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Water Authority Wins Four Awards for Outstanding Projects

The American Public Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers recently presented the San Diego County Water Authority with four awards for construction projects that exemplified outstanding skill, dedication and collaboration from staff in many departments. All of the projects were underway or completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and project teams navigated shutdowns, adapted to health and safety restrictions, and overcame many other uncertainties – in addition to typical challenges encountered during construction projects.

An employee looks into a section of pipeline. One of the projects receiving an award.

Water Authority Wins Four Awards for Outstanding Projects

The American Public Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers recently presented the San Diego County Water Authority with four awards for construction projects that exemplified outstanding skill, dedication and collaboration from staff in many departments. All of the projects were underway or completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and project teams navigated shutdowns, adapted to health and safety restrictions, and overcame many other uncertainties – in addition to typical challenges encountered during construction projects.

1) APWA Project of the Year: Northern First Aqueduct Structures and Lining Rehabilitation

With extensive coordination between the Water Authority’s Asset Management, Operations, Maintenance, Right of Way, Water Resources, Engineering and Public Affairs teams, the First Aqueduct rehabilitation project was completed in early 2021. Significant work had not been performed on the First Aqueduct since the completion of Pipeline 1 in 1947 and Pipeline 2 in 1954. The Operations and Maintenance Teams worked closely with multiple member agencies to ensure no impacts to water deliveries over the extended shutdowns required to reline both Pipelines. These extended shutdowns allowed the Asset Management team to inspect 27 miles of pipeline along the aqueduct using innovative technologies – the first time this had been done in nearly 75 years.

“Since the project included more than 35 work sites spread out over 15 miles, many in rural areas of the county, we collaborated closely between different departments and member agencies to ensure that water service was not disrupted,” said Emma Ward-McNally, Water Authority engineer.

2) APWA Honor Award: Vallecitos 11/Vista Irrigation 12 Flow Control Facility

This new facility replaced the existing Vallecitos 2/Vista Irrigation 1 facility that was built in 1954. The Water Authority’s Operations and Maintenance team worked closely with the Engineering team to develop a construction sequence to build the new facility while maintaining water service to member agencies.

“A meticulous level of detail in the design process allowed for the project to be completed with minimal changes during construction,” said Jim Zhou, Water Authority senior engineer.

3) APWA Honor Award: San Diego 28 Flow Control Facility

The new flow control facility replaced the San Diego 12 flow control facility. The Water Authority’s Right of Way team worked closely with the City of San Diego to acquire property rights for the facility. During construction, electrical and rotating technicians from Operations and Maintenance provided support to ensure that the facility was constructed correctly and that electrical relay protection was coordinated when connecting to San Diego Gas & Electric.

“The new facility repurposed an existing building at the site, but it was forward-looking – the project included the installation of a second pipe train for a future inline hydroelectric turbine,” said Aaron Trimm, Water Authority senior engineer.

4) ASCE Award of Excellence: Pipeline 5 Emergency Repair

After nearby Pipeline 4 was repaired in late 2019, the Asset Management team inspected Pipeline 5 in early 2020, and found it needed repairs as well. Multiple Water Authority departments and teams collaborated to launch the emergency repairs on Pipeline 5, despite the uncertainty of the growing pandemic. The Engineering Contracts group executed five contracts and task authorizations for design, construction and inspection within a few weeks to make the project happen, and the work was completed in April 2020.

“The project was a true team effort that required collaboration from multiple departments to ensure that the emergency repair could be completed even as the region was shutting down due to the pandemic,” said Colin Kemper, Water Authority senior engineer.

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo landscape design workshops

OMWD’s Recycled Water Treatment Project Named Project of the Year

Encinitas, Calif. — Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Ultraviolet Disinfection System Project was recognized today as a 2021 Project of the Year by American Public Works Association’s San Diego and Imperial County Chapter at its virtual awards event.

The UV project replaced an outdated system at OMWD’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility in order to continue serving high-quality recycled water. 4S WRF treats and disinfects wastewater for use as tertiary treated recycled water throughout 4S Ranch and the southeastern portion of OMWD’s service area. It can produce up to two million gallons of this alternative water supply for irrigation at schools, parks, golf courses, streetscapes, and homeowner association common areas.

Major Relining Project Honored by the American Public Works Association

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Public Works Association recently recognized a San Diego County Water Authority pipeline relining project for its excellence as a public works project. The award commends the successful partnership between Water Authority staff, the contractor and local agencies working together to complete this critical repair to maintain the reliability of the regional water supply.

The local chapter of the American Public Works Association honored the Pipeline 5 relining project for the successful collaboration between the Water Authority, contractor, local agencies and nearby communities. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

Major Relining Project Honored by the American Public Works Association

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Public Works Association recently recognized a San Diego County Water Authority pipeline relining project for its excellence as a public works project. The award commends the successful partnership between Water Authority staff, the contractor and local agencies working together to complete this critical repair to maintain the reliability of the regional water supply.

Relining project covers 12,300 feet

Pipeline 5 was relined from the point of delivery with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to Sage Road in the Fallbrook and Rainbow communities in north San Diego County. The $24.7 million project was completed in July 2019 and relined approximately 12,300 feet of Pipeline 5, a 96-inch large-diameter regional pipeline.

30-year pipeline relining program rehabilitates aging pipes

Relining is a cost-effective method to repair pipelines and extend their service life with less impacts to the community and environment than if a traditional pipe replacement is performed. The relining process avoids digging up miles of pipeline, which would take significantly more time and resources, as well as impact associated streets and driveways for a long period of time.

“The Water Authority’s asset management program used an acoustic fiber monitoring system to help perform evaluations of the pipeline and prioritize this portion for rehabilitation,” said Jerry Reed, director of engineering at the Water Authority. “Our staff collaborated with stakeholders in Fallbrook, San Marcos and Rainbow, including staff at our member agencies and nearby residents to ensure project success.”

The project work areas were surrounded by residential homes and farms, heavily traveled public streets and a local retirement community.

Close coordination with multiple agencies ensured there were no impacts to water deliveries. Open communications with local residents regarding project schedule ensured no incidents occurred with local traffic.

Proactive asset management program rehabilitates crucial water infrastructure

The relining project was part of the Water Authority’s proactive and innovative asset management program to rehabilitate and reline pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe within the Water Authority’s conveyance system to ensure continued supply reliability.

The local APWA chapter chose the project based on criteria that included superb planning, efficient design and construction management techniques to complete the project on schedule, within a cost-effective budget and adherence to regulatory requirements. It was also judged on the degree it enhanced a public service or facility, the quality of community relations or actions to minimize public impacts, safety precautions taken to protect lives and property, environmental impact mitigation measures and other accomplishments under adverse conditions.

Olivenhain Recycled Water Expansion Project Named APWA Project of the Year

Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Recycled Water Pipeline Extension 153A was recognized today as a 2020 Project of the Year by the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association at its virtual awards event.

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo landscape design workshops

Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Recycled Water Expansion Project Named Project of the Year

Encinitas, Calif.—Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Recycled Water Pipeline Extension 153A was recognized today as a 2020 Project of the Year by the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association at its virtual awards event.

Water Authority Maintenance Pro Scores Three-Peat in National Competition

San Diego County Water Authority maintenance professional Bobby Bond Jr. made it a three-peat, representing San Diego at the 2019 American Public Works Association’s National ROADEO Skills Competition in Seattle, Washington. Bond placed 13th among all 70 competitors nationwide. He secured the right to represent the San Diego region as the Master Skills Operator Champion by winning first place out of 20 competitors.