OCWD Board of Directors

Cathy Green
First Vice President
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President
Philip L. Anthony
Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan M. Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Roman Reyna
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
General Manager
Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

Flood Management Project
of the Year Award
(left to right) Penny Lew, PE, OCPW and past president ASCE OC; OCWD Assistant Director of Engineering Chris Olsen, PE; and Tapas Dutta, PE, ENV SP, QSD, Harris & Associates and past president ASCE OC.
The American Society of Civil Engineers Orange County, California Branch (ASCE OC) honored the Orange County Water District's (OCWD; the District) Burris Pump Station Project, Phase 1 with the Flood Management Project of the Year award. More than 200 people were in attendance at its annual awards banquet as ASCE OC honored outstanding individuals and projects for 2014. A total of 35 awards were given out, including 21 project awards and 14 individual awards.

The Burris Pump Station Project, Phase 1 is the first phase of a two-phase project to construct the Burris Pump Station. It is located in Burris Basin at the southern end of the OCWD Off-River System along the Santa Ana River. The Orange County Water District diverts Santa Ana River water into Burris Basin and uses the Burris Pump Station to move 400 Acre-Feet (AF) per day of this water to the Santiago Basins for recharge into Orange County's groundwater aquifer. The existing Burris Pump Station is antiquated and has reached the end of its useful life. However, the drought in California has made it more important than ever that OCWD keep the existing pump station functional to continue capturing and recharging as much of the Santa Ana River water as possible while the new one is being built. OCWD also has the responsibility to maintain the beneficial uses that Burris Basin provides to the many aquatic species and seabirds that use the basin for habitat and nesting.

In order to accomplish this, OCWD divided the project into two phases. Phase 1 construction included building an earthen coffer dam around the site of the new pump station. This work was performed after the nesting season ended, during the dry season when the water level could be lowered for construction. Creating a coffer dam that allows construction of the new pump station while the existing Burris Pump Station remained functional was not an easy task. The new pump station is a large structure with an overall height of 100 feet and a wet well that will be 70 feet in diameter. The coffer dam was constructed using 130,000 cubic yards of soil excavated from the basin and created a work area that is 2.7 acres in size and 40 feet below the basin's high water elevation. Burris Pump Station Project Phase 1 construction allows construction of the new pump station to proceed without disrupting seabird nesting habitat or interrupting groundwater recharge operations.

OCWD worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Region Water Quality Control Board, Orange County Department of Public Works, and Orange County Flood Control to accomplish the coffer dam, which was a major part of Phase I.