LEE + RO Recognized by ASCE and APWA with Awards for the UV Disinfection System Replacement Project at San Diego’s South Bay Water Reclamation Plant
LEE + RO and the City of San Diego are honored to be named by ASCE – San Diego Section as the winner of the 2020 “Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Project” and by APWA – SD Section as the winner of the 2021 “Project of the Year” awards for the UV Disinfection System Replacement Project at the South Bay Water Reclamation Plant.
The City of San Diego partnered with LEE + RO on the design of a new UV system that not only is more efficient resulting in reduced maintenance time and cost, but also ensures that the reclaimed water is safe and ready for distribution.
To learn about this project, read the case study.
Fraxia Engineering for San Jose Water Company
Fraxia Engineering (Fraxia), a San Jose-based firm, won the contract from the San Jose Water Company (SJWC) to install a chloramination system inside a new block building at their 12th Street Station facility. SJWC has installed this type of system on other facilities.
Fraxia to be the EOR for civil/mechanical design. Structural engineering services includes the design of a new block building , elevated equipment pads, FRP grating, subsurface concrete containment, specifications, calculations, engineering estimates, etc. Blowers or powered ventilation design provided by LEE + RO and electrical engineering by SJWC.
LEE + RO's role will be as a subconsultant to Fraxia and will provide structural and HVAC mechanical engineering services to Fraxia. The scope of works includes:
LEE + RO Promotes Principal Engineer Sam Lee to QA/QC Manager
CITY OF INDUSTRY June 28, 2020 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that it has promoted Principal Engineer Sam Lee, P.E., to QA/QC manager. Lee, working together with company President Charles Ro, will take the lead in solidifying the firm’s quality management system through enforcement of corporate policies, procedures, and protocols for quality planning, quality assurance, and quality control.
Lee brings his 14 years of engineering experience at LEE + RO to the task. His intimate knowledge of internal operations and processes combined with his understanding of LEE + RO’s diverse range of clients and projects place him in a position to continuously improve and enforce the company’s QA/QC procedures.
To read the full story, click here.
LEE + RO wins City of Anaheim contract to design the replacement of potable water mainline that crosses Interstate 5
Speed is essential to meet Caltrans' permitting requirements
The City of Anaheim’s (City) Department of Public Utilities has contracted LEE + RO to design the replacement of their existing 16-inch diameter potable water mainline with a new 24-inch diameter potable water mainline. The project straddles the boundary between the City of Anaheim and the City of Orange and runs along Orangewood Avenue, crossing the I-5 Freeway.
To meet the critical path permitting schedules with the Cities of Anaheim and Orange, and Caltrans District 12, LEE + RO’s project approach will be to leverage the available topo maps and utility maps to expedite preliminary design. LEE + RO will perform an alternative alignment analysis and present recommendations to the City. The preliminary design will be advanced through the 100% final design with final approvals from the various cities, departments and permitting agencies.
The proposed 1,000 LF 24-inch diameter waterline will connect to an existing 16-inch diameter butterfly valve at Manchester Avenue and to an existing 12-inch diameter gate valve at Anaheim Way.
To ensure minimal traffic congestion, inconvenience and maintain control, detailed traffic control plans will be prepared for the different phases of work, keeping at least one lane always open in all directions. Underground utilities will be located using GPR scanning and utility potholing.
90% plans will be submitted to all permitting agencies and departments to kickstart the permitting process. The 100% plans will incorporate all comments from the City, permitting agencies and departments for final approval and signatures.
Supervising Engineer Eric Magee Promoted to Manager of the San Diego Office
SAN DIEGO, Calif. June 21, 2021 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that Supervising Engineer Eric Magee, P.E. ENV SP, has been named the San Diego branch manager. He assumes the role from Vice President Eric Lovering, P.E., who was recently promoted to chief engineer. Lovering, who managed the region for the past 17 years, will continue to work out of the San Diego office.
Magee joined LEE + RO in August 2020, bringing his 24 years of engineering experience in water, wastewater, and recycled water to the company.
To read the full story, click here.
According to the California Energy Commission: Pumping, treatment, and distribution of water account for nearly 20 percent of the total electricity consumed in California. The report also stated that “… batteries are a key part of the energy transition especially when it comes to providing grid energy storage.
The advances in lithium-ion technology have reached a level that provides a high-cycle efficiency and fast response times that make it a viable backup alternative for water and wastewater treatment plants.
The CPUC’s Self-Generation Incentive Program offers rebates for installing energy storage technology, which includes battery storage systems that can function during a power outage.
The three key attributes of battery storage technology are:
• Emergency Backup – Powers a facility when the grid goes down
• Peak Shaving – Discharge during peak demand time to avoid or reduce demand charges
• Load Shifting – Shift energy consumption from one moment to another to avoid paying high energy prices
Join our host Kenneth Creager, a Supervising Electrical Engineer at LEE + RO, who will moderate the panel discussion.
