Specialty:Transportation, water and wastewater issues
Parametrix will closely watch this fall’s votes on funding for major Puget Sound transportation fixes.
The 380-employee, Sumner-based environmental engineering firm has been performing studies on some of the major projects, such as replacing the Highway 520 bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
If the funding passes “there will be a lot of work for everyone,” among various environmental firms, said Parametrix Marketing Manager Colleen Gants. If it doesn’t pass, “some projects will slow down or completely stop.”
CEO Gerry Jones has been pushing diversification and geographical growth, in part as a hedge against funding not passing.
One way to grow is to take services and technologies perfected here and sell them in other countries that haven’t seen them yet.
For example, Parametrix has landed a large contract in New Guinea to assess environmental and health issues surrounding a private firm’s planned closure of a mine, Gants said.
“A big area we’re getting into now is performing the first North American implementation for membrane technology for waste water treatment, for the Tulalip Tribes” at the tribes’ Quil Ceda Village Business Park in Snohomish County, Gants said.
Recently the employee-owned firm received the job of installing the membranes for the city of Duvall, too.
Engineers in Japan innovated the technology, which in its simplest form runs water through large sheets of material punctured with “the teeniest little holes,” Gants said. “You get more treatment with less land.”
At a demonstration of how the membrane works, one of the engineers ran tainted water through and drank a glass of it at the end, Gants said.
The firm also is producing integrated pest management plans for Kent, Covington and Water District No. 111.
“Our growth will be west of the Rockies,” Gants said. “In 20 years we will potentially be in every state west of the Rockies.” The firm now operates 12 offices, with the two newest ones in Boise, Idaho, and Albuquerque, N.M.
Parametrix also received a new job recently in managing the temperature of waste water before it’s returned to streams and elsewhere. “It’s quite a big deal,” Gants said. “We’re doing one of the first plans, for the city of Grants Pass, Ore., and the Northwest Pulp and Paper Association.”
In recent years, one of the firm’s big projects was writing the environmental impact report for Sound Transit’s planned light-rail line. That’s written, but Parametrix still has some follow-up work with it.
The firm’s work on the Alaskan Way Viaduct EIS is in a team with Parsons Brinckerhoff.
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