Watervliet project picks up engineering award

Contributed photo At a recent state awards program in Plymouth, the Michigan chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers presented a Quality of Life Award to the Watervliet water system upgrade project. Shown, from left, are project engineer Alan Smaka of Wightman & Associates, Watervliet Mayor Dave Brinker and state ASCA President Carey Suhan.

WATERVLIET - The state chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers recently bestowed its annual Quality of Life award to Watervliet's $4 million water system upgrade project, completed last year.

Mayor Dave Brinker and project engineer Alan Smaka of Wightman & Associates, Benton Township, accepted the award at a luncheon in Plymouth, Mich., in June.

The project funded an iron removal plant for the municipal water system, and new water mains in parts of the city and neighboring Watervliet Township.

"There are many firms doing great work throughout Michigan, so to be recognized at the state level is truly an honor," Smaka said. "This award speaks to the collaboration between the city of Watervliet, Watervliet Township and the Wightman & Associates team that made this project such a success."

The city landed a low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and in turn was able to restructure existing water system debt, to allow the project to move forward.

The project doubled the water system capacity.

The mayor said he's happy that the project won the award.

Watervliet Township has also seen benefits from the project in terms of increased fire protection and enhanced services, Township Supervisor Dan Hutchins said.

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