MWRD’s Central Boiler Facility Receives Top Honors from American Public Works Association

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The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has taken home top prizes from the American Public Works Association, Chicago Metro Chapter.

For designing the new central boiler facility at the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), the MWRD received the prestigious 2012 Public Works Project Excellence Award as the top overall project of the year during a ceremony held at the Medinah Banquets Hall in Addison, IL last month. The project also received the 2012 Project of the Year award—environmental category, $25 million to $75 million division.

The central boiler facility combines all of the Calumet WRP’s boiler needs into one facility for efficient operation. Four new high pressure steam boilers operate on natural gas and digester gas simultaneously, taking advantage of the digester gas produced on-site, a free energy source. The boilers have a state-of-the-art control system and operate efficiently through all seasons. The building was designed under the MWRD’s sustainable facilities guidelines and exceeds the mechanical building standards for energy efficiency ratings by 20 percent.

The Chicago APWA also presented the 2012 Charles Walter Nichols Award for Environmental Excellence to MWRD assistant director of engineering Thomas E. Kunetz. The award recognizes outstanding and meritorious achievement in the environmental field. Working as an environmental engineer and public works employee, Kunetz has devoted his 28 year career to improving public health and the water environment. As MWRD assistant director of engineering, Kunetz supervises the process facilities design division and managed the award-winning Calumet projects.

“These awards are a testament to the level of talent, commitment and team work required to make this complex, highly integrated project a success,” said David St. Pierre, MWRD executive director. “I commend our staff for their dedication to this effort.”

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