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Water Engineering Expert Witness

Keywords

Water Engineering, Civil Engineering, Civil Engineer, Building Construction, International Construction, Structural Failure, Engineering Investigations, Forensic Engineer, Forensic, Accidents, Wrongful Death, Construction, Construction Codes, Construction Defects, Construction Failure, Construction Management, Drainage Blockage, Earth Works, Earthwork Compaction, Earthwork Materials, Environmental Engineer, FEMA, Flood Control, Flood, Flood Damage, Flood Routing, Flood Plain, Flooding, OSHA, Highway Design, Hydrographics, Hydrology, Industrial Plants, Irrigation Distribution Lines, Leaks, Parking Facility, Pavement Rehabilitation, Public Works, Retaining Walls, Road Construction, Roadway Design, Sewer Utilities, Sewers, Soil Engineer, Storm Sewers, Storm Water Damage, Storm Water Drainage, Storm Water Management, Stormwater Runoff, Street Maintenance, Streets, Tornado Damage, Water Intrusion, Water Pollution, Erosion

Texas

Expert Witness No. 2218

Texas

Engineering Experience

As a Registered Professional Engineer, Expert 2218 has acted as a Consultant, Chief Engineer, Senior Project Engineer and Lead Engineer in the planning, design and construction of multi-million dollar projects for half a century. These include domestic water supply systems, wastewater collection and treatment systems, plumbing systems, highways, major drainage projects and aviation facilities.

Engineering Design and Construction Experience

Fifty (50) years of Civil Engineering experience in a number of states and for a wide variety of projects including the following examples:

Senior Project Engineer on design of water distribution system for an entire new city at Tanajib in Saudi Arabia. The project included new Domestic Water Pumping Station, water lines, valves, air release valves, fire hydrants, thrust restraint and all other features to provide a complete water distribution system for this new city. The project also included a complete parallel Irrigation Water System that distributed Reclaimed Wastewater and that included a new Irrigation Water Pumping Station, distribution lines, valves, air release valves, thrust restraint and all other features. Documents prepared by my team of engineers and drafters included engineering drawings, construction specifications and cost estimates for the entire project.

County Sanitary Engineer for Ottawa County at Port Clinton, Ohio, on Lake Erie in a major vacation and resort area. This county is unusual because it has extensive water systems in unincorporated areas. My responsibilities included oversight of design, construction, operation and maintenance of all of the county’s water systems. This included the entire water system for Village of Genoa involving water mains, water service lines to residences and businesses, water meters, valves, fire hydrants, elevated storage tank, and all other appurtenances. These responsibilities also involved oversight of an engineering firm that was engaged in design of a complete new water system for Catawba Township, which is a large peninsula extending into Lake Erie.

Chief Engineer on county-wide planning studies of water systems in Richland County, Ohio, a county of 499 square miles. Richland County contains nine municipalities with populations ranging from less than 1,000 to 50,000 persons. Each of these municipalities has its own public water system including water source (surface or wells), treatment, pumping and distribution mains. Richland County is rural in nature, so that its water systems are similar to those in other rural areas of the country.

Project Engineer on design of a new five-mile long 108" diameter water distribution line in City of Houston, Texas. This line extends west from the new Southeast Water Treatment Plant to serve areas to the west that were being converted from groundwater to surface water to reduce subsidence caused by long term withdrawal of large quantities of ground water. This project required surge calculations to analyze transient conditions, especially at bends and other locations affected by alignment changes in this high-pressure water line.

Project Engineer on design of a large number of sewage lift stations. These projects included Sewage Force Mains of various sizes. They required surge calculations to analyze affects of transient conditions (water hammer) on various pipe materials and thrust restraint devices.

Senior Project Engineer on design of water distribution system improvements for City of Fort Worth, Texas. These improvements include water mains, water service lines, water meters, valves, fire hydrants and all other appurtenances. The purpose of these projects was to construct "loops" (connections) between the ends of two or more existing water mains which had been "dead end" lines. The objective of these improvements was to increase water pressure and eliminate stale water by providing "loops" at key locations. Documents prepared for these water line improvements include engineering drawings, construction specifications and cost estimates.

Project Engineer on design of water systems for eight (8) apartment projects in Ohio. These systems included water mains, water service lines, valves and valve boxes, and all other features. Documents prepared for each project included engineering drawings, construction specifications and cost estimates.

Regional Construction Engineer having responsibility for construction of sixty (60) apartment and motel projects in Ohio and Pennsylvania, totaling about 3,000 housing units. Each of these projects included a water system consisting of mains, service lines, valves and other features. Worked in this capacity for nine years. Development and completion of each project included obtaining permits from public agencies, preparing project budget cost estimates, advertising and receiving bids, awarding contracts, administering and supervising construction, receiving and approving contractor invoices, final inspections and punch out.

Project Manager and Project Engineer on a large number of street, highway, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects. Each of these projects impacted existing water distribution systems and required detailed engineering of water line adjustments and relocations. Engineering drawings, construction specifications and cost estimates were prepared to address the affect of these non-water system projects on existing water mains, water service lines, water meters, valves, fire hydrants and related facilities.

Independent Consultant and Expert Witness Experience

Injury due to Plumbing Fixture Explosion

Expert witness for plaintiff who was severely injured when plumbing fixture exploded due to severe water hammer caused by malfunction of a pressure reducing valve. Defendant was the state university in which the incident occurred.

