Access Water Client Newsletter: November 2012

President’s Message

I was pleased to participate in American Water Intelligence’s American Water Summit Nov. 14–15 in Chicago. CH2M HILL is assisting the Chicago Department of Water Management in managing the delivery of the utility’s water capital program, which addresses the water needs for one of the world’s most historically significant water systems. The program is an excellent example of innovative ways the private and public sector can partner and illustrates the summit’s theme, New Business Models for the Future.

Also during the Summit, CH2M HILL was recognized with the American Water Award for Environmental Project of the Year for the Lake City Nature Preserve and East Jesters Creek Stream Restoration, completed for Lake City and Clayton County Water Authority, Georgia. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of CH2M HILL, CCWA and Lake City, approximately 2,640 feet of channels were designed that enhanced the local aquatic habitats and reduced stream bank erosion. The restoration included creating a nature preserve on 26 acres of property adjacent to the Lake City Municipal Complex, providing a park for local residents as well enhancing the quality of water diverted upstream. The project is an excellent example of the private water sector’s environmental expertise and commitment.

On Nov. 14, another example of innovative business models was unveiled as the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange was launched at a press conference in San Francisco. The states of California, Oregon, Washington and the province of British Columbia have combined to form the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX). The partnership is being launched to create a better way to finance and facilitate development of the infrastructure needed to improve the region’s economic competitiveness, support jobs and families, and quality of life. CH2M HILL was retained to do a study of this idea that included conducting research and working with the Exchange to develop a strategic plan. Our findings are part of the basis for this announcement.

As consider infrastructure and building for our future, our thoughts are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  A number of our industry colleagues have already begun responding to the impacts of the hurricane and making sure their families are safe and that the water supply and sanitation are secure. We are thinking about those affected, and will be working hand in hand with our partners to help repair and rebuild the critical infrastructure and provide support.

Best Regards,
Bob Bailey
President, CH2M HILL Water Business Group

Hats Off To. . .

Cordell W. Samuels Elected the 2012-2013 President of the Water Environment Federation

CH2M HILL congratulates Cordell W. Samuels on his election as the 2012–2013 President of the WEF, an international organization of water quality professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Samuels is the plant superintendent for the Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in the Regional Municipality of Durham in Ontario, Canada. In that capacity, he manages one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in Ontario. Prior to his current position, Samuels worked for the City of Toronto for 22 years. Samuels has been a WEF member since 1994 and served on the Federation’s House of Delegates and several WEF committees. He has been an active member of both the Water Environment Association of Ontario and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, serving as President of the Water Environment Association of Ontario in 2005.

Dr. Glen Daigger Named International Water Association President, American Society of Civil Engineers Distinguished Member

CH2M HILL Senior Vice President and Chief Water Technology Officer Glen Daigger has made some recent significant achievements. Daigger was elected President of the International Water Association (IWA) twice, taking on a second term during the IWA Water Congress in Busan, Korea, in September. In October, Daigger, along with CH2M HILL’s Jay Witherspoon, were named WEF Fellows for their notable accomplishments in and contributions to the global water environment. Most recently, Daigger was elected a distinguished member of American Society of Civil Engineers, one of the highest honors conferred by the Society.

2012 WateReuse Awards Recognize CH2M HILL Projects Gippsland Water Factory and Empire Generating Power Plant

Two CH2M HILL projects, the Gippsland Water Factory in Victoria, Australia, and the Empire Generating Power Plant in Rensselaer, New York, earned 2012 WateReuse Awards from the WateReuse Association. The Gippsland Water Factory received the International Project of the Year Award and the Empire Generating Power Plant received the Industrial Project of the Year Award. CH2M HILL helped to design and construct both of these facilities. The WateReuse Awards honor projects and people across the United States and abroad that have made significant contributions to water reuse. The awards typically recognize projects that advance alternative sources of water supply or offer a novel approach to meeting local water needs.

“Having two of CH2M HILL’s projects recognized with WateReuse Awards is a great honor and demonstrates our leadership in and dedication to developing sustainable, innovative solutions to the world’s water issues,” comments Larry Schimmoller, CH2M HILL Water Reuse Global Technology Lead. “The fact that both of these winning projects have industrial components – whether it is the Gippsland Water Factory providing purified water to Australian Paper’s mill or the Empire Generating Power Plant utilizing high-quality effluent from the wastewater treatment plant across the river for cooling processes – illustrates how important it is to develop industrial and power projects with holistic, sustainable water management in mind so that the long-term needs of the facility can be met while protecting local freshwater resources.”

Gippsland Water Factory

The Gippsland Water Factory is an innovative water purification and recycling system in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. CH2M HILL was a member of the alliance, along with Gippsland Water, Transfield Services, and Parsons Brinkerhoff, that provided project management, design, construction and operations services of the Gippsland Water Factory.

