The United States Environmental Protection Agency has announced that community water systems that serve more than 3,300 people are required to complete a risk and resilience assessment and develop an emergency response plan by June 30, 2021. (This is according to Section 2013 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.) Are you prepared?
What is a Risk and Resilience Assessment?
According to the EPA, risk and resilience assessments “evaluate the vulnerabilities, threats and consequences from potential hazards.” These must be reviewed every five years and resubmitted to the EPA. They include elements such as natural hazards and malevolent acts; resilience of water source treatment, and distribution system infrastructure; monitoring practices; security and resilience of financial, electron... (more)
Earning a professional engineer’s license is a major career milestone. Recently, four employee-owners at Parametrix passed the exam to earn theirs. Congratulations to Chris Johnson, Brandon Moss, Marcus Vassey, and Scott Weirich! I asked them a few questions about their careers and their advice for others. Read their responses below.
Chris joined the Seattle Transportation group in 2018. He graduated from Washington State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I have always been interested in science, how things work, problem solving, and building things. Th... (more)
Part 1: AFT Arrow
By Matt Steiner & Jen Murphy
Many utility ratepayers are currently struggling with economic security. At the same time, energy costs are rising and the impact of uncertain material and equipment markets is driving project costs up and making capital planning less predictable. As such, it is important that as engineers that we leverage all available tools to optimize each project’s capital and operational costs. Almost just as important is sharing what we learn with not only our colleagues, but the wider engineering community.
The Aeration systems at Resource Recovery Facilities (Wastewater Treatment Plants) account for 30 to 80 percent of a plant’s energy usage, making them typically the single largest source of energy use within the facility. They’re also the most complex and capital intensive systems within a plant. This integral system, which ... (more)
Clara Olson is a water engineer based out of our Portland, OR office who recently earned her Professional Engineer license. Learn more about Clara, the projects she’s worked on, and her advice for others taking the PE test.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Portland and after four years of college in Spokane (Go Zags!) and two years in the Puyallup office, Portland was calling me home again. I’ve been back in Portland for over two years and couldn’t be happier. The Portland office was an easy transition and I love having the community in both Puyallup and Portland.
I love the outdoors and have been getting more and more into backpacking trips in the Pacific Northwest. This summer included a lot of hiking, camping, and backpacking! Mt. Rainier is one of my favorite places on earth and I was lucky enough to spend three different weekends in th... (more)
Parametrix wetland scientists delineating wetlands in Mason County, WA.
The final rule for defining waters of the United States (WOTUS) was approved in January 2020. The new rule eliminates Clean Water Act protections
for the majority of the nation's wetlands and more than 18% of streams, according to the US Geological Survey’s National Hydrology Dataset.
The Navigable Waters Protection Rule, also known as the Waters of the US, or WOTUS, rule, replaces regulations that have been in place since the Reagan administration.
Last spring, I more)
Engineers Week 2020 is coming to a close, but first, we want to introduce you to Younis Mahmoodi. Younis is an engineer with our Puget Sound Region Water group, based out of Puyallup, WA. He has 16 years of industry experience.
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?
I chose to pursue engineering to move beyond formulas and solve open-ended problems and propose alternative design solutions. Moreover, I wanted to gain skills in project planning, analytical and logical thinking, attention to detail, communication, and teamwork.
What do you enjoy most about your career in engineering?
What I enjoy most is solving complex engineering problems by using my skills to provide an effective solution and deliver high-quality results.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career in engineering?
Learn to invest your time wisely.
For Engineers Week 2020, we're introducing you to a few engineers at Parametrix. They'll be sharing what inspired them to pursue a career in engineering, what they enjoy most about their career, and their advice for those pursuing a career in engineering.
Today, meet JC Hungerford. JC leads Parametrix's Puget Sound Water Division and has 13 years of industry experience.
What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering? I was a chemistry major in college hoping to get into med school and working as a survey intern during the summers. One LONG chemistry lab I was doing titrations as all of my friends were at the ski hill. It suddenly hit me that I likely didn’t have the grades to get into med school, and I didn’t want to be stuck in a chemistry lab for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed surveying and working with the engineers in the office. The next day, I talked to my advisor and cha... (more)
By John Phillips, ENV SP
When catastrophes like storms, earthquakes, fires, or terrorist attacks occur, the first response is automatic: addressing casualties. The second response, which is nearly as urgent, should be ensuring that critical infrastructure is still in place, starting with power and water.
When power and water systems malfunction, the immediate effects of a disaster multiply in a myriad of ways. Power and water failure can impact critical medical care, slow down food distribution, and create conditions for crime.
Unfortunately, many communities in the world have infrastructure that is anything but resilient. Mature regions often have aging, under-maintained systems, and systems that are over capacity. Developing economies may have the opposite problem. They struggle to put infrastructure in place and then scale it to support rapid population growth.
So, what does it mean to have resilient i... (more)
By Eleanor Allen, Parametrix Board Member and CEO at Water For People
Although water is abundant in nature, the amount of water available to drink and sustain life on earth is fixed and is becoming increasingly more strained as demand for water increases with population growth and development. Leveraging reliable and robust
technology, financing, and data to innovate every part of the water cycle – from sourcing to treatment to consumption to reclamation – is an absolute necessity to protect and manage our finite supply of water for future generations.
At the Future of the Profession event hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019 (which also happened to be World Toilet Day!), leaders from across the industry were invited
to discuss how technology is changing the water industry and what this means for the futu... (more)