DENVER — CH2M HILL has announced that the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority’s San Juan-Chama drinking water treatment plant won the grand prize for design, and the City of Calgary’s Pine Creek wastewater treatment facility earned a design honor award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE). The winners were recognized April 28 at the AAEE 2010 Excellence in Environmental Engineering Awards luncheon in Washington, D.C.

The new San Juan-Chama drinking water treatment plant is the centerpiece for the Water Utility Authority’s 15-year transition to a renewable surface water supply. 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.

CH2M HILL’s design and construction management team developed the facility to be 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. At full capacity, this facility produces up to 90 percent of the Water Utility Authority’s annual supply. The Water Authority provides water supply to nearly one-quarter of the state’s population.

CH2M HILL, together with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, also recently won the American Council of Engineering Companies New Mexico (ACEC NM) Grand Conceptor Award and an Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) 2009 Business Achievement Award for leading the Albuquerque Water Resources Management Strategy program.

The firm was presented with the ACEC NM award at the Engineering Excellence Award Gala April 16 in Albuquerque, N.M. and the EBJ Project Merit Award in the water/wastewater category at the Business Achievement Awards banquet March 3 in San Diego.

Designed and constructed by CH2M HILL, the City of Calgary’s Pine Creek wastewater treatment facility incorporates advanced technology to provide the highest level of treated effluent quality among all major cities in western Canada.

The Pine Creek project has been planned designed and implemented using an integrated approach to sustainability considering aesthetics, environmental design, economic viability, and the diverse interests of multiple stakeholders. The result is an innovative facility that combines advanced technology with technical expertise to protect the health of Calgarians and the environment — today and into the future, CH2M HILL said.

The plant’s initial capacity of 100 ML/d will serve a population of 250,000 but must allow for expansion to an ultimate capacity of 700 ML/d and a service population of 1.75 million. The level of treatment required is extremely high, exceeding regulatory requirements.

The treatment process for the Pine Creek plant includes biological nutrient removal, tertiary filtration using filter disk technology, and ultra-violet light disinfection. Treated effluent is discharged to the Bow River via diffusers constructed below the riverbed. Portions of the treated effluent are reused within the plant and will also be used to irrigate the nearby golf course and city tree nursery. This will help the city to achieve its long-term water efficiency goal to reduce the use of potable water for non-potable needs, CH2M HILL said.

One of the unique features of the project will be a future onsite Pine Creek Research Centre, a collaborative effort between the city and the University of Calgary. It will be used for research, operator training, and new prototype testing.

Through its annual Excellence in Environmental Engineering competition, AAEE recognizes and promotes quality environmental engineering by selecting projects that demonstrate a comprehensive, integrated approach that considers all environmental media; reflect quality as evidenced by the degree of user satisfaction and proven performance; showcase originality and innovation; address complex environmental problems and situations; and contribute to social and economic advancement.

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