The American Public Works Association (APWA) named Santa Monica’s Charnock Well Field Restoration Project a 2012 Public Works Project of the Year, APWA announced Monday.

Presented annually, the APWA awards promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects and recognize the alliance between managing agencies, contractors, consultants and their cooperative achievements.

For Charnock, the city of Santa Monica acted as the managing agency with Black & Veatch Corp. acting as the primary contractor and consultant. This year APWA selected projects in five categories: environment, disaster/emergency, historical restoration, structures and transportation.

Awarded in the environment category, Santa Monica’s project was the result of the 1996 closure of the Charnock Well Field because of contamination in the form of methyl tertiary-butyl ether, a gasoline additive that is highly soluble in water.

Because of the closure, City Hall increased its reliance on imported water, and as a result of a settlement with three major oil companies, undertook the Charnock project with the hopes of fully restoring local groundwater supplies and reducing the need for imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River.

The two sites that comprised the project were the Charnock Well Field and the Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant (WTP). Improvements included treating contaminated groundwater, removing minerals and replacing the Santa Monica WTP with an advanced water treatment system that provides a multi-barrier, four-step approach to treatment of groundwater prior to distribution.

The completed $60-million project was put online in December, 2010. As a result, Santa Monica now provides nearly 70 percent of the water it needs on an average day — this compared to the roughly 20 percent available while the facilities were offline.

The city of Santa Monica and Black & Veatch will be presented with APWA’s award during APWA’s 2012 International Public Works Congress & Exposition in Anaheim, Calif. on Aug. 26-29.

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