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February 15, 2012 Special Meeting
Minutes of the Meeting of the C.K.S.D.
The Consolidated Koshkonong Sanitary District held a special meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 6:00 P.M. Present were John Traynor, Todd Sahr, Robert Venske, Barbara McGann, David Anderson, David Houfe Jr. and Lynne Lund.
Also present were Gene Laschinger, C.K.S.D. Engineer, and Ben Heidemann, Town & Country Project Manager.
President John Traynor opened the meeting at 6:00 P.M. and called the meeting to order.
1. The President asked for confirmation of meeting notice. Lynne Lund stated that the agenda was published in the Edgerton Reporter on February 8, 2012 and posted at the C.K.S.D. Office, Oberg’s Tavern, Newville Mobil and on the C.K.S.D. website.
2. Under Work Session With C.K.S.D. Engineer on C.K.S.D. Goals, Gene Laschinger, C.K.S.D. Engineer, introduced Ben Heidemann at this time. Mr. Laschinger stated that Mr. Heidemann is one of Town & Country Engineering’s Project Engineers and he is heading up the phosphorous work with the DNR. He added that Mr. Heidemann also does a lot of work with the treatment plants.
Lynne stated that she did send the list of questions to the Board and also sent the memo that Mr. Laschinger prepared after meeting with her and Dave in January. The Board agreed to go through the questions one by one.
Question #1 asked by Todd Sahr and Dave Houfe, “District’s Operating Permit? What does the engineer see as a possible fix (or fixes) and cost estimates for the district to be in compliance with the new regulations?” Mr. Laschinger stated that the permit affects several questions on this list and is also the most important and most expensive issue. He stated that our permit should be issued sometime this year; but will probably be at least September. Dave stated that the way he understood it was it could be another year or two. Mr. Laschinger agreed that it could be longer. He stated that phosphorous will affect the district the most. Mr. Laschinger stated that generally we would have 7-9 years to come in compliance with the phosphorus. He stated that it would be seven years if we do not have the existing tertiary filter and nine years if we would need the tertiary filter. Mr. Laschinger stated that this is what the general compliance is. He added that it could be longer; it depends on what variances the district can get. Mr. Laschinger stated that the district should first seek an economic variance and there may be other variances that the district can apply for too. He stated that the DNR is not sure how to address this right now; particularly on the Rock River.
Mr. Laschinger stated that an issue the DNR has is with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). He stated that in the past everyone had to meet a technical limit on the phosphorus, which is 1 milligram per liter (mg/L). Mr. Laschinger stated that incoming phosphorus in a treatment plant is between 5-7 mg/L without any industrial contributions. He stated that at the Reedsburg Treatment Plant and the Tomah Treatment Plant they could get 2 mg/L because they have a higher influent. Mr. Laschinger stated that 30 years ago anyone discharging to Lake Michigan had to get down to 1 mg/L. He stated that the DNR wants treatment plants to get down to the water quality limit. Mr. Laschinger explained that this is the limit in the stream. He stated that the water quality limit for rivers is .075 mg/L. Mr. Laschinger stated that you cannot get that without putting advanced technology in. He stated that the Rock River’s water quality limit is higher than .075 mg/L and most streams in southern Wisconsin would be higher. Mr. Laschinger stated that up north would be able to discharge 1 mg/L. Mr. Heidemann stated that this will not happen in southern Wisconsin because there is too much phosphorus in the streams. Mr. Laschinger stated that 20% of the problem is caused by the discharge of the wastewater. He stated that the district is in a unique situation where they have been studying the Rock River and they have TMDL limits. Mr. Laschinger stated that this comes with either so many pounds or at a certain concentration. He explained that with the TMDL it is saying we could discharge so many pounds and it changes every month; then they will relate this back to a concentration. He stated that it is computed by taking the flow rate times the concentration times 8.34, which will give the number of pounds. Mr. Laschinger stated that in the district’s case it would be unique because in the winter time we could discharge a lot more pounds and from a concentration standpoint we may be up to 15-20 mg/L. He added that the DNR is only going to allow us 1 mg/L technology limit. Mr. Laschinger stated that may change to a .5 or .6 mg/L in the future. He stated that to get a .075 mg/L we would need to do advanced treatment. Mr. Heidemann showed a handout to the Board at this time. He stated that on the top of the page shows how our existing system is performing. Mr. Heidemann explained that the first line shows what was used for the TMDL design flow then it goes on to show the average monthly flows over the past two years. He stated that we ranged from .16 mg/L to .72 mg/L in 2009 and 2010. Mr. Heidemann stated that we currently have a total phosphorus limit of 5.3 mg/L and this is because we currently have a variance. He stated that we currently discharge between 1.1 mg/L and 3.8 mg/L, which are pretty impressive since we do no phosphorus treatment right now. Mr. Heidemann referred to the two tables on the handout; one shows monthly limits and the other shows daily limits. He added that each month it allocates a certain number of pounds of phosphorus that we can discharge. Mr. Heidemann stated that it ranges from 2,200 pounds and all the way down to 65 pounds. John Traynor asked why the big difference. Mr. Heidemann stated that they have not found that out yet. He added that it is all based on what the DNR set up. Mr. Heidemann stated that they have talked with the basin engineer about this and she is trying to figure this out as well. He added that the district, the City of Milton and the City of Edgerton all have a wide range. Mr. Heidemann stated that August it is a very restrictive limit but in January it is huge. Mr. Laschinger stated that the model is done by various people and it goes through the EPA. He added that it looks at the simulated capacity, which is what they think we could have without creating a negative effect on the water. Mr. Laschinger stated that the problem with this is it does not flow strictly through. He added that there will be some arguments on the higher limits; we will just have to wait and see what limit we get.
