Ocotillo Water Reclamation Facility
Chandler, Ariz.
Best Project

Owner/Developer: City of Chandler
General Contractor: Sundt/McCarthy (Joint Venture)
Lead Design Firm: Carollo Engineers
Structural: Wilson Engineers
Civil, MEP: Carollo Engineers; Wilson Engineers
Landscaping Design: J2 Engineering and Environmental Design
Environmental Consulting: AZTEC Engineering

This $122.6-million project expanded the capacity of an existing water reclamation facility to an additional 5 million gallons per day. A construction management at-risk joint venture project between Sundt and McCarthy, management and craftworkers from both companies combined cultures and work practices on the way to zero recordable incidents.

The expansion involved building a treatment train and support facilities while integrating new capacity into the operation. Work also included a joint headworks facility, reclaimed water storage reservoir and effluent pumping facilities and administration and maintenance facilities. Other additions include roads, landscaping, perimeter walls, yard piping, site utilities and retention basins.

With nearby multistory buildings as neighbors, exterior views were a concern of the owner. Although exteriors are not typically a concern at water reclamation facilities, canopies, structural tilts and other architectural features were included in the project. The presence of neighbors also impacted construction hours and equipment usage. All process basins were covered, and all foul air was directed to two-stage, biological odor control treatment systems followed by carbon absorption for polishing. Equipment was used based on decibel limits, and all noise-generating equipment was enclosed within buildings or located below grade.

Weekly updated drone videos were used to record construction progress. The drone videos were presented as part of the weekly progress meetings with the project team on a 65-in. touchscreen monitor. This innovation allowed team members to get a better sense of the day-to-day progress and coordinate discussions by having the drone video viewable in a team setting.

Both Sundt and McCarthy provided a project safety manager. A total of 473,000 work-hours were logged with zero OSHA recordables. Safety managers adopted “family boards” on the jobsite that presented photos of what each workers said motivated them to be safe. The team also extended the concept to special clear pockets on worker safety vests that displayed an image and the words “Why I Work Safe.”