DENVER — CH2M HILL has announced that the firm, together with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and City of Albuquerque, won an Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) 2009 Business Achievement Award for leading a 15-year program to plan, design, and oversee construction of the major features of the Albuquerque Water Resources Management Strategy program.

The firm was presented with the EBJ Project Merit Award in the water/wastewater category at the Business Achievement Awards banquet March 3 in San Diego, Calif.

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, utilizing a renewable surface water supply rather than depleting the underground aquifer. The assurance of having an intact and healthy aquifer contributes to economic growth and stability and will mean water security for Albuquerque residents for generations.

“The new San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Treatment Plant is the centerpiece for the 15-year transition to a renewable surface water supply,” said Kurt Hellermann, project manager for CH2M HILL. “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. By diverting and treating surface water rather than groundwater, the plant provides a sustainable water supply for future generations.”

The facility is fully self-contained, recycling all generated waste streams. 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. This facility replaces current groundwater pumping, minimizing groundwater mining and allowing the city to meet EPA’s arsenic regulation. In 2009, the plant delivered 7 billion gallons to customers of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority — 21 percent of the region’s total consumption.

“Today, the Water Authority is using its surface water rights to produce safe drinking water through the water treatment plant and delivering this resource to its customers,” said Mark S. Sanchez, executive director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. “The Water Authority faced many challenges, and with CH2M HILL as its trusted partner, met those challenges and exceeded all expectations in planning, permitting, design, and construction of the strategy and the water treatment plant,” he said, adding that most importantly, the successes of the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Treatment Plant project have broad implications in the Water Authority’s long-term sustainable water portfolio.

Architectural design services for the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Treatment Plant were provided by Van H. Gilbert Architect, PC. Other key consultants included AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.; EMA Inc.; Larkin Group NM, Inc.; Cooney, Watson and Associates; and Sites Southwest, LLC.

For more information about CH2M HILL or the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, please visit, or, respectively.