Mr. Heidemann referred back to the charts, looking specifically at February and August. He stated that it shows what the concentration would end up being. Mr. Heidemann stated that in February we would be able to discharge 14.75 mg/L but in August it would be down to .44 mg/L. Mr. Laschinger pointed out that we will not actually be able to discharge the 14.75 mg/L. He stated that the numbers really do not mean much since we will be held to the 1 mg/L limit. Mr. Heidemann stated that the next two lines on the table show the concentrations based on our high and low flows. He referred to the second table which shows the daily limits. Mr. Heidemann stated that under the daily limits February is still our high month and August is still the low month. He stated that they are saying that we could have a daily peak of 5 pounds or 1 mg/L. Barb asked about our average. Mr. Heidemann stated that it is between 1.1 mg/L and 3.8 mg/L. Mr. Laschinger stated that this is a good average with lagoons. He stated that our solid discharges are not that high. Mr. Laschinger stated that the suspended solids have phosphorus attached to them. He added that we could use a filter to get this out. Mr. Laschinger stated that the water quality limit is .075 mg/L and if we added chemicals we could get down to that limit. He stated that we should not have to worry about this based on the limits here.
Mr. Laschinger stated that there are some short term items that should be addressed. He stated that the first item is the district should request an economic variance and get it into the DNR. Mr. Laschinger stated that this should be done even before the draft permit comes out; the DNR may consider this with the upcoming permit. He explained that the environmental groups watch these permits and if they see a dramatic change, it raises a red flag. Mr. Laschinger stated that we only have 30 days from when the draft permit comes out so by addressing the variance now it gives us extra time. He stated that we may want to consider a more complex variance besides the economic variance; and also get cost estimates for the treatment plant. Mr. Laschinger stated that part of the problem with the economic variance is that the district has four towns and three counties and to get the average median income may be more difficult for the multiple communities. He stated that he did ask Lynne if she had this information but she does not. Mr. Laschinger stated that the approach he is taking is to get the approximate number of users in each town and do a weighted average to come up with what we need. He believes if it has good rationale and good reasoning it will be fine. Todd is confident that a large portion of our service area is moderate to low income. Bob wondered if we could do a poll. Mr. Laschinger stated that we could and we could also do a survey. He stated that before they submit anything they will come back to this Board and make sure it looks reasonable. Mr. Laschinger feels that the towns probably have this data and we can ask for this. Bob stated that each town could poll their own users to get a more accurate count. Barb stated that this is all demographic data and is available. Mr. Laschinger stated that there is a chart out there that has all the towns on it; but he is actually looking for the users in each town. He stated that he is not sure that we want to do an income survey at this point. Mr. Laschinger stated that an income survey is a much bigger task and he would want to meet with the DNR before doing this to see if it is even going to work. Mr. Laschinger stated we definitely should try for an economic variance and then may look at other variances too. He stated that a variance may possibly give us some delays; for example it may give us 14 years instead of 9 years. Mr. Laschinger stated we will have to put chemicals in and remove phosphorus. He stated that our lagoons are probably fine but they do not have much spare capacity. Mr. Laschinger stated that we could add chemicals for less than $50,000.00 and also another $50,000.00 to operate. He stated that the problem is that this will produce more sludge; it would be approximately 30% more sludge. Mr. Laschinger stated that in our case it could actually produce up to 100% more sludge and that will make us lose more capacity. He added that we would then have to move the sludge on a regular basis. Mr. Laschinger used Mauston as an example; Mauston has larger lagoons than us and they do phosphorus removal and every five years they have to clean out the sludge which costs them approximately $80,000.00 per year. He added that this is still less expensive than a mechanical treatment plant. Mr. Laschinger stated that this may help with the justification of a variance. He added that in Rhinelander the sludge handling was going to increase so much that it would create more effort and would they have to add on and then the cost increases. Mr. Laschinger stated that we may or may not have to add chemicals right away; he added that they will work with us on this. He stated that in the long term or even with a variance, the worst case scenario would be a new mechanical treatment plant. Mr. Laschinger stated that this would be the most expensive option.
