The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Illinois recently announced its juried selection of 2022 Engineering Excellence Award winners. The City of Mount Carroll and MSA Professional Services, Inc. (MSA) were together chosen to receive an Honor Award, a designation given to projects of exemplary engineering and benefit to public welfare in the state of Illinois.
Engineering Excellence Award recipients are selected by a diverse jury, and project submissions are appraised on the achievement merits of five categories: original or innovative application of new or existing techniques; future value to the engineering profession and perception by the public; social, economic and sustainable design considerations; complexity; and exceeding owner needs.
The winning Mount Carroll wastewater treatment facility is an innovative Aero-Mod activated sludge system, one of the first in Illinois. The system incorporates clarifier and biological nutrient removal processes to treat municipal wastewater in an aerobic, non-odorous capacity. The new facility surpasses National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements for total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits for nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which can adversely impact local and regional watersheds.
Project challenges included the location of the treatment facility within a FEMA-designated floodplain with numerous 100-year flooding events on record. MSA engineers conducted sophisticated 2D stormwater modeling and mapping efforts utilizing XP-SWMM to define flood zones and assess drainage within proposed sites. This data resulted in the decision to slightly relocate, elevate and construct the new complex above the 500-year flood elevation, exceeding FEMA requirements. The finished facility also includes a new headworks building, four-bay garage and workshop area, shared office/lab, open space, bathrooms and utility room, all ADA compliant with room for future growth and expansion.
“MSA and the City of Mount Carroll are thrilled and honored to receive this recognition,” remarked Jason Miller, PE, vice president of water services at MSA. “We extend our thanks to the award jury and our congratulations to other award recipients as, together, we celebrate projects that help communities become safer, more resilient and prosperous places to live.”
All ACEC Illinois Engineering Excellence Award recipients will be formally recognized at the 2022 Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Chicago on February 17, 2022.