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RBF Consulting (RBF) recently received two Project of the Year Awards from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Southern California Chapter.
RBF was recognized, alongside the City of Newport Beach and the Chino Basin Desalter Authority, at the APWA Southern California Annual Awards Luncheon held at The Centre at Sycamore Plaza in Lakewood on December 6, 2006.
RBF, in conjunction with the Chino Basin Desalter Agency (CDA), received the Project of the Year Award in the Water and Wastewater Category for the Chino I Desalter Expansion and Chino II Desalter Project.
Due to decades of agricultural and dairy farming in the lower Chino Basin area, groundwater has become brackish and high in nitrates. The CDA (a Joint Powers Authority made up of the water purchasers and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency) planned, designed and constructed the first desalter.
This desalter was part of a comprehensive basin clean-up program developed by the Chino Basin Watermaster known as the Optimum Basin Management Plan (OBMP). The Chino I Desalter was the first phase of an estimated 30,000-acre feet per year desalting effort planned for the lower Chino groundwater basin to be developed over the next 15 years.
Chino I Desalter construction began in September 1998 and was delivering water to area agencies in August 2000. The further expansion of the Chino groundwater desalting program proceeded under the CDA in part with $48 million in funds from the Southern California Integrated Watershed Program [SCIWP (water bond)] to increase the salt removal and cleanup of the basin. This expansion consists of a new 10 MGD desalter (Chino II) and an expansion of the existing Chino I Desalter to 14 MGD. Construction of these facilities was completed in Spring 2006 and are currently operating. Total construction cost of the expansion project was approximately $80 million.
RBF and the City of Newport Beach received the Project of the Year Award in the NPDES Programs - Watershed Management Category for the Morning Canyon Slope Stabilization and Restoration Project. The Morning Canyon Channel, a natural stream located in the Newport Coast watershed area, has been experiencing significant erosion in recent years as a result of urbanization within its watershed boundaries. The erosion had resulted in slope failures and jeopardized safety of the existing residential structures along the canyon. The City worked closely with RBF to develop a comprehensive plan for the stabilization and restoration of the canyon.
The initial study included a comprehensive assessment of the conditions of the existing natural channel including: hydrology, hydraulics, and stream stability. RBF proposed system-wide erosion control measures designed to provide long-term stabilization for the entire reach of Morning Canyon from PCH to the Pelican Hills Golf Course. The recommended improvements utilized structural control measures and modifications to the stream alignment and geometry. The design provided for 100-year level of flood protection to the adjacent areas and stabilization of the streambed and channel banks based on the developed condition of the upstream watershed while restoring the natural channel system. This complex project required innovative engineering solutions, multi-agency coordination, and a teamwork approach to meet time sensitive deadlines.