Large Diameter Waterlines

108” Northwest Transmission Waterline, Smith Road to Bellow Falls
City of Houston, Houston, TX

This project is part of the Northeast Transmission Waterline, a multi-year project designed to carry treated surface water produced by the planned expansion of the City of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant. This project consists of approximately 10,000 LF of 108” water transmission line along multiple City of Houston easements from Bellow Falls to Smith Road. One of the main challenges encountered in this project includes the constructability issues in placing the proposed 108” line in close proximity to an existing 84” parallel line. A+ Services is providing engineering support to the lead design firm on the analysis of the maximum allowable load on the existing 84” line and minimum separation distances between the two lines. A+ Services is also designing the interconnect details to the existing 84” line. Other engineering services provided include a review and analysis of the project’s geotechnical report, constructability reviews on project submittals, a review of the project’s design details, and coordination with vendors on pricing for major items.


108” Waterline, UPRR to John Ralston—City of Houston, Houston, TX

Aurora Technical Services was selected by the City of Houston as the prime to design almost 8,000 LF of 108” water transmission line. The waterline has numerous challenges that include; installation of the new line adjacent to an existing 84” waterline (that cannot be taken out of service), several tunnels requiring close attention to the potential impact to railroad operations and the BW 8 main lanes.  Furthermore, this project will involve a number of critical crossings of roadways and petroleum/gas pipelines. The estimated construction cost for the project is between $22M and $28M. The ongoing design includes coordination with HCFCD, TxDOT, Harris County and HCTRA, as well as several Municipal Utility Districts.


Integrated Pipeline Program—Tarrant Regional Water District, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

The Integrated Pipeline (IPL) Program consists of more than 150 miles of raw water pipeline to connect several North Texas reservoirs in the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) systems. The program represents a large-scale collaboration between the two agencies in an effort to realize significant long-term construction and operational savings for constituents.

Mr. Ortega’s team was selected as pipeline design engineer for Section 15-1 of the greater program, which included more than 15 miles of 108” diameter raw water pipeline. The team provided preliminary design, final design, and construction phase services for the project, which was the first component of the overall IPL program that went to construction. Design included consideration for both steel and concrete pipe (competitively bid) and both flowable fill and traditional granular bedding as part of efforts to promote competition and maximize value. On completion of design, a bid was accepted and awarded for roughly $93 million dollars, which was more than $30 million below the original construction budget.


Surface Water Transmission Program (SWTP)—City of Houston, TX

Mr. Ortega’s primary role during the past 20 years has been the management of the City of Houston’s $500+ million SWTP CIP. In this role, was personally responsible for the design oversight of more than 160 miles of large diameter transmission mains. As Program Manager, Mr. Ortega was directly responsible for meeting all construction budgets and schedules. One of Mr. Ortega’s primary focuses on the SWTP was design quality. This effort involved the coordination of a project, optimal phasing of improvements, addressing environmental aspects, traffic control minimization efforts, value engineering and constructability reviews, and incorporation of construction “lessons learned” into new projects. Part of his responsibilities were directly supporting the City’s Water Engineering staff. In this capacity, he assisted the City in developing its water-related specifications, including pipe material, commercial meters, air release valves, pressure reducing valves, and gate and butterfly valves. Additionally, Mr. Ortega authored the City’s cured-in-place and HDPE specifications for water lines and well collection lines rehabilitation. His support activities included assistance to operation and maintenance personnel.

Mr. Ortega’s experience included being the engineer of record for several major water line projects (ranging from 20” to 120” diameter), pump station and force main adjustment analysis and design. This work included route evaluation, traffic analysis, assignment and coordination of support services (geotechnical and surveying), detail design, as well as constructability reviews. Additionally, as SWTP Program Manager, Mr. Ortega was directly involved with reviewing and supporting Pearland’s 42” connection along Monroe to the City of Houston’s SEWTL along Fuqua—a 72” steel water line. His role included assisting in the siting of the metering station, determining the recommended valve configuration to maximize operational considerations, and performing construction cost allocation support for the connection.


Accelerated Surface Water Transmission Program (ASWTP)—City of Houston, TX

As part of the City of Houston’s efforts to meet the growing water demands in the Northwest sector of the City, Houston embarked on an aggressive $150 million program to design and construct more than 40 miles of 84” and smaller transmission mains that included modifications to three high-capacity pump stations. As the Project Manager for the entire program, Mr. Ortega oversaw the program management efforts involving 24 design firms and more than 50 support and specialty consultants. In this role he was responsible for all technical issues associated with the Program, including determination of pipe materials, environmental issues, identifying methods of construction, and establishing the program specifications and details. To meet the three-year schedule requirements, Mr. Ortega oversaw the project controls effort and constructability reviews. Of particular challenge to the Program was the acquisition of almost 150 parcels, residential, commercial and industrial properties. To meet the budget and schedule constraints, Mr. Ortega obtained approval from TxDOT, Harris County Flood Control District, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the installation of more than eight different pipeline aerial crossings of highways and streams.