Daniel B. Knorr started at PSC in 1971. He became the El Paso office manager in 1989 and served on the Board of Directors as Vice President after his retirement. Dan did the feasibility and process design of all of the El Paso treatment plants — many of which were innovative at the time and were recognized as technical contributions nationally.
Dan is well known as the project manager for his favorite project — the innovative Fred Hervey Water Reclamation Plant. This project later became a textbook model in engineering.
“I traveled the U.S. and Europe learning about processes that could be used,” Dan said.
Dan earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from New Mexico State University and is a registered professional engineer in Texas, New Mexico, and California. He had a large role in increasing PSC technical abilities in the area of wastewater treatment, water treatment, reverse osmosis, instrumentation and other areas. Dan was instrumental in PSC’s expansion into electrical and mechanical design.
Dan devoted 30 years of his professional career to PSC after spending six years with Shell Oil Co. in California as a facilities engineer in exploration and production operations. He had a major role in the planning and design of numerous projects for many cities in West Texas, including master planning for a project with the Public Service Board to develop feasible means for water and wastewater facilities in El Paso County. Dan was principal-in-charge and project manager for El Paso’s state-of-the-art, award-winning Jonathan W. Rogers Water Treatment Plant. At the time the facility was called the Northwest Wastewater Treatment Plant. He was also the principal-in-charge for the water treatment plant in Fort Stockton, Texas. This plant was the largest reverse osmosis system in Texas at the time of construction with a permeate of 3 million gallons per day (MGD).
John T. Hickerson was the general manager of El Paso Water Utilities from 1965 to 1989. Because of Hickerson’s faith in the work of PSC with the leadership of Dan and Clarence “Tex” Kidwell, PSC was awarded many challenging El Paso Water Utilities project opportunities to exhibit engineering excellence.
Dan was project manager for the 26 MGD Haskell Street Wastewater Treatment Plant in El Paso, the 20 MGD Socorro Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1986, as well as El Paso’s 39 MGD Roberto Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant which was placed online in 1990. Dan served as project manager on a Facilities Plan for El Paso’s wastewater system that studied wastewater treatment and disposal alternatives as well as the collection system. This facilities plan included a comprehensive analysis of the city’s wastewater facilities and served as a basic master plan for long-term system improvements.
As part of a precursor to designing the famous Fred Hervey Water Reclamation Plant, Dan spent a great deal of time doing pilot studies at the Grouse Street Lift Station. He and Doug Rittman, an El Paso Water Utilities water division manager, also did many studies at the Canal Water Treatment Plant, now called the Robertson/Umbenhauer Water Treatment Plant.
Dan was active in professional societies, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) and the Water Environment Association. He has authored several papers on the El Paso Hueco Bolson Recharge Project and has delivered papers on this subject to symposia and technical conferences.
Pat Conover, who worked with him at PSC through the years, said he is important to PSC’s history.
“He was a key player in where the company is today,” Pat said.