Stantec, the lead design firm in the design-build team of Stantec/EcoGro/Ridgewater, has earned a top engineering design award for work supporting Lexmark International, Inc. in developing a rainwater harvesting system in Lexington, Ky.  The American Council of Engineering Companies of Kentucky (ACEC-KY) awarded the design-build project team the Grand Conceptor Award in Waste and Storm Water, the organization’s top honor in the state and part of its annual Engineering Excellence Awards program.

To help Lexmark advance their mission as a vanguard for innovation in the community, the project team developed a rainwater harvesting system to supply filtered water to the manufacturing company’s cooling towers.  The result is a man-made, yet naturally inspired, system that provides tangible benefits to Lexmark and the entire community.

Stantec was the lead designer and Engineer-of-Record for the project, completed in May 2018.  The project reduces the need for Lexmark to purchase potable water from the municipal water supply and improves water quality in Cane Run and the Royal Spring Aquifer, the drinking water supply for neighboring Georgetown, Kentucky.  This year, 95 percent of all water usage in the company’s cooling towers (over 5.7 million gallons between January and August) was harvested rainwater from the system.  Additionally, the project serves to educate members of the community about sustainable practices for managing stormwater runoff for beneficial reuse.

The project mimics the natural hydrologic cycle, conveying runoff from 35 acres to a bioretention basin capable of holding over 2 million gallons.  As part of the project design, runoff is infiltrated through a sand and gravel filter specifically designed to treat water to meet Lexmark’s stringent water quality standards.

ACEC-KY’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value.  The program honors the year’s most outstanding engineering accomplishments across a range of categories.  Projects across the state are rated on uniqueness and innovative applications; future value to the engineering profession; perception by the public; social, economic, and sustainable development considerations; complexity; and successful fulfillment of client/owner’s needs.