Project Merit: Water/Wastewater

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A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. (Rockville, MD) for its work on the conversion of a municipal parking lot into a water treatment project for the town of Ashland, Virginia. A. Morton Thomas provided surveying, civil engineering, and design services, including stormwater management analysis, for a new lot that eliminates runoff from 90th percentile storms and reduces the previous impervious surface area by 40%. The lot features permeable pavement and bioretention capability to handle the stormwater. The permeable pavement lot sits atop 18 inches of open-graded stone allowing water to be detained. The bioretention facility used native vegetation and specially designed soils to filter excess runoff providing additional water treatment. Filterra BioPave supplied the permeable interlocking concrete pavers, bioretention filter media, and associated plant materials.

CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for the design, construction, and operation of the Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility in Pima County, Arizona. To comply with new regulatory requirements set by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD) needed to reduce total nitrogen concentrations in the effluent it discharged into the Santa Cruz River. The county awarded a design-build-operate (DBO) contract to CH2M HILL for $164 million, choosing this delivery method to secure substantial benefits for its customers including timely, efficient, and cost-effective scheduling, optimal risk allocation, competitive design selection, clear assignment of performance responsibilities to a single contracting entity, long-term project operations and maintenance efficiencies, and cost savings beyond those anticipated using the traditional delivery methods. Through the project, the 32 million gallon per day (mgd) Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility has addressed its discharge issues, transferring solids from the facility to the Tres Rios Water Reclamation Facility via the new sanitary sewer interconnect. CH2M HILL's safety performance on the project has been excellent, with over 825,000 hours delivered with only a single recordable incident.

Environmental Managment and Planning Solutions Inc. (EMPSi; San Francisco, CA) for its work on the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System in northern New Mexico. Under a $4.3 million contract with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, EMPSi is providing resource surveying, environmental permitting, and NEPA compliance support for the water system, which will provide clean, reliable drinking water to the Pueblos of Namb¨¦, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque. The regional water system consists of surface-water diversion facilities on the Rio Grande, water treatment facilities, long- and short-term storage, including tanks and aquifer storage and recovery wells, and over 160 miles of transmission and distribution pipes. The water system is the result of the Aamodt settlement agreement, which resolved the nation's longest running Indian water rights case. In 2013, EMPSi addressed a number of unique challenges, including fulfilling all milestones on an aggressive timeline to ensure the water system is functional within three years; coordinating with five sovereign nations, each with their own set of traditions, laws, and regulations, in addition to the state of New Mexico and Santa Fe County; implementing a dynamic and encompassing outreach program to address the cultural, environmental, and sociopolitical concerns unique to each Pueblo; and developing a compliance process to provide flexibility for implementation and unexpected events on the landscapes, such as discovering of archeological sites. The Bureau of Reclamation has provided EMPSi with an "exceptional" rating for quality of product and service, the bureau's highest ranking.

J. M. Waller Associates, Inc. (Fairfax, VA) for its management of the stormwater improvement project at the Army Reserve facility in Duluth, Minnesota. J. M. Waller applied its stormwater mitigation expertise to analyze, plan, program, and implement an approach to protect Lake Superior. The company's scientists conducted site assessments to analyze, collaborate, and develop a construction design that efficiently addressed stormwater runoff. Maintenance activities at the facility had created a high-risk situation with significant potential for oil contaminated stormwater runoff reaching the surface water. J. M. Waller solved this issue by adding rain gardens to handle the volume of water from the roof downspouts, mitigating the muddy conditions. The installation of new drain lines and more catch basins and re-sloping the pavement mitigated the standing water. New features, including infiltration trenches along the borders of the property, increased infiltration and added a spill migration barrier. The existing retention/infiltration pond was enlarged to accommodate additional paved surface in the Military Equipment Parking (MEP) facility. A new retention/infiltration pond to the south was added to ensure that additional MEP sheet flow was collected and prevented from directly entering the harbor.