Black & Veatch Proceed with Largest DBO Water Project

Phoenix, Ariz. (Sept. 23 , 2003) – McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and Black & Veatch announced today that they have received notice to proceed with design-build delivery of the 80 million gallon per day Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Phoenix, Ariz.

The joint-venture team will design and build the advanced WTP and associated facilities. American Water Services (AWS) will then manage and operate the facilities for a period of 15 years. The City of Phoenix awarded the $336 million DBO contract to AWS in August.

“This project is a major key to growth in the northwest Phoenix area,” said Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy’s Southwest Division. “The Lake Pleasant WTP will provide enough water to supply 400,000 households. By getting ahead of expected growth, the city can ensure that necessary infrastructure is in place to manage water needs and usage before existing services are overwhelmed.”

Design and permitting will take 12 to 15 months. Once construction begins in the summer of 2004, the two companies will manage all aspects of construction for the 225-acre plant site. The project is scheduled for start-up and finished-water delivery in February 2007. 

“The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant will incorporate the latest in modern water treatment technology and automation,” said Dave Mahaffay, a senior vice president and regional manager for Black & Veatch.

Treatment will include an innovative ballasted flocculation process for high-rate sedimentation, ozonation, deep-bed monomedia filters, post-filtration granular activated carbon contactors and ultraviolet disinfection. These processes will control taste and odor, eliminate harmful bacteria and other substances, and provide a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water. The contract also includes a raw water intake and pump station, 1.5 miles of large-diameter pipeline and on-site storage and pumping of finished water.

“As the largest DBO water project in North America and the first one for Phoenix, Lake Pleasant will be in the spotlight for the next four years,” said Calbert.

“Design-build, construction management-at-risk and DBO are becoming more popular throughout the water industry,” said Mahaffay. “These approaches enable municipalities to select contractors based on their qualifications and ability to deliver a sound product – rather than just low bid – which ultimately will save taxpayers money.”

The plant is designed to match the natural environment, consistent with the Frank Lloyd Wright architectural philosophy. Extensive use of indigenous materials will link the worlds of nature and man and demonstrate the interdependence of the architecture and the site. Former Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice Vern Swabach of Swabach Partners will lead the architectural concept design as a subcontractor to the Black & Veatch/McCarthy team.