The Secret Behind Florida’s Wastewater Reclamation Success

Water reclamation is an important part of sustainable construction, enabling us to use our precious water resources more efficiently. Florida is leading the US in wastewater reclamation, converting over 850 million gallons of water per day, thanks to facilities like the Orange County Utilities Hamlin Wastewater Reclamation Facility. With the help of this new facility, more than half of Florida’s reclaimed water can be used to irrigate people’s homes, golf courses, parks and schools, easing the demand on public water supplies. This $110.6 million project is crucial for the state of Florida’s future, but general contractors, Wharton-Smith, Inc., faced a myriad of difficulties during the construction process that required them to innovate and invest in sustainable practices.

This video was created by The B1M, the leading video channel for construction, in collaboration with Wharton-Smith and Orange Country Utilities.

Challenges keeping the project on track

Construction of the Hamlin Wastewater Reclamation Facility faced unexpected challenges as the project began prior to COVID-19 in December 2019 and had to adjust while still meeting deadlines through 2021. From material shortages to logistical issues, the pandemic brought unforeseen complexities to the construction project. Drew Gumieny, Project Executive at Wharton-Smith, explains, “The main challenge when building the plant was trying to figure out a way to keep construction going while dealing with COVID… As the world shut down, factories shut down, logistics were an issue with people leaving.” This posed a concern as it meant that the team had to transition from an on-site working model to fully remote construction while also keeping communication consistent.

Embracing digital tools for remote construction

It was integral to invest in construction management software to maintain timelines for the construction of the facility. Wharton-Smith moved to a fully remote working environment and implemented RedTeam Flex to enable effective team collaboration, manage vendors and track progress on the project. The solution provided transparency into project status, budgets and timelines, which allowed for quick pivoting when changes needed to be made. Gumieny adds, “With RedTeam Flex the ability to track submittals in stages, get the metadata behind it… and use it as a form of an expediting log is pretty huge.” With the help of digital tools, Wharton-Smith was able to build critical infrastructure remotely while keeping track of the project.

"RedTeam has found a way to methodically approach the construction process. It [RedTeam Flex] has really changed the way that we do business."

With Florida’s rising population and high irrigation needs, sustainable infrastructure projects like the Hamlin Water Reclamation Facility are essential to the environment. Wharton-Smith’s use of construction management software played a vital role in overcoming challenges and streamlining the construction process to build the facility. The teams were able to stay ahead of their project timeline despite the added complexities of working remotely during a pandemic.

Find out how RedTeam Flex can help your team on critical builds like the Hamlin Wastewater Reclamation facility.