Los Angles — AECOM announced that its Lawton Valley and Station No. 1 water treatment plants (WTPs) were awarded the Design-Build Institute of America’s (DBIA’s) 2015 National Award of Excellence in the Water and Wastewater category at the recent Design-Build Conference and Expo Awards Dinner.

AECOM provided design-build services for the projects as part of the AECOM and C.H. Nickerson joint venture, which focused on the replacement of an aging Lawton Valley WTP located in Portsmouth, R.I., and the upgrade of the 25-year-old Station No. 1 WTP located in Newport, R.I. Designed to adhere to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s drinking water regulations and to meet water treatment plant capacity, the upgraded plants produce 7 and 9 million gallons per day of water, respectively. 

The WTPs included a new rapid mix, a coagulation chamber, a retrofit of the existing sludge blanket clarifier tanks with a new high-rate dissolved air flotation system, new chemical feed equipment, laboratory improvements and post-filter absorbers using granular activated carbon that can be used seasonally to reduce regulated total trihalomethanes. The processes and chemicals at the two WTPs were mirrored to allow the city to interchange operators as needed between the two WTPs. 

“We are proud that AECOM was able to be part of this great team, achieving cost, schedule and quality goals while applying unique applications of design-build best practices,” said AECOM’s David Herer, vice president and principal-in-charge, water. “Working as a joint-venture, we found that the key to this project was fostering a good relationship between all parties, which was established through clearly communicating the project schedule to regulatory stakeholders, obtaining early buy-in from the City of Newport and the Rhode Island Department of Health, and ensuring constant feedback was considered during the design so that the proposed solutions matched the proposed cost.”

Recognized for exemplary collaboration and integration in design-build project delivery, the DBIA award-winning projects were evaluated by a distinguished panel of industry experts. This year, 26 projects in 10 categories were awarded National Awards of Merit, with one project in each of the 10 categories then considered for best-in-category as a National Award of Excellence winner. The 2015 selected projects showcase design-build best practices, in addition to achieving budget and schedule goals and exceeding owner expectations.