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Eastern Selwyn Sewerage Scheme reaches final stage of judging for top industry honor; winner to be named on April 19

Christchurch, New Zealand, 22 March 2016 – MWH Global announced today that the Eastern Selwyn Sewerage Scheme (ESSS) delivered in partnership with Selwyn District Council has been shortlisted for a Global Water Award. The awards, given annually by Global Water Intelligence, will be presented on April 19 at the Global Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The ESSS project in Rolleston, near Christchurch, has been named a finalist for Wastewater Project of the Year in recognition of the project team’s technical innovation as well as its ability to remain flexible and deliver on schedule, even as the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes prompted a dramatic redraft of schematics and caused a scarcity of structural engineering resources.

The MWH team had been well underway designing the expanded wastewater treatment plant for the eastern Selwyn area when the earthquakes prompted a change in plans to cope with the population surge forecast to shift into Selwyn from the damaged city. Despite this, and in an environment of major aftershocks, the team maintained schedule and provided superior facilities, including New Zealand’s first municipal solar air drying hall. This feature reduced sludge removal costs by more than NZ $250,000 per year, and is expected to realize lifecycle savings in the order of NZ $4 million while minimizing the environmental footprint for the site.

“There is no better time to share news of this success than today, on World Water Day,” said Shane Bishop, MWH principal engineer. “The 2016 theme for World Water Day is ‘water and jobs’, with a focus on how the quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods. This is appropriate considering the ESSS has supported Selwyn, one of the nation’s fastest growing districts, during a time of stellar population growth and associated employment opportunities within the region.”

The Global Water Award shortlisting is the latest in a string of successes for the Eastern Selwyn Sewerage Scheme, which has previously won a New Zealand Engineering Excellence Award (Water, Waste and Amenities; 2014) and an IPWEA Engineering Excellence Award (Projects Over $10M; 2014). MWH Chief Process Engineer Rainer Hoffmann was also honored with Water New Zealand’s Ron Hicks’ Memorial Award in 2015 for his paper on the scheme’s solar drying facility.

Only four projects remain in contention for Global Water Intelligence’s Wastewater Project of the Year. The other finalists include projects in Mexico City, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi.