Alvarado Water Treatment Plant Wins 2013 OCEA Award

March 21, 2013
Aerial view of the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant
Aerial view of the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant

The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant Ozone Upgrade and Expansion Project in San Diego, California, was named the winner of the 2013 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award at this year’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) gala, held on March 21 in Arlington, Virginia, at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.

Originally built and brought into service in 1951, the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant is the oldest of the three facilities responsible for supplying water to the city of San Diego. The new expansion and upgrade was intended to provide a state-of-the-art water treatment facility with an expected useful life of 75 years to meet the anticipated needs of San Diego’s growing population.

In addition to expanding plant capacity by 67 percent, the city of San Diego converted from chlorine to ozone disinfection. The incorporation of ozone enabled the city to provide not only safer water with lower levels of carcinogenic disinfection by-products but also water that is odorless and better tasting. Upgrading and expanding the existing conventional treatment processes involved new pretreatment (flocculation and sedimentation basins) and dual-media filters, as well as a new replacement clear well.

The project team of the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant includes the city of San Diego; Malcolm Pirnie, the water division of ARCADIS; CH2M HILL; and Archer Western Contractors.

Established in 1960, the OCEA Award recognizes a project that makes a significant contribution to both the civil engineering profession and society as a whole. Honoring an overall project rather than an individual, the award recognizes the contributions of many engineers. Companies whose work is on display in an OCEA-winning project cite the tremendous benefit to future client development.

In addition to Alvarado Water Treatment Plant Ozone Upgrade and Expansion Project, 2013 OCEA finalists included Brightwater Treatment Plant, located in Woodinville, Washington, and submitted by the team of CH2M HILL, of Englewood, Colorado, and Brown and Caldwell, of Walnut Creek, California; Lake Oswego Interceptor Sewer, located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and submitted by the City of Lake Oswego; My Waterway@Punggol, Singapore, located in Punggol Town, Singapore, and submitted by the Housing and Development Board of Singapore; and William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, located in Anchorage, Alaska, and submitted by HDR Alaska, Inc. Finalists received an Award of Merit trophy to evidence their outstanding work.

ASCE Presents Five Lifetime Achievement Awards

A great tradition of the OPAL gala since 1999 is the presentation of ASCE Lifetime Achievement Awards. These prestigious awards recognize and honor outstanding civil engineering leaders whose lifetime accomplishments have made significant differences in one of five categories: construction, design, education, government, and management.

The five honorees who were presented Lifetime Achievement awards are Robert E. Alger, P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, president and CEO of Cheshire, Connecticut-headquartered Lane Construction Corporation, for his lifetime achievement in construction; Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., Hon.M.ASCE, NAE, chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company LLC, founding principal and former co-chairman of Thornton Tomasetti, and founder of the Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program, for his lifetime achievement in design; Charles C. Ladd III, Sc.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, Edmund K. Turner Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Emeritus at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a consulting geotechnical engineer, for his lifetime achievement in education; Major General Merdith W.B. “Bo” Temple, P.E., M.ASCE, recently retired acting Chief of Engineers and acting commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for his lifetime achievement in government; and Michael K. Loose, P.E., M.ASCE, senior vice president and manager of the Installations and Environment Division, with the Washington, D.C.-office of the Parsons Corporation, for his lifetime achievement in management.

ASCE President Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S., D.WRE, F.ASCE, presented the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research to Sreenivas Alampalli, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, director of the Bridge Evaluation Services Bureau at the New York State Department of Transportation. The award recognizes and acknowledges leaders of the design and construction industry whose dedication and aggressive vision have provided cornerstones for improving the quality of people’s lives around the world through research in the design and construction industry.

In recognition of the development of the Hybrid-Composite Beam, a new type of structural component developed for use in highway and railroad bridges as well as marine facilities and other structures, DiLoreto bestowed the HC Bridge Company LLC with the 2013 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation. The Pankow Award was established in honor of Charles J. Pankow (1924-2004) to celebrate collaboration in innovative design, materials, or construction-related research and development transferred into practice in a sustainable manner.

The 2013 ASCE Excellence in Journalism Award was presented to Gordon Dickson, transportation beat writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, for his commitment to highlighting infrastructure issues and ability to present civil engineering concepts to the general public in an understandable way. (“Crumbling Infrastructure: Showing Their Age,” January 15, 2012, “Crumbling Infrastructure: Beginning of the end for the 7th Street bridge,” January 16, 2012, Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

For full biographical information about the OPAL winners, please see ASCE News, “Winners of OPAL Lifetime Achievement, Michel, and Pankow Awards Named”, and for a detailed description of the OCEA projects, see ASCE News, “OCEA Finalists Selected”.

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