Nevada Water Treatment and Transmission Project named finalist for Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award

The Integrated Water Transmission and Treatment Project, an engineering marvel that enhanced and expanded Southern Nevada's drinking water supply system, was selected as one of seven finalists for the 2004 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).


Washington, D.C., April 16, 2004 -- The Integrated Water Transmission and Treatment Project, an engineering marvel that enhanced and expanded Southern Nevada's drinking water supply system, was selected as one of seven finalists for the 2004 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The OCEA winner will be announced at the fifth annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Awards gala dinner in Tysons Corner, Va., at the Sheraton Premier on Wednesday, May 12.

Noting the population explosion in the Las Vegas Valley, the Nevada Water Authority embarked on an extensive development project for its existing drinking water supply system. The ensuing design, a joint venture between MWH and CH2M Hill, incorporated features that addressed aesthetic, safety and environmental concerns, as well as providing educational opportunities to the local communities.

In order to ensure compliance with future regulations and treatment standards, the design included a high-level of flexibility, additional physical space to accommodate growth. The water supply capability had increased 25 percent by 2002, and is expected to increase an additional 25 percent by 2005. Southern Nevada residents began receiving high-quality water from the $2 billion system in 2002.

"Not only does this system meet the needs of the surrounding communities, but it does so while maintaining a minimal impact on the environment," said ASCE President Patricia Galloway, P.E., F.ASCE, PMP. "Those things combined are what make this water system a civil engineering marvel."

The system's architectural elements were designed to minimize visual impact, in order to preserve the natural beauty of the desert and mountain region, and unique masonry and concrete were utilized to mimic the desert's natural colors. In addition, approximately 50 percent of the 415-acre site was left in its natural desert condition. A special fencing system was designed to protect the endangered desert tortoises which make their home within the acreage. All personnel received thorough training to aid in their preservation.

In addition to the project's environmental innovations, several large-scale advanced technologies were used. The treatment facility was planned using integrated three-dimensional design technology, making it one of the first and largest to do so, and the system's hydraulics were created with laboratory scale and computerized models. One of the world's largest sodium hypochlorite generation facilities was implemented to alleviate concerns over the safety of transporting liquid chlorine, and the 3,000-foot raw water aqueduct is one of the world's largest underwater pressure pipes.

Other 2004 OCEA finalists include the William H. Natcher Bridge which spans the Ohio River from Owensboro, Ky. to Rockport, Ind.; the Emergency Bypass Tunneling project in Hakalaoa Falls, Waipio Valley, Hawaii; the Downtown Restoration Program's Temporary WTC PATH Station in New York City; the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston; the New Braddock Dam in Braddock, Penn.; and the repaving of 389 km of war torn roads in 230 days in Kabul-Kandahar, Afghanistan. The seven finalists were selected from 24 nominations.

The OCEA program was established in 1960 by the American Society of Civil Engineers. OCEA winners, which have included the relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the World Trade Center Towers, are selected on the basis of their contribution to the well-being of people and communities, resourcefulness in planning and design challenges, and innovations in materials and techniques.

The OPAL awards honor outstanding projects and professional civil engineers for lifelong contributions in five categories - public works, construction, management, design and education. The OPAL awards were inaugurated in April 2000. For information on press passes to the OPAL awards gala, please contact Norida Torriente at 202-326-5129 or visit www.asce.org/opal.

Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 133,000 civil engineers worldwide and is the nation's oldest engineering society. ASCE celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2002.

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