Dutchland Serves as Sponsor for Alex Renew Educational Lobby

Dutchland was proud to serve as a supporting sponsor for the Environmental Center Educational Lobby that was dedicated by Alexandria Renew Enterprises yesterday. The lobby serves as a resource for the entire Alexandria community to enhance understanding and water stewardship.

The educational lobby features museum-quality interactive exhibits that illustrate how much water people use in their homes, how dirty water is transformed, and how to recover resources from the water that is cleaned. You can also witness reclaimed water in action in a 7,000 gallon fish tank and biowall.

Dutchland’s partnership with Alex Renew began with their State-of-the-Art Nutrient Upgrade (SANUP) initiative in which Dutchland constructed an 18 million gallon precast concrete tank. Over the past ten years, AlexRenew has made significant enhancements to its treatment process to meet new, stricter nitrogen removal standards. Through SANUP, AlexRenew has been helping to improve the overall quality of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The facility enables Alex Renew to process 13 billion gallons of wastewater each year and won two engineering excellence awards in 2016. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Metro Washington and the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists both recognized the project for its innovation, commitment to sustainability, and contribution to improving quality of life. The project was also awarded the Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Platinum Award for its environmental, social, and economic outcomes.

Dutchland is honored to sponsor projects that invest in the health of our community and water environment. If you are in the Alexandria area, be sure to stop by the Educational lobby!

Dutchland CEO & President Featured in Intelligencer Journal

Dutchland’s CEO and President was featured in the Business Section of the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. Highlights from the interview are listed below as well as a link to access the entire article.

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/q-a-dutchland-ceo-focuses-on-better-not-bigger-projects/article_dd923dd2-1329-11e7-bf5d-eb9c6d0630cc.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

What are some new ways you’re looking to grow the company?

Intellectual property. We’ve been doing what we do now for 30-some years, so we can take what we know about how to build a tank intelligently, that’s durable, with a long service length, and we can train other companies how to do that.

I would love to see us continue to take our intellectual property and continue to develop patents and to also be a technology provider.

That concept takes away the big limiting factor of hauling all of the precast to a long-distance job site.

What’s working well for Dutchland is to identify the right customers, the right projects. Knowing when to say no, which we never did before. The goal is not to “sell, sell, sell” more; the goal is to do “better, better, better” with what we have.

What are some things you’ve stopped doing?

Building commodity precast concrete, like manholes and the kind of things you see for stormwater in streets. We built a lot of those little boxes back in the day, but they’re very commodity driven, and it’s hard to make a profit.

We shed all of our trucks for shipping because today logistics companies are better at that than we’ve ever been.

We also used to do a lot of our own site work. We would have cranes and big excavators and things like that, but we got rid of all of that stuff. There are excavation companies who can do it for half of the price that we can.

What worries you about the future?

Last year in the political cycle that we were in, a lot of projects were slowing down. They were taking a pause, and it created a disruption in our business. That kind of thing worries me some. But diversification is a great answer to some forms of worry.

(Industrial) customers tend to be a lot more awake and active when municipal customers are slow and sleepy. (Industrial customers) have their own money. They’re doing their own thing for their own reasons, so they don’t think the same way a municipal customer may (think).

How do you find employees?

We mostly look inside, because we can train and teach anybody who has the ability to learn how to do their job.

I can tell you that we don’t have a problem finding good people. I’m mystified by that — I really am — because everybody else I know says exactly the opposite.

You do a lot of work for customers trying to meet requirements related to the Chesapeake Bay Initiative. How could you be impacted if changes are made to that federal program?

We think the regulatory side is going to relax, and I think that’s actually a good thing.

Today in wastewater, people are spending — because they have to — another 30 to 50 percent on their project to tweak it the last 2 or 3 percent in terms of what it will discharge. So it’s a big cost for that last tiny little adjustment.

If they do relax on some of those limits, more likely they’ll build more treatment plants in places where they otherwise couldn’t afford them, while having slightly less costly projects.

So where one door closes, maybe another one or two open. That’s how we think it’s going to play out.

Did you always expect to run the company one day?

