Last month an award was given to the City of Marengo, and Marengo’s contracted city engineers – H.R. Green- -by the Illinois Chapter of the Illinois Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). HRG was recognized by its engineering company peers for its “Special Achievement” in the design of the City’s new Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade and expansion.

Back in 2012 the City received a recommended design from a firm that had been doing design work for the Treatment Plant’s improvements since the late 1990’s. As is well known, this work was mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The City awarded a construction contract, after going to bid a second time with an IEPA approved scaled down design plan that fit the previously recommended and approved construction budget limits. The project started in August 2013 with work that included excavation for a clarifier that was to be located just northeast of some of the existing buildings at the Treatment Plant site. The designer of this intended facility assured the City that building the clarifier on a known and capped landfill was doable. Work stopped shortly thereafter when the contractor started digging up garbage from the capped land fill. Because the contractor would have been liable for the unbudgeted removal and disposal of the landfill material, work was immediately halted and a cost estimate to properly dispose of the landfill waste was determined. The cost would have extended the construction budget far beyond the $12 million limit.

It was at this time that HRG was brought in to come up with a new treatment plant design that would fit the relatively small existing site (relocating the treatment plant to a new site would have way too costly), meet the treatment capacity levels expected by the IEPA, and to keep the cost within the $12 million budget. HRG’s solution was to bring in a newer sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology to blend with the use of some of the sewage treatment components of the existing plant. This process not only solved the current expansion problem, but is designed to handle future wastewater treatment needs through construction on a less costly incremental basis.

Congratulations to H.R. Green!

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