Charles River CleanUp 2022

Charles River CleanUp 2022

 – Team Tata & Howard joined 3,000+ volunteers participating in the 23rd Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup! It was a beautiful Saturday to get out of the house and lend a helping hand to Mother Nature! – 

Our team picked, tugged, lugged, and hauled away litter around the Upper Falls Playground. We even made a new friend, neighbor Barry Soroka, who lives close to the park; looking forward to seeing you next year Barry!
Location: Upper Falls Playground, Newton Upper Falls, MA

Scholarships In Motion

SCHOLARSHIPS IN MOTION

TATA & HOWARD, INC. (T&H), founded in 1992, is a 100% employee-owned, water, wastewater, and stormwater services engineering firm. We are dedicated to consistently delivering the highest quality and innovative engineering solutions in the water environment.

As an industry leader in the Northeast, we believe the key to quality engineers for the future begins with education. Together with industry associations, high schools, and colleges, we demonstrate that belief through our scholarship programs. T&H scholarships recognize outstanding, graduating high school seniors who maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.0, excel in math or science, and will be enrolled full-time at a college majoring in engineering.

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarships

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T&H Scholarships in Motion.

Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship Awarded to Marlborough and Natick High School Seniors

TATA & HOWARD, INC. announced it’s 2018 Donald J. Tata Engineering Scholarship winners.  Graduating seniors from Marlborough High School, Igor De Moraes and Amanda Vilensky; and seniors from Natick High School, Kevin Zheng and Rebecca McCue, each received the $1,000 scholarship sponsored by TATA & HOWARD, INC. and the Tata family. Learn more

TATA & HOWARD, INC. Announces Paul E. Cote Engineering Scholarship Nomination, Jared Hamilton.

Jared Hamilton, an A.P. Scholar, graduated from Ellsworth High School with high honors and is a recent graduate of the University of Maine, B.S. in Civil Engineering, with a dual concentration in water resources and structural design.  Jared recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Exams (F.E.). He is a member of the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a past member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Jared commented on his “Greatest of All Time” (G.O.A.T.) engineering experience – while observing the construction of a substation as an intern – “I could see the foundations, forms, rebar, etc. and I knew then I had chosen the right career path.” Jared recently took a full-time position with an engineering company in Maine, setting his goal to obtain engineering knowledge through hands-on experience. – Jared, the TATA & HOWARD team congratulates you and wishes you much success!

To learn how you can apply for consideration, check out our current programs.

Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Engineering Scholarship Award
Click here to learn more

Donald J. Tata Engineering
Scholarship Award
Click here to learn more

Donald J. Tata Engineering
Scholarship Award

Click here to learn more

Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Scholarship

Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Engineering Scholarship Award

Tata & Howard, Inc. is pleased to co-sponsor the Patrick S. O’Neale, P.E. Engineering Scholarship Award through the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA).

Patrick had a passion for quality control, quality assurance, and the development and protection of Massachusetts water supply and water infrastructure. He held a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Southeastern Massachusetts University and served as president of MWWA. His twenty-year career at Tata & Howard, Inc. served in many leadership roles, with his final position as Sr. Vice President. 

This award is open to students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering at an accredited academic institution in the United States,  with preference given to those candidates whose programs of study are related to waterworks practice. 

Click here to learn more about applying for the O’Neale Scholarship Application through MWWA. Deadline: June 1st of each year. 

Donations, if you wish to donate to this fund, please click here.  

Meet Joseph Diaz – our first Awardee

Joseph Diaz
Merrimack College
Civil Engineering | 2022
Joseph is pursuing his master’s degree in engineering management. Scholarships In Motion – check out our interview with Joseph.

Water / Wastewater Engineer – Waterbury, CT

Water / Wastewater Engineer – Marlborough, MA

Job Description

Tata & Howard has an opportunity for entry-level Civil and / or Environmental Engineers with a strong interest in municipal water and / or wastewater design.  Experience in hydraulic modeling, asset management, and dam safety work a plus.  Responsibilities include project design, site investigations and surveys, analysis of data, interaction with clients, and developing engineering reports, models, and calculations related to the design of water / wastewater and stormwater collection / distribution systems. Additional responsibilities include developing familiarity with government, client, and industry local codes, regulations, and standards; health and safety requirements; and environmental concerns.

Requirements

  • Minimum qualifications include Bachelor of Science degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering or related field.
  • Successful candidates will be adept at applying engineering principles to develop effective solutions, and must possess strong technical and business writing skills.
  • Ideal candidates should have some experience with design and development of water and / or wastewater engineering solutions, AutoCAD, and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Candidates must be able to work well independently and in teams.

