| Published in: Recognition

Buchart Horn Client & Project Partners Receive Award for Innovative Approach to Water Management

Vince Quarles, Director of Operations, Joe Szafran, External Affairs Manager, and Caroline Gray, External Affairs Specialist with New Jersey American Water receive One Water Award at 2019 Jersey Water Works Conference in December.

A public-private partnership between the City of Camden, New Jersey American Water, and others has received a 2019 New Jersey One Water Award for an innovative approach to managing the city’s water supply and sewer systems. Camden, once a prosperous manufacturing hub, has been recovering in recent years from decades of economic decline as major employers departed the area in the mid-to-late-1900s. As part of the City’s ongoing revitalization efforts, American Water was awarded a contract to operate, maintain, and manage Camden’s aging water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

Jim Hopkins, PE, Senior Environmental Engineer at Buchart Horn, helped develop the ten-year contract, which goes beyond the firm’s traditional role on water and wastewater replacement and upgrade projects. By providing oversight for the city and verifying that viable economic and technical solutions are implemented, Jim helps maximize benefit and fairness for both stakeholders and the community. Although Camden still faces many challenges today, this collaboration presents a positive outlook for sustaining and enhancing Camden’s water and wastewater infrastructure.

The New Jersey One Water Awards program recognizes projects that embrace its guiding vision, “that all water, regardless of source or use, has value that can be unlocked by implementing sustainable, inclusive, and integrated water resource management practices”. Key priorities and accomplishments since this agreement took effect include reduced annual operating costs, a comprehensive water resource management approach that includes stormwater, a substantial reduction in flood events in the Downtown River Front area, enhanced water quality, maintenance, leak detection, cost reporting, and budgeting practices, and improved community, regulatory, and interagency communications. 

Since relocating to Camden in 2018, American Water has also spearheaded numerous community initiatives through its Community Investment Agreement with the City. Volunteerism, education, training, and grants in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), outreach, and successful workforce development programs with young adults interested in Geographic Information System (GIS) have underscored their deep commitment to the community.

Currently in its fourth year, this synergistic public-private partnership has demonstrated a holistic approach to a range of water challenges, improved operating and maintenance performance, provided cost savings, and enhanced residents’ quality of life. Buchart Horn is proud to approach our own corporate sustainability initiatives in a way that encompasses social responsibility. This agreement has presented a unique opportunity to apply our expertise to the rejuvenation of The City of Camden, and with the help of our dedicated project partners, allow the administration to focus their attention on other priorities in their ongoing commitment to Camden’s future.

Project Partners include the City of Camden, Camden City School District, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Buchart Horn, Inc., American Water, American Water Operations and Maintenance, LLC, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, Hopeworks, and the US Water Alliance.