Our panelist of battery storage experts are:
• Jacob Moeder: Senior Engineer at Irvine Ranch Water District
• Danny Lee: Senior Vice President at Blue Oak Energy
• Liam Weaver: Senior Solutions Engineer at Enel X
Join LEE + RO’s Chief Engineer Eric Lovering and SFPUC’s Senior Engineer Linda Leong at CWEA’s AC21 conference on June 9th
Joins us on June 9th from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM for a brisk presentation on the topic of Motors and Variable Speed Applications at AC21. The subjects that will be covered include:
Moderator: Linda Leong, SFPUC
Ms. Leong works in the Wastewater Enterprise division of SFPUC. She has been with the commission for more than twenty-five years and her focus is on improving the quality of life for San Francisco residents, workers, and visitors by providing customers with high-quality, efficient, and reliable sewer services.
Ms. Leong has an M.S. in Environmental Engineering, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and her work experience in environmental engineering includes working on water and wastewater treatment studies, planning, design, and construction. She is a California-registered Civil Engineer.
Primary Speaker: Eric Lovering, LEE + RO
Mr. Lovering is the Chief Engineer at LEE + RO. He has successfully completed dozens of public works projects from engineering design through construction, start-up and commissioning. He is a pump station subject matter expert, which has led to guest speaking engagements for ASCE and CWEA. Mr. Lovering has extensive training and hands-on knowledge in civil, hydraulics, pump sizing and selection, mechanical and electrical, including power distribution, instrumentation & controls (I&C), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and SCADA systems.
Mr. Lovering received his B.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from UC Davis. He holds California-registered licenses as both a professional civil engineer and a professional electrical engineer.
LEE + RO to Provide Riverside’s Public Works Department with an Assessment of their Wood Road Sewer Pump Station
The City of Riverside’s Public Works Department is experiencing operational challenges at their Wood Road sewer pump station. Some of the issues are heavy ragging, extended VFD ramp-up time, pumps not operating at recommended efficiencies, and most recently, failure of the ultrasonic sensors.
LEE + RO has been contracted by the City to assess the current conditions, understand issues to gain insights and recommend modifications to the existing operations, and programming to relieve the current operational challenges.
LEE + RO will:
LEE + RO to Design Two Replacement Lift Stations for the city of Riverside
The city of Riverside has contracted LEE + RO to prepare the construction documents for the replacement of two existing wastewater lift stations: Fairgrounds Street Lift Station and Dexter Drive Lift Station. Both of the existing lift stations were originally constructed in the late 1960s with a wet well manhole and a pump chamber vault with pedestal mounted pumps in a duplex (duty/standby) configuration.
The City’s objective is to replace each of the existing lift stations with a new lift station that conforms to the City’s current sewage lift station and force main guidelines that include wet well submersible pumps and valve vaults.
Fairgrounds St. Lift Station
These projects improve the system’s overall performance, maintains reliability of the sewer system, and ensures that infrastructure meets the City’s current standards.
LEE + RO to Design a New 12-kV Electrical Service Entrance Switchgear for Sonoma County Water Agency
The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) owns, operates, and manages the electrical system at Sonoma Water's Airport/Larkfield/Wikiup Sanitation Zone's Treatment Plant. The treatment plant was constructed in the early 1980s and a photovoltaic system was installed in 2007 to offset utility costs. Currently SCWA staff must schedule a PG&E utility shutdown to safely isolate the treatment plant electrical system from the utility service when conducting routine maintenance and repairs. SCWA wants the connection to the photovoltaic system reconfigured to facilitate isolation of the treatment plant electrical system.
LEE + RO has been contracted to provide the engineering design and construction support services for the installation of a new outdoor service entrance switchboard designed per PG&E Greenbook standards. LEE + RO will design a new 12-kV service entrance switchgear that facilitates electrical isolation of the existing 12-kV distribution switchgear from PG&E. This will allow maintenance of the 12-kV distribution switchgear without requiring a PG&E shut down. The 12-kV feeder to the existing photovoltaic system shall be reconfigured to comply with current PG&E requirements.
The design of the site improvements at both the new and existing switchgear will protect the equipment and improve staff working conditions. Improvements include canopies with lighting over equipment and concrete pad modifications to provide required working clearances and prevent standing water around the equipment.
Gloria Hodgers-Cortez Joins LEE + RO as an Administrative Assistant
Gloria has extensive experience providing support services having spent 15 years working at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She was responsible for maintaining accurate court records, findings, and entering information into the case management system, as well as reviewing and processing a variety of legal documents for assigned Judicial Departments.
Claudia Almaraz Promoted to Business Development Coordinator
Claudia joined the LEE + RO team back in June 2018 as an administrative assistant. Over these past 2-1/2 years, she has been a jack-of-all-trades and eager to help anyone who needed support related to ongoing projects.
With all her acquired company knowledge and her desire to learn more, she’ll be a great addition to our growing business development team.
Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency Awards LEE + RO the Contract to Design the Replacement of the Saugus Water Wells #3 + #4
The Whittaker Bermite Corporation was a munitions manufacturer who, from 1934 to 1987, manufactured, stored and tested munitions, explosives, and other military equipment on a 996-acre, undeveloped site in the Santa Clarita Valley. After the closure of the factory, soil and groundwater analysis showed significant perchlorate contamination of local soil and groundwater due to these testing activities. Perchlorate is a primary ingredient in explosives. In 2007 the Castaic Lake Water Agency (now the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency – (SCVWA) sued and was awarded damages as a result of losing 2,500 gpm of groundwater pumping capacity due to perchlorate contamination.
