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Garney Water Partnership Helps Left Hand Water District Pilot First Design-Build Project

Jul 2016

JULY 2016 — In an effort to better serve the Left Hand Water District’s (the District) 20,000 customers during summer peak demand, the 8 million gallon per day (MGD) Dodd Water Treatment Plant needed additional capacity. The District selected the Garney Water Partnership, a joint venture between Garney Construction and Burns & McDonnell, to complete the $29 million design-build plant expansion. This project marked the first alternative delivery project for the District. During the value-based selection, Garney Water Partnership was the only team that could meet the District’s aggressive schedule.

“The District was extremely concerned with keeping the project on schedule without compromising quality or rushing decisions,” said Christopher Smith, General Manager of Left Hand Water District. “Through the design-build process, we were able to move forward with pre-purchasing major systems and site excavation, while continuing to focus on the details of our new plant.”

Throughout the project, Garney worked closely with Burns & McDonnell to identify project phasing and value engineering options to meet the schedule and budget. During the design phase, Garney provided design reviews and work packages, in addition to developing the guaranteed maximum price (GMP). Construction commenced once the GMP was established but prior to final design. This approach accelerated the schedule and the start of construction. Garney was able to conduct design reviews throughout final design development, while simultaneously self-performing construction.

“By the time we had a final design, excavation was complete and Garney successfully met an extremely aggressive schedule with the new plant treating water by May 2016,” said Smith.

As a peaking plant for the District, the facility only operates during the summer when water demands increase from farmers and residents within 110 square miles throughout Boulder and Weld counties. The existing plant had to remain in operation until September 2015 and return online by late spring 2016. This limited the construction schedule to a nine month winter shutdown. The demolition and installation of the Pall membranes in the existing plant could not begin until shutdown, leaving no margin for error in coordinating work activities.

The facility, now rated at 16 MGD, is currently in operation providing water to the District’s customers while Garney completes final phases of closeout. Substantial completion was achieved ahead of schedule on May 12, 2016. The project was also completed below budget, which will allow the District to complete additional upgrades at their primary facility.

“We have no doubt that few teams could have met all of our objectives within such a compressed design and construction timeline,” said Smith.


P3 Projects on the Rise

Jul 2016

JULY 2016 — Public-private partnerships, commonly referred to as P3, are growing rapidly in popularity in many states across the country. With limited funding, an increasing number of municipalities are turning to the private sector.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), upgrading the country’s infrastructure will cost $3.6 billion by 2020. As the nation’s infrastructure continues to decline, P3 is quickly becoming an avenue for state and municipal funding. Legislation in favor of P3 is also on the rise.

Garney is an active supporter of P3 legislation, and recently finalized the takeover of the Vista Ridge Water Supply project. This P3 venture is a significant milestone as Garney will play a lead role in overseeing the design, construction, and financing for a 142-mile raw water system. Vista Ridge will expand San Antonio’s water supply by 20 percent, decreasing pressure on the sensitive Edwards Aquifer, which is subject to Federal, state and regional pumping regulations.

Construction is set to begin early next year and last through 2019, with water flowing by 2020.

“We’re excited to help secure San Antonio’s water future,” said Scott Parrish, Chief Operating Officer for Garney Construction. “Garney has a 30-year history delivering projects for SAWS water ratepayers and we’re here for the next 30 years – you’ve got a company that can get the project to the finish line and secure the water future for this community.”

For more information on P3, visit The National Council for Public for Public-Private Partnerships.


Kansas City to Host ASCE Pipelines

Jul 2016

JULY 2016 – Garney has been a long supporter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the oldest engineering society in the nation. ASCE represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries, and provides the industry’s leading experts and information through their many conferences. The Pipelines Conference is recognized at the forefront of ASCE’s educational programming, and provides a platform for attendees to discover and exchange ideas related to planning, designing, constructing, and operating these lifeline assets.