Working for my dad growing up is how I experienced life. My brother was there, my sister was there, my father was there. We grew up working as a family unit.

My dad required us to get up at 4 o’clock every morning before school. We would put in about 2.5 hours of work. We would prepare the forms for concrete; the concrete trucks would roll in by about the time it was time for us to go get ready for school.

I have a great deal of respect for my dad. I still do. He simply said, “You can do better and make more money, if you do what I’m doing and grow it and go from there, than you can doing anything else.” And I believed it. And that’s what we did.

Dutchland Completes Project in Somerset, PA

Dutchland recently completed construction of the Jenners Crossroads water storage tank in Somerset, PA. The 1 MG potable water storage tank has 35-ft walls and an inside diameter of 73-ft. The tank is centrally located along the Somerset County Water System – Quemahoning water line that extends from the Quemahoning Reservoir to the Borough of Somerset and will be used for future development as well as system redundancy.

Jenners Crossroads represents the third project that Dutchland has built for the Somerset County General Authority. Dutchland has also constructed tanks for the Lincoln Township Municipal Authority and the Somerset Township Municipal Authority, both municipalities are customers of the Quemahoning water line. Mike Lear, Project Manager at Somerset Planning & Engineering Services, remarked that working with Dutchland is always an enjoyable experience. He states, “Somerset and Dutchland have a great working relationship. Dutchland is always very responsive and we appreciate the durability of precast concrete tanks.”

Check out David Godin’s video of Dutchland’s installation of the Jenners Crossroads tank using the link below:

Need for Future Wastewater Tank Modifications? No Problem!

In 2002, Dutchland designed and constructed a precast post-tensioned tank as part of the overall facility upgrade at the Dutoy Creek WWTP in Powhatan County, VA. Since the initial flows coming into the plant were anticipated to be around 10,000 gpd but eventually grow to the full design flow of 250,000 gpd, designing a structure to meet these changing flows proved challenging.

Dutchland addressed the changing flows by designing a tank with temporary precast walls in two of the four large reactor basins. These walls could then be removed when higher flows demanded that all four basins be put into service. The temporary walls were designed to be removed without any structural modifications to the overall tank illustrating the versatility of precast post-tensioned tank construction. The temporary precast walls can be removed within a single day to minimize disruption to plant operations.

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Let it Snow!

As Storm Niko blankets the Northeast with snow, and halts activity for most construction companies, precast production at Dutchland remains uninterrupted. Unlike cast-in-place concrete or wire-wrapped tanks, Dutchland manufactures its precast concrete in a controlled plant environment. Not only is Dutchland’s concrete production unaffected by weather conditions, but the PCI-certified facility enables us to achieve consistence in temperature, moisture, lower water-to-cement ratios, as well as rebar and form control, that is not possible with cast-in-place concrete. Additionally, all precast pieces are poured horizontally which results in significantly less air entrapment. So, while most construction companies are waiting for the storm to pass, Dutchland production continues without delays. Through the snow, below-freezing temperatures, and 40 mph winds, its business as usual at Dutchland!

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Dutchland, Inc. Welcomes New Leadership Chapter

Ben Kauffman HeadshotDutchland, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has chosen Ben Kauffman as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer. Kauffman, who currently serves as Dutchland’s President, will succeed Katie Kauffman, the company’s co-founder and current CEO, who will retire on January 6, 2017. With the retirement of Katie, Dutchland ownership has transitioned from six family members to co-ownership between Ben and his brother, Lee Kauffman.
As President and CEO, Ben Kauffman will have responsibility for creating and implementing the strategic direction of Dutchland. He is a second-generation family member who helped launch the company in 1985. Since its founding more than thirty years ago, Dutchland has grown to become one of the highest quality precast manufacturing facilities in the United States serving clients in thirteen states. Before assuming his role as President in 2006, Ben worked in all areas of the company. “Ben is a remarkable leader who has been largely responsible for the growth of Dutchland over the years. As CEO, I anticipate that Ben will continue to strengthen Dutchland’s position of delivering superior quality precast concrete products to valued customers”, remarked Katie Kauffman.

