Merced Wastewater Treatment Upgrade Earns Engineering Honor
Rocklin, Calif., firm’s innovative infrastructure improves area’s groundwater quality
Stantec, of Rocklin, Calif., earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Eng. Companies’ (ACEC) 48th annual Engineering Excellence Awards for designing the new Biosolids Handling Facility at the city of Merced, Calif., Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Biosolids, a by-product of the wastewater treatment process, can pollute groundwater if not disposed of properly. The Merced plant’s new handling facility eliminates this problem by integrating solar drying technologies with conventional treatment methods and advanced control equipment to process 12 million gal of biosolids into fertilizer, which is then sold to the region’s diverse agricultural community. The 750,000-sq.-ft facility is the largest of its type in the U.S. to utilize this unique hybrid treatment approach. In addition to providing a new revenue source for Merced, the facility generates up to 600 kW of renewable energy a day.
The project is among 143 engineering projects throughout the nation and the world recognized by ACEC as preeminent engineering achievements for 2013. Judging for the Engineering Excellence Awards—known as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”—took place in February, conducted by a panel of more than 25 engineers, architects, government officials, media members and academics. Criteria for the awards include uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, complexity and success in meeting goals.
Final top winners, including 16 honor awards, eight grand awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement, will be announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.