The 2020 ACEC/Iowa Engineering Excellence Awards winning projects in the Water & Wastewater Category, in the order listed:

Water and Wastewater Grand Place Award along with the overall Grand Conceptor Award (1st Place in Category and Overall)

Firm: FOX Engineering Associates, Inc. with HDR and Barr Engineering
Client/Owner: City of Ames
Project: Ames Water Treatment Plant
Contact: Mr. Lance Aldrich
E-mail: [email protected] ~ Phone:  515-233-0000

The City of Ames began providing municipal water services to its residents starting in 1891 with construction of a water tower, water mains and hydrants along Main Street. The first treatment plant was built in the 1920s. Major improvements were made to the plant throughout the next 6 decades. In 2007, the water treatment plant hit a new single day peak demand record of 10.2 million gallons per day (MGD), compared to a plant capacity of approximately 11 MGD. At that time, the plant was well maintained, but a number of the treatment units were showing signs of deterioration.

These factors prompted the City of Ames to complete a comprehensive engineering evaluation of the Ames Water Treatment Facility which included a feasibility study and economic evaluation of expansion at the current plant site or construction of a new treatment plant. This study revealed that the most cost-effective solution was the development of a new 15 MGD water treatment plant on a site located near the existing treatment plant, which would allow for a smooth transition of systems and processes between the existing plant and new plant.

Together, the City of Ames, FOX Engineering, HDR, and Barr Engineering enhanced the strength of the City’s water system with the comprehensive planning, design, and construction of the Ames Water Treatment Plant (WTP). The development of the design required careful planning to address not only the technical factors involved with treating the water, but also the development of the site, costs, funding, and long-term objectives. Major plant processes included: aeration, single-stage lime-softening, recarbonation, filtration and disinfection. The design also incorporated the necessary ancillary facilities, including:

•          Lime storage and handling facilities using an RDP lime feed system.
•          Other chemical storage and feed systems.
•          Instrumentation and control systems.
•          Security systems.
•          5 MGD of high service pumping capacity at the new plant.
•          Rehabilitation of the existing high service pump station.
•          Administrative, training, operations, maintenance, storage, laboratory and personnel areas.
•          Stand-by equipment.
•          Residuals handling and treatment utilizing short-term solids storage and pumping facilities.

The team developed a building design to meet the City's needs and obtain a LEED certification. The facility was built to be sustainable and have lower operating costs. This plant was built with true collaboration and innovation between the City, the engineers and the contractor. The new WTP allows the City to continue to provide a safe, high quality supply of drinking water for its customers.

From the beginning, the Ames WTP grew from a belief among City leadership that one of the best ways to provide for long-term growth was to construct a new water treatment plant to provide reliable, high quality drinking water to their customers. In an era of increasing demands for reliable, redundant and resilient sources of clean drinking water, the City of Ames took on the challenge in an innovative way, building a new WTP that exceeds expectations on all levels:

  •   The water quality is consistently exceptional, exceeding requirements of Safe Drinking Water Act.
  •   The City is able to welcome new industries.
  •   The capital and life cycle costs were the lowest of all the options investigated.

After an extensive demonstration of the new treatment process, the water plant went on-line and began delivery of treated water to the City’s customers on July 28, 2017. The City of Ames is known for its quality of water and their priority of preserving the taste and quality for its users. In 2017 and 2018, the Iowa Chapter of the American Water Works Association rated Ames water the best in Iowa. 


Water and Wastewater Honor Award (2nd place in category)

Project: Northwest Booster Station
Firm: Veenstra & Kimm, Inc.
Client/Owner: City of Ankeny




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