A Message from Christopher B. Burke
February 23rd, 2017
APWA 2017 Projects of the Year
Earlier this year, five CBBEL projects were honored by local branches of the American Public Works Association (APWA) as projects of the year in their respective categories. Three of these projects were recognized at the chapter level and are currently being considered for national recognition. The APWA is an organization that, according to its website, “serves professionals in all aspects of public works.” One of its “main goals is to educate the general public about the value and necessities of public works projects throughout North America.”
Organizations like APWA are important to all of us – though we may not realize it – because they promote critical public works projects that support the infrastructure we all rely on. These projects are those that are generally considered infrastructure projects, such as roads, public parks, railroads, water and sewer lines and other assets that are used by the general public.
A combined sewer separation is an example of a key infrastructure project. As defined by the EPA, a combined sewer system or CSS are those “that convey both sanitary sewage and storm water through a single pipe.” There are numerous benefits to combined sewer separation projects, but perhaps one of the most significant is related to water quality. Municipalities with combined sewers send all sanitary and stormwater flows to a sewage treatment plant and when these sewers reach their capacity, the result is a combined sewer overflow (CSO). This creates negative impacts at local (basement and street flooding) and regional (discharge of polluted water into streams, rivers and lakes) levels. These discharged waters contain pathogens, creating safety concerns for humans, aqua life and animals.
In this issue of our newsletter, you will read about public works projects like combined sewer separation in Elmwood Park and River Forest that helped to drain stormwater away from residential areas, moving homes out of traditional flood plains and having a positive impact on residents.
We are proud to have been recognized by APWA and appreciate our municipal partners who allow us to help them improve their communities. To learn more about our public works projects, read on in this newsletter and visit www.CBBEL.com.
Christopher B. Burke, PhD, PE, D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE