Contract Surety

Protecting Water: From East To West



New projects in Washington D.C. and Austin Texas exemplify the important efforts underway around the country to keep our water clean and flowing–but not overflowing. From the East to the West, stormwater and wastewater are in need of deep attention.


A New Stormwater Tunnel for Washington, D.C.

As part of the overall Clean Rivers Project, which resulted from a lawsuit filed back in 2000, when “billions of gallons of untreated sewage” flowed into D.C. rivers, work has begun on an $819 million stormwater tunnel, with the goal of significantly reducing sewer overflows to the Potomac River:


DC Water is building the 18-mile, $2.99 billion tunnel system under the city to improve the water quality of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Rock Creek. Monthly fees charged to DC Water customers fund the bulk of the project…..The Potomac River Tunnel Project at West Potomac Park is a 5.5-mile-long, 18-foot-diameter tunnel that will run beneath the Georgetown waterfront and connect to the existing Anacostia River Tunnel. The CBNA-Halmar team… expect to complete the project by early 2030….Work will consist of building a large-diameter deep sewer tunnel, diversion facilities, drop shafts and support structures to capture flows from existing combined sewer overflows along the Potomac River and direct them to a treatment facility. Construction will require two tunnel boring machines….Both will start from West Potomac Park: One machine will mine south through mostly soft ground, while the other will head north to bore through rock.


Improving Wastewater Treatment

That’s the goal in Austin Texas, where the City Council has approved $1 billion in upgrades for the 47-year old Walnut Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Notably:

“The project will be built via a construction manager at risk delivery method,which allows the contractor to be hired earlier and contribute to the design process in key areas like constructability, maintenance of plant operations, scheduling and coordinating work packages and cost control….” Indeed, as the city continues to grow, Austin’s plans for the Walnut Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant are extensive:


A wall will be built around the facility to protect it from floodwaters and make it more resilient to extreme weather. Every area of the plant will undergo construction….Plans involve upgrading the treatment process for the existing plant and the expansion in order to reduce the nutrients that contribute to harmful algae growth in the Colorado River….The project also entails replacing the disinfection system to use ultraviolet light, which Austin Water said will eliminate the use of chlorine chemicals for disinfection and will make the plant safer for workers and community members….The expansion will add treatment capacity of 25 million gallons per day to serve the area’s growing population, according to the release. The existing plant is currently permitted to treat 75 million gallons per day.


Building Capacity

With local, state and national attention–and funds–set on improving many aspects of our aging infrastructure, builders across the country continue looking to improve their capabilities for undertaking bigger and bigger projects. When evaluating bid readiness, don’t forget to consider essential questions, including:



  • Do you have the team on-hand to complete the project on schedule?
  • Does the scope of work match your team’s experience?
  • Is the cash flow available to complete the project?



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