Friday, July 30, 2010

Mountain Bike Adventure

Six Garver employees conquered a challenging seven-day, 215-mile mountain biking adventure as part of San Juan Hut Systems. Biking an average of 30 rugged miles per day, the group traveled from Durango, Colorado through the alpine peaks of the San Juan Mountains to Moab, Utah's canyon country and desert slickrock.

Brock Johnson, Dan Williams, Steve Jones, Chad Clinehens, Chris Milligan, and Kyle Kruger, along with Ron King, followed rugged and remote dirt roads, stopping every evening to rest in designated huts. Along the hut-to-hut biking system, the riders had to be wary of dehydration, mountain lions and rattle snakes, and lightning strikes. Their journey took them over mountain peaks and across the desert floor, offering spectacular views few people ever get to see.

Each biker followed a rigorous three to six-month training program to get in shape for the adventure. The ride provided a great team-building activity that also served as a fitness challenge, which fits into Garver's culture of enhancing employee work/recreational life balance and an adventurous spirit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Engineers Without Borders

Garver employees Ian Toohey (right, kneeling) and Mike Rice (center, standing with black hat) celebrate the completion of a water supply project in La Pradera del Quetzal, Guatemala.

Project Engineer Ian Toohey serves as president of the Central Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Engineers Without Borders-USA as well as the South Central Region, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. EWB-USA is a national volunteer organization that brings together engineering students and practitioners to work on vital infrastructure projects in the developing world.

Ian's roles include serving as a mentor and providing student volunteers with knowledge of engineering practices. He also assists regional chapters as an engineering resource. Earlier this year, Ian delivered a keynote speech at the senior awards banquet as part of Arkansas State University's College of Engineering commencement ceremonies. He discussed the goals and vision of EWB-USA and the importance of corporate citizenship.

As University of Oklahoma students, Ian and future Garver employees Steve and Mike Rice volunteered their services on projects in other countries. Ian and Steve provided surveys to build a mission hospital near La Ceiba, Honduras, and Ian and Mike Rice helped develop a water supply in La Pradera del Quetzal, Guatemala. Mike returned to Guatemala a number of times with EWB.

Garver's Norman office currently hosts the Central Oklahoma Professional Chapter of EWB-USA, and has supported local events held by the student chapter at the University of Oklahoma. In addition, several Garver employees in our North Little Rock, Arkansas office are officers in the Central Arkansas Professional Chapter.

The next major event for the South Central Region is a training workshop November 12-14 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, which is near Garver's Frisco, Texas office.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Membrane Water Treatment Plant

Garver is designing a new water treatment plant in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and our design team is utilizing building information modeling (BIM) to enhance design and aid in public communication and awareness. BIM is a 3D-based technology that increases design efficiency and construction document accuracy.

The new plant will include a state-of-the-art, series membrane process involving ultrafiltration followed by reverse osmosis. These processes are designed to provide safer, softer water to city residents.

Because the membrane systems and ancillary equipment are intricate, Garver is using BIM to coordinate design disciplines within the facility. The new plant is located near historic Big Spring Park, and Garver capitalized on the benefits of BIM to create a realistic rendering to show residents how the facility will aesthetically fit within the site.

The project proposes new raw water pumping, pretreatment basins, UF and RO membranes, disinfection, and high-service pumping. Garver is currently providing design, and construction is scheduled to begin in the fall.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Firecracker 5K

Two Garver employees participated in the Easy Runner Firecracker Fast 5K Race in Little Rock, Arkansas over the Fourth of July weekend. Bill Ruck finished in 23:06 and ran a 7:27-minute mile. He finished ninth in his age group. Derrick Hendrix crossed the line in 19:06, averaging a 6:10-minute mile. He placed seventh in his age group.

A number of Garver friends and clients also came out in support. Jon Honeywell of Little Rock Public Works (pictured on right with Bill Ruck) and Mike Maulden of Entergy, Little Rock Port Authority Board Chairman, both ran outstanding times. Though sidelined by injury this year, James Firestone, Little Rock Port Authority Director of Operations, came with his family to support his daughter and the Garver runners.