Hosted in Kansas City from July 16-20, Pipelines 2016 is part of the new ASCE Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI). Pipelines will continue to provide a forum for industry constituents from all around the world to share their experiences in meeting the challenges of today’s pipeline infrastructure. Pipelines has become a premier conference for utility and pipeline owners, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers. This year, the conference will also include surveying as it relates to pipelines and utility projects.

Garney’s involvement with Pipelines continues to expand. Employee-owners presenting and moderating for the 2016 technical program include:

  • Logan CSO Interceptor Installation Beneath an Existing Improved Channel | Jordan Carrier, Presenter
  • CMAR Project Delivery Method Facilitates Construction of a Large Diameter Pipeline and Treatment Plant Upgrade Project Allowing Timely Access to Much Needed Water Resources in North Texas | David Burkhart, Presenter
  • Design-Build Approach to Major Crossing Avoids Environmental and Third Party Impacts…and Saves $10 Million | Bill Williams, Presenter
  • Planning & Design II Track B, Session B4 | Matt Foster, Moderator
  • Planning & Design II Track B, Session B9 | Mike Gardner, Moderator

With the conference set in the heartland, Pipelines anticipates attracting the highest number of attendees in history. For more information on the conference visit Pipelines 2016.

The Logan CSO Interceptor Project, featured above, will be presented at Pipelines 2016 by Jordan Carrier, Project Manager for Garney Construction.


Garney Provides Record-Breaking Level of Internships

Jul 2016

JULY 2016 – From 22 different colleges and universities, Garney hired a record-breaking group of 64 interns and co-op students for the summer term. This group is working on project sites nationwide and in several offices alongside project management, estimating, and marketing. During the term, undergraduates receive exposure to Garney’s culture, the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), and a number of different business functions including safety, scheduling, quality control, estimating, and labor relations.

Garney’s objective is to provide a positive learning experience that allows undergraduates to gain an understanding of the industry as well as Garney’s method of conducting business. The internship program has been a mainstay for Garney for nearly 30 years and falls in line with the company’s consistent growth driven by new opportunities and a strong market.

Many of Garney’s current employee-owners started their careers through the company’s internship program. Garney strives to seek individuals who thrive when given the opportunity to learn and lead, which often translates to hiring directly from our internship program. Interested in building with Garney? Apply online at


Industrial waste processes improved at St. Joseph facility

Apr 2016

APRIL 2016 — The City of St. Joseph, Missouri, has a metropolitan population of 128,000 people. The City and the majority of its surrounding area is served by a single wastewater treatment facility, the Water Protection Facility (WPF). The facility neighbors heavy industrial and food processing plants and is adjacent to the Missouri River, which serves as its discharge location. This secondary treatment facility is currently permitted for an average design flow of 27 million gallons per day (MGD). It is fed domestic, commercial, and industrial wastewater by a separated sewer system on the east side of the City and a combined sewer system on the west side. Additionally, three industrial plants send pre-treated industrial waste directly to the facility.

With ammonia limits becoming more stringent, two studies were commissioned by the City to analyze their processes. First, a facilities plan study, followed by a study to further evaluate improvements to the WPF that would address anticipated ammonia limits. Based on the analysis, the City determined that upgrades would be required to meet future regulatory requirements, such as the need for nitrogen and phosphorus removal. This prompted the Ammonia Removal Improvements, a $50 million project consisting of improving ammonia removal, adding a BioSolids dryer facility, and replacing an aging headworks and grit facility.

Garney is currently serving as the wastewater treatment plant contractor to improve the existing facility to meet initial ammonia limits, while the overall goal is to address future, more stringent, effluent limits for ammonia, total phosphorous, and total nitrogen.

Improvements to the facility consist of separating the industrial and domestic influent flows, creating two trains within the plant. The domestic aeration basins are a BNR A20 process for biological nutrient removal, which were installed in the existing aeration basins. The industrial process is an activated sludge BNR system, featuring a five-stage Bardenpho process. Construction of the industrial aeration basin was a significant undertaking as the existing tank, originally constructed for aerobic digestion, was to be reused. The inside of this tank, approximately the size of a football field, was completely reconstructed and increased in size vertically to allow greater volume and provide sufficient hydraulic head for ammonia removal and future nitrogen removal process.

