Employee-owned companies work together to build new wastewater treatment system

June 13, 2012

Home News Employee-owned companies work together to build new wastewater treatment system

In 2009, the Cave Creek wastewater treatment plant, located in a popular neighborhood, was causing some uproar. The plant lacked odor control, was outdated, was an eyesore for residents; quickly becoming the source of many complaints in Cave Creek.

Two ESCA member companies, Burns & McDonnell and Garney Construction, joined forces to tackle this problem. Burns & McDonnell and Garney, who are both 100 percent employee-owned private companies, drew up a plan to increase the rated capacity of the old plant by six-fold.

With comprehensive planning, programming, architecture and engineering design and construction, the design/build project team was able to increase capacity, while lowering the overall projected budget by an impressive nine percent. In addition, the plant can now accommodate up to 5,000 new residential connections and has been instrumental in helping Cave Creek attract new commercial establishments. It also enables Cave Creek to meet all its treatment needs for the foreseeable future while using 100 percent of the reclaimed water for beneficial use.

Burns & McDonnell and Garney have continued to grow and succeed in the construction management industry due in part to their strong S ESOP corporate structure. Both companies understand that ownership is a powerful tool, and every employee is invested equally in the company. The culture of ownership leads to increased productivity and quality service for all their customers, ultimately allowing their companies to grow and prosper.

The team work attitude that the employee-ownership model allows for played a role in how well the two companies were able to come together and solve the problem. They worked together under the design/build delivery method and achieved the significant savings due to a number of engineering process design innovations, pipeline routing changes and scheduling efficiencies.

Moreover, this project did not go without national recognition and was honored by the American Public Works Association Projects of the Year in the Environmental category this past April.

It is exciting to see our member companies changing communities through their team work and dedication. Keep up the great work!

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