Engineering Consultant and Expert Witness for a case in Virginia in which 220 plaintiffs were suing a city of 200,000 population for alleged severe health effects caused by alleged water contamination. This case involved investigation and an engineering report analyzing a number of improvements that were made to the Water Treatment Plant by the City over a period of 20 years. One of the earlier improvements involved installation of Air Stripping Towers. A later improvement involved replacing the Air Stripping Towers with a Reverse Osmosis System, in order to meet enhanced Federal and State water quality requirements. My report analyzed the effects over time of these improvements in relation to Federal and State water quality limits, and whether they were exceeded in violation of regulatory standards. I appeared in Court in Virginia in connection with this case in February 2003.

Engineering Consultant and Expert Witness for plaintiff (public agency) in litigation before Grand Jury. Plaintiff claimed contractor invoiced for larger quantities of construction than he actually performed. Investigation and engineering report were completed. Alleged fraudulent invoices total $15 million.

Engineering Consultant for a case in Arkansas in which a multi-county water authority sued a Contractor for numerous deficiencies that resulted from construction of a water treatment plant and its large high-pressure water distribution line. The water system’s maximum capacity is 12,000,000 gallons per day. The system provides retail water service in Carroll County, Arkansas. Wholesale water service is provided to five other counties and cities. I prepared an Engineering Report for this case, and participated in Arbitration in Arkansas in May 2003.

Engineering Consultant for a case in Colorado in which the county was suing a Contractor for deficiencies in construction of a major public improvement project. My Engineering Report was completed in March 2003.

Expert witness for defendants (contractor and subcontractor) for case involving directional boring across a major highway to install a fiber optic cable. The directional boring rig impacted and ruptured a 48-inch water main, which is one of the two public water sources for a city of 155,000 population. Damages alleged by the plaintiff (the city) include labor, material and equipment costs to repair the water main, lost water, additional electric charges for an extended period of time because they pay for electricity on a demand basis, and future repairs and/or replacement of the damaged 48-inch water main. Attended and participated in Mediation, which was successful in settling the case.

Consultant for defendant’s attorney and insurance company in a case in which a valuable commercial structure in Houston, Texas, was destroyed by fire. The structure was in a commercial development with a public water system and fire hydrants. The fire department connected to a fire hydrant and sprayed water on the fire, but the water pressure soon dropped to zero because the water storage tank was severely undersized. Prepared report stating professional opinion concerning inadequacy of the water system in relation to design standards of various water system and fire protection authorities.

Consultant for water utility district in Houston, Texas, and its insurance company in case involving destruction of an apartment building when a fire hydrant malfunctioned during a fire.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Deficiencies

Expert witness for a city in Texas, in lawsuit against contractor and engineering firm for deficiencies in design and construction of a wastewater treatment plant. Deficiencies included improper installation of air diffusers, corrosion and inadequate painting, unequal chlorination of effluents, improper disposal of sludge, and the need for frequent manual repriming of pumps. Inspected treatment plant for preparation of engineering report discussing deficiencies.

Consultant for plaintiffs in multi-million dollar product liability lawsuit involving failure of water service line piping in cities in Alabama and Florida. Made estimates of cost for repair and replacement of 1,000 to 2,000 water service lines, for use by plaintiff’s attorney in determining the dollar value of damages incurred by the cities.

Consultant for plaintiffs in a second multi-million dollar product liability lawsuit involving failure of water service line piping in two counties and one village (three rural water authorities) in Alabama. Visited the communities, met with their representatives, and observed replacement of a typical water service line. Made estimates of cost for repair and replacement of several thousand water service lines, for use by plaintiff attorney in determining dollar value of damages sustained by the water authorities.

Consultant in multi-million dollar case involving replacement of one utility district management firm (Expert Witness No. 2218’s client) by another. Owner of the utility district in Austin, Texas, alleged mismanagement and excessive charges by Expert Witness No. 2218’s client, who disagreed. Expert 2218 performed a detailed evaluation of the circumstances and records to prove that his client acted properly in performing its duties.

Engineering Consultant and Expert Witness for a case in a city of 35,000 population in State of North Dakota. I was an expert for the plaintiff, which was a private school. The school had its Mechanical Room on the Second Floor above the gymnasium, which had a new hardwood floor. Extreme pressure fluctuations occurred in the City’s water system at the school. This caused large quantities of water to be discharged from pressure relief valves in the Mechanical Room. The water ran down to the gymnasium below, causing major damage to the hardwood floor.

I reviewed water system maps and related information including water lines from the Water Treatment Plant to the School, pumping (pressure) records, Elevated Storage Tanks, Ground Storage Tanks, Booster Pumping Stations, the Hydraulic Model for the water system, depositions and discovery documents, and numerous other sources of information. I prepared my Report of Expert Opinion, and was preparing to give my Deposition when a ruling was issued by the Court. The case is currently under appeal.

Education

B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1954

Professional Registration

Registered Professional Engineer, since1959
Registered Environmental Professional (water quality)

Professional Societies

American Water Works Association (AWWA)
Water Environment Federation (WEF)
American Society of Civil Engineers (Vice President of Houston Branch)
National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
Engineers Council of Houston (Past President)

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