HOUSTON–The Houston Waterworks Team (HWT), a joint venture of CDM Smith and Jacobs for the $1.77 billion Northeast Water Purification Plant Expansion (NEWPP) project, has exceeded its own safety record by completing 5 million work-hours with zero time-lost accidents.
“The dedication to the health and safety of our workers is always foremost at HWT. The Health and Safety teams of HWT and our subcontractor partners are the best in the industry, as are all of our construction managers and supervisors,” says HWT Project Director Paul Vranesic, PE.
“More than 1,300 workers come to the site daily, putting their hearts and souls into building this great project for the City of Houston and its regional water authority partners. Most of the staff will drink the water produced by this state-of-the-art facility–the pride they take in their work is awesome to observe. I thank the team for their personal commitment to safety, helping to ensure that each and every person on this project goes home safely every day, while providing for their families, and improving our community.”
Awarded in 2015, the 320-million-gallon-per-day (MGD) expansion is the largest design-build project of its kind in the United States, and currently one of the biggest in the world. The HWT team is responsible for designing and constructing the new water facility and intake, as well as start-up and commissioning.
This project is necessary to not only meet the growth needs of the Houston metropolitan area, but also to future-proof the city’s water resources. By eliminating groundwater use by 80% and moving the water source to surface water from Lake Houston, the project will reduce area subsidence, protect the city from floods, and provide sustainable water resources for years to come.
“The NEWPP expansion project will help the city deliver much larger production rates of high-quality finished water, despite a broad range of surface water quality,” says Randy Rogers, HWT chief engineer and CDM Smith vice president.
“When completed, the project will significantly enhance Greater Houston’s ability to grow and thrive, and more than 500 nearby municipal utilities will receive drinking water from the expanded NEWPP plant.”
Built on a 90-acre site adjacent to the existing plant, the NEWPP will also have the ability to increase the supply of reliable and safe drinking water to 424 MGD as future capacity is needed. The project will be delivered in two phases. Phase 1 will provide an additional 80 MGD of treatment capacity by 2023. The remaining 240 MGD of treatment capacity, delivered in Phase 2, is slated to be online by 2025.
However, the complexity of this project travels deeper than the measured project size. The team has successfully kept the project on-budget and on-time while keeping safety a top priority and navigating a global pandemic; and preparing for and enduring multiple hurricanes and tropical storms. More than 8,000 people have gone through the HWT safety training to be eligible to work on this massive project.
"The 5 million work-hours without a lost time accident is a tremendous accomplishment," says Michael Dzubnar, CDM Smith vice president and senior construction manager.
"This accomplishment is a tribute to everyone who comes to work on the NEWPP project. Without the commitment from our nearly 1,400 workers who come to the job every day, our subcontractors and the HWT staff, none of this would be possible. The collaborative environment our safety professionals have developed on this project is the driving force which has lead us to this milestone."
These accomplishments are true testament to the unity of the joint venture team, as well as its exemplary commitment to safety. Each and every day, the Houston Waterworks Team embodies principles that people are our greatest asset, accidents and injuries are preventable and everyone is responsible for safety.
CDM Smith is a privately owned engineering and construction firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities. Passionate about our work and invested in each other, we are inspired to think and driven to solve the world’s environmental and infrastructure challenges.
At Jacobs, we're challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world's most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. With $14 billion in revenue and a talent force of approximately 55,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector.