Black & Veatch completes project for San Joaquin Irrigation District

Declining water table in Northern California raises bar for cooperative approaches and application of advanced treatment technologies. Engineering consultant finishes water supply, treatment project for Ripon, Calif., water agency...

SACRAMENTO, CA, Aug. 18, 2005 -- Black & Veatch Corp. announced yesterday completion of an extensive, multifaceted water supply program for the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) that will allow for the continued provision of high-quality, reasonably priced, safe drinking water in an area with dwindling supplies and growing needs.

In 1995, a declining groundwater table, fast-paced development and competing demands led the cities of Manteca, Escalon, Lathrop and Tracy to enter an agreement with SSJID for the delivery of treated surface water. Since then, many entities and individuals have participated in the $136.6 million South County Water Supply Program, funded through bonds as well as developer and user fees and completed within budget.

"The coalition has effectively worked through numerous technical and political obstacles to design, fund and build the necessary facilities," said SSJID general manager Steve Stroud. "Successful implementation of this program required tremendous cooperation, and we're pleased that we were able to begin delivery of treated surface water to the participating cities this summer as planned."

Conservation measures applied by the district and its agricultural customers nearly 20 years ago, along with area urbanization, reduced the need for irrigation water and left SSJID with water to devote to other uses. The 1995 agreement between the district and cities made this surplus water available for local urban use through facilities to be owned and operated by SSJID. The district took special steps to meet the needs of farmers and protect the source water from livestock-related contamination.

Black & Veatch provided study, design, membrane procurement and construction management services for the South County Water Supply Program, which encompassed watershed protection, raw-water facilities, a state-of-the-art membrane treatment plant, and nearly 40 miles of buried pipeline and associated pump stations to convey water from the treatment plant to the cities. Water Resources Consultants provided program management.

"The technology applied to the new treatment plant will cost-effectively enable the cities to meet foreseeable as well as current requirements," said Black & Veatch Project Manager Jay Hesby.

The South County Water Supply Program Water Treatment Plant incorporates innovative high-rate dissolved air flotation (DAF) and submerged membrane filtration. The plant will have an initial capacity of 36 million gallons per day (mgd) and an ultimate capacity of 60 mgd.

Designed to comply with anticipated as well as current regulatory requirements for safe drinking water, the facility will provide high-quality treated water from a small surface area. Small-footprint technologies such as submerged membrane filtration and high-rate DAF offered cost savings in California, where labor costs associated with cast-in-place concrete and other construction activities are especially high.

The new system began to deliver as much as 36 million gallons of water per day to Manteca, Tracy, and Lathrop early this summer. Construction of additional facilities, which will increase the volume of water in the pipeline and extend the line to Escalon when that city joins the program, is expected to begin between 2010 and 2012.

Black & Veatch Corp. ( is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, information and government markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients' needs and provide sustainable benefits. Solutions include conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, information technology, environmental, security design and consulting, and management consulting services. The employee-owned company has more than 90 offices worldwide. Black & Veatch is ranked on the Forbes "500 Largest Private Companies in the United States" listing for 2004.


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