In 2015, LEE + RO was retained to perform a feasibility and alternative analysis for the siting and construction of the replacement wells at six different locations in SCVWA’s service area and to determine probable construction costs and direct arbitration assistance on behalf of SCVWA.
In 2019, LEE + RO was retained to update the probable construction costs based on a new favorable well location. The new available well site is located next to Magic Mountain Theme Park. This location dramatically reduces construction costs by eliminating the need to build a costly new raw water pipeline from the wells to the SCVWA’s treatment works due to its proximity to a future turnout of an existing raw water pipeline.
SCOPE OF WORK
LEE + RO has now begun the final design for the equipping of the SCVWA’s replacement wells. This project will equip two wells, Saugus #3 and #4, to pump 2,500 gpm of potable water from a well depth of approximately 2,500 ft below ground surface (bgs). Well equipping design for Saugus #3 and #4 is concurrent with well drilling/construction. Well facilities will include exposed mechanical equipment, weatherproof or enclosed medium and low voltage electrical equipment & networking, onsite chloramine-based disinfection and pump-to-waste connections within a security fence. Construction is expected to be complete in Q3 2022.
Kevin Saleh Joins LEE + RO as a Supervising Engineer
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., January 28, 2021 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that Kevin Saleh, P.E., has joined LEE + RO as a supervising engineer. He will work out of the City of Industry office. Saleh has over two decades of experience in planning, design, construction management, and construction support services for various public works projects.
To learn more about Kevin, please click HERE.
LEE + RO Wins Two City of El Centro Projects:
Convert the Gaseous Chlorine System to a Sodium Hypochlorite Disinfection System and Replace the Existing Raw Water Electrical Panel
The City of El Centro (City) owns and operates a Water Treatment Plant (WTP) that receives its water supply from the Colorado River through the Imperial Irrigation District’s (IID) canals. The City’s WTP has a design capacity of 21 MGD, with an average daily demand of 7.8 MGD and current peak flows of 13-14 MGD.
The WTP currently operates a gaseous chlorine water disinfection system to disinfect the water prior to discharging it into the City’s supply lines. The City has expressed concern regarding the usage of chlorine gas as a disinfectant, as chlorine gas is toxic and poses dangers to the public and operations staff. Since the WTP is located adjacent to residential areas, the risk of chlorine gas exposure to the public is greatly increased in the unlikely event of a large leak.
The City has contracted with LEE + RO to convert from a gaseous chlorine system to a 12.5% bulk sodium hypochlorite disinfection system. LEE + RO will provide the preliminary design, final design, bid phase and engineering support services during construction. Engineering services will include designs for construction of new bulk sodium hypochlorite systems, including all equipment, two (2) double-walled chemical storage tanks, five (5) chemical metering pumps, shower/eyewash stations, connected piping, valves, electrical and instrumentation, and process control via SCADA.
LEE + RO received a second contract for the replacement of the existing raw water electrical panel with a new electrical panel. The existing panel is utilized to feed electricity to four raw water pumps, a transfer pump, a HVAC unit and security lights. LEE + RO will provide the preliminary design, final design, bid phase and engineering support services during construction. The project design elements include:
MWD Veteran Shiv Murti Joins LEE + RO as Principal Electrical Engineer
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., January 28, 2021 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that Metropolitan Water District of Southern California veteran Shiv Murti, P.E., has joined the company as a principal electrical engineer. He has four decades of electrical and controls engineering experience in water treatment and conveyance, coal-fired power plants, nuclear plants, and oil refineries.
To read the full press release about Shiv, please click HERE.
LEE + RO Wins San Dimas Contract for Sewage Lift Station and Force Main Design Improvements
LEE + RO has been awarded a contract from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LACPW) for design improvements at a sewage lift station and force main in the City of San Dimas. The contract is for the preparation of preliminary design plans, final design plans, specifications and construction cost estimate, bid support services, and construction engineering support for the rehabilitation and improvements to the Tract No. 37003 Sewage Lift Station and force main.
Since the construction of the force main and lift station in the mid-1980s, several small projects have modified the facility and force main piping. The force main has experienced repeated failures and exhibits signs of corrosion, and the coating within the lift station wet well appears to have pinholes and blisters. Several lift station site features are in poor condition having exceeded their beneficial life.
The scope of work includes:
Michael Assadourian Rejoins LEE + RO as a Supervising Electrical Engineer
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., January 7, 2021 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that Michael Assadourian, P.E., has rejoined LEE + RO as a supervising electrical engineer. He will be working out of the City of Industry office. Assadourian has over 30 years of experience in electrical and control systems engineering, design, and project management for water and wastewater treatment plants, pump stations, petrochemical plants, refineries, schools, and transportation facilities.
