Kauai-based Aqua Engineers, Inc., Hawaii’s largest water and wastewater management company, was awarded The Secretary of the Army Sustainability Team Award by the US Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) yesterday for its role in providing sustainable solutions. This is the third award the 28-year-old company has received in the past three years for helping improve the environment. In 2007 and again in 2008, Aqua Engineers was awarded the GE ecomagination Award.

The latest award recognizes Aqua Engineers for its work with Schofield Barracks’ Directorate of Public Works (DPW), Utilities Division, for developing an R-1 In Plant Water Reuse System at the Schofield Barracks Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The Treatment Plant produces a high quality treated wastewater, while creating a sustainable benefit to Hawaii, in an economical way.   The In Plant Reuse System, which began operating in September 2008, now recycles about 100,000 gallons of wastewater a day that is used for the benefit of the military and community at large. 

In building the R-1 Reuse Plant, Aqua Engineers recommended new technologies that reduced the plant’s output of nitrogen and phosphates and enabled it to provide premium recycled water (R-1) that is being used for in-plant operations and various landscape watering systems instead of potable water.  If 100 percent of the recycled water is used, R-1 projects could reduce the Army’s demand for potable water by more than one million gallons per day.  

“We are committed to working in partnership with the Army to conserve our drinking water through the recycling of a valuable alternative water resource, decrease pollution, and contribute to sustainability goals,” said Eassie Miller, president and CEO of Aqua Engineers. “Our focus is to lower emissions and partner with local communities and continue to be a good corporate citizen.”   

The wastewater treatment plant at Schofield Barracks became one of the first plants under the US Department of Defense Privatization Program and is the largest privately owned R-1 facility in Hawaii.