parametrix inspired people blog

Building Relationships and Delivering Clean Water: Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project


Water pipeline being staged for the San Juan Lateral.

By Damon Hill

The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project (NGWSP) includes 300 miles of pipeline, several pumping plants, and two water treatment plants that will bring a long-term sustainable water supply from the San Juan River to parts of the Navajo Nation, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the City of Gallup.

Currently, more than 40 percent of Navajo Nation households rely on hauling water to meet their daily needs, and their groundwater supply is rapidly depleting. Insufficient water also limits the ability of residents of the Jicarilla Apache Nation to live and work outside of the reservation town of Dulce. Lack of reliable drinking water has also had a profound effect on families and communities during the pandemic. The Bureau of Reclamation estimates that th... (more)


Hispanic Heritage Month Employee-Owner Feature: Asa Reyes-Chavez


September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. In honor of this month, we’ve invited Parametrix employee-owners of Hispanic/Latinx heritage to share their stories. Today, meet Asa Reyes-Chavez, an engineer with the Puget Sound water group based out of Puyallup, WA. She joined Parametrix in May 2020 after graduating from Washington State University.

What’s your role at Parametrix and what are some projects that you are proud to have worked on?

I’m an Engineer I, working primarily a part of Water (Facilities) group. Currently, I am doing construction observation for the Fruitland Mutual Water Company 2021 AC Water Main Replacement project and usually working on some water or aeration models.

What are your hobbies/passions? What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to be active by weightl... (more)


Meet our New PE: Cameron Carlson


Cameron Carlson is an Electrical Engineer based out of our Seattle office, providing electrical power, instrumentation, and control services for water and wastewater utilities and public transportation clients. He has been with Parametrix for 6 years and recently earned his Electrical Professional Engineer license.          

We asked him a few questions about his background, what inspires him, career goals, projects he’s working on, and his advice for others pursing their PE license.

Tell us about your professional background.

I have a BS in Electrical Engineering from Seattle University. Before I pursued this degree, I was a music major specializing in trumpet and jazz. I also tutor privately.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

There were many inspirations, but for the most part I didn... (more)


Intern Spotlight: Pamela Mugisha


We're pleased to welcome Pamela Mugisha as an intern with our Puget Sound Water group! We asked her a few questions about her background, career, and goals.

Education: I got my bachelor’s degree in Agricultural engineering from Makerere University, Uganda. Then I got my Master’s degree in Hydroscience and engineering from Technical University Dresden in the Saxony state of Germany. Currently I am pursuing a PhD in Environmental engineering at Texas A&M in Kingsville, Texas.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in the capital of Uganda, Kampala. But my Village is Kisoro located at the South-West border of Uganda and Rwanda.

Why did you choose Parametrix for your internship? I chose an internship at Parametrix because I have learned quite a bit in school and would like to use my knowledge to make real-life impact and decisions in a ... (more)


Risk & Resilience and Emergency Response Requirements for Water Utilities: What does this mean for you?


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)


Meet Our New Professional Engineers


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 Johnson

Chris joined the Seattle Transportation group in 2018. He graduated from Washington State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

Chris Johnson headshot

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)


How Optimized Aeration Systems Can Save Millions at Treatment Plants


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)


Meet Parametrix’s Newest Professional Engineer: Clara Olson


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)


Three Things to Know about the Navigable Waters Protection Rule


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)


Meet an Engineer: Younis Mahmoodi


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.