3 award-winning water construction projects

The Water Environment Federation awarded three U.S. water projects for their innovative approach and overall excellence, according to a release from the Alexandria, Virginia-based technical and educational nonprofit. Every year, the organization recognizes outstanding efforts in the water sector.

While the country’s water systems are aging and underfunded, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, a range of water, wastewater, stormwater and related projects are set to get a boost from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in coming years.

The IIJA allocates $55 billion over five years to the Environmental Protection Agency to improve drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, including $15 billion to replace lead service lines. There’s also $3 billion for dams and hydropower, and another $17 billion for port infrastructure and waterways.

The White House hopes the funds will improve infrastructure resilience and efficiency, but that money is just starting to trickle to states. In the meantime, here are WEF’s Project Excellence Award winners for 2022:

Water renewal utility plan for Boise, Idaho

Boise created 10- and 20-year plans for its water infrastructure.

Courtesy of City of Boise


Project team: City of Boise, Idaho Water Renewal Services and Walnut Creek, California-based engineering consulting firm Brown and Caldwell

Boise’s Water Renewal Services set a strategic direction for the next two decades for its services, which comprises five facilities and approximately $3 billion in assets. Together, the city and the contractor created a plan that integrated thousands of pieces of public input, technical evaluations and analyses in order to align utility activities with community expectations. It was completed in 2020.

Hampton Roads Sanitation District Providence Road offline storage facility and Woodstock Park improvements

Project team: Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Fairfax, Virginia-based environmental consultant Hazen and Sawyer and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Crowder Construction

HRSD and Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation partnered to build a partially buried, 5.2-million-gallon wastewater storage and pumping facility in Woodstock Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia for $31 million. What makes the project unique is its new integrated skate park, as well as innovative rainwater collection and reuse, odor control, automated tank cleaning capabilities and educational amenities.

WSSC Water’s Seneca water resource recovery facility

View from above of vast vats of brown liquid.

Seneca Water Resource Recovery Facility is a demonstration project that uses advanced aeration control and other operational changes to clean wastewater and help protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Courtesy of Brown and Caldwell


Project team: Laurel, Maryland-based WSSC Water and Brown and Caldwell

New science-based optimization approaches at WSSC’s Seneca water resource recovery facilities slashed energy and chemical costs by about $500,000 each year, which reduced its carbon footprint and lowered costs for customers. In light of the project’s success, plans are underway to implement the methods at WSSC Water’s six other recovery facilities.

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