Access Water Client Newsletter: September 2016

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President’s Message

Photo By: Ashley Waldron

This time of year is always busy for the water industry and CH2M, with several major conferences and events occurring around the world. I enjoy making it to as many of these events as I can to learn more about the exciting opportunities and projects our clients have in the works, from addressing aging water and wastewater infrastructure to identifying solutions to make cities more resilient and so much more.

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Singapore International Water Week, held in Singapore. This event provides an important venue for thought leadership and idea exchange on the integration of water and the development of more sustainable cities now and in the future. For more than 20 years, CH2M and Singapore’s national water agency PUB have worked together on numerous water infrastructure projects, so it was a pleasure to catch up with our clients in Singapore. I was invited to give a keynote address on effective water management trends in the industrial water market, which led to many fascinating conversations on how to keep pace with the growing industrial water market. CH2Mers also recently attended the Stockholm World Water Week in Sweden, where participants exchanged solutions and ideas on how to provide greater access to clean water and sanitation to all. At last year’s event, CH2M was proud to receive the Stockholm Industry Water Award for our leadership in water reuse and technologies that are making a real difference in delivering clean water to communities around the world.

Next on the calendar is WEFTEC–one of the biggest North American water quality events of the year, taking place September 24-28. Water professionals will meet up in New Orleans, Louisiana, for this annual event, hosted by the Water Environment Federation. CH2M is looking forward to participating in all that WEFTEC offers. I encourage you to check out CH2M’s list of presentations and technical workshops. Our employees are excited to share the case studies and projects they have been working on with our clients. We hope that you will be able to attend and connect with many of our staff there.

Best Regards,




Peter Nicol, CH2M Global Water Business Group President

Our Industry

Value of Water hosts Imagine a Day Without Water

On September 15, the Value of Water Coalition hosted its second annual Imagine a Day Without Water—a national day of education and action tidww2016_logohighdef2o raise awareness about how water is essential, invaluable and needs investment. Together, the Coalition called American leaders to prioritize investment in the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure to protect jobs, businesses and families, so no individual in America would ever have to imagine living a day without water.

As a founding member and continued supporter of the coalition, CH2M proudly joined our partners in the Value of Water Coalition, as well as hundreds of water agencies, business, elected officials, schools and community organizations from across the country for Imagine a Day Without Water.

The problems our drinking water and wastewater systems face are multi-faceted. Each community faces distinct challenges and requires locally-crafted solutions to solve their biggest water problems. Drought, flooding, infrastructure failure, sewer overflows, poor water quality and climate change are stressing our water and wastewater systems. In some communities, families and businesses have experienced the impossible struggle of a day without water.

Frequently, public attention on infrastructure typically focuses on the things we see every day, like roads, bridges and tunnels. Yet the hidden infrastructure that reliably brings clean water to homes and businesses, and takes it away after it has been used, is actually more complex than our highway system – National Geographic estimates that the country’s 1.2 million miles of water mains translates to 26 miles of pipes for every mile of interstate highway. And, while the interstate system was built in the late 20th century, many of the water systems that the country’s biggest cities rely on were built in the 1800s or early 1900s.

Those systems are showing the effects of a century, or more, of running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. A water main breaks somewhere in America every two minutes. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave a grade of “D” to U.S. drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Without further investments, these systems will experience more frequent failures and disruptions as they try to keep up with the needs of both the modern metropolises and rural and agricultural areas they serve. Raising awareness on Imagine a Day Without Water is helping to bring about the necessary change and call attention to this growing issue.

Singapore’s national water agency PUB recognized in Top 50 Engineering achievements

Singapore’s national society of engineers—the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES)—recognized the top 50 engineering achievements to have positively impacted Singapore since its independence in 1965, in terms of economic, infrastructural or societal contributions. CH2M is pleased to share that two of the major water projects the firm worked on with PUB made the list of achievements, including the award-winning Phase 1 Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS), which CH2M served as the designer and program manager; and the Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) project at Kallang River@Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, which saw the transformation of a concrete, utilitarian canal into a lush, meandering waterway that is integrated seamlessly into the park, creating new community spaces for social interaction.

Comprising 34 public sector projects and 16 private sector projects, the top 50 winners represented various industry sectors, including aerospace, defence and security, and info communications. IES shortlisted 113 projects for public voting, and the 50 projects with the highest number of votes made the Top 50 Engineering Feats list and were celebrated at the IES Golden Jubilee Dinner graced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in July.

Hats Off To. . .

Water Environment Federation and others recognize 2016 Utility of the Future winners

Congratulations to Alexandria Renew (AlexRenew), VCS Denmark, Pima County and the City of Fayetteville on being named a 2016 Utility of the Future (UTOF).

The UTOF Today Recognition Program celebrates the progress and performance of U.S. and international wastewater utilities, while supporting the widespread adoption of an innovative business model. The program, launched earlier this year by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and WateReuse, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, guides utilities of all sizes toward smarter, more efficient operations and assists with a progression to full resource recovery with enhanced productivity, sustainability and resiliency—promoting activities like:

  • water reuse,
  • watershed stewardship,
  • beneficial biosolids reuse,
  • community engagement,
  • energy efficiency,
  • generation and recovery, and
  • recovery of nutrients and other materials.

