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MBBR Implementation Insights

Jul 2015

Solutions and Best Practices for Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor Installation and Start-Up

JULY 2015 — A top concern among wastewater treatment facility owners is increasing energy efficiency while improving effluent water quality. Municipal facilities must comply with increasingly stringent requirements for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), ammonia and nitrogen levels, as well as provide for growing populations. On the commercial side, water-intensive businesses have to plan for sustainable growth under the same regulations. And, as always, public and private enterprises alike are aiming to cost-effectively curb their environmental footprint.

The moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) is an adaptable and flexible solution that helps owners achieve all of these goals. The MBBR process relies on floating biofilm carriers in a mixed motion aerated treatment basin. The biofilm carriers provide a protected surface to support prolific growth of heterotrophic (uses organic carbon for growth) and autotrophic (uses inorganic compounds for growth) bacteria within its cells. Compared to traditional treatment processes, the method requires less maintenance and a fraction of the space. Without the need for an activated sludge return stream, operation is also simplified while efficiency is improved.



Think safe, dig second

Apr 2015

APRIL 2015 — April marks National Safe Digging Month. Nationally recognized and in its eighth celebration, the tradition serves to provide awareness about the dangers of unplanned digging. According to 811 and the federally-mandated “Call Before You Dig” campaign, every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged.

No matter how small or large the project, homeowner or contractor, simply calling 811 will mitigate injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient outages in notifying the appropriate utility companies. Once notified, Local One Call Centers will dispatch a professional to mark the lines in a few short days.

Think safe.

Think smart.

Call before you dig.

Get it done with 811!


KUB upgrade faced critical shutdown

Apr 2015

APRIL 2015 — In seven short hours, Garney completed an overnight shutdown in the heart of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. Garney employee-owners worked in conjunction with Knoxville Utilities Board to plan and execute the vital shutdown.

The 48-inch valve cut-in demanded many weeks of planning and organization to ensure the cut could be executed within the short time frame allotted. Cutting commenced shortly after 11:00 PM (EST) and the line was back in service at 6:00 AM (EST).

Since January 2015, Garney has worked to replace and install water and sewer lines on the project ranging in size from 8-inch to 30-inch along Main Street and the surrounding areas.


Garney wins NUCA Project Excellence Award

Apr 2015

APRIL 2015 — Recognized by the Texas Chapter of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Garney received the 2014 Project Excellence Award for our delivery of Section 15-1 of the Integrated Pipeline (IPL) project. Developed by Tarrant Regional Water District and Dallas Water Utilities, the first segment of the 150-mile pipeline project will provide roughly 350 MGD of water to North Texas from a series of reservoirs in North / Central and East Texas. Once completed, the program will connect Lake Palestine to Lake Benbrook with connections to Cedar Creek and Richland Chambers Reservoirs.

Garney’s employee-owners are currently working to install the $93 million waterline of Section 15-1 in Corsicana, Texas. Upon completion, the installation will include 81,958 LF 108-inch C200 polyurethane-coated steel waterline, associated air release and blow-off assemblies, and 1,318 LF 132-inch steel casing pipe by tunnel including a crossing of IH-45. The project also includes a river crossing, deep excavations, dewatering, several manholes, and a connection to the existing Richland Chambers pipeline via interconnect facility. The project is expected to reach completion in June 2015.

In addition to constructing Section 15-1 of the IPL, Garney also provided Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) services for two additional segments of this program; Section 1, Line J and Richland Chambers 90” Lowering, which were completed in 2013 and 2014 in advance of mainline construction currently being completed by Garney.


Southern Delivery System achieves major milestone

Apr 2015

APRIL 2015 — Colorado Springs and its neighboring communities will soon reap the benefits of the Southern Delivery System. Garney is proud to be involved in this historic project which includes 50 miles of pipelines, three pump stations and a water treatment plant. The $841 million system for Colorado Springs Utilities will deliver water from the Pueblo Reservoir to Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security, and Pueblo West.

Garney’s role in the project involved the installation of 23 miles of welded steel pipe through Pueblo and El Paso Counties. Our crews completed seven projects for the system, entailing pipeline installations ranging in size from 36-inch to 90-inch. In addition to open trench installations along Highway 94, Garney was responsible for managing multiple trenchless excavations.

“As with the other SDS projects, the Garney team assigned to this project did an outstanding job facing the challenges of this unique project,” said Matt Foster, Vice President of Garney Construction.

This notable project has reached its final year of construction after more than three years and is anticipated to be $150 million below budget. By 2040, the system is anticipated to serve roughly 750,000 residents in the nearby communities.


Jay McQuillen joins Garney team

Apr 2015

APRIL 2015 — Jay McQuillen Jr., P.E., has joined Garney Construction to lead two new initiatives for the company. The first endeavor will be leading Garney Federal, a new business unit that broadens Garney’s client base in the federal market throughout the United States. In addition, Jay will be expanding Garney’s heavy civil construction operations in the Western United States and Pacific. This will complement Garney’s recent expansion into Northern California, with the opening of Garney Pacific in Livermore, California, in November 2014.

Garney Federal will add additional expertise and personnel resources in government contracting as well as resources with heavy civil capabilities in the Pacific Northwest, California, and Hawaii. Jay’s office will be based out of Scotts Valley, California.

“I am excited to join Garney Construction and begin building a team to pursue these initiatives,” said McQuillen. “The company’s excellent reputation and 100% employee ownership were strong motivators in my interest to join Garney. The success of the company in safety, vendor relationships, and customer satisfaction is impressive.”

Jay joins the Garney team after a 29-year career with Granite Construction Company. Jay’s background is primarily in government contracting and heavy civil construction. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and holds a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University. Jay is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon.


