Success Stories

Eastern Sierra Community Services District: Plant Expansion and Study

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The Problem:

The Eastern Sierra Community Services District needed to determine economical options to increase the treatment and disposal capacity to accommodate the projected growth at the Bishop Paiute Tribe. Early in the process it was determined that elevated levels of nitrogen were present in the groundwater monitoring wells downgradient of the existing evaporation/percolation ponds and effluent irrigation areas. Therefore, in addition to treatment and disposal of additional flow, the study also addressed nitrogen removal from existing flows to lessen the degradation of the groundwater.

The Solution:

We completed the preliminary design for a number of different treatment and irrigation options. Options were evaluated in several areas including: cost; reliability; performance; and preliminary environmental factors and the findings were presented to ESCSD.

The Results:

Nitrogen may be removed in the treatment process or through careful and proper irrigation, or a combination of both methods. Through discussions with staff at the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (LRWQCB) concerning this project, it was determined that they will be enforcing antidegradation water quality standards in the Owens Valley whereby the proposed new discharge must not degrade groundwater from the existing background levels of 1 to 2 mg/L total nitrogen. Historically, LRWQCB has only enforced the beneficial use standards (less than 10 mg/L total nitrogen) and not the more stringent antidegradation standards. In order to allow total nitrogen above the existing quality the LRWQCB must make findings to support allowing the higher levels. The findings that are expected to be pursued to support limited degradation of the groundwater include: technical feasibility; cost; and public benefit.


City of Bishop – Sewer Trunk Line Preliminary Engineering Report

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The Problem:

The City of Bishop, California wanted to replace the existing sewer trunk line which carries raw wastewater collected from within the City to the Plant. The intent of the replacement project is to update the aged infrastructure (portions are over 60 years old) as well as rectify existing issues including the accumulation of sediment within the pipeline due to flat slopes, accommodate upgrades at the headworks, resolve potential easement discrepancies and to address the exposed concrete encased portion of the pipeline where it presently crosses the Bishop Creek Canal.

The Solution:

We prepared a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) which will evaluate alternatives and recommend a preferred alternative.

The Results:

This report has been completed and it is expected that the Project will move to the second phase which is Environmental Documentation and Permitting. This will be followed by the third phase, Final Design; the fourth phase, Advertisement and Bidding; and then the final phase, Construction.


Genoa Lakes Golf Resort & Montaña Development

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The Problem:

The Owner wanted to develop this former 3,000 acre ranch and skeet shooting range into an upscale residential development. Because of site constraints, including steep topography, wetlands, and alluvial and riverine floodplain areas, this project required substantial communication with both the client and Douglas County, as the primary permitting agency. In addition, we were tasked with protecting and preserving adjacent farmlands. This project was further complicated by its unique location on both sides of a former state highway, the lack of existing infrastructure, lack of appropriate zoning and requirements to develop surface- and ground-water resources.

The Solution:

Working with the community on long-term commitments for ranch preservation, we were able to secure favorable master plan and zoning considerations that allowed for a 495-acre planned residential community and resort development, surrounded by nearly 2,200 acres of conservation and open space areas, contains 395 single-family home units, a clubhouse, physical fitness center, and Johnny Miller-designed championship golf course.

The Results:

Our team’s long-term involvement with the project and strong working relationship with multiple owners and a variety of contractors, including geotechnical and wetlands consultants, proved vital during construction of each portion of this phased residential project. Throughout the project’s design and construction phases, our surveyors used advanced methodologies, including GPS, to accurately complete the boundary survey, along with surveys of the wetlands, floodplains, and steep slopes comprising this unique property. The original owner’s water rights represented a significant portion of the property’s value. Future plans include approximately 300 timeshare and fractional ownership units.


Uranium Water Treatment Facility Coleville, California

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The Problem:

We were asked to assist with the design and permitting of a uranium treatment facility for the existing water system at the elementary school in Coleville California. The project was made more challenging in the fact that the approval of the project through the California Division of the State Architect was required due to the project being located on the Eastern Unified School District’s property.

The Solution:

The work included investigations, conceptual design, and a technical report to accompany the California Department of Public Health permit application. This was followed by detailed design of the treatment, storage, and booster pumping system that required the assistance of architects, electrical engineers, and structural engineers. Miscellaneous services were provided in securing grant funding and permitting through the California Division of the State Architects, as well as the California Division of Water Resources who required a flood protection berm. Additionally, R.O. Anderson provided construction observation and other services during construction.

The Results:

The system includes two water supply wells, storage of raw water in a fiberglass tank to supply the treatment unit and landscape irrigation, a variable speed irrigation pump, a treatment booster pump, and cartridge filters followed by three ion exchange units in series to remove the uranium. Treated water is stored in two fiberglass tanks followed by duplex variable speed booster pumps to supply the schools. The system has significant controls and alarms and is housed in a building to protect the system from freezing weather. Due to the project site being located on an alluvial fan, a flood control berm was constructed in order to protect this critical infrastructure.


Water & Sewer System Upgrade Bridgeport, California

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The Problem:

Situated north from Mammoth Lakes, California, Bridgeport is a small, unincorporated town. The Bridgeport Public Utility District received approval for $4.1 million in grant and loan funds from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to improve and repair the sewer and water system serving the town of Bridgeport.

The Solution:

We handled all aspects of design, land surveying, and construction management through this multi-phased project. Robert Anderson attended the BPUD Board meetings to provide technical advice related to the project and District operations. The project required extensive cooperation with numerous government agencies to fulfill complex USDA requirements for grants and loans. To maximize the District’s construction budget, our engineers modeled the existing public water system to determine areas in greatest need of replacement and rehabilitation. Once critical needs were established, we designed the project phasing plan to match the critical system needs to available project funding. During construction, we performed full-time resident engineering duties, construction stakeout, and construction inspection services per USDA requirements.

The Results:

The completed project was comprised of significant improvements to existing community systems, including adding a new municipal well, well house, and office building; design and construction of two new water storage tanks; upgrades to two existing lift stations; complete replacement of one lift station; new water mains; new sewer mains; and installation of a telemetry control system for all new and existing facilities.