Please note that Tata & Howard does not sponsor applicants for work visas.

Water / Wastewater Engineer – Marlborough, MA

Water / Wastewater Engineer – Marlborough, MA

Job Description

Tata & Howard has an opportunity for entry-level Civil and / or Environmental Engineers with a strong interest in municipal water and / or wastewater design.  Experience in hydraulic modeling, asset management, and dam safety work a plus.  Responsibilities include project design, site investigations and surveys, analysis of data, interaction with clients, and developing engineering reports, models, and calculations related to the design of water / wastewater and stormwater collection / distribution systems. Additional responsibilities include developing familiarity with government, client, and industry local codes, regulations, and standards; health and safety requirements; and environmental concerns.

Requirements

  • Minimum qualifications include Bachelor of Science degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering or related field.
  • Successful candidates will be adept at applying engineering principles to develop effective solutions, and must possess strong technical and business writing skills.
  • Ideal candidates should have some experience with design and development of water and / or wastewater engineering solutions, AutoCAD, and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Candidates must be able to work well independently and in teams.

Please note that Tata & Howard does not sponsor applicants for work visas.

Dam Safety Awareness Commemorates an Epic Flood

Dam Safety Awareness Commemorates an Epic Flood

The Johnstown Flood of 1889

It had been raining heavily for several days in late May of 1889.  People living below in the narrow Conemaugh Valley were eager for the spring rains to end. Just a month earlier, deep snow had lined the steep ravines of the Allegheny Mountains range and the ground was sodden with the heavy spring runoff. Floodwaters at the South Fork Dam high above the City of Johnstown, Pennsylvania were causing the lake level to rise, threatening to overtop the large earth embankment dam.

Before the dam breachAs the spring rains continued, life was about to change for the working-class city of 30,000 and other communities beneath the South Fork Dam.

Originally constructed in 1852, the South Fork Dam provided a source of water for a division of the Pennsylvania Canal. After a minor breach in 1862, the dam was hastily rebuilt creating Lake Conemaugh. By 1881, the dam was owned and maintained by the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, who created a recreational area by the large lake, enjoyed by their elite clientele from nearby Pittsburgh.

Lake ConemaughFor the pleasure of their private members, club owners soon began modifications to the dam. Fish screens were installed across the spillway to keep the expensive game fish from escaping. The dam was lowered by a few feet so that two carriages could navigate the carriage road to the clubhouse. Relief pipes and valves that controlled the water level and spill off from the original dam were sold off for scrap, and rustic cottages were built nearby.

Ignored Warnings

Notoriously leaky, repairs to the earthen dam had been neglected for years.  As torrential rains came down, swollen waters from the lake put tremendous pressure on the poorly maintained dam. With fish screens trapping debris that kept the spillway from flowing and with no other way to control the lake level, the water kept rising.

Aftermath of floodClub officials struggled to reinforce the earthen dam, but it continued to disintegrate. When the lake’s water began to pour over the top, it was apparent that a catastrophic collapse was inevitable and imminent.  Frantic riders were sent down the valley to alert the local communities and tell them to evacuate.  Sadly, few residents heeded the alarm being so often used to the minor seasonal flooding from the Little Conemaugh river.

This time, however, the flood danger was much more serious and deadly.

On May 31, 1889 at 3:10pm, the South Fork Dam washed away, leaving a wake of destruction that killed 2,209 people and wiped the City of Johnstown off the map forever. It took only 10 minutes for the raging torrent of 20 million tons or about 4.8 billion gallons of water to rip through the communities of South Fork, Mineral Point, Woodvale, and East Conemaugh.

Along the way, the deluge accumulated everything in its path, including all sorts of debris—from city buildings, houses, and barns. Piles of boulders, trees, farm equipment, rolls of barbed wire, horse carriages, and railroad cars churned in the turmoil. Embroiled in the devastation were also animals and people—both dead and alive.

By the time the raging waters reached Johnstown at 4:07 pm, the mass of debris was a wave 45-feet-tall, nearly a half mile wide and traveling at 40 miles per hour.

Despite the shocking immensity of this tragedy, relief efforts to the ravaged communities began almost immediately. Emergency shelters for homeless residents popped up and the grim task of cleaning up began.  Volunteers and donations poured in from across the country and world, sending tons of supplies and help. One of the first to arrive was Clara Barton, who had founded the American Red Cross just a few years earlier.

aftermathIt would take months to sift through all the wreckage to find the bodies and years to fully recover from the aftermath.

