By Doug Berschauer and Mike Ollivant
During major rainfall events many wastewater systems have insufficient capacity to convey all of the combined water and stormwater to the plant. It results in a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) or Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) into an adjacent water body. These overflows occur sporadically during heavy rainfall but are required to be treated or limited to one event per year under EPA consent decree in Washington State.
CSO and SSO equipment only operates a few times a year. These CSO/SSO treatment systems are often very costly and take up a lot of room. They also require quick start up at a moment’s notice.
What if there was a system that took up less space, could start quickly, and provide extremely high-quality water? Approximately 3 years ago, Parametrix began working with the manufacturer OVIVO, a water and wastewater technology solutions company based in Austin, ... (more)
This week, the State Route 99 tunnel through downtown Seattle opened to traffic, culminating many years of planning efforts. At over $3 billion, the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program has been one of the largest transportation investments in Washington State. The now-closed viaduct carried more than 110,000 vehicles per day along the City’s waterfront. While many Seattleites will miss the view from the double-decker freeway, we will all be much safer. The structure was not expected to withstand the “big one” – the major earthquake due for the Seattle area. The possibility of damage or failure in the next earthquake gave the project a sense of urgency and drive for progress.
View from the Alaskan Way Viaduct
Parametrix began working on the envi... (more)
Over the holidays, we had an amazing nine people participate in helping at the soup kitchen near our Bremerton, WA office on New Year’s Eve.
The group, including several Parametrix employee-owners and their families, helped clean up after dinner was served. It was about an hour-and-a-half of bussing tables, wiping down tables and chairs and mopping.
A number of community leaders were present, which was great to see. They spent their time washing dishes and teaching us all how to mop the floors!
I spoke with a woman who has been helping the local homeless in our area by making bubble-wrap camp mats to help people get up off the cold, wet ground. She estimated that there are about 4,000 homeless in the Bremerton area, half of whom are living outside of formal shelters (either in their vehicles or in tents).
A big thanks to these employee-owners and their families who were able to help out. This was ... (more)
Future City is a project-based STEM learning program that allows students to design cities using advanced technology (real or not) to solve complex problems that we face today and then compete against other students. There are several regions in the US that make up about 40,000 participating middle school students. Each team is formed through a group at their school, and also has a professional mentor, usually with a background in engineering or architecture. This competition is a great way for the kids to reach that next level of creativity by solving complex problems without the structure of a classroom or standardized test.
I, along with several of my fellow employee-owners, had the honor of judging the Idaho Regional Future City competition last week. The winner of the Idaho Regional competition will go on to compete in the national competition next month in Washington D.C.
With over 30 teams to judge, we saw some ... (more)
Photo courtesy of the Pacific Science Center.
Background: The Alaskan Way Viaduct (SR99) is the "double-decker" freeway that runs along the Seattle Waterfront. This month it is being shut down permanently. Experts say the structure would not survive the big earthquake that the Seattle area is due for. Therefore it is being torn down and replaced by an underground tunnel. With Seattle traffic already hectic, this shut down has been a major topic in the news and has many Seattleites worried about their commute.
On a rainy night exactly two days and three hours prior to the permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Pacific Science Center hosted a panel of transportation geeks to talk about the future of transportation in Seattle. The timing was great, as Seattleites grew anxious about the impending doom to their commute thanks to the extensive news coverage on the closure.
I was honored to be par... (more)
2019 marks Parametrix’s 50th anniversary as a company. Throughout the year we’ll be celebrating this milestone by sharing the history of Parametrix. Today, we would like to share an overview of how Parametrix was founded and has grown into the company we are today.
Parametrix was founded in 1969 in Sumner, WA by George Capestany and Waite Dalrymple, originally as Delta Engineering. The firm was focused on the wastewater business but grew quickly and diversified into six very different business divisions. In 1974, two of the divisions, Delta Engineering and Seattle Marine Laboratories were restructured as Parametrix. With strength in both engineering and science, Parametrix became known as the premier firm for solid waste and city engineering in Washington. Continued steady growth led to expansion into Oregon in 1989 with the opening of our Portland office which specialized in solid waste and environmental remedia... (more)
On December 11, 2018 industry leaders from the public and private sector gathered in Seattle to discuss topics such as Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, Smart Cities, Utilities of the Future and what it all means for the future of our industry.
Here are the 4 Key Takeways from the summit.
1. Our world is rapidly changing and we need to change with it.
“Historical boundaries are disappearing, and better-connected and community-centered aspirations are driving us to seek new ways of living and working.” - Eleanor Allen, PE, CEO at Water for People
2. We have lots of data – the ch... (more)
Rachel Yonamine is an intern in our Portland, OR office. She came to Parametrix through the Civil Engineering Cooperative Program (CECOP) at Oregon State. Parametrix is a partner of the program and selected Rachel as an intern. She is currently studying Civil and Humanitarian Engineering at Oregon State University and is originally from Mililani, Hawaii. Rachel started her internship at Parametrix in June and it will conclude this month as she heads back to school.
I asked her a few questions about her experience at Parametrix as an intern and what her career goals are. Read her responses below.
Parametrix recently launched a new program called POET, which stands for Parametrix Office Exchange Traveler. This program creates the opportunity for employee-owners to travel to one of our 12 offices throughout the West for training, teaching, empowerment, and fun, all while getting to meet fellow employee-owners face to face. Jenica Hillyard, a transportation engineer from our Bremerton, WA office traveled to our Boise, ID office in late October. Read about her experience below.
Spending the last week of October in the Boise Office was such an amazing experience! I escaped the early morning Seattle fog and enjoyed the sunrise while passing over the Cascade Mountains.
Upon my arrival, I was given the grand tour of the Boise Office. Coming from a... (more)
Each year, we name an employee-owner of the year who fully exemplifies our core values of integrity, compassion, collaboration, fun, client service, and employee-ownership. Employee-owners nominate their coworkers and vote for a winner within each office and then our leadership team selects the overall company employee-owner of the year. That individual then has the opportunity to participate in Board of Directors meetings as the Employee-Owner Representative.
We are excited to announce that this year Cedar Simmons, PE was named Parametrix’s 2018 Employee-Owner of the Year. Cedar is based out of our Bremerton, WA office and is a part of our environmental planning & compliance industrial group.
I asked Cedar a few questions to learn more about her career and goals as employee-owner of the year.
Tell us about your career path – how did you get to where you are now?
After graduating fr... (more)