SAN DIEGO, CALIF. — Atkins was selected for a $3.8 million contract to help protect groundwater quality in Yucca Valley, Calif., by designing a new wastewater collection system for the Hi-Desert Water District (HDWD). This project is the first of three phases to convert existing private septic systems to a public sewer system. During Phase I of the project, about 5,000 homes will be converted with the construction of approximately 77 miles of main line sewer pipe, 1,200 manholes, and 3 pump stations.

HDWD provides drinking water service for the Town of Yucca Valley and portions of unincorporated San Bernardino County. Septic systems are currently used within the District’s entire service area for wastewater disposal. In 2007, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a resolution identifying the Town of Yucca Valley as a top priority for eliminating septic systems. The community is under a state order to remove its septic systems by 2016.

The Yucca Valley community has recognized the need for a more effective wastewater system for decades, and this project will help deliver a cost-effective solution to the community’s water challenges.

The Atkins team previously worked on the highly successful Wastewater System Expansion Program in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., which is located on the California-Arizona state line, southeast of Las Vegas. The Lake Havasu City project won “Project of the Year” Awards from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Arizona Chapter and the Arizona Water Association (AWA).

“Our team will draw from many years of work with the wastewater system expansion in Lake Havasu to provide the most economical, functional, and reliable system design possible to meet the Hi-Desert Water District’s goals,” said Atkins project manager Carmen Kasner, P.E.

“Atkins was the unanimous choice of the interview panelists,” noted HDWD General Manager Ed Muzik. “They were rated first in project staff and team qualifications, project approach, and project implementation [and] they presented a comprehensive project approach, which included a communication plan and a thorough discussion of roadway rehabilitation.”