Constructed Wetland System Wins National Honor: Saves $26 Million

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) announced today that it selected Lochmueller Group’s wetland treatment system in Washington, Ind. for a 2013 Engineering Excellence Honor Award. ACEC, the leading engineering trade association, evaluated 146 submissions and selected the Washington project as one of 24 to recognize nationally.

“We at Lochmueller Group have worked hard with communities that want to improve water quality in local rivers and streams but that are also facing extremely tight budgets,” said Lochmueller Group President Mike Hinton. “We’re honored that our solution has won national attention.”

Like many Midwestern cities, Washington’s sanitary and stormwater system were originally combined in order to save money. However as the city grew, it didn’t have enough storage capacity and as little as 1/10 of an inch of rain caused combined-sewer overflows (CSOs) of sewage mixed with rainwater directly into waterways. The city needed to fix this, but the traditional approaches of separating sewer and stormwater pipes or adding wastewater treatment plant capacity would have cost $53 million, according to one study. That is the equivalent of nearly $11,800 for each household in this small city where the median household income is $40,000.

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