Design-Build in the nuclear world

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — The nuclear world is facing ever-evolving standards and protocols. These stringent regulations often present challenges for nuclear plants and operators. Alternate project delivery methods, particularly design-build, are becoming prevalent in the power industry. These methods combat many of the trials and tribulations that delay design and construction during critical junctures throughout the life of a project.

With the right team, the design-build process will streamline communication with all major stakeholders and foster a collaborative environment. It will generate innovative, collective design and construction methods while fast-tracking decision making. Through these processes, a cost-effective, efficient and quality project can be delivered to serve the needs of the end user without major delays in schedule or budget.

Garney is currently working in collaboration with a General Contractor on a design-build-operate nuclear power plant in the southeast. With the rigorous regulations at the forefront, Garney and the General Contractor were able to vet the best solutions to provide filtered and potable water to meet guidelines set forth for the plant. Although a conventional filter process was initially selected, Garney coordinated with the General Contractor and Owner to provide an ultrafiltration membrane system at a lower capital and operating cost.

The General Contractor was required to provide a conceptual design for the raw water intake system in order to obtain the necessary permits. Garney was able to design an alternate intake structure that was less intrusive to the environment, in addition to saving the General Contractor over $600,000 – all within the scheduled completion date.

During the pilot testing, bromide was discovered in the water. Bromide is not a natural occurring chemical and was added to the waters upstream by other industries. The chemical is not easy to remove and was not anticipated in the selection of the process equipment. This issue caused a tremendous impact to the project, but was easily mitigated through collaborations via the design-build process.

Time and time again, Garney is seeing success with projects constructed via alternate project delivery methods as projects are typically constructed ahead of schedule and below budget. Much of this success can be attributed to communication and trust built throughout the life of the project.


Florida Design-Build Award for CSU WWTP

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — The Central Sumter Utility (CSU) Wastewater Treatment Facility serves more than 21,000 citizens and 500 commercial connections in The Villages community in Sumter County, Florida. Garney worked in collaboration with design partner, Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc. (BESH), as a design-build team to deliver upgrades to the facility in 16 short months. Through this successful design-build partnership, the Garney-BESH Team returned more than $1 million in savings to CSU. These value engineering efforts were inspired by the design-build process, an alternate delivery method that upholds teamwork and communication. On November 6, our team’s success was celebrated upon receiving a Merit Award in the Water/Wastewater Category for the Florida Design-Build Awards.

In addition to the accelerated project schedule, the Garney-BESH Team was challenged by several private residential houses surrounding the facility. These challenges were easily mitigated through the design-build process as all stakeholders were involved from the onset of the project. Over the past 15 years, the Garney-BESH Team has completed more than 60 design-build projects for The Villages totaling $100 million.

A unique feature of the 2.0 million gallon per day (MGD) plant upgrade included a process to recycle water for irrigation at the surrounding golf courses. Project coordination meetings throughout design, permitting and construction were instrumental in developing this concept in parallel with the Owner’s philosophy of conserving water and maintaining a healthy environment.

Additional components to the $12.7 million upgrade included installation of two 382,000 gallon anoxic tanks, two 737,000 gallon oxidation ditches, two 70′ diameter clarifiers, headworks, traveling bridge filters, RAS/WAS pump station, and four 150,000 gallon sludge holding tanks.

“We commend your team’s ability to complete projects on time and within budget,” said Trey Arnett, President of Arnett Environmental and CSU Owner’s Representative. “We have also been appreciative of your continued efforts to provide value engineering on our projects in an effort to reduce costs and improve operational processes.”


Garney lands first project in California

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — Operations are full-speed ahead in California with the recent award of Garney’s first project in the Golden State. In November, Garney announced its new office location in Livermore, California, roughly 45 miles east of San Francisco.

The project for Lennar Homes of California, Inc., will provide nearly 20,000 linear feet of water and sewer lines for a 175-lot subdivision. Garney will also be responsible for the installation of 5,820 linear feet of storm drains. This project is being led by Operations Manager, Kevin Downs, who came onboard with Garney following the development of this regional office. Kevin brings 15 years of experience in the water/wastewater industry. He has worked in both the private sector with wet utilities for developers as well as with municipal entities on large diameter pipeline installations, pump stations and reservoir holding tanks.

The Livermore office is managed by Bill E. Williams, who brings three decades of experience constructing water projects in California. Bill will be pivotal in Garney’s new venture in the northern California market which is operating as Garney Pacific, Inc. Pam Littlejohn is serving as Project Coordinator for the Livermore office and brings several years of experience in the industry.

“Our goal for 2015 is to get field personnel and crews established in the market and all on a firm foot,” said Williams. “We intend to introduce the Garney goals and philosophies into a market that we hope will be eager to embrace a contractor with Garney’s history of leadership and integrity.”


Garney provides “real time” bid day for students

Jan 2015

JANUARY 2015 — Students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney received a hands-on experience to bid a treatment plant. On November 7, 2014, Garney employee-owners conducted a bid day for undergraduates in the Construction Management program. Students were presented with a former bid, previously bid by Garney’s Central Plant Group.

Garney provided drawings and an outline of the project requirements which were given to teams. In 20-minute intervals, teams were given packages of actual subcontractor and supplier quotes from the bid. The students were responsible for analyzing the quotes, adjudicating, and making any adjustments to the bid. All bids were deemed responsive by employee-owners Gary Bittner, Mark Miner, Brian Schultz, and Darous Allton at the predetermined time, but true to standard, only one team was crowned victorious as the low bidder.

Garney conducts student bid days on various university campuses as a way to educate students with real time circumstances employed when estimating treatment facility projects.

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