 15-year transition to a renewable surface water supply. The 92-million-gallon-per-day, state-of-the-art water treatment plant is Albuquerque's first facility for treating surface water and the largest surface water treatment facility in New Mexico. The plant uses innovative treatment systems for the removal of highly variable sediment loading and has two disinfection barriers (ozonation and chlorination). Water is treated using enhanced coagulation and ozone/biofiltration technology for disinfection and taste and odor control. The facility is fully self-contained, recycling all generated waste streams. By diverting and treating surface water rather than groundwater, the plant provides a sustainable water supply. This facility replaces current groundwater pumping, minimizing groundwater mining and allowing the city to meet EPA's arsenic regulation.

American Water (Voorhees, NJ; www.amwater.com) for developing a sustainable water treatment solution for a New York City luxury condominium. In New York City, improving water efficiency while responding to ever-increasing demand is a critical issue identified by Mayor Bloomberg in the PlaNYC Progress Report. Developed by the Albanese Organization and designed by architect Rafael Pelli, the Visionaire luxury high-rise condominium epitomizes this sustainable focus in an urban setting through an advanced water treatment system that was designed, built, and operated by Applied Water Management, Inc., a subsidiary of American Water. The wastewater recycling facility offsets the building's 40,000 gallons of water per day (GPD) demand through a combination of the 25,000 GPD capacity generated by the treatment system with potable water and collected storm water. Wastewater entering the system is subject to a rigorous cleansing process involving physical and biological processes to remove pollutants from the waste stream. Treated water goes to the system's cooling tower and is also used for maintenance and flush water. Rooftop gardens collect and filter up to 5,000 GPD of rainwater while reducing stormwater runoff.

Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc. (DBS&A; Albuquerque, NM; www.dbstephens.com) for assisting the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority in achieving a sustainable water supply through the implementation of an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project. DBS&A designed and implemented the Bear Canyon Recharge Demonstration Project to recharge Albuquerque's San Juan-Chama water. Because ASR had never been permitted in New Mexico, strong technical evidence was required to demonstrate to regulators that the recharged water would reach the aquifer. DBS&A's state-of-the-art monitoring program successfully tracked recharged water along its entire flow path from land surface, through approximately 500 feet of vadose zone, to the regional aquifer. According to DBS&A, the project was successful in demonstrating recharge via an in-stream infiltration system, showing that the aquifer could be used to store surface water, and in establishing the right to recover the recharged water. DBS&A is now implementing the water authority's Large-Scale Recharge Project to establish a long-term drought reserve. The project includes 17 acres of infiltration basins and one deep injection well (total depth of 1,200 feet) that's designed to recharge approximately 25,000 acre-feet of treated surface water every year.