The Firecracker 5K has been held annually since 1976 and attracts runners throughout the region. This year nearly 1,000 participants ran in the event.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spend a Dime, Save a Dollar

When a water or wastewater treatment facility is faced with correcting non-compliant operations, it's important to determine a solution before implementing modifications or new treatment alternatives. Hiring an independent operations consultant can provide an unbiased perspective and an evaluation audit of the treatment facility's operation. Taking this approach as a first step can be less costly than altering plant operations without fully understanding the issues.

Garver Water Operations Specialist Michael Graves has written an article detailing the importance of utilizing an operations consultant. Graves explains the steps behind a successful operations audit, which include evaluating existing plant performance, identifying opportunity for improvement, and optimizing corrective actions.

With this holistic approach, a utility can identify and correct performance limitations - and possibly avoid major capital improvements. Also, by conducting an operations audit first, utility administrators will have a tool for continuous plant optimization, operator training, and compliant operation for years to come.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hot Springs Village WTP Update

Garver Water Team Leader Kirby Rowland, PE recently updated the Hot Springs Village Property Owner's Association on its water treatment plant improvements. Hot Springs Village posted a blog about Kirby's presentation, which can be read here.

Garver is in the process of designing a plant upgrade from 4 million gallons per day (mgd) to 6 mgd. Due to budget constraints, the POA's board of directors requested that Garver provide updated cost estimates and evaluate available alternatives to bring the project cost within its budget limits. Garver recently completed a report that provided this information. Improvements include increasing the capacity of the intake and high service pumps and improving chemical treatment, clarification, filtering, and backwash processes.

(The above photo was taken by Hot Springs Village and posted on its Website.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Golfing for Habitat for Humanity

Michael Graves, Garver's Oklahoma Water Group Leader, participated in a golf tournament in support of Claremore's Habitat for Humanity chapter. Graves (center of picture) hit the links with City of Claremore Utilities staff and 60 other players at Heritage Hills Golf Course with proceeds benefiting the non-profit humanitarian group.

"We've had the privilege of working with the City of Claremore for nearly a decade to help provide sustainable solutions for their water and wastewater infrastructure," Graves said. "It's nice to have the opportunity to give back to the communities we are fortunate to work with."

Garver's Oklahoma Water Group, recently completed design and permitting for Claremore's new biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment plant. Garver is currently providing daily project administration, inspection, operator training, and plant start-up services during construction. Upon completion of the improvements, the city is expected to gain much-needed wastewater treatment capacity and meet more stringent water quality requirements. The program costs of the improvements is nearly $20 million.

Additionally, Garver has completed a Water Master Plan to assess water infrastructure and determine future drinking water supply and production capacity needs for the next 50 years. Garver is assisting Claremore move forward with recommendations from the plan.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

IQ Volume 2 Issue 2

The newest issue of Garver's IQ newsletter features:

The careful design of a new intake pump. The facility's tight quarters required Garver to expertly design the new vertical turbine pump barrel to come through existing openings with a clearance of less than 2 inches.

The steps taken to eliminate flooding in a Tulsa neighborhood. A bridge replacement and creek-widening project has washed the site's hydraulic inadequacies downstream.

Garver's education in LEED design. Our new corporate office advances our understanding in green design.

How Garver is utilizing 3D design. Garver is using 3D technology to drive project documentation and graphically detail design intent.

Watch your mailbox for IQ or read it online along with past issues at

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wastewater Effluent Reuse

Garver's Water Group is currently working on the first phase of a project in Fort Sill, Oklahoma to reuse treated wastewater for non-potable water applications. This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project is unique in Oklahoma because the state does not currently have wastewater reuse standards.

Garver will assist the USACE in obtaining a permit to construct the planned reuse project from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. The first phase includes chemical treatment; recycled wastewater pumping, piping, and source heat pumps; and cooling towers. Future phases are expected to include the application of recycled wastewater for vehicle wash facilities and golf course irrigation.

Garver's services include design.


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