Alexandria Renew Enterprises Receives Envision Platinum Award for Sustainability

Congratulations to Alex Renew’s nutrient management facility (NMF) for receiving the Envision Platinum Award for sustainability. The NMF, an 18 MG treatment facility topped with a public athletic field, is only one of 11 facilities in North America to achieve this distinction.

“This award shows that wastewater utilities don’t have to be invisible to the communities they serve, but instead, can, and should, be active partners in creating livable and resilient cities,” said Karen Pallansch, Alex Renew CEO. “We’re fortunate to serve customers and work alongside community partners who value sustainability and support efforts like this that have such a positive impact on our local waterways.”

The facility’s dual-purpose nature, improving the health of local waterways while adding community green space, was key in achieving Platinum certification. Other sustainability efforts included using local and recycled materials, recycling construction waste, restoring a former landfill, and using energy and water monitoring systems.

The NMF is the largest project under Alex Renew’s $160M State-of-the-Art Nutrient Upgrade Program (SANUP), the utility’s response to regulations limiting the amount of nutrients water resource recovery facilities can release into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Dutchland, Inc. designed, manufactured, and constructed the 18 MG precast concrete tank that enables Alex Renew to process 13 billion gallons of wastewater each year.

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Dutchland Crews Set Potable Water Storage Tank for The York Water Company

Dutchland construction crews set the wall panels for a 300,000 gallon potable water storage tank for The York Water Company on November 15, 2016. The tank has a 59’ diameter and 18’ wall panels and is replacing an aging cast-in-place tank. Since the tank is located in a residential neighborhood, Dutchland installed the overflow pipe along the interior wall and plans to mount a safety shroud over the exterior ladder when the tank is completed. Dutchland also added a form liner on the above grade portion of the tank that will be stained in December. Watch for completed photos of the precast tank next month!

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Dutchland Named Top 250 Privately Held Companies by CPBJ

Dutchland was recently named as one of the Top 250 Privately Held Companies in Central Pennsylvania for 2016. This list is compiled by the Central Penn Business Journal and recognizes the top performing companies in the midstate.

Created by the Central Penn Business Journal (CPBJ), the Top 250 List is an annual project that originated in 2000. In addition to collecting employment, sales, and revenue data, staff at CPBJ question company leaders. Some of the interesting questions on the survey and their respective answers by Dutchland, Inc. President, Ben Kauffman, are listed below:

Q: What is the one thing people in Central PA would be surprised to know about your company?

Dutchland started out supplying tanks locally in Pennsylvania. Many people in Central PA might be surprised to know of the broad geographical area we now serve. Dutchland has designed and built over 1,000 structures and wastewater treatment plants for a remarkable range of clientele in PA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, WV, VA, NC, DE, MD, GA, IN, and FL. Some of our clients include: IBM, United States Military Academy, United States Air Force, Army National Guard, Perdue Farms, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, The Hershey Company, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Harrisburg International Airport, United States Army Corps of Engineers, MillerCoors Brewing Company, and PA American Water. Dutchland is also currently working on a project in England with our licensee, Balfour Beatty.

Q: What was the most important day in your company’s history? What happened and why was it important?

Construction of Dutchland’s first post-tensioned tank was completed on November 10, 1989. The incorporation of post-tensioning technology enabled Dutchland to significantly enhance the watertightness and durability of precast structures and has been the cornerstone of the company’s product offerings.

Q: What is one thing your company does behind the scenes that makes you successful?

Dutchland’s precast concrete tanks are marked by their structural superiority and durability that is designed by an in-house Engineering and Drafting Department. The Engineering Department is licensed in fifteen states and delivers design solutions that meet each customer’s needs.

Spring Grove, York PA WWTP Upgrade Project

Dutchland has finished construction of two precast concrete SBR basins and one equalization basin as part of a treatment plant upgrade at the Spring Grove WWTP in York County, PA. The footprint of the structure measures130-ft long by 60-ft wide and includes a control building on top of the tank between the SBR basins. Dutchland successfully completed the project for Quandel Construction within the 10 week project schedule which included: base pour, installation, tensioning, grouting, sealing and leak testing of the structure. The new treatment is scheduled to be operational by early 2017.