September 9, 2012 IN: Awards, News

McCrone Receives Award of Merit

McCrone was the recipient of the 2012 Mid-Size Project of the Year Award of Merit at the County Engineers’ Association of Maryland (CEAM) Annual Fall Conference in Ocean City, MD.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 3.38.12 PMCEAM includes 23 counties and the city of Baltimore, state agencies, and private engineering firms providing a forum for new ideas and is an advocate for the infrastructure needs of the entire state.

The awarded project was the Darnestown Elementary School Wastewater Treatment Plant and Disposal System located in Montgomery County, MD. Award recipients included the following project managers: Mike Sanchez, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rob Sell, PE, McCrone, and Matthew Burdette, Pleasants Construction, Inc.

A major challenge for the project team involved working at the elementary school while classes were in session. Not only did the design have to accommodate the existing school and the major expansion planned, it also had to take into account student safety.

The CEAM Awards Committee was particularly impressed with the innovative solutions in the design of this project while keeping safety of the students as a priority.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 3.37.35 PMMultiple points of access to the septic field were required by Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) to monitor the system and assure compliance with the Groundwater Discharge Permit. Also required was a pieziometer well in the middle of each of the fields. Traditionally, these wells are drilled and the tops are cut off one foot above grade, which allows the wastewater treatment plant operator to take groundwater readings at intervals as specified by the permit. This design was not possible at Darnestown Elementary School because the disposal fields are directly underneath the play area and ball fields. If the wells protruded one foot above the ground surface, they would be a safety hazard for the students.

To address this problem, McCrone designed the required pieziome- ters to include transducers installed in the wells that continually read the groundwater level and transmit back to the control building where the operator is able to access without entering the fields.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 3.37.26 PM                                In addition to the pieziometers, MDE required installation of an observation pipe at the end of each of the 42 septic trenches to monitor drainage and assure treated effluent does not backup in the trenches. These observation pipes are usually installed a few inches under the ground surface with a 12-inch turf box on top of each, flush with the ground.

Turf boxes in the middle of the play area and ball fields were deemed a safety hazard. To solve this issue, the design team oriented the fields so the turf boxes (which were changed to 6-inch diameter valve boxes), could be installed as part of a 5-foot wide sidewalk.

Through many meetings with the site engineer, building architect, and McCrone, the team was able to complete a project that met the individual needs of the school and all the governmental and county agency requirements. The result is a system that fits into the overall site design.

Please contact Rob Sell at 410.267.6947 for more information on how McCrone may assist you with your next water or wastewater project.