This two train system allows the large industrial flows to skip treatment at the plant and reduces the need for air, making the system more efficient. Improvements at the facility are set to be completed by August 2016.


City of Greensboro capitalizes on CMAR project delivery

Apr 2016

April 2016 — The City of Greensboro, North Carolina, faced ongoing challenges to maintain existing infrastructure while complying with current and upcoming regulatory requirements. As a result, the City’s Water Resources Department initiated two capital improvement projects to improve treatment operations and meet future regulatory requirements with the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) project delivery method.

These projects mark the first time for the City to employ the CMAR delivery method. Critical to the City’s alternative delivery selection was the desire to leverage a collaborative approach and engage a Mentor/Protégé program to increase minority and women owned business (M/WBE) and local participation. Following a qualifications-based process, Garney was selected to serve as the CMAR contractor for the T.Z. Osborne Water Reclamation Facility 56 MGD Upgrade (Package 3).

Package 3, one of four projects planned for the City’s $120 million worth of infrastructure improvements, was the first of two CMAR projects implemented by the City. Garney started working in partnership with the City at the 90% design phase. In addition to developing the GMP during preconstruction, Garney worked with the City to maximize the Mentor/Protégé program and developed work packages to meet the City’s M/WBE goals.

Construction on Package 3 is set to be complete in December of 2017, with diamond cloth filters to be used in the upgrade to the existing conventional media filtration, a new technology available to the industry. Major improvements for the 36-year-old water reclamation facility will include a new chlorine contact tank, chemical system upgrades, renovation of all existing traveling bridge filters, and site-wide stormwater improvements. Garney is also completing work at the site for Packages 1 and 2.


Garney installs water pipeline for Dominican Republic village

Apr 2016

APRIL 2016 — Garney employee-owners recently installed 12,000 LF of PVC waterline and 200 new spigots throughout Villa Aleman, Dominican Republic, bringing clean water to 1,500 people. Villa Aleman had no potable water source and many residents were relying on rainfall collection or contaminated shallow aquifers for their water supply. In partnership with The Living Water Project and Knox ProCorps, Garney sent manpower to install the ½-inch to 4-inch waterline in connection to a new deep well. During construction, Garney worked closely with the community and newly established Villa Aleman Water Committee.

Garney employee-owners Ben Ramsbottom, Clay Greene, Gary Minnich, and Jeff Seal helped the Committee install more than 2,000 LF of pipe by hand each day. In addition, helping with the water pipeline construction provided an opportunity to educate the Committee on the proper alignment, services, and connections required for future installations and maintenance. Garney employee-owners donated the pipe and provided the necessary tools and parts for the Water Committee to maintain their system for months to come.

“It was a humbling experience and it made me look at things differently upon my return,” said Jeff Seal, Operations Manager. “In living Garney’s goals and philosophies, we helped many people in need and made some great memories in the process.”


Garney assumes leadership of Vista Ridge Water Supply Project

Mar 2016

APRIL 2016 — Garney has concluded an agreement with Abengoa S.A. expanding Garney’s role in the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Vista Ridge Water Supply Project to a leadership position. Garney now holds an 80 percent equity stake as well as complete control of the project. Garney has been a member of the Vista Ridge consortium since the start of the project.

The Vista Ridge team, led by Garney, will provide 50,000 acre-feet of water to the rapidly growing San Antonio community. The total projected cost to develop the project is $844 million. Garney now plays the lead role in overseeing the design, construction, and financing of the project.

“The employee-owners of Garney Construction are excited to lend our water system expertise to this significant project for the city of San Antonio,” said Mike Heitmann, President and CEO of Garney Construction.

The 142-mile Vista Ridge pipeline remains a critical project for San Antonio, one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. Vista Ridge will expand San Antonio’s water supply by 20 percent, decreasing pressure on the sensitive Edwards Aquifer, which is subject to Federal, state and regional pumping regulations. SAWS is a national leader in water conservation, and the Vista Ridge pipeline will complement SAWS’ continued conservation efforts and development of other water resources as San Antonio adds an additional one million residents by 2040. SAWS currently provides water and wastewater services to more than 1.6 million consumers in the region.

Garney has more than three decades of experience serving as a water and wastewater contractor for SAWS, successfully delivering critical projects for its consumers, including the Water Resources Integration Program Pipelines and Twin Oaks Pump Station, SAWS Carrizo Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Project, and SAWS Water Recycling Program. Last year, as part of the Water Resources Integration Program, Garney installed 140,000 linear feet of 60-inch pipe, similar to the pipe that will be used for the Vista Ridge pipeline.

Robert R. Puente, President and CEO of SAWS noted that the new leadership is a positive step in the progression of the Vista Ridge project. “Garney Construction has a strong history with SAWS and has been involved in this project since the beginning. In stepping up to the lead position, Garney brings unparalleled continuity and skill to the table.”


Garney Pacific Lands Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project

Jan 2016

JANUARY 2016 — California American Water selected Garney Pacific to construct the majority of its $92 million desalination pipeline network. Concurrently with two other water pipeline contractors, Garney Pacific will construct 22 miles of pipelines, pump stations and storage facilities along the Monterey Peninsula to deliver desalinated water to 100,000 residential and commercial customers. Garney Pacific, a subsidiary of Garney Holding Co., was established in 2015 to focus operations on constructing water and wastewater projects in Northern California.

The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project will include a source water intake system, a 9.6 MGD or 6.4 MGD desalination plant, brine discharge system, product water conveyance pipelines and storage facilities, and an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) system. Once complete, the new network will replace reliance on the Carmel River as a primary source of water supply. With schedule and budget as primary drivers in the qualifications-based selection process, California American Water will conduct value engineering efforts with all three water pipeline contractors during the first half of 2016.

“The award of the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is a significant achievement for Garney Pacific and anchors our expansion into Northern California,” said Scott Parrish, Chief Operating Officer of Western Pipe Operations. “We look forward to continuing Garney’s tradition of excellence with this extremely important project, and we’re excited to exceed California American Water’s expectations, and to perpetuate Garney’s reputation, goals, and philosophies.”

Bill E. Williams, Director of Northern California Operations, and Kevin Downs, Operations Manager, are spearheading Garney’s involvement on the project. Matt Roberts, who served as the Lead Estimator in the pursuit phase, will also contribute to Garney’s value engineering efforts on the project.

For more information on the project, visit the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project website.


Garney Expands Presence in South Texas

Jan 2016

JANUARY 2016 — Treatment facility operations are ramping up in South Texas with the addition of Garney’s Houston office. Under the direction of Vice President, Mike Gardner, leadership and staff have been added to Garney’s regional office located near Houston Hobby International Airport. Garney’s Houston branch opened in 2015, alongside new offices near San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC.

Garney’s recent success in the South Texas market has resulted in water supply and wastewater treatment plant construction opportunities with the Lower Colorado River Authority, San Antonio Water System, and the City of Castroville.

“As Garney continues to grow, opening a Houston office and putting boots on the ground to expand our water and wastewater treatment plant capabilities in the South Texas market made great sense,” said Mike Gardner, Vice President. “For years, Garney has maintained a significant water pipeline construction presence in the area, so adding treatment plant capabilities will broaden our Texas footprint as a top water/wastewater contractor.”

James Schmerber and Michael Froelich, Project Managers, and Warren Henderson and Raul Arvizu, Superintendents, are managing Garney’s efforts in the Houston area. Cody Schmidt, Field Engineer, and Michelle Presko, Project Coordinator, will also be instrumental in developing Garney’s Houston operations.

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