Pictured from left in front of the Devier Student Suites water pump house posing with the award are: Aaron Davenport, principal and sr. project manager for Jones & Henry, and Michelle Thibideau, GOCC water treatment operator and Larry Diekman GOCC maintenance manager.

Glen Oaks Water Supply and Treatment project receives environmental award from APWA

A project that seemed insurmountable in the beginning turned out to be an award winning undertaking — with partners, Jones and Henry Engineers, Ltd., Frederick Construction,  and Glen Oaks Community College receiving the “Public Works Project of the Year – Environmental” award by the American Public Works Association (Southwestern Michigan Branch).

Supplying and treating water for the new Devier Student Suites became a challenge during construction as it was determined that the project would need to be permitted as a Type-1 community supply, rather than a Type-2 water well as designed in the original plans.

“With only four months’ notice until students would move into the residence hall; the new design called for a 2,000 foot separation from the existing campus wastewater treatment lagoon,” said Bruce Zakrzewski, GOCC dean of finance and administrative services. “This prompted us to secure the services of Jones & Henry Engineers to help design a solution.”

“With help from the college maintenance staff, the Frederick Construction team including Balkema Excavating, and Michelle Thibideau, supervisor, Centreville, Department of Public Works, the project was completed successfully, on spec, and on time,” said Zakrzewski.

Jones & Henry reviewed the architect’s calculations and verified required flow rates to orchestrate the drilling of a pair of 8-inch wells. Although there was not a previous issue with on-site water quality, less than six weeks prior to occupancy, the sampling of the new wells revealed elevated nitrate levels.

“The regular design process was tossed aside, and hand calculations and hand-drawn plan mark-ups of an anion exchange nitrate removal system was presented to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, to meet the timeframe,” said Aaron Davenport, principal and sr. project manager for Jones & Henry. “Final construction of the water system portion of the housing project, was completed and approved by the State on the day of student occupancy for the college’s 2017 fall semester.”  “It was an incredible feat of cooperation to pull this project together, and I am proud to have been part of the team.”

“The system continues to perform extremely well producing adequate water supply from the wells, with nitrate and hardness removal that complies with the Safe Drinking Water Act,” said Davenport. “Cooperation between the college, contractors, architect, engineers, and state was key to completion of this difficult, but vital, project.”

“The award is presented each year by the organization and is judged based on innovation, public need, public impact and overcoming complicated challenges,” said Davenport.