Grove Street Reservoir receives APWA 'Project of Year' award

Jan. 13, 2005
The Grove Street Reservoir Reconstruction Project located in the city of Sierra Madre and designed by RBF Consulting was selected by Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) to receive a Public Works Project of the Year Award...

IRVINE, CA, Jan. 10, 2005 -- The Grove Street Reservoir Reconstruction Project located in the city of Sierra Madre was selected by Southern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) to receive a Public Works Project of the Year Award.

This award-winning project incorporated innovative design and construction techniques to provide the community of Sierra Madre with safe and reliable water storage, while complying with the Health Department's preference for multiple reservoirs within each pressure zone. The city was challenged with replacing an existing water storage reservoir with two reservoirs while utilizing one small piece of available land. The city of Sierra Madre hired RBF as the consulting engineer to design the civil and structural elements of the projects. Due to the site constraints, the construction of two separate tanks would result in a decrease in overall capacity. The solution¿ build a 2.8 million gallon water storage tank-within-a-tank.

The project involved the removal of an existing reinforced concrete tank and construction of a new pre-stressed concrete tank with a concentric concrete inner wall. The site area was extremely limited and completely surrounded by existing residential development. The maximum setback from the property line on any side of the reservoir was only 28 feet. The Grove Street Reservoir was the only reservoir in the city's Zone 2, serving approximately one-third of its roughly 11,000 residents. Because the city did not have the option to build an additional reservoir within this zone and the existing site could not support separate tanks, a concentric tank inside an outer tank concept was presented. Another significant aspect of the tanks that make the reservoir unique is that the concentric tanks are normally operated in tandem, with water levels raising and lowering in synchronization. However, the design of these two tanks allows for either of the two tanks to be operated while the other is taken out of service to be drained for cleaning, inspection or maintenance.

Innovative design and construction techniques were incorporated into the Grove Street Reservoir Reconstruction project to provide the community with safe and reliable water storage, while ensuring minimal disturbance to the neighborhood. With little room to spare the project team had to assure that the surrounding neighborhood would not be affected by the construction of this project. Community outreach meetings were held to address the concerns of residents living near the project and precautionary measures were taken to prevent any harm or disorder to the families living nearby.

RBF Consulting served as the lead design firm providing civil and structural engineering. Other consultants included DYK Incorporated, Bucknam & Associates, and SSC Construction Inc.

About RBF
RBF Consulting ( provides services for planning, design and construction of the built environment. RBF, one of the most respected firms for civil engineering, planning, surveying and related services in the nation, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2004. The firm maintains thirteen offices with over 800 employees in the western United States, performing consulting services nationally and internationally.

About APWA
The American Public Works Association ( is committed to promoting the profession of public works. The San Diego/Imperial Chapter is committed to promoting sustainable public works projects in Southern California that improve the quality of life for the public. The Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in the public works projects by recognizing the partnership between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor, who work together to complete public works projects.


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