Council Names O.C. Groundwater System Nation's Best

The Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System in Fountain Valley, Calif., has been named the year’s best engineering achievement in the 43rd Engineering Excellence Awards, sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

Designed by CDM, the Groundwater Replenishment System is the world’s largest facility for transforming wastewater, previously discarded into the ocean, into premium drinking water. The project was chosen from 168 projects from throughout the world for its engineering design and impact on society.

The project includes a multi-stage cleansing process that produces 70 million gallons per day of recycled water that exceeds drinking water standards. The water is added after treatment to a major underground aquifer—the district’s primary water source. The additional water source satisfies the needs of 144,000 households or about half a million residents.

Other ACEC 2009 Engineering Excellence Award Winners include:

  • Great River Energy Headquarters, Maple Grove, Minn.
    Dunham Associates, Inc.—Minneapolis, Minn.
    The new headquarters has earned a LEED Platinum Certification—the highest honor for sustainable green building construction—by incorporating nearby Arbor Lake as a geothermal heating and cooling source.

  • City of Buffalo Wastewater Treatment Facility, Buffalo, Minn.
    Bolton & Menk, Inc.—Mankato, Minn.
    The City of Buffalo, Minn.’s newly designed wastewater treatment facility eliminates hauling and disposal of wastewater biosolids by converting them into a cost-saving renewable energy source.

  • Leachate Treatment Goes “GREEN” with PHYTO, St. Louis, Mo.
    Leggette, Brashears & Graham, Inc.—St. Paul, Minn.

  • Marina Barrage and Reservoir, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
    CDM—Cambridge, Mass.

ACEC is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing nearly 5,700 independent engineering companies throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities.

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