Because many utilities, like AlexRenew, VCS, Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department and Fayetteville, have successfully implemented new and creative programs to address technical and community challenges associated with local wastewater treatment, this recognition celebrates these advancements and experiences; encourages adoption of UTOF principles as the culture of the future; and enables participants across a broad range of capacities and capabilities to collaborate, learn and continue to evolve as a water unified sector. Program honorees will be recognized during an awards ceremony at WEFTEC® 2016.

Thames Water Lee Tunnel earns 2016 Global Best Project Award

Thames Water’s Lee Tunnel has been named one of the Best Global Project Award winners in the water/wastewater category by Engineering News-Record (ENR). ENR’s annual competition, now in its fourth year, highlights teamwork and overcoming challenges associated with designing and building internationally. London’s Lee Tunnel is one of 23 projects chosen from 15 different countries and five continents as an outstanding example of the risk and reward that comes from outstanding safety performance, innovation, collaboration among global project teams, as well as design and construction quality.

Part of the £5 billion London Thames Tideway Tunnel programme, the 6.9 kilometer-long, 7.2m internal diameter, deep sewer tunnel has driven major industry leading innovations in design and construction. CH2M has been serving as program manager of this historic public works initiative since 2008. The London Thames Tideway Tunnel Programme, which involves building not only the Lee Tunnel, but also the 32 kilometer-long Thames Tideway Tunnel, will reduce the city’s sewage overflows and enable the United Kingdom to meet European environmental standards, while ensuring a cleaner, healthier River Thames.

The deepest tunnel ever built in the British capital, the Lee Tunnel is the first phase of the biggest upgrade to London’s sewerage system since Victorian times and is a key part of Thames Water’s bid to clean up the iconic River Thames. The four-mile tunnel running beneath the London Borough of Newham, from Abbey Mills Pumping Station to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, reduces sewage discharges to the River Thames by 40%, and is the first of two tunnels needed to tackle the 39 million cubic meters of untreated sewage discharged to the River Thames in a typical year from London’s overstretched Victorian sewers, which fill to capacity after rainfall.

All of the ENR winning projects will be recognized on October 11, at the ENR Global Best Projects Awards Dinner in New York City, during the ENR Global Construction Summit.

Maldonado, Pallansch & Jeyanayagam named 2016 WEF Fellows

Sam_JeyanayagamThe Board of Trustees of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) selected our clients, Liliana Maldonado, DC Water & Sewer Authority, of Washington, D.C., and Karen Pallansch, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, of Alexandria, Va. as well as CH2M Vice President and Senior Technologist Dr. Samuel Jeyanayagam as 2016 WEF Fellows. The WEF Fellows Program recognizes the professional achievement, stature and contributions of WEF members to the preservation and enhancement of the global water environment.

Sam has been a member of WEF for more than 30 years and is very active in a variety of leadership roles. He served a 3-year term as Chair of the largest WEF committee, the Municipal Resource Recovery Design Committee, and was responsible for guiding the development of programs and resources for the advancement of best design practices. Sam has co-authored more than 26 WEF publications and written and presented more than 180 papers. Additionally, as Task Force Chair, he led a group of industry leaders in the development of the recent Nutrient Roadmap. Sam also serves on the editorial board of the Water Environment Research and Water Environment & Technology journals.

Sam will be honored at the Awards and Presidential Celebration ceremony during WEFTEC.

Tucson, Arizona’s Potable Water Reuse Pilot wins Arizona Project of the Year Award

WateReuse Arizona selected Tucson, Arizona’s Potable Water Reuse Pilot as its 2016 Project of the Year recipient. The award, which was presented at BLOG_Schimmoller_Projectthe Arizona Water Reuse 2016 Symposium in Flagstaff in July, recognizes outstanding contributions to the water reuse industry within the state of Arizona.

The six-month pilot test was conducted by CH2M under a tailored collaboration project between Tucson Water and the University of Arizona for the WateReuse Research Foundation (WRRF-13-09). The project was led by Larry Schimmoller, CH2M’s Global Technology Leader for Water Reuse, along with Jeff Biggs from Tucson Water and Dr. Shane Snyder from the University of Arizona.

The scheme consisted of multiple barriers to treat secondary effluent for the purpose of potable reuse including soil aquifer treatment (SAT) using Tucson Water’s existing Sweetwater Recharge Basins, side-stream nanofiltration (NF), ozone (O3) and granular activated carbon filtration in both adsorption and biological modes (GAC/BAC). The pilot demonstrated excellent finished water quality, the benefits of multiple treatment barriers in reducing organics and pathogens, as well as the superiority of side-stream nanofiltration treatment as a sustainable and cost effective alternative to reverse osmosis (RO) treatment.

Tacoma Flood Protection Project wins 2016 Public Works Project of the Year Award

Tacoma_1The American Public Works Association (APWA) chose the Tacoma Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Flood Protection Project for one of its 2016 Public Works Project of the Year Awards in the Disaster/Emergency Preparedness category. Presented in August at the APWA Annual Awards Recognition Ceremony held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the award recognizes excellence in the management and administration of public works projects.