Assadourian has extensive expertise and in-depth knowledge in power distribution, emergency power generation, grounding, and lighting systems, both NEMA and IEC standards based; motor controls and variable frequency drives; coordination with utility companies; instrumentation and process control strategies, loop/logic/control diagrams, PLC wiring control, P&IDs, and SCADA interface.
LEE + RO Promotes Principal Engineer Richard Davis to Manager of QA/QC
CITY OF INDUSTRY January 7, 2021 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that it has promoted veteran engineer Richard Davis, P.E., to manager of QA/QC. Davis, working together with company President Charles Ro, will take the lead in implementing the firm’s quality management system through enforcement of corporate policies, procedures, and protocols for quality planning, quality assurance and quality control.
Davis brings more than three decades of managing wastewater and water infrastructure projects to this task. His expertise lies in the planning, designing and construction of sewage collection systems, pump stations, water transmission systems, and other capital improvement projects. Davis has also overseen the development of QA/QC programs, master plans, and the preparation of environmental documents in compliance with state laws and ordinances.
Civil Engineer Adam Betsworth, P.E. Joins LEE + RO Team
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – LEE + RO today announced that Adam S. Betsworth, P.E. has joined the company. Betsworth is a licensed civil engineer with over 15 years of experience working in both the municipal and land development spaces. He’s worked with AutoCAD for more than 21 years and is an expert with Civil 3D.
Betsworth’s municipal work includes potable and recycled water pipelines, wastewater treatment plants, lift stations, recycled water tanks, potable water reservoirs, and booster pump stations. His work in land development covered commercial grading plans, street plans, sewer, water, recycled, and transmission lines, storm drain plans, channels, traffic control plans, tract maps, legal descriptions, and writing complex exhibits and reports.
“As we continue our planned growth strategy,” said President Charles Ro, “having Adam’s 15 years of civil engineering experience combined with his expertise with AutoCAD and Civil 3D, positions LEE + RO to provide our clients with added value.”
“LEE + RO is a great company that has an extensive background in water/wastewater infrastructure, which aligns with my previous experiences,” said Betsworth. “Here I can expand my horizons as well as my career aspirations to become a project manager and lead a great team of engineers."
Prior to joining LEE + RO, Betsworth was an associate engineer with Webb Associates where he had the opportunity to sharpen his skills in municipal and land development areas. Before joining Webb, he was an associate engineer with Parsons Corporation. Betsworth started his career at KWC Engineers.
Betsworth received his B.S. in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Betsworth is a registered professional engineer (civil) in California.
The Town of Apple Valley Awards LEE + RO the Design Services Contract for the Construction of a New Jess Ranch Lift Station
LEE + RO has been contracted by the Town of Apple Valley to provide the engineering design services for the construction of a new Jess Ranch lift station. The existing lift station was constructed to service the Jess Ranch residential community, which has been experiencing significant population growth over the past decade and is expected to continue throughout the coming decade. The project services include all civil, mechanical, structural, and electrical and I&C system designs.
Since its original construction, the community has grown significantly with additional residential communities to the south and an expansive retail district to the north. Future development in the area west of Deep Creek Road will also be serviced by this new lift station. Additional projects have been proposed and conditionally approved that also requires a new lift station to adequately service the area.
The project will identify and focus on an evaluation of the existing system and anticipated future demands and will include recommendations for potentially upsizing pump capacities and wet well volume, in addition to force main size. One of the key factors in the evaluation will be the high-water table, due to the fact that the proximity of the project location to the Mojave River presents construction challenges that must be considered during the design, such as bypass pumping and dewatering during the excavation of the new 30-ft. deep wet well.
LEE + RO will prepare a feasibility study presenting various design alternatives, including a hydraulic analysis of the existing and anticipated build-out sewer flows to determine the necessary pumping and storage capacities required and an electrical analysis to determine the new electrical load, utility service and sizing of the new electrical gear and generator.
The feasibility study will also present various types of pumping system alternatives, including self-priming pumps, non-clog pumps with submersible motors, a combination dry-pit / wet-pit arrangement, and a direct in-line pumping system. It will also address recommendations for a new replacement force main.
Following the selection of the preferred design alternative, LEE + RO will prepare final plans and specifications as well as estimates for the new replacement lift station and appurtenances.
Design completed on San Diego County Water Authority's Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir and Pipeline Surge Protection Project
LEE + RO has completed the design for the San Diego County Water Authority’s (SDCWA) $12.5 million Hauck Mesa Storage Reservoir and Pipeline Surge Protection Project in northern San Diego County. The main purpose for this project is to provide one hour of emergency flow regulatory storage (FRS) on the First Aqueduct.
A planning study determined that this site is the most viable site to meet system goals. It is not only located on a high point in the aqueduct system but also adjacent to the existing 66-inch diameter Valley Center Pipeline 2A. SDCWA procured the site and easement rights from the previous owner, Valley Center Municipal Water District (VCMWD). The existing reservoir on the site is currently out of service.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and is estimated to be completed in the winter of 2022. The project elements include:
• Demolition of the existing steel tank and replacement with a new 1.8 MG capacity, prestressed-concrete above-ground reservoir with appurtenances
• Replacement of a portion of the 66-inch diameter CML&C welded-steel pipeline and other yard piping
• New isolation valve vault, underground flow control facility, electrical and controls, SCADA upgrades, and various site improvements.
