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Large scale Chowchilla water project receives Project of the Year award

For The Madera Tribune

From left are Karl Kienow, APWA Central California Chapter president; Scott Krebs, Johnson Controls, Inc.; Rod Pruett, Chowchilla Acting City Administrator; Jason Rogers, Chowchilla Director of Public Works; Spencer Supinger, QK, Inc.; and Bryan Greenamyer, Johnson Controls, Inc.


CHOWCHILLA — The City of Chowchilla, CA was honored by the American Public Works Association Central California Chapter with its 2019 APWA Project of the Year Award in the category of Small Cities/Rural Communities, Buildings/Structures for their large scale Water Storage/Booster Pump/Pressure Sustaining Valves Project.

The project was a collaborative effort between City Council approving the project and funding; Johnson Controls, Inc. who were able to assist the City with planning and development for a clean and green future; QK for engineering design and environmental work; and city staff for project management and outside the box creative financing that ensured that rates would not drastically increase with such a large scale project.

As a disadvantaged community with limited resources, this project was desperately needed in order to ensure the stability of the City’s water utility. A system with significant deficiencies, which included aging infrastructure, rising water demand, insufficient well capacity, lack of water storage, and an inability to pressurize the entire system for peak hour and fire flow conditions. Additionally, when the City’s largest producing well went down in April 2018 for about for months, the need for an updated system became urgent.

The project consisted of drilling a new well, installing two 750,000-gallon storage tanks to be filled by the system at night and pumped out during the day with two new booster pump stations, each equipped with three VFD pumps that adjust to meet the demand. Additionally, the project also included installation of two Pressure Sustaining Valves (PSVs) to ensure that the higher elevation side of the City does not lose pressure during peak demand. Lastly, a solar panel array was installed on site to not only provide power to the new facilities but some of the existing City buildings as well.

Chowchilla Public Works Director Jason Rogers said he was honored to receive the APWA award on behalf of the City and was pleased with how well the project has succeeded.

“It wasn’t enough to simply apply bandaids to the system while ignoring the long term needs and safety of the community,” Rogers said. “Thanks to forward thinking of our City Council and the project team, our water delivery system is operating efficiently, with the pressure necessary to satisfy the demands of its citizens, and the storage required to meet peak demands and fire flow conditions. This project was a great success and will benefit our residents for years to come while providing for the public safety.”

The American Public Works Association’s Project of the Year Award Program was established to recognize outstanding individuals and groups representing the best achievements in the public and to promote excellence in demonstrating creativity, ingenuity, and efficiency in the delivery of public works projects that have a profound impact on the community.

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