Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility Named ENR Best of the Best Water Project

The Cat-Del Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility safely treats and controls the flow of more than two billion gallons of water per day to nine million customers, by far the largest facility of its kind in the world.

Proving the effectiveness (“validation”) of UV vessels of unprecedented size required building models of the vessel, light-intensity modeling, and computational fluid dynamics modeling.

The Cat-Del Facility achieves cost-effective protection of the public health by using UV rather than filtration (estimated to be a 75% savings in both capital and operating costs).

(NEW YORK, NY – December 19, 2013) – The Catskill-Delaware Ultraviolet Disinfection (Cat-Del) Facility, the largest UV disinfection facility in the world, has won the award for “Best of the Best Project” in the Water/Environment category from the Engineering News-Record.

The facility, which previously won an ACEC National Grand Award and a regional ENR Best Project – Water/Environmental Award, treats and controls the flow of more than two billion gallons of water per day to nine million consumers in and around New York City and represents a tremendous leap forward in water treatment technology.

The Cat-Del Facility utilizes ultraviolet light disinfection to provide protection from Cryptosporidium and Giardia (organisms that can cause gastrointestinal illness). UV light, traditionally used for wastewater disinfection, had rarely been used in this country for water treatment and has never been applied at anywhere near the massive scale required to meet New York City’s demand. The design also includes the largest flow control energy dissipating valves of their type ever made. The Cat-Del Facility houses sixteen 84-inch valves that can pass high flows at low head loss and feature reliable throttling capability.

The use of UV light was proven to provide the necessary protection at a cost estimated to be one quarter that of a filtration plant of the same capacity. Additionally, this facility poses fewer impacts to the environment than a filtration plant, due to a shorter construction period, considerably smaller footprint, and significantly lower power requirements.

The ENR Best of the Best Project Awards competition began in May with a call for entries to the construction industry, which resulted in around 700 project teams submitting their best work to the regional Best Projects competitions. In each of the 10 regions, the editors assembled panels of judges to select the regional winners in 19 categories.

Once the regional winners were chosen, the top winners in each category from each region moved up to the national competition. A brand new set of judges from across the country and from all walks of the industry examined each project in an effort to distinguish the best from the best in terms of teamwork, safety, overcoming challenges, innovation, and quality.

Since our founding in 1951, Hazen and Sawyer has focused on two things: providing safe drinking water and controlling water pollution. Our range of services encompasses the planning, design, and construction management of water and wastewater-related projects – from clean water treatment, storage, and distribution to wastewater and stormwater collection, treatment, and reuse.

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