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Water & Resource Recovery Center Upgrade Earns ‘Best in State’ Award

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Wisconsin has recognized Dubuque’s Water and Resource Recovery Center (W&RRC) facility upgrade project as a 2016 “Best in State” Engineering Excellence Award recipient. The award honors projects representing the highest degree of technical innovation, client satisfaction, and contribution to the engineering profession.

According to the ACEC, an Engineering Excellence Award is a tribute to not only the winning project and firm submitting the entry, but also to the owners, sub-consultants, contractors, and everyone else who played a role in making this project a reality. The W&RRC’s $70 million upgrade project, completed in 2013, represents collaborative civil engineering by the City of Dubuque, its citizens, and Wisconsin-based engineering consultant Strand Associates, Inc., who completed the design and construction management of the W&RRC upgrades and submitted the project entry. Strand partnered on this effort with Dubuque headquartered IIW Engineers, Architects, Surveyors. Miron Construction, headquartered in Neenah, WI, was the general contractor responsible for the successful execution of the project, which also involved nearly 70 subcontractors.

Approximately 98.6 percent of the production materials of the W&RRC were reused from the demolition of the old plant. Replacement of previously-utilized incineration technology with anaerobic digestion has enabled the plant to produce up to 70% of its own electrical needs. Other improvements include the switch from previously used chlorine gas chemical disinfection process to ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and the ability to process high-strength waste created from business or manufacturing processes. The upgrade has transformed the way previously wasted materials are utilized and has resulted in considerable economic savings for the City, reduced environmental impact, and economic opportunity for local businesses.

Since 1967, U.S. engineering firms have entered their most innovative projects in ACEC’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards program (EEA) – “the Academy Awards of the engineering industry” – which honors the year’s most outstanding engineering accomplishments.

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