Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant Honored As One of Top Ten Public Works Projects of Century

March 2, 2001

The American Public Works Association (APWA) has named the Hyperion Treatment Plant as one of the ten most outstanding public works projects of the 20th Century. APWA's Top Ten Public Works Projects of the Century program considered public works contributions that have significantly affected and improved the quality of life in the United States or Canada.

On November 23, 1998, the City of Los Angeles' Hyperion Treatment Plant operated at full secondary treatment capacity for the first time in nearly half a century -- assuring the 4 million residents of Los Angeles as well as millions of neighbors and visitors that the world-renowned Santa Monica Bay would be protected from wastewater pollution well into the new millennium.

The $1.4 billion construction program replaced nearly every 1950-vintage wastewater processing system at Hyperion while the plant continuously treated 350 million gallons per day (mgd) and met all NPDES permit requirements. Black & Veatch, in joint venture with another consultant and in partnership with City of Los Angeles staff, provided planning, design, and construction management services for the full secondary project and a portion of the solids handling components of the program.

The completion of the massive Hyperion full secondary expansion and upgrade program resulted in the end of spills at Hyperion; a 95 percent reduction in the amount of wastewater solids entering Santa Monica Bay; the elimination of the Bay's ecological dead-zone near the mouth of the sludge outfall; vast improvements in biological integrity of the bottom-dwelling marine community; remarkable increases in the relative abundance of many indicator-species; and partnerships among the public, regulatory agencies, government, dischargers, consultants, and contractors that led to one of the great environmental achievements of the 20th Century.

Also on APWA's Top Ten list are the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Coulee Dam and Columbia Basin Project, the St. Lawrence Seaway/Power Project, the Interstate Highway System, Hoover Dam, the Reversal of the Chicago River, the Tennessee Valley Authority Project, the Panama Canal, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.

This is the second top honor earned by the Hyperion program in recent months. In April, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) presented its top prize of 2000 Superior Achievement in Environmental Engineering Excellence to the joint-venture team of DMJM/Black & Veatch for the Los Angeles Hyperion wastewater quality improvement program. With this award, AAEE recognized that the 14-year project included innovations in treatment processes, construction techniques, and citizen involvement and also incurred a total cost well below the original program budget estimate.

Engineering News-Record magazine also recently honored the Hyperion expansion and upgrade as one of its Top 125 Projects in the Construction Industry over the last 125 years. That list includes such notable projects as the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the New York Subway System.

Source: U.S. Water News Online

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
All images courtesy of Ecosorb.