Larson Design Group of Apalachin and Corning has won the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York’s Gold Award for design of the Town of Nichols’ Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant which met rigorous judging criteria for complexity, innovation and value to society.
LDG will receive its award at the 52nd Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala at the Hilton Midtown in New York City on April 13, 2019. This event is co-sponsored by the ACEC New York Scholarship Fund, and in conjunction with the Gala, will award more than $50,000 in scholarships to New York State engineering students.
“The Nichols project is changing the perception that a multi stakeholder project with significant environmental agency involvement cannot happen quickly,” said Gregory Cummings, P.E., leader of LDG’s Water/Wastewater design team, based in Corning.
Added Jason Bellis, P.E., leader of LDG’s Apalachin office, “It directly aligns with the Southern Tier Soaring regional economic development plan and supports the region’s advanced manufacturing sector as a global leader for next generation development.”
The project was the result of the Industrial Development Agency of Tioga County’s success in enticing Crown Cork & Seal to select Nichols for a new aluminum can manufacturing facility. IDA agreed to upgrade Nichols’ public drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure to serve the new facility. The upgrades couldn’t begin, however, until Crown committed to developing the site, and needed to be completed before the new facility came online. IDA had just one year to complete design, approval and construction with an upgrade from 40,000 gallons per day to 240,000 gallons per day with the ability to treat Crown’s unique industrial wastewater. The EPA considers Crown a “categorical industrial discharger” and must implement specific industrial pretreatment programs and regulations.
Within just 11 months, LDG completed design, permitting, bidding and construction inspection, usually a two-year process. The strength of LDG’s relationships and judgment made the difference in achieving consensus among all parties for the fast-track schedule. This included alignment of funding and regulatory requirements, setting key milestones including 30-day, 60-day and 90-day submissions, and securing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s commitment to expeditious reviews.
In addition to designing and implementing improvements to pumping and well house facilities, LDG updated the Susquehanna River Basin Commission withdrawal permit to account for new demand. The firm worked closely with a hydrogeologist subconsultant and SRBC to design and conduct an appropriate aquifer test plan and receive permit approval. LDG’s solutions repurposed the treatment facility infrastructure into a robust treatment facility which has been easy for the operator to manage and has consistently met discharge limits.