Located on the west bank of the Puyallup River in the Tacoma tideflats floodplain, the City of Tacoma’s Central Wastewater Treatment Plant (CTP) is protected by a series of levees. Due to increasing risk of overtopping of the levee system, the CTP was at risk from flooding and required sandbagging to keep the plant in operation during severe wet weather conditions. To mitigate this risk, CH2M worked with the City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Department to provide flood protection by designing a floodwall with automatic gates at vehicle entrances and an emergency pump station inside the CTP. The floodwall is 2,500 feet in length and effectively provides groundwater cutoff by extending up to 25 feet below ground and up to 8 feet above ground, providing flood protection to the currently unprotected perimeter of the CTP.

Serving as Primary Consultant for the project, the CH2M design team, in a resourceful collaboration with the Environmental Services Department and the primary contractor, and with the support of Tacoma mayor Marilyn Strickland and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, brought the project to fruition within budget and two months ahead of schedule.

Inland Brine Wetlands Innovation Project selected as Water & Wastes Digest’s Top Project of 2016

Water & Wastes Digest (WWD) has selected the Inland Brine Wetlands Innovation Project as the 2016 Top Project in the United States, against significant competition. The award ceremony will be held at WEFTEC, and the project will be showcased in WWD’s December issue.

This innovative pilot project, located at the Bullard Water Campus in Goodyear, Arizona, is demonstrating how brine concentrate by-product of reverse osmosis (RO) can be treated using natural processes for safe release back into the environment. CH2M designed the pilot-scale wetlands facility for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in a joint effort with the City of Goodyear and the City of Phoenix. The pilot showed that it is feasible to reduce arsenic, selenium and nitrate -nitrogen contaminants in RO concentrate using wetlands.

Cool Projects

Davis-Woodland Water Supply celebrates completion

The Davis-Woodland Water Supply Project recently celebrated its official commissioning, holding a special ribbon cutting ceremony this summer. TheWoodlandDavis_cropped new surface water treatment plant, which CH2M was selected to design, build and operate (DBO) in 2013, delivers treated water taken from the Sacramento River to the cities of Woodland and Davis, as well as the University of California-Davis.

The plant, completed in May 2016, is addressing long-term drought conditions and solving water supply challenges for these two cities, which previously relied on dwindling groundwater wells. The Davis-Woodland Water Supply Project supplies 30 million gallons of water per day to Woodland and Davis, providing a needed water resource to mitigate server drought conditions and relieve strains on groundwater supplies.

CH2M worked with the Agency and its project advisors West Yost Associates throughout the design and construction phases to develop a true design-build partnership and balanced risk approach to achieve significant capital savings and cost certainty. As part of the DBO contract, CH2M is providing sustainable operations and managing regulatory and contractual compliance for the plant under a $5 million/year operations contract, with a 15-year term and a 5-year renewal option. Leveraging best practices from its 35-year history in operating and managing water and wastewater facilities, CH2M’s operations staff will deliver significant cost savings and efficiencies to the Agency.

The project was recently recognized by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) as a recipient of one of the organization’s 21st annual Design-Build Project/Team Awards, earning the National Award of Merit in the water/wastewater category. Receiving this award makes the Davis-Woodland Water Supply Project eligible for DBIA’s National Award of Excellence in the water/wastewater category, as well as an overall Award of Excellence within the areas of architectural design, engineering design, process and teaming.

“The Davis-Woodland Water Supply Project represents one of DBIA’s best design-build projects of the year, effectively demonstrating how the project team went above and beyond achieving cost, schedule and quality goals, while showcasing unique applications of design-build best practices to raise the industry’s bar even higher,” said CH2M Global Water Business Group President Peter Nicol. “We are honored to partner with the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency on delivering and operating this exceptional project that is helping ensure two California communities produce high quality water and have access to drinking water supplies year round.”

Our Community

CH2M hosts Breakthrough Miami Career Day in Miami-Dade, Florida

BreakthroughMiamiThis summer, CH2Mers in the firm’s Miami-Dade, Florida, office participated in Breakthrough Miami’s Career Day with a group of local fifth grade students to teach them about a career in engineering—focusing specifically on water engineering by taking a closer look at the water cycle and local water resources.

CH2M employees, together with representatives from the Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department, led various activities, educating students about water quality, conservation and how to design and construct a building. Students had the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, including spraying Kool-Aid® (to model contaminated water) over model farm fields, broken septic tanks and underground storage tanks to learn how contaminated runoff impacts aquifers, which serve as the primary drinking water source in South Florida; as well as testing water quality of raw groundwater samples and different types of treated water from a local water treatment plant to learn the importance of monitoring drinking water quality, making sure it’s safe for the community.

Additionally, students had the opportunity to put their architectural and design skills to the test—building landmarks, such as the Eifel Tower and Big Ben with Legos, to get an understanding of the work engineers and contractors do on a day-to-day basis.

Sharing much positive feedback with the CH2M team, students and staff at Breakthrough Miami thanked our Miami-Dade office for an amazing career day and for helping to educate and inspire local students!

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