The new storage reservoir will improve water deliveries by temporarily storing drinking water pumped to the Valley Center Municipal Water District, Vallecitos Water District, Vista Irrigation District, and the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant. The stored water will safeguard water deliveries from unanticipated water interruptions or pump station outages.
LEE + RO Names Jay Jung Vice President of Operations
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. December 8, 2020 – LEE + RO, Inc. today announced that it has appointed Jay Jung, P.E., as vice president of operations. Jung will be responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, resource management and planning, as well as staff development and training. He's also a member of the senior management team and reports directly to the CEO.
Jung has intimate knowledge of LEE + RO’s operations as he’s been in a managerial position with the company since 2006. His responsibilities include resource allocation planning and direction, ERP platform utilization, project budget compliance and monitoring, project management oversite, and project managers’ best practices training.
To read the full press release, please click HERE.
LEE + RO Names Vice President Eric Lovering its Chief Engineer
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. November 18, 2020 – LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that Vice President Eric Lovering, P.E., has been named the company’s chief engineer. In this new role, Lovering will apply his 20 years of engineering experience, strong leadership qualities, and problem-solving skills to helping solidify the company’s position as a leader in the design, engineering, and implementation of water, wastewater, and recycled water infrastructure projects throughout California.
To read the full press release, please click HERE.
Veterans Day: How it came to be.
At 11 AM on November 11, 1918, the war between Germany and the Allied forces came to an end. The Great War, which had killed more than 15 million people, needed to be acknowledged and remembered. A year later, King George V of England proclaimed that November 11th would be Armistice Day. In 1938, Congress made November 11th an official federal holiday in the U.S., a day set aside to honor veterans of the Great War.
In 1953, Alvin J. King of Emporia, Kansas, proposed changing the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to recognize veterans from all wars and conflicts. Though King never served in the armed forces, he was motivated by the fact that his stepson, John Cooper, died in combat during World War II. The Emporia community raised money so King could go to Washington to meet with officials and push them to change the name. The following year, President Eisenhower signed the law changing the holiday name to Veterans Day.
What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?
Memorial Day pays tribute to those who died in service to our country. It was established in 1868 to commemorate the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the Civil War.
Veterans Day honors all who have served in the military.
Jhune, Madeleine, Eric, Greg, and Richard, all of us at LEE + RO thank you for your service.
NOV. 10th: Zaheer Shaikh Moderates CWEAs Webinar on Risk Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 for Wastewater Workers and Strategies for Mitigation
Since wastewater treatment workers are at an increased risk of infection and illness from water-based pathogens, treatment facilities need to evaluate how job tasks/activities influence risk. This session will engage academics, industry, and wastewater workers in an interactive discussion of risk assessment and strategies for mitigation.
To join the webinar, please click HERE.
Sunset Beach Sanitary District Broadway Sewer Siphon Replacement
The Sunset Beach Sanitary District, located in Orange County, has issued a contract to LEE + RO to provide the design services, construction management, and inspection services for this important District project. The Project entails replacing approximately 220 LF of existing 6-inch diameter cast iron sewer siphon crossing beneath Sunset Channel (60’ wide R/W) northwest of the existing bridge in Broadway (80’ wide R/W). The project goal is to proactively replace the 85-year old pipe, which is still in working condition, to provide greater pipe resistance to earthquake shaking.
The siphon was originally installed in 1935 under the Sunset Channel and was built using 6-inch cast iron pipe. The existing pipe has since been lined with a plastic liner in 1987. The District conducted an investigation in November 2019 to determine the location and depth of the steel sheet piling, and adjacent utilities as well as other features that will affect the replacement. Based on District’s experience and challenges with underwater investigation in the channel, any construction method directly affecting the waters, including open cut trenching in the channel crossing, has been removed from consideration. As such, various trenchless technologies have been selected herein for replacement of the Broadway Sewer Siphon.
In-Depth: The Rise of Impact Investment in the Water Sector
Why has impact investor interest in the water management space peaked recently? How can investors attain exposure to a sector that has historically been publicly funded? The answers to these questions are explained by analyzing several factors. Let’s first explore the predominant theories of water scarcity and investment. We will then assess how this investment thesis has been implemented in the past and present by intergovernmental organizations, index funds, and active asset managers. Lastly, we will share a few examples detailing the recent innovations and successes of water investors and companies that may offer us a glimpse at the future of the industry and its capital flows.
To read the Oxford Business Review article, please click HERE.
Electrical and I&C Veteran Kenneth Creager Joins LEE + RO as a Supervising Electrical Engineer.
Creager brings more than three decades of electrical and I&C experience in the water, wastewater, utilities, and petrochemical fields. His expertise includes power generation, substation design, power distribution, heavy industrial/facilities design, as well as automation and control systems design, power system analysis, master planning, and construction. To learn more, please click HERE.
LEE + RO hosts a tech session at CWEA's AC20 Conference: "The Future of Wastewater Treatment Plant Design."
