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News

Gabe Rojas

Espey, President of AAWRE
Dr. William Espey, Jr., P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE, officially took office as the President of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE) for 2011-2012 in Portland, Oregon, on October 1, 2011. Dr. Espey, a founding AAWRE board member, served on the original AAWRE Task Committee and served as the Treasurer since AAWRE’s inception in 2004.

AAWRE’s mission is to improve the practice and advance the profession of water resources engineering. The AAWRE is proud to have conferred the Honorary Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (Hon.D.WRE) credential to 28 individuals and the Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) credential to 605 engineers. AAWRE has expanded the diplomate application review to four times per year.

Espey Consultants, Inc. Joined RPS Group Plc
Espey Consultants, Inc. (Espey) joined RPS Group Plc (RPS) and is now doing business as RPS Espey. This is an exciting opportunity to provide additional services to all of our clients while still maintaining the highest quality of service that has become expected of Espey. RPS Espey will continue to operate as a responsive firm that offers personal attention to understand and meet client needs. There will be no changes to Espey’s personnel, and Espey teams that are successfully managing your projects will stay intact.

RPS is an international consulting firm providing services for the exploration and production of energy and other natural resources; the development of land, property, and infrastructure; and the management of the environment and the health and safety of the people. RPS has offices in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, America, and Australia/Asia Pacific and undertakes projects in many other parts of the world.

Michel Appointed to Austin's Urban Renewal Board
In July 2011, Travis Michel, P.E., CPESC, was appointed to the City of Austin Urban Renewal Board of Commissioners by Mayor Lee Leffingwell with the consent of the Austin City Council. The Board’s primary responsibility is to oversee the implementation and compliance of approved Urban Renewal Plans that are adopted by the Council. An Urban Renewal Plan's primary purpose is to eliminate slum and blighting influence within a designated area of the city.

Mr. Michel is a Project Manager at Espey Consultants, Inc., with over eleven years of experience providing analysis, design, project management, and construction management in the areas of  water distribution, wastewater collection, stormwater collection, creek bank stabilization, and land development. Mr. Michel also volunteers his time to the local branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, elected by his peers to serve as President-Elect for 2011-2012, and President for 2012-2013.

Gabe Rojas

Rojas Appointed to Austin's Zoning and Platting Commission
In June 2011, Gabriel Rojas, A.I.C.P., CFM, was appointed to the City of Austin Zoning and Platting Commission by the Austin City Council. The Zoning and Platting Commission exercises control over platting and subdividing land within the corporate limits of the City and extraterritorial jurisdiction of the City to insure consistency with the adopted comprehensive plan. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council regarding approval or disapproval of proposed zoning changes. Mr. Rojas is a Certified Planner and Cartographer with Espey Consultants, Inc., with over seven years of experience in Urban Planning and civic administration, geographic information systems (GIS) analysis and mapping, water resources, hazard mitigation, and grant writing. He has a Master of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and currently serves on the board of the North Austin Civic Association (NACA), a neighborhood organization in North Austin.

Agency Work Plan for Brazos River Environmental Studies
In coming years, the Brazos River Authority (BRA) will complete a Water Management Plan addressing what may be the most complex set of water rights conditions to date in the state of Texas. BRA has asked Espey Consultants, Inc., with team member Bio-West, Inc., to develop a Work Plan for environmental studies that will evaluate environmental considerations and address requirements set forth in the pending Systems Operation Permit. Taking advantage of this year's low-flow summer conditions, field studies may begin in coming months and continue through 2012.

300-Mile Trinity River Journey
Connecting the DFW and Houston metropolitan areas, the Trinity River is an important surface water resource for nearly 40% of all Texans...so we need to know more about it! Espey Consultants is proud to be participating with the Trinity River Authority in a historic 300 river mile trip to measure quantitative data on what makes this river unique. Partially funded through TCEQ Clean Rivers Program, the study team will measure representative aquatic habitats and stream geometry characteristics, creating a quantitative data set to next help identify future long-term monitoring needs.

Mountz Elected to TFMA's Board of Directors
On April 13, 2011, at the Texas Floodplain Management Association (TFMA) annual meeting, Tom Mountz, P.E., D.WRE, CFM was elected to the Board of Directors for Region 5. His responsibilities include coordinating with the TFMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state agencies, local governments, and members of TFMA within the central Region 5 to help set-up training opportunities and encourage participation in the organization.

TFMA is the leading resource for floodplain management professionals in Texas. Please visit http://tfma.org for more information.

EC Ranks No. 1 Twice in 2010
Espey Consultants, Inc. (EC) has been selected to participate in the City of Austin’s Watershed Flood Hazard Mitigation Engineering Services Rotation List (2011 – 2014). Of the 28 firms that submitted and the five firms selected, EC’s Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) ranked No. 1. Additionally, the Project Principal, Project Manager, and Project Engineer team of Dr. Bill Espey, P.E., D.WRE, Mr. Dale Gray, P.E., and Mr. Travis Wilson, P.E., CFM, also carried the highest score in the evaluation matrix. The contract is worth $1.5M, and the City anticipates getting started in 2011.

EC has also been selected to participate in the City of Austin’s Water and Wastewater Pipeline Engineering Services Rotation List (2010 – 2012). Of the 59 firms that submitted and the 10 firms selected, EC’s SOQ again ranked No. 1. The contract is worth $ 750,000, and the City anticipates getting started in 2011.

Watershed Protection for Texas Reservoirs: Addressing Sedimentation and Water Quality Risks
On June 9, 2010, Espey Consultants, Inc. (EC) was notified that the Texas Water Development Board staff reviewed and ranked EC's proposal as the top candidate for Watershed Protection for Texas Reservoirs: Addressing Sedimentation and Water Quality Risks. The proposed research project will identify Texas reservoirs that are most at risk for loss of storage due to sedimentation and the means and degree to which they can be protected with watershed management strategies.

