Bay County Alternate Water Supply
Panama City, Fla.
Award of Merit

Owner Bay County
Lead Design Firm Mott MacDonald
General Contractor Phoenix Construction Services Inc.

Since the early 1980s, officials in Bay County have recognized the need for an alternate supply for potable drinking water. Currently, all of the county’s drinking water comes from a single man-made reservoir—formerly a saltwater estuary—that separates Bay County’s raw water supply from the saltwater of North Bay. However, officials determined that a 100-year storm event could potentially overtop the dam with storm surge, making the reservoir’s raw water unsuitable due to elevated chloride levels.

The Alternate Water Supply Project—which includes a surface water intake, pump station and pipeline—offers the capacity to deliver approximately 30 million gallons per day of raw water via approximately 11 miles of 36-in.-dia pipe.

The engineering team’s use of building information modeling and animation helped it visualize and present the project for the Bay County commission. The 3D imaging further aided engineer Mott MacDonald in developing a hydraulic model of the complete pipeline and pumping configuration. The team was able to simulate operating conditions and determine proper air/vacuum valve locations.

The BIM model also helped engineers determine the need for a 25,000-gallon surge tank at the raw water intake site and enabled hydraulic modeling for numerous what-if scenarios.