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Willmar, Minnesota

2012 ACEC Minnesota Honor Award Winner

Donohue & Associates and the City of Willmar, Minnesota, received an Honor Award in the 2012 ACEC Minnesota Engineering Excellence competition. The award recognizes the City of Willmar's wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) relocation and conveyance system improvements project. Donohue provided program management, planning, design, construction services, and startup assistance to the City.

The WWTF was uniquely designed to have two separate treatment trains: one for municipal and one for an industry waste. This approach allowed the design team to reduce the total treatment system size, improve treatment system robustness and resiliency for a challenging industrial application, provide a transparent and fair mechanism for equitable cost allocation, and provide enhanced process troubleshooting insight.

The innovative application of a modeling tool facilitated the facility’s startup so effectively that permit limits were met within one day. The conveyance portion of the project included 6 miles of 48- and 54-inch interceptor and involved 32 wetland crossings, highways, sensitive agricultural lands, and a railroad at depths of up to 45 feet. The project was completed $4M under the $86M budget with minimal change orders at 0.05% ($35,000) of the $68.4M construction cost.