Tuesday - May 19, 2015

Partnership wins 2015 AWWA Excellence in Communications Award

The Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership has recently won a 2015 Excellence in Communications award from the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association (PNWS-AWWA) in the Best Video category for its dynamic video about the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) process used to install 3,900 feet of pipe under the Willamette River.

The award was presented during a ceremony at the PNWS-AWWA annual conference in Bellevue, Washington on April 30.

"While horizontal directional drilling has been in use for some time, this particular drill was extremely challenging due to the length and diameter of the tunnel, the complex geology encountered and the fact that the entry and exit points were located in environmentally sensitive parks. For these reasons, it was important to document the completion of this crucial milestone," said Joel Komarek, project director. "The video does an impressive job of explaining this complex method of trenchless pipeline construction and we are honored to have our communication efforts recognized by other industry professionals." 

The video tells the story of how crews successfully drilled under the Willamette River and then pulled the pipeline through the tunnel, which required a continuous operation to ensure that the tunnel remained open.  The tunnel drilling operation was conducted over a three-month period and the pipe pullback itself lasted just under 12 hours. A total of four barge mounted cranes and two land-based cranes were needed to loft the pipe into the tunnel.  The HDD method was chosen to ensure river wildlife and endangered species would not be impacted by trenching the pipeline through the river.

 Comments from the judges included:

  • “Interesting and informative, the time-lapse sharpie drawings were really neat.”
  • “Very professional and engaging all audiences, short, informative.”
  • “Definitely a unique way to reach the public. Great idea!”
  • “Awesome that they used local manufacturers and did what they could to protect the river.”

PNWS-AWWA provides leadership to drinking water professionals in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in the areas of drinking water quality, water resource policy, and water-related planning issues. The Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership was one of six utilities to win an award.

Watch the LOTW Pullback video below.