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Insights Five water projects the Atkins team in the US successfully led

For more than a century we've been designing and building water infrastructure. It’s our belief that we should always be pushing research and innovation boundaries because, as we know, water sustains all life.

At AtkinsRéalis, we appreciate the importance of promoting sustainability wherever possible. We're on a mission to restore vital ecosystems and incorporate environmentally responsible features and processes.

Here's a look at five projects the AtkinsRéalis team in the US has successfully led.

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image of the Truckee river

1. Sustainable water systems in Truckee River

AtkinsRéalis was selected to lead the Truckee River Flood Management Project in Nevada, which went on to win the Climate Change Business Achievement Award in 2018. 

Since the 1960s, the downstream constriction point of the Truckee River has experienced major flooding, causing significant damage to communities and large industrial areas. The team provided engineering and economic analysis for the Vista Narrows portion of the river. 

Our design focused on river terracing, erosion control, floodwalls, levees, and bridge replacement, aiming to help minimize the levee and floodwall heights that were necessary for the overall success of the Truckee River project.

Interested in helping communities understand the impacts of climate change on water management? Tune in to our podcast episodes on climate change and water resilience and hear from leading experts in the field:

2. Efficient and sustainable water management in Clark County

When the Clark County Water Reclamation District identified the need for facility improvements, they enlisted the help of AtkinsRéalis. The government wastewater treatment agency—based in Nevada—shared that by 2025, their hydraulic treatment capacity must be 150-million-gallons-per-day (MGD) average annual flow (AAF). 

It was soon clear that a new dissolved air flotation thickener (DAFT) was the answer. Initial investigations found that this new system needed to have an overall diameter of 60-foot, with a 12-foot side water depth.

The team stepped in and provided design and coordination services for the DAFT facility, meanwhile balancing the planning required for the construction of new facilities with maintaining operations of the existing facilities. 

This required careful design planning and phasing coordination, but as our Division Manager Matt rightly points out, "Collaboration and teamwork have been the cornerstone of our Nevada business for the last 20 years". 

The team working on this water project demonstrated our extensive knowledge of geotechnical evaluation, conducting a dewatering study, structural design, a reliability-centered design study for the proposed facility, an odor control capacity evaluation, and other technical criteria studies.

If you’re interested wastewater management consider our networks and drainage team – read Jo’s story to learn more and explore how drainage engineers support sustainable infrastructure

3. Understanding key sustainable water management strategies in Sycamore Creek

A bacteria management plan looks at reducing the risk of bacteria growing in a system, and limiting the risk of an outbreak. Sycamore Creek, located in Texas, had various programs, policies, and activities that were aimed at controlling their water quality. 

It was our job to understand these existing strategies—under the supervision of our Senior Project Engineers—and develop a plan that both aligned and factored in the complex environmental processes that affect water quality. 

As with any of our water projects, there were unique requirements, one being that our devised plan needed to support local decision-making and planning efforts. 

Through the review and evaluation of potential sources and recognition of existing mitigation activities that were being locally implemented, the team was able to put together a plan that consisted of four broad strategies and deliver a solution.

If the idea of bacteria management plans captures your interest, why not check out our podcast episode exploring how managing bioresources efficiently and effectively, presents an immense opportunity to reduce the carbon impact of the wastewater industry? Listen to the Water Biosolids Paradigm Shift

4. Leading sustainable water solutions and designs in Patuxent

AtkinsRéalis is proud to lead designs like the Patuxent Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project. Anne Arundel County’s Patuxent WRF needed a redesign that would help them accommodate their growing community and protect water quality in Chesapeake Bay. 

The engineers in our water market developed the design for the expansion of the Patuxent WRF from 7.5 MGD to 10.5 MGD to achieve enhanced nutrient removal (ENR). The Patuxent WRF project went on to be selected as an Honor Award Winner and People’s Choice Award Winner at the Engineering Excellence Awards.

Population growth is just one of the challenges that our clients face. Using cutting-edge technologies, we work alongside our clients, helping them tackle climate change, pollution, manufacturing, and changing lifestyles. 

Our people have the latest environmental research and methods at their fingertips, which we use to deliver solutions that maintain and enhance our collective wellbeing.

5. Digging into the importance of water sustainability in the City of Houston

While we understand that water is essential for life, and therefore we must protect and nurture it, we can’t forget that it can be a dangerous and destructive force. At AtkinsRéalis, our water management experts appreciate this and make sure that sustainability and safety are at the heart of every project. This is what allows us to make a difference, and that’s just what our team is doing in Houston.

Last year, we came together with the City of Houston and led the damage assessment program after their wastewater facilities experienced extreme flood damage following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. 

We are now in the process of providing guidance for the systems upgrades that are required to mitigate any future damages to the treatment plants, lift stations, and tunnels.

Work on ground-breaking water projects with AtkinsRéalis

AtkinsRéalis has worked on some of the most exciting projects in the world. We protect water sources, design water plants, return wastewater safely to the ecosystem, and finalize flood defense strategies. 

Join the team, and you'll get to work with environmentally responsible teams who are always on the lookout for ways to push research and innovation. 

Explore our water market to learn more about our water projects, discover how you can make the world a better place with a job at AtkinsRéalis And find the latest water career opportunities such as Senior Water Resources Engineering jobs, and Senior Wastewater Engineering jobs.