We would like to thank Ian Bronswick of Delta Diablo, Rudy Guzman of the City of Oceanside, Garin Warren and Gary Lin from EBMUD, Rick Staggs and Cory Asher from the City of Fresno, and Ben Kikugawa of Tuolumne City for attending and providing some incredible insights as to their views about the future of WWTP design.
The discussion was centered around the following question: "Now that the activated sludge and secondary clarifier processes are over 100 years old, should municipalities and districts begin to think about embracing the newest technologies to achieve a higher quality effluent in a much more reliable way, and possibly at less cost to operate?"
LEE + RO Recognized by Engineering News-Record with the 2020 Best Water/Environment Project for the California Region
LEE + RO is honored to be recognized by Engineer News-Record for the design work on the Hyperion Secondary Effluent Pump Station for West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD). Due to the extremely small size footprint for the pump station, there were some doubts about the feasibility and constructability of the design. Working in partnership with WBMWD's general contractor PCL, the LEE + RO team tackled every challenge to successfully deliver an outstanding result.
Said CEO Dhiru Patel, "We're proud of the collaborative approach that our team brought to this project. These improvements to Hyperion will save millions of gallons of potable water each year, protect our coastal aquifers from seawater intrusion, provide an economical alternative to using potable water for industrial processes, and reduce the amount of (treated) sewage released into the ocean—all while making beneficial reuse of an underappreciated, untapped resource: Los Angeles’ raw wastewater."
LEE + RO at CWEA's 2020 Virtual Conference
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. October 15, 2020 – Aneal Shah, P.E., has joined the firm’s Walnut Creek office as a supervising engineer. Shah brings to the team more than 25 years of engineering and leadership experience in sustainable water. His professional areas of expertise include design and operational knowledge of activated sludge processes, membrane bioreactors, anaerobic digestion, advanced water treatment, and water re-use.
To learn more about Aneal, please click HERE.
LEE + RO's Zaheer Shaikh to Moderate the CWEA's Session "Engineering & Research: Operation & Management Practices"
On October 21st, LEE + RO's Zaheer Shaikh, PE, will be moderating one of the key sessions at CWEA's virtual conference. The featured speaker is Jean-Marc Petit, PE, the Director of Engineering and Technical Services at Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. He's a 30-year industry veteran who oversees the Planning and Development, Regulatory and Environmental Compliance, and Capital Projects divisions for the District.
LEE + RO is proud to be the PURE WATER PLUS sponsor of CWEA's virtual conference.
LEE + RO is the CWEA PURE WATER PLUS Sponsor
LEE + RO is proud to be the PURE WATER PLUS sponsor of CWEA’s first virtual conference from October 19-22. As fellow Californians, we understand the challenges that we’re all dealing with during this pandemic. We also know how important it is to ensure that you and your team are delivering safe and secure water to your communities.
We hope that you are planning on attending. And if you are, we’d love to schedule a chat on Zoom to learn about your current challenges and explore how we can assist you and your team during these difficult times. We’ll even treat you to a cup of Starbucks coffee!
To schedule your 1-on-1 Zoom call, please email our VP of Marketing, Rick Liskow, at email@example.com.
LEE + RO Launches LinkedIn Recruiting Campaign
LEE + RO today launched its "Make LEE + RO Your Choice" recruiting campaign on LinkedIn. The campaign is focused on its employees and why they chose to come to the company to either start their careers or to make the next move in their established careers. The fact is they're all looking for the same thing: a place where they can have the greatest impact.
The idea for the campaign came from the many interactions that company President Charles Ro had with a lot of the employees. "Our employees are the reason for our success and our ability to take the company to the next level. And we’re looking for people just like them: passionate professionals who will help move all of us and the great work we do forward."
Water Infrastructure Veteran Eric Magee Joins LEE +RO
Eric Magee, PE MBA, has joined LEE + RO as a supervising engineer. He’s an established civil engineer and a certified Envision Sustainability Professional. He brings more than two decades of experience and a passion for solving some of the most complex water infrastructure challenges facing California. Eric has extensive experience in water, wastewater, and recycled water engineering. To learn more about Eric, please click HERE .
LEE + RO Donates to California Food Banks Struggling to Meet Increased Demand Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
LEE + RO has made donations to four food banks representing Northern, Central and Southern California. The recipients of $1,000 each are the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, The Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
“Our company has a commitment to providing water security for Californians for generations,” said LEE + RO President Charles Ro. “But with so many Americans struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, we saw our mission reflected perfectly in this first focus on the urgent issue of food insecurity.”
With roughly 30 million Americans unemployed and 54 million facing hunger – including more than 18 million children – every community in the United States is at risk.
Fortunately, everyone can make a difference in the way that’s most meaningful for them:
Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Plant Tequesquite Landfill Blowers Rehabilitation Project
The City has contracted with LEE + RO to replace the three-existing single-stage rotary sliding vane gas compressors with a new centrifugal blower system with two blowers. LEE + RO’s scope of work covers the demolition of the existing compressor system, design of the new VFD driven blower system, including an overhead canopy structure, condensate management, electrical, instrumentation and controls, and permitting assistance.