TRA CAC-11

Trinity River Authority (TRA) Advances Into Design on CAC-11 Large Diameter Pipeline Rehabilitation
The TRA operates regional water and wastewater systems for groups of entities throughout the Trinity River Basin. One of its award winning systems, the Central Regional Wastewater System serving 21 entities, includes pipelines ranging up to 104 inches in diameter. A 17,200 linear-foot section of 96-inch diameter pipeline was identified by TRA as a Critical Area of Concern (CAC), Segment 11.  In 2009, TRA selected Espey Consultants to perform a condition assessment and preliminary design for restoring the condition of this reinforced concrete pipe which had been in service for over 25 years and had experienced significant hydrogen sulfide induced corrosion. The assessment was performed utilizing RedZone technology, identifying the possibility for buckling potential of the pipe. EC recommended a combination of alternatives for rehabilitation including trenchless technology for some segments to avoid conflicts within a golf course and recreation fields, while the remainder of the pipeline could be either rehabilitated or replaced insitu. In February 2010, TRA authorized EC to design rehabilitation/replacement of the pipeline segment. EC is currently completing the design for four types of trenchless technologies to be applied to renew the deteriorated condition of the pipeline, to be procured through competitive bids anticipated in early 2011.

Nueces River Regional Sedimentation Management Study
Espey Consultants, Inc. is working with Halff and Associates and the US Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate sediment within the Nueces River basin between Choke Canyon reservoir and the Gulf of Mexico. Phase 1 of this project will identify current sediment needs, problems and opportunities, as well as identify potential sediment strategies or management measures that benefit the region. Subsequent phases of the project will involve regional stakeholders in development of an integrated Regional Sediment Management Plan.

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool Restoration
Hamilton Pool is a naturally occurring pool on Hamilton Creek. The natural feature has been a landmark for the Texas Hill Country and Austin area for centuries. In late 2007, the discharge of materials from an upstream residential development in Hays and Travis Counties into the Hamilton Creek watershed polluted and impacted the water quality of Hamilton and Davis Creeks and Hamilton Pool.

In August 2007, Espey Consultants, Inc. (EC) was retained by Travis County to assess the condition of Hamilton Creek and Pool and subsequently develop a remediation and restoration plan. EC provided a detailed assessment of the water quality, physical and chemical analyses, literature review, and a report of findings and recommendations.

EC was then challenged with the task for the direct removal of silt and invasive plant vegetation from six miles of Davis and Hamilton Creeks. Each section of creek provided new and challenging obstacles. The majority of site clean-up was conducted using high-pressure water hoses (via water pumps) to wash the silt deposits down to controlled collection areas or to areas where light-weight dams were pre-installed. Where accessible by rubber track heavy machinery, sediment was collected and removed off site. Hand brooms, shovels, and buckets were used to remove sediment from environmentally sensitive and remote areas.

With Davis and Hamilton Creeks now clean, EC shifted its focus on removing the tremendous amount of sediment that had been deposited into Hamilton Pool. EC designed a removal and restoration plan. EC contracted with commercial underwater divers and specialized filtration equipment to dredge and remove the silt and sedimentation.

Due to limited access, a 90-ton crane was used to lower a barge with attached pump down a 50-foot drop-off into Hamilton Pool. Dive teams working in eight-hour, daily shifts were given the task of suctioning silt deposits from the depths of Hamilton Pool. Once pumped to the barge and back up the cliff, the silt-permeated water was pumped 3,100 feet to a network of mix and filter tanks. A shaker unit was employed for the purpose of removing pebbles and other small material before the water was deposited into mix tanks. Once thoroughly mixed, the silt water was then transferred to filtration tanks at which point the solids and water separation occurred. Once separated, the sediment-free water was pumped back into the Pool via Hamilton Creek. Water quality measurements were taken on a routine basis at designated pool locations, at the shaker unit, and filtration discharge tank to ensure dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and pH readings remained at acceptable safe levels.

Up to nine feet of silt and sediment was removed from the bottom surface of the Pool. Clarity of the water improved from less than a meter to more than four meters in less than a week post sediment removal. The project was completed in April 2011.

Hermine puts creek cleanup to test: kxan.com

Clean-up of fouled Hamilton Crk starts: kxan.com

BBEST Bay & Estuary
William H. Espey, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, and Tony L. Smith, P.E., of Espey Consultants have been involved in the 80th Texas Legislature Senate Bill 3 effort to execute a scope of work developed by the Trinity-San Jacinto Rivers and Galveston Bay Basin and Bay Expert Science Team (BBEST) to be used in part to support the development of recommended flow quantities and a flow regime supportive of a sound ecological environment for the Galveston Bay system. Through coordination with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and several state SB3 Science Advisory Committee members, a TxBLEND hydrodynamic salinity model has been applied to the Galveston Bay system to characterize historic variations in spatial and temporal salinity conditions within Galveston Bay.  Through a collaborative process involving staff from Texas Parks and Wildlife, TWDB, invited biological experts, SAC members, and members of the Trinity-San Jacinto BBEST, a suite of selected species have been identified as appropriate biological indicators representative of the ecological characteristics of Galveston Bay. Along with this species list, associated salinity niches and specified regions in the bay from which to assess these salinities were identified.  Utilizing such information, EC has worked as part of the Trinity-San Jacinto BBEST on the development of an approach to develop a flow regime recommendation for the Galveston Bay system.

 

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