Empire Generating Power Plant

The Empire Generating Power Plant, engineered, procured, and constructed by CH2M HILL, is an environmentally friendly power plant that uses reclaimed water for cooling/process and natural gas to fire the combined-cycle turbines to 535 megawatt base load or 635 megawatt at peaking power—representing the largest beneficial use of treatment plant effluent in New York State. As a result of the ultra-filtration, demineralization water treatment process, the facility reduces its need for fresh water by up to 4,800 gallons per minute (summer peak rate). The project also included the construction of a low noise and plume-abated cooling tower, a 28-inch diameter grey water pipeline under the Hudson River for non-contaminating effluent flow, and a submerged effluent outflow structure for the reuse of treated water. Beginning operations in 2010, the Empire Generating Power Plant is one of the nation’s cleanest and most efficient combined-cycle plants in the country.

White Cart Flood Prevention Scheme Wins Additional Accolades

On October 10, Halcrow (a CH2M HILL company) received the British Construction Industry (BCI) Environmental Award for its work on the White Cart Water Flood Prevention Scheme for the Glasgow City Council in Scotland. The BCI Awards are an established and coveted industry accolade recognizing overall excellence in the delivery of building and civil engineering infrastructure projects. The awards were presented to a crowd of around 900 of industry elite. The judging process for the prestigious BCI Awards is rigorous, with an expert panel of judges either visiting shortlisted entrants’ projects or conducting tough “dragon’s den” style interviews. The BCI Environmental Awards recognize projects that demonstrate particular contributions to environmental issues or that include environment issues as key factors in concept and/or execution.

The White Cart Water Flood Prevention Scheme protects over 1,750 residential and commercial properties in an extensive area prone to flash flooding through development of three flood storage reservoirs, 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) of flood protection walling, six surface pumping stations, and two new bridges. This built-to-last project includes the largest hydro brake flow control devices, which restrict the flow of water at times of heavy rainfall while requiring no power to operate and require little maintenance. In addition, materials use was limited by incorporating an existing glacial feature with one of the dams. The use of onsite borrow pits to provide material for the earth-filled dams reduced the number of vehicle movements associated with the project by 28,000—a significant environmental benefit during the construction stage.

This project is a great example of several agencies working together to deliver a vital community project, which is expected to prevent over $160 million (£100 million) of flood damage over the next 100 years.

This award for the White Cart Water Flood Prevention Scheme is one of many recent accolades, including Civil Engineer and Environment Quality Award Scheme’s Excellent Whole Project Award and the 2012 Waterways Renaissance Award for Flood Risk Management as well as receiving a Commendation at the Saltire Society Civil Engineering Awards in 2011.


CH2M HILL Develops Report on Value of Water to U.S. Economy

CH2M HILL has released the report, “The Changing Value of Water to the U.S. Economy and Implications from Five Industrial Sectors.” The report, which was developed for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of its initiative titled “The Importance of Water to the United States Economy,” examines the critical role water plays in industrial production and the U.S. economy, and how the value of water is changing in five industrial sectors: semiconductor manufacturing, thermal power generation, mining, chemicals, and oil and gas. The report also includes case studies on how Intel, Rio Tinto, the Dow Chemical Company, Chesapeake Energy, and Southern Company engage in water policy decisions, assess and report on water use, and are improving water process efficiency to derive the maximum value from the water they use.

“This report focused on identifying the water challenges faced by selected industrial sectors, and has showcased some of the approaches that are being taken to address them. There is every indication that with water being squeezed from both ends–climate change altering supply and population growth increasing demand–water issues will continue to increase,” says CH2M HILL’s report’s lead author Mike Matichich, who worked with Sartaz Ahmed, with additional critical support from co-authors Marek Mierzejewski, Bill Byers, and Dan Pitzler as well as Ralph Williams and Sheila Galegher, all of CH2M HILL.

Water is a critical component in all sectors of the U.S. economy and serves a range of different uses, from direct input to supporting operations. Today, with increasing demand for water resources and uncertainty about the amount and quality of supply, the competition for water resources is being felt across all sectors of society. Awareness of the ways water-related risks can disrupt business has increased, and is also garnering the attention from all interested and affected parties, from government to consumers.

Envision Charlotte Smart Water Nowsm Program Website Live with Help from CH2M HILL

CH2M HILL and Envision Charlotte have established a unique public-private initiative that is becoming a global model for environmental sustainability and measureable community results. CH2M HILL is serving as the program manager for the entire Smart Water Nowsm project, which, like its sister program for energy (Smart Energy Now), will collect and display water usage in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, and drive awareness and behavior change to reduce consumption and provide actions for the city to take to make a change in a positive direction. The program’s interactive Smart Water Nowsm Program website is now live and allows building occupants to track the city’s progress on interactive kiosks, smart phones, and online, along with existing energy information. The site provides information regarding office buildings and water usage, how owners can lower their water costs, and what steps users can take to help Envision Charlotte reach its goals.  The site will continue to evolve over time, with additional features coming online as soon as November.

