Barge Design Solutions Wins ACEC-GA Engineering Excellence Award

28 / April / 2023

Barge Design Solutions (Barge) was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia with an Engineering Excellence Award in the “Water Resources or Waste and Storm Water” category for work with Macon Water Authority (MWA) to rehabilitate its two wastewater reclamation facilities (WRF) - the Lower Poplar WRF and the Rocky Creek WRF.

The City of Macon, GA, and MWA serves 155,000 customers, protecting water quality from its two wastewater reclamation facilities. When aging equipment caused significant problems for both facilities, MWA leaned on Barge and The Haskell Company as the prime contractor to find solutions for more reliable water services that would promote a healthier and safer community, environment, and economy. This included local businesses and industries that count on wastewater service for everyday operations such as the food industry, healthcare, emergency services, schools, and manufacturing. Reusing many of the existing structures with the new, installed equipment significantly reduced client costs and improved water quality, leading to additional MWA work for Barge and a further boost to the community’s quality of life.

This $36 Million project was the first progressive design-build for MWA.  


Barge focused on three areas of innovative rehabilitation that were key to the project’s success: the use of an existing basin to construct a grit structure, the repurposing of a sludge holding tank for a new lime storage tank, and the catwalk construction via repurposed clarifier components in front of the Lower Poplar River Pump Station.

Understanding the area’s flooding history, the catwalk provided access to pump control panels strategically placed at a higher-than-normal level, protecting MWA staff from potential floodwaters. 


In today’s changing world, applying innovation in the engineering profession can make a pivotal difference in how we reimagine pathways to design. This design-build is an example of how recycling existing structures and materials can effectively merge with new, state-of-the-art components in a design.  

Barge provided significant cost savings for the client, making additional funding for Macon’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) possible and earning MWA’s confidence for extended, additional work as the CIP design firm. Additionally, Barge's innovative engineering provided value to MWA and its customers through greater sustainability and a brighter future with opportunities for growth. 


Lower Poplar Street Water Reclamation Facility, Macon Water Authority, Georgia.