The City of Riverside is the owner and operator of the now closed Tequesquite Landfill. In 1988, a landfill gas collection system was installed to comply with regulatory requirements. Landfill gas was conditioned and compressed utilizing three rotary sliding vane compressors and transported via pipeline to the Co-Generation Facility at the City’s Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP). Gas strength and quality degraded over time and a gas flare was installed onsite to flare the landfill gas. In 2019, an ultra-low emission flare was installed to replace the original flare. However, the existing compressors are improperly sized for the new flare, generating inadequate vacuum to efficiently pull the landfill gas from the collection wells at the Tequesquite Landfill’s collection head and convey it to the new flare.
Secondary Effluent Line Replacement and Davis St. Manhole Replacement
The City of San Leandro has issued a contract to LEE + RO to provide engineering services for a project to rehabilitate the 36”diameter Secondary Effluent (SE) line at the City’s Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP), replace the sanitary sewer junction structure adjacent to the WPCP, and rehabilitate the existing 30” diameter and 33” diameter sanitary sewer pipes entering the plant from the junction structure. LEE + RO will provide the preliminary design, final design, bid phase and engineering support services during construction. Final design documents will be provided within 5 months of the notice to proceed. Project design elements include:
Treatment Plant 1 Water System Hydraulic Modeling Services
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District has contracted LEE + RO to perform hydraulic modeling of the 1 Water (1W) system at their 54 MGD treatment plant. A computer-based model of the plant’s 1W system will be created in InfoWater and steady-state simulations of the existing system will be performed to analyze different demand scenarios such as Average Day, Maximum Day, and Peak Hour flows. Field testing will be performed to record flow and pressure measurements with the temporary flow and pressure loggers and the data will be used to calibrate the model.
Ely Booster Station Hazard Mitigation Project
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded a $2.3 million Hazard Mitigation Grant to Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) to provide Ely Booster Station protection against a 500-year flood and 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Ely Booster Station is located within 5 miles of the Rodgers Creek Fault and sits in a 100-year floodplain, and local assessments identified issues that threaten its reliability during a flood or a seismic event. Historically, the station has been inundated by floodwater during the rainy season, where extreme elevations of water threatened operability and raised safety concerns for onsite personnel.
Sonoma Water has contracted with LEE + RO to provide engineering design services for the improvements to Sonoma Water's Ely Booster Station. The result will be a long term, independent solution to the risks posed by flood and earthquake events. These actions will effectively provide protection against a 500-year flood event and a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and completion of the project will mitigate the risk of Sonoma County residents losing this precious water resource in the event of a disaster.
The engineering design services will include sealing and elevating electrical appurtenances above the 500-year floodplain, replacing the pump motor housing structures and anchoring equipment critical to the operation of the booster station. The project will also replace the existing medium voltage switchgear with a new switchgear, complete with new motor starters. The switchgear feeds two 500-hp pumps.
Treatment Plant Piping Renovations Phase 10
LEE + RO has been awarded a project to design various mechanical and electrical improvements throughout the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District’s 54 MGD treatment plant. The scope of work includes:
Rehabilitation and Betterment CIP: Electrical Upgrades
The Solano Irrigation District owns and operates approximately 200 agricultural electrical facilities that power pumps and wells at isolated locations throughout the District’s service area. As part of the first phase of improvements, the District selected some facilities to upgrade aging electrical equipment, provide shelter from the elements for the electrical equipment, and harden the sites against tampering, theft, and vandalism.
The project includes developing standard details for installing or upgrading electrical infrastructure and preparing plans and specifications for upgrading 13 existing electrical facilities, including permitting and coordinating with PG&E. In addition to the electrical improvement designs, LEE + RO will prepare design plans for necessary civil improvements, including grading, access roads and fencing, structures and foundations for panels and shade structures.
Pressure Reducing Station Upgrades for the City of San Diego
Dokken Engineering has partnered with LEE + RO to provide the civil, structural (vault sizing and layout), mechanical, electrical and I+C engineering work for the upgrades to 11 of the City of San Diego’s pressure reducing stations at various locations within the City and to develop a Radio Repeating Station. The project consists of the design and construction of replacement pressure reducing stations, complete with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) instrumentation, water main removal or abandonment and replacement, appurtenances, revegetation of the existing parkway areas, pavement resurfacing, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
LEE + RO will prepare the civil, mechanical, structural, electrical and I&C plans for the pressure reducing stations, including piping in the streets and paving repairs. In addition to the design services, LEE + RO will also provide bid phase services and engineering support services during construction.
Seal Beach Pump Station Replacement
LEE + RO has been awarded a contract by the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) to replace the existing 50-year old Seal Beach Pump Station with a new 34 MGD capacity pump station. The new Seal Beach Pump Station will feature a deeper wet well to facilitate the bypassing and eventual decommissioning and demolition of the upstream Westside Pump Station. The new Seal Beach Pump Station, located on the same site as the existing Seal Beach Pump Station, will meet current and future flow demands to year 2040. Due to a contaminated groundwater plume in the vicinity of the project, there is no allowance for water table drawdown or dewatering of the approximately 50-foot deep excavation.
