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On Friday, Feb. 24, the San Joaquin Council of Governments held its seventh annual regional excellence awards banquet and bestowed its highest honor, the Regional Gold Award, to the City of Stockton Municipal Utilities District and OMI/Thames Water Stockton, Inc. for the Stockton Constructed Wetlands Treatment System.
“The wetlands project is a great benefit to the community, to the flora and fauna, and to the Delta. It’s a privilege for us to have the project recognized by the Council of Governments for its contributions to infrastructure and the environment,” said OMI/Thames Water Stockton, Inc. General Manager Gary Nuss. “Our team has worked hard to make this a project we can all be proud of, and I want to extend my thanks to everyone who has helped make the project a success,” he added.
The city of Stockton Municipal Utilities Department contracted operation of the water, wastewater and storm water systems to OMI/Thames Water Stockton, Inc. in 2003. Part of that contract included a design, build and operate contract to upgrade the Regional Water Control facility.
With the wetlands treatment system, OMI/Thames Water Stockton, Inc. is implementing a unique and cost-effective treatment process that closely mimics natural filtration. This treatment process will allow the city of Stockton to meet stringent new national standards, while providing a bird habitat and viewing areas. The team’s innovative approach includes converting an existing treatment pond into one of the country’s largest treatment wetland systems. When completed, the Stockton Constructed Wetlands Treatment System will consist of about 140 acres of emergent and open-water wetlands, 400,000 individually planted reeds, a boardwalk, observation deck and interpretative signage.
Currently home to more than 7,300 birds from 55 species, the wetlands have already been featured as part of the ninth annual San Joaquin Birding Symposium.
“The wetlands treatment system is a win for Stockton residents and taxpayers, a win for water quality in the Delta, and a win for the dramatic increase in breeding and visiting of migratory birds, local birds and other wildlife,” Nuss said.
The Regional Gold Award is the highest award presented at the event. The city of Stockton won last year’s award for the restoration of the Bob Hope Theater in Downtown Stockton. The Award nominations are open to industry for contributions and outstanding achievements within the San Joaquin County Region.