Lessons Learned

It is widely thought the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club was to blame for the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam. Members of the club neglected to properly maintain the dam and made numerous dangerous modifications. Lowering the dam crest to only about four feet above the spillway severely impaired the ability of the structure to withhold stormwater overflow. The missing discharge pipes and relief valves prevented the reservoir from being drained for repairs and the elaborate fish screens clogged the spillway with debris. The club had also been warned by engineers that the dam was unsafe.

flood damageA hydraulic analysis published in 2016 confirmed what had long been suspected, that the changes made to the dam by the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club severely reduced the ability of the dam to withstand major storms.1

The South Fork Dam was simply unable to withstand the large volume of stormwater that occurred on that fateful day on May 31, 1889.

Although the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club failed to maintain the dam, club members were never legally held responsible for the Johnstown Flood after successfully arguing that the disaster was an “act of God.”

Due to what many perceived as an injustice and outrage towards the wealthy club members, American law was ultimately challenged and “a non-negligent defendant could be held liable for damage caused by the unnatural use of land”. This legal action eventually imposed laws for the acceptance of strict liability for damages and loss.

National Dam Safety Awareness Day

On May 31st, we commemorate the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam by recognizing this day as National Dam Safety Awareness Day.

The Johnstown flood or the Great Flood of 1889, as it was later known as, was the single deadliest disaster in the U.S at the time. This tragedy, 129 years later, is still a harsh reminder of the critical importance of the proper maintenance and safe operation of dams.

Earth embankment dams may fail due to overtopping by flood water, erosion of the spillway discharge channel, seepage, settling, and cracking or movement of the embankment.

Routine dam evaluations and inspections, as required by law, can identify problems with dams before conditions become unsafe.  Dams embankments, gatehouses and spillways, like other structures, can deteriorate due to weather, vandalism, and animal activity.  Qualified engineering firms can perform soil borings, soil testing, stability analyses, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling for evaluating spillway sizing and downstream hazard potential, arrange for under water inspections by divers, permitting, and assistance in applying for funding for repairs. Also required, are Emergency Action Plans (EAP) that identifies potential emergency conditions and specifies preplanned actions to be followed in the case of a dam failure to minimize property damage or loss of life.

The required frequency of dam inspections will vary depending on the state, but generally are based on hazard classification, with high hazard dams requiring more frequent inspection.   Generally dam inspections should be performed every two years for high hazard dams, unless the state requires more frequent inspections.  The best time of year for inspections is in the fall, when reservoir levels are typically low, and when foliage and tree leaves are reduced, allowing improved visibility around the dam.

A wealth of information on dam safety awareness, can be found at the Association of State Dam Safety Officials website

 

 

 

1Wikipedia.com

 

Tata & Howard to Conduct Water Asset Management Plan and Hydraulic Study

Tata & Howard to Conduct Water Asset Management Plan and Hydraulic Study

Turner Falls, MA benefits from $40,000 state grant to improve water system.

Turner Fall MAMARLBOROUGH, MA, January 15, 2018Tata & Howard, Inc., a leading innovator in water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental engineering solutions, was named the principal engineering firm to conduct a water asset management plan and hydraulic study for the water district in Turner Falls, MA.

Turner Falls will soon be able to assess their water inventory infrastructure after receiving a $40,000 grant from the Baker-Polito administration.  Turner Falls is one of ten communities in Massachusetts to receive a portion of $388,000 in grant monies from the state to improve the town’s drinking water systems or wastewater systems.

Tata and Howard, will assist the town in completing an asset management plan and hydraulic study, which will including above and below ground reviews.

Working with Mike Brown, superintendent for the water district, the study will include an inventory of water mains, age of pipes, past inspection reports, dates when wells were installed, and water quality tests.  “I was very excited to see we were qualified, said Mr. Brown.  “Some of our mains are 80-100 years old and could be corroded or built up with mineral deposits.”

According to Karen Gracey, co-president of Tata and Howard, “The grant is specifically for the funding of the plan and study. We are scheduled to begin in February and complete the report by May.”

From the information gathered and analyzed, Tata and Howard will make recommendations for water infrastructure improvements and replacements.

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Meeting Wastewater Utilities’ Needs Through Capital Efficiency

restrooms-300x200Wastewater. It’s something that will always exist, and will always require collection and treatment. Just like improved water, improved sanitation is one of the key contributing factors to a developed nation, significantly improving public health, educational opportunity, and workforce viability. And while the United States boasts nearly 100% improved water and sanitation, there is still cause for concern.

In the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2013 Report Card, wastewater received a “D” grade. Why? Because our existing infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and replacement, and a significant funding gap exists. This gap can be attributed to the fact that funding has been declining while regulations continue to increase.

Pic1-TotalPublicSpending-300x200In March of 2015, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report on annual government expenditures on infrastructure, titled Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956 to 2014. The data, collected from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for federal expenditures and from the Census Bureau for state and local government expenditures, indicates that federal, state, and local governments in the United States have been investing LESS in water and wastewater infrastructure than ever before. From 1956 to the late 1980s, total government spending increased in real dollars by approximately 3%-4% per year, and then from 1%-2% through 2009. These expenditures include both capital and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. However, from 2010 until present, total government spending has actually decreased by 8%.

Pic3-OMvsCapital-300x200To further complicate matters, capital expenditure has decreased at a faster rate than O&M expenditure. From 1956 to 1980, public spending was basically split between capital expenditures — to build or replace water and wastewater systems —  and O&M of the systems. However, since 1980, O&M spending continued to grow at an annual rate of 4%-6% to the 1990s, and then at an annual rate of 1%-3% through 2009, since when it has remained flat. In contrast, capital spending grew at an annual rate of only about 1%-2% since 1980, and has declined at an average annual rate of 4% since 2009. Governments now spend twice as much on O&M of their existing systems than on capital expenditures to repair, rehabilitate, or replace existing assets or for the installation of new infrastructure. In addition, state and local government is now saddled with nearly the full burden of capital expenditure, as federal spending has been steadily on the decline since 1976.

Clearly, municipalities are faced with the almost insurmountable task of staying up to date with all current regulations while also improving outdated and failing systems. Because wastewater collection and treatment is such a crucial aspect of modern day society, it has become paramount that municipalities find cost-effective and efficient ways of maintaining and updating critical infrastructure.

Dollar sign sink in clear blue water

One of the most effective ways in which municipalities can intelligently allocate their limited infrastructure dollars is by implementing a clear and systematic plan of action for capital improvement projects. Typically, asset management is considered to be the standard by which wastewater utilities address capital assets. Defined by the EPA as managing infrastructure capital assets to minimize the total cost of owning and operating them, while delivering the service levels customers desire, asset management certainly plays a key role in smart capital planning. However, asset management should only be part of the equation. Hydraulic modeling and system criticality are two equally important aspects which should be examined when planning long-term capital expenditure.

Tata & Howard’s Wastewater Capital Efficiency Plans™ identify those areas of your wastewater systems needing rehabilitation, repair, or replacement that make the most efficient use of your limited infrastructure dollars by combining the concepts of hydraulic modeling, system criticality, and asset management into a single comprehensive report. Each report is tailored to the individual utility distribution system and provides utilities with a database and Geographic Information System (GIS) representation for each pipe segment within their underground piping system. The CEP report then prioritizes system piping improvements and provides estimated costs for replacement and rehabilitation.

Our three circle approach includes the following:

Three Circles WASTEWATER 515-finalHydraulic modeling

  • Model verification if available
  • Compare flows with design carrying capacity
  • Hydraulic deficiencies
  • History of SSOs
  • High infiltration/inflow rates

Critical Components

  • Interceptors
  • Trunk sewers and force mains
  • Residential sewer mains

Asset Management

  • Establish score for each pipe segment based on blockages/collapses, I/I rates, installation year, soil corrosivity, PACP structural and maintenance ratings, and other criteria.

A comprehensive CEP provides a utility with not only a prioritized list of logically thought out infrastructure projects, but also a justifiable and defendable plan of action to present to town administrators when planning budgets.

Manhole_cover_sewer_closeup-300x200To continue as a leading industrialized nation, our wastewater utilities must not only remain safe and functional, but also progressive and up to date with current and future regulations. Because funding is declining while costs and population are increasing, it is more important than ever for wastewater utilities to methodically prioritize and plan all repairs and improvements. Only through the implementation of a well-researched and systematic course of action will utilities be prepared to provide safe and dependable wastewater services both now and in the future.

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Meeting Wastewater Utilities' Needs Through Capital Efficiency

restrooms-300x200Wastewater. It’s something that will always exist, and will always require collection and treatment. Just like improved water, improved sanitation is one of the key contributing factors to a developed nation, significantly improving public health, educational opportunity, and workforce viability. And while the United States boasts nearly 100% improved water and sanitation, there is still cause for concern.

In the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2013 Report Card, wastewater received a “D” grade. Why? Because our existing infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and replacement, and a significant funding gap exists. This gap can be attributed to the fact that funding has been declining while regulations continue to increase.

Pic1-TotalPublicSpending-300x200In March of 2015, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report on annual government expenditures on infrastructure, titled Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956 to 2014. The data, collected from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for federal expenditures and from the Census Bureau for state and local government expenditures, indicates that federal, state, and local governments in the United States have been investing LESS in water and wastewater infrastructure than ever before. From 1956 to the late 1980s, total government spending increased in real dollars by approximately 3%-4% per year, and then from 1%-2% through 2009. These expenditures include both capital and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. However, from 2010 until present, total government spending has actually decreased by 8%.
Pic3-OMvsCapital-300x200To further complicate matters, capital expenditure has decreased at a faster rate than O&M expenditure. From 1956 to 1980, public spending was basically split between capital expenditures — to build or replace water and wastewater systems —  and O&M of the systems. However, since 1980, O&M spending continued to grow at an annual rate of 4%-6% to the 1990s, and then at an annual rate of 1%-3% through 2009, since when it has remained flat. In contrast, capital spending grew at an annual rate of only about 1%-2% since 1980, and has declined at an average annual rate of 4% since 2009. Governments now spend twice as much on O&M of their existing systems than on capital expenditures to repair, rehabilitate, or replace existing assets or for the installation of new infrastructure. In addition, state and local government is now saddled with nearly the full burden of capital expenditure, as federal spending has been steadily on the decline since 1976.
Clearly, municipalities are faced with the almost insurmountable task of staying up to date with all current regulations while also improving outdated and failing systems. Because wastewater collection and treatment is such a crucial aspect of modern day society, it has become paramount that municipalities find cost-effective and efficient ways of maintaining and updating critical infrastructure.
Dollar sign sink in clear blue water
One of the most effective ways in which municipalities can intelligently allocate their limited infrastructure dollars is by implementing a clear and systematic plan of action for capital improvement projects. Typically, asset management is considered to be the standard by which wastewater utilities address capital assets. Defined by the EPA as managing infrastructure capital assets to minimize the total cost of owning and operating them, while delivering the service levels customers desire, asset management certainly plays a key role in smart capital planning. However, asset management should only be part of the equation. Hydraulic modeling and system criticality are two equally important aspects which should be examined when planning long-term capital expenditure.
Tata & Howard’s Wastewater Capital Efficiency Plans™ identify those areas of your wastewater systems needing rehabilitation, repair, or replacement that make the most efficient use of your limited infrastructure dollars by combining the concepts of hydraulic modeling, system criticality, and asset management into a single comprehensive report. Each report is tailored to the individual utility distribution system and provides utilities with a database and Geographic Information System (GIS) representation for each pipe segment within their underground piping system. The CEP report then prioritizes system piping improvements and provides estimated costs for replacement and rehabilitation.
Our three circle approach includes the following:
Three Circles WASTEWATER 515-finalHydraulic modeling

  • Model verification if available
  • Compare flows with design carrying capacity
  • Hydraulic deficiencies
  • History of SSOs
  • High infiltration/inflow rates

Critical Components

  • Interceptors
  • Trunk sewers and force mains
  • Residential sewer mains

Asset Management

  • Establish score for each pipe segment based on blockages/collapses, I/I rates, installation year, soil corrosivity, PACP structural and maintenance ratings, and other criteria.

A comprehensive CEP provides a utility with not only a prioritized list of logically thought out infrastructure projects, but also a justifiable and defendable plan of action to present to town administrators when planning budgets.
Manhole_cover_sewer_closeup-300x200To continue as a leading industrialized nation, our wastewater utilities must not only remain safe and functional, but also progressive and up to date with current and future regulations. Because funding is declining while costs and population are increasing, it is more important than ever for wastewater utilities to methodically prioritize and plan all repairs and improvements. Only through the implementation of a well-researched and systematic course of action will utilities be prepared to provide safe and dependable wastewater services both now and in the future.
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Water Storage Tanks: Hydraulic Modeling and Water Quality Considerations

Water Storage Tanks: Hydraulic Modeling and Water Quality Considerations

Abstract:
A hydraulic model can be used for extended period simulations (EPS) and the EPS models can be used to determine water age in the distribution system. The Town of Paxton, Massachusetts was having some issues maintaining a chlorine residual so Tata & Howard completed a study looking at water age and chlorine residual, and developed recommendations to help them improve system water quality.

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