] Wichita's Equus Beds nominated for 2015 Water Project of the Year - PEC - Professional Engineering Consultants
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Wichita’s Equus Beds nominated for 2015 Water Project of the Year

The City of Wichita’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) program was nominated for the 2015 Water Project of the Year by Global Water Intelligence. Global Water Intelligence is an international market and industry magazine.

The ASR program was designed to protect and restore the Equus Beds aquifer, which includes 14 construction and design-build projects spread over 80 square miles.

This 30.0 MGD (113,550m3/d) ASR project in Wichita, Kansas, deploys the world’s largest advanced oxidation facility to treat water from the Little Arkansas River during high-flow periods and inject it into the overdrawn Equus Beds aquifer.

The project was procured by the City of Wichita. PEC provided program management for the $237 million design-build project to complete the river intake, water treatment facilities, recharge wells and basins.

As the first ASR project in the state of Kansas, the planning team had to show the understanding and confidence to deal with a host of state agencies and create a viable framework for success. At the same time, a wide-ranging publicity and awareness campaign brought local residents onside with a project that had resoundingly averted a looming environmental crisis.

The detailed design of the project allows it to be started up and shut down at remarkably short notice – essential for a plant that has to adjust to rapidly varying demand and supply dynamics, all while keeping the aquifer at a sustainable level.

The deployment of the world’s largest advanced oxidation system – six times bigger than the next biggest of its kind – allows the system to handle surface water contaminants such as atrazine, bringing the water to a point where it can both enhance and secure the natural aquifer for future generations.

Construction includes a surface water treatment plant; river intake facility; 29 recharge/recovery wells; 31 miles of pipeline; 43 miles of power line; an electrical substation; SCADA controls; and maintenance facilities. PEC’s services included land acquisition, project definition, survey controls, budgeting and tracking, permitting, bidding and pre-qualification, final design evaluation, public/stakeholder communication and general management controls.