The site layout is tightly constrained by the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, large arterial roads, and the existing Seal Beach Pump Station that must remain operational throughout construction. The new $45 million replacement pump station includes demolition, civil, mechanical, structural, architectural, HVAC, electrical, instrumentation and control systems design, site improvements including above ground buildings, underground vaults, manholes, new gravity sewer and force main segments, odor control, facilities for drainage, paving, landscaping and irrigation, perimeter walls and security, storm drains and other utilities, in addition to temporary facilities as required to maintain operation of the pump station during construction.
Potable Water Steel Reservoir Seismic Retrofits
Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) owns and operates a total of 38 reservoirs as part of their potable and recycled water distribution systems. Of the 38 reservoirs, 32 are above grade/partially buried steel tanks with 26 tanks in the potable water system and 6 tanks in the recycled water system. An assessment study completed for the District in 2015 concluded that 18 of the 26 steel potable water reservoirs require one or more of the following improvements to comply with current seismic codes and standards:
In October 2019, the District engaged LEE + RO to provide the seismic retrofit designs for the 18 potable water steel reservoirs. The scope of work includes preliminary and final design; preparation of construction documents and construction cost estimates; FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant requirements research and implementing procurement requirements into the construction documents; bid phase support; and construction phase engineering support services.
LEE + RO reviewed the structural calculations from the 2015 assessment study for one of the tanks and determined that tank does not require the concrete ring wall footing retrofits recommended in the study. The District requested that LEE + RO conduct a structural analysis on each of the other seven tanks that the assessment study recommended retrofitting the ring wall footings. This could potentially result in substantial savings to the District from not having to drain each of these tanks and take them out of service in addition to the cost of the retrofit work itself.
Sewer Lift Stations Nos. 9 & 11, Sewer Collection and Water Distribution System Improvements
The City of Calexico contracted with LEE + RO to provide engineering and design services necessary to increase the capacities and upgrade existing Lift Station No. 9 and Lift Station No. 11 and replace associated force mains and collection system gravity sewers, in addition to replacing domestic water pipelines to accommodate additional development in the area.
The project consists of the following items:
RP-4 Influent Screen Replacement Project - Stanek Constructors, Inc.
LEE + RO, as design engineer, partnered with Stanek Constructors to replace the existing influent screens at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s (IEUA) Reclamation Plant 4 (RP-4) with more reliable and efficient screens. This $2 million design-build project is intended to replace the two existing perforated plate fine screens with two new ¼” multi-rake bar screens. IEUA pre-negotiated and selected multi-rake bar screens from Duperon Corporation
LEE + RO’s scope of services includes:
Regional Treatment Plant MCC UpgradesThe South Orange County Wastewater Authority's (SOCWA) Regional Treatment Plant (RTP) was constructed in 1982 and although there have been a series of upgrade projects over the last 20 years, much of the electrical system remains as originally installed in 1982.
Calexico WWTP Upgrading and Expansion
The City of Calexico owns and operates a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) with a permitted capacity of 4.3 MGD. The existing WWTP consists of two treatment plants; the 2.5 MGD Plant 1 conventional activated sludge plant, and the 1.8 MGD Plant 2 aerated lagoons.
In December of 2017, LEE+RO was contracted by the City of Calexico to prepare a WWTP Master Plan to (1) determine the future wastewater treatment capacity for the next 10 to 20 years based on the current population trends and development projections; (2) perform a condition assessment and determine the life expectancy of the existing process units; (3) identify the unit processes with the lowest lifecycle costs; and (4) make recommendations for the WWTP capital improvements.
In March 2019, the City contracted with LEE + RO to provide the engineering and designs to implement the recommendations from the Master Plan. The upgraded WWTP will be capable of treating an average dry weather flow of 5.8 MGD and a peak wet weather flow of 11.6 MGD and will be capable of producing an effluent with low ammonia concentrations (i.e. less than 5 mg/l) in compliance with potentially reduced future regulatory requirements. LEE + RO’s design incorporates extended aeration basin technology to simultaneously treat the wastewater and reduce effluent ammonia concentrations.
The upgrades and improvements to the WWTP include:
Descanso Gardens (Gardens) is a world-renowned botanical and horticultural garden located just north of the City of Los Angeles. The Gardens use on-site sewer collection, treatment, and disposal systems to treat the wastewater generated by on-site facilities. In 2012, they replaced their existing septic tank and leach field. In 2016, the system began experiencing capacity issues and seepage pit structure failures that resulted in untreated wastewater inundating the seepage pits forcing the Gardens to collect and haul away approximately 6,000 gallons per day of wastewater. John Robinson Consulting (JRC), contracted with LEE + RO to replace the 2012 system.
LEE + RO’s engineering and design services will center around a new membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology, which will produce Title 22-compliant tertiary (recycled water) effluent within a compact, modular footprint. In addition to restoring on-site treatment capacity, the new packaged MBR system will provide the Gardens with the opportunity to utilize the recycled water to irrigate the facility, thereby reducing the Gardens' operating costs and the facility's carbon footprint. The improvements will include: