Since 2003, Woodard & Curran has partnered with the town of Billerica to deliver dozens of projects that include water resources, wastewater collection and treatment, operational assistance, electrical instrumentation and controls, and civil engineering work. Our tailored approach to this relationship displays Woodard & Curran’s commitment to our clients, adopting their priorities, and understanding the realities they face so we can deliver one-of-a-kind answers to unique problems in a truly collaborative working style.
Like many municipalities across the country, Billerica was faced with aging infrastructure and difficulty meeting environmental regulatory standards for its major waterways, the Shawsheen and Concord Rivers. In 2003 the town, located about 25 miles northeast of Boston, hired Woodard & Curran to address these public health and environmental concerns. What began as stormwater master planning became a decades-long collaboration, in which an integrated approach to infrastructure improvements has reaped benefits across all aspects of the community’s stormwater, drinking water, and wastewater systems.
When Woodard & Curran began working with the town, Billerica needed a stormwater plan to address national regulations. Our team undertook a multi-phase project that started with creating a GIS-based asset management system to digitize asset data for the benefit of all town departments. The team standardized and streamlined the process of data collection, implementing handheld computers and GPS-enabled technology to document information in the field in real time for everything from sewer, water, and stormwater information to roadway sign and pavement data. This work improved the town’s stormwater planning process, the highway department’s ability to efficiently maintain roadways, the planning board’s development of zoning maps, and the finance department’s accounting and financial reporting, among a myriad of other benefits.
In the wastewater field, we have to do a lot of everything and Woodard & Curran has been able to help me in each one of those phases…technology for my SCADA systems, help with all my permits – whether they’re industrial permits or NPDES permits – biological process problems, or control issues, and then obviously upgrades and design. They’re here to do the same thing I’m doing, which is to run a treatment plant and get it done right and make it efficient and effective, and a better place to work.
The collective goal between Billerica and Woodard & Curran over the past 20 years has been focused on meeting the town’s water management, treatment, and infrastructure needs. Tackling the challenges of each individual project together has improved outcomes for the town. Our team leveraged our client’s historical knowledge and expertise of their systems and process to prioritize projects and identify the best team of technical experts for each one.
“We all have the same goal, so it’s easy to connect,” said the town’s Water Resource Recovery Superintendent Jeff Kalmes. “With Woodard & Curran, they’re like coworkers and friends. They’re here to do the same thing I’m doing.”
In cooperation with Kalmes, we developed a Focused Wastewater Needs Assessment with a recommended implementation schedule of infrastructure projects based on the town’s funding cycle and pressing priorities to meet sustainable growth challenges. Similarly, investing in the town’s water system infrastructure has positioned Billerica for the next 20 years while considering the water rate structure and impact on rate payers.
We also worked with several other town departments, including public works, fire, and police, to launch a detailed public outreach program that contributed to successfully addressing groundwater and rainwater intrusion into the existing wastewater collection system.
Our on-call contract with Billerica aids the wastewater treatment facility’s daily operations of the plant. This ongoing access to expert guidance and knowledge on the latest trends, technology, delivery methods, and regulations help our client navigate activated sludge treatment, residuals management, staffing, pre-treatment, and regulatory compliance.
As experienced contract operators at facilities across the country, we provide additional value to Billerica’s water and wastewater treatment staff. Our team has also brought town officials to other nearby facilities to see how different real-world treatment processes are applied. Kalmes said, “they took me to other places and showed me other processes, let me see other equipment and then let me weigh in on what would work best for me in my situation.”