“The results of Smart Water Nowsm will lower operational costs, improve sustainability, engage occupants and contribute to the overall value proposition of working and living in the city center,” said Greg Johnson, Envision Charlotte Program Director. “Together with our solution providers we are creating a model that could be, and we hope will be, leveraged by communities anywhere in the world.”

Managing the energy-water nexus to foster sustainable growth has never been more critical, and Envision Charlotte’s strategic collaboration between public and private entities is helping to transform how energy and water is consumed and managed. Additional partners on the project include Itron, Verizon, Siemens, and the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department, who support the Envision Charlotte vision and play a foundational role.

“Our world is increasingly interconnected and at CH2M HILL we believe sustainability is about identifying and solving interrelated challenges with an integrated approach,” said Brian Casey, CH2M HILL Vice President and Smart Water Nowsm Program Manager. “With our roots in the water industry and a strong commitment to supporting the communities where we live and work, we are pleased to bring our experts, thought leadership, and experience in managing the dynamic water-energy-carbon nexus to this effort to create social, economic, and environmental value. We applaud Envision Charlotte for their leadership in sustainability.”


CH2M HILL Supports National Engineers Week Foundation’s Annual Future City Competition

This fall, middle schoolers from across the country will participate in National Engineers Week Foundation’s 2012–2013 Future City Competition. With the theme, Rethink Runoff: Design Clean Solutions to Manage Stormwater Pollution, the competition is expected to attract more than 35,000 students from various middle schools in regions located across the country. The annual challenge has received national attention and acclaim for its role in encouraging middle schoolers nationwide to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through hands-on applications, Future City participants discover how engineering is both accessible and can make a difference in the world.

CH2M HILL is actively supporting Future City through mentors and sponsorship of regional competitions in Georgia, Ohio, and New York City. Brian Marengo, CH2M HILL Global Technology Leader for Watershed Services says, “Future City encourages students to take a holistic and collaborative approach to creative problem solving to address some of the most critical challenges facing our world. We are excited to be teaming with Future City to help engage students across the country in developing solutions and are excited to see their out-of-the box thinking come to fruition through their designs and city models.  Mentoring a team of bright, innovative students is an incredibly rewarding experience and we at CH2M HILL encourage our clients and partners to consider making a difference by volunteering with Future City—especially those stormwater professionals who can help increase understanding and incite enthusiasm for the profession by putting this year’s Rethink Runoff theme into context.”

Marengo joined Bentley System’s Richard Zambuni on a Future City webinar to help set the stage on the Rethink Runoff topic for students and teachers. The webinar, which was recorded and is available for viewing here, shared how engineers have been tackling this problem, the basics of low-impact development and green infrastructure for stormwater management, the drivers for implementation, and how low-impact development and green infrastructure can be effectively integrated with other city infrastructure.

Students are now off and running with their projects, and will begin by submitting a research essay describing their solutions for this year’s stormwater theme. As students analyze the most damaging effects of extreme weather, they will imagine and design new and creative ways to manage stormwater that make city landscapes act more like natural landscapes. Using SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition software, participating students will work with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a virtual Future City model incorporating their ideas. Then they will build a physical model using recycled materials which can cost no more than $100 to build.

Cool Project

City of Oxnard, California, Advanced Water Purification Facility Dedicated

The Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) is the cornerstone of the City of Oxnard’s Groundwater Recovery, Enhancement And Treatment (GREAT) program. The city developed the GREAT program to address its long-term water supply and wastewater reuse requirements. The focus of the GREAT program is to use existing water resources more efficiently.  To this end, the AWPF will provide the city with reclaimed water that can be used for landscape and agricultural irrigation, industrial process water, and groundwater recharge.

CH2M HILL was facility designer and has been involved from project conception, including providing services for pilot testing, permitting, construction, and startup. This world-class facility purifies effluent to a quality suitable for groundwater recharge (indirect potable reuse) as well as for landscape and agricultural use. The facility includes a stunning visitor’s center and three-stage demonstration wetlands intended to show how the reverse osmosis concentrate from the facility can be treated for beneficial use.

The treatment process is chloramination, pumping, 300-um straining, pressurized microfiltration (Pall Microza), reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation using peroxide and ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet effluent is decarbonated and treated with liquid lime for stabilization. The facility is designed to produce 25 million gallons per day (mgd) of purified water at build-out; initial capacity is 6.25 mgd.

The design of the AWPF shows how engineers can turn difficulties, such as water supply and wastewater disposal, into opportunities to enhance the environment and create public assets that provide higher value purposes that go beyond their original, more limited focus, for little or no additional cost.

Please check out the additional photos in this news article for a glimpse at this impressive facility and dedication day activities. Check out this article in the Ventura County Star to learn more about the recent dedication of the City of Oxnard, California’s new Advanced Water Purification Facility.

Stay tuned to Access Water Blog for innovation and insight on all things water, all year long.