Mr. Laschinger stated that based on what we currently have, a practical solution for us would be to keep our lagoons, add two more cells; one for treating the phosphorus and the other cell would be so in August we could store the other 200,000 and discharge in December, as long as we stay under the 1 mg/L. Dave Houfe asked what a lot of rain would do. He feels that we would need a lot of extra space for this. Mr. Laschinger stated yes there would be a lot of storage needed but feels it still would be less expensive, especially since we already have the land. He added that it would also be simpler to operate. Dave Houfe stated that we should have something at the end, such as another cell to put the chemicals in, add water if needed and then pump the sludge right out of there. Mr. Laschinger stated that a way we could do this is by putting a clarifier in. He explained that we would put the chemicals in and remove the sludge. Mr. Laschinger stated that the problem is that we would be removing sludge on a daily basis. He stated that we would need a large cell to store it or put in sludge handling facilities. Mr. Laschinger stated that the cost would be based on what the analysis shows. Dave Houfe asked how many times we could get in the lagoon with a clay bottom and clean them out before causing damage to it. Mr. Laschinger stated that we would have to look at that. He added that it depends on how they are being cleaned out.
Mr. Laschinger stated that there are different options and not sure what the right option for us is yet. Barb feels that the variance would give us extra time to look over these options. Mr. Laschinger agreed and added that it may also delay us having to add chemicals right away. He added that the idea of a variance is to delay the action. Mr. Laschinger stated that all the options have cost effects. He stated that the sludge that is generated off the lagoons would not be highly effective for the digester. Mr. Laschinger stated that it would be low organic rationale and a digester would not be cost effective for this type of sludge. He stated that it is treated just like regular sludge. Mr. Laschinger stated that there is an advantage of storing in a lagoon and it may not need to digest at all. He added that if we take it out with a clarifier we may need to digest. Mr. Laschinger stated that the chemicals will be here no matter what. He stated that when the time comes they will lay out the options and evaluate all the options with the Board and the staff. Mr. Laschinger stated that he does not see that happening for 3-4 years without the variance. Todd stated that there is not much we can do until we know what the rules are going to be. Mr. Laschinger stated that the rules are in place but they are not sure how some if it is going to be implemented. He feels that some things are going to change. Mr. Laschinger again stated that the permit is the most important item at this point for the district. Dave Houfe asked if we should start right away with getting the variance. Mr. Laschinger stated yes. Barb asked if the economic variance is what they want to get started on. Mr. Laschinger stated yes. He stated that he does not know what the cost will be to do this but it should not be more than $2,000.00. Barb stated that we are not able to make any decisions tonight. The Board agreed to add this item to the March meeting agenda.
Question #2 asked by Todd and Dave Houfe, “What does the engineer see as the district’s strengths and weaknesses?” Mr. Laschinger stated that he has been out with Dave Houfe touring our facilities and he feels that our system is in really good shape. He added that there a few minor items that need to be taken care of. Mr. Laschinger stated that we have good capabilities in terms of comparing to other districts and seem to be well organized. He stated that we also have procedures down, which is good. Mr. Laschinger likes how we charge Residential User Equivalents (RUE) to the users. He stated that with keeping the RUES up to date with Dave Houfe going out and counting seats seems to be working good. Mr. Laschinger stated that they always have to make sure that everyone is paying their fair share by being consistent, which he feels that we are doing. He feels that if this system is working for us then keep doing it. Mr. Laschinger stated there might be something slightly better out there but sometimes it is not worth the hassle. Barb does not believe it would be worth putting meters in. Mr. Laschinger agreed. Dave Houfe believes the system we have is fair to our customers. Dave Anderson asked if we still have meters at the truck stop. Dave Houfe stated yes. Dave Anderson stated they are remodeling the truck stop. Bob stated that the past owners are the ones that complained about being charged too much.
Mr. Laschinger stated that he talked with Dave about the Infiltration & Inflow (I&I) program that we have in force. He feels that we should just keep on doing what we have been doing to eliminate I&I. Mr. Laschinger stated that Pleasant Springs Sanitary District was having problems with their laterals and sump pumps so they purchased a small TV camera. He stated that Pleasant Springs Sanitary District dropped their flows from 105-110,000 gallons per day to 85-90,000 gallons per day. Mr. Laschinger stated that he does not know if it would apply here but feels that it may be worth Dave Houfe should contacting Pleasant Springs Sanitary District to see what they did. Dave Houfe stated that we have a camera but not a lateral camera. He asked if we would have to actually go into each house. Mr. Laschinger stated yes. Dave Houfe stated that we already see a constant flow in the manhole and that is going to tell us that a sump pump is running. He added that when roots get in the lateral, water is getting in. Dave Houfe believes that sump pumps are a huge problem in the district. He feels that if we are going to go into each house we should also do a sump pump inspection at the same time. Dave Anderson stated that Albion Sanitary District No. 4 did this. He stated that the Highwood area is bad for this. Dave Houfe stated that he found a house in Hickory Hills that had four sump pumps hooked up to the sewer. He added that Paul Dreis from Strand Associates, Inc. had figured it was approximately 80,000 gallons in a 24-hour period. Dave Houfe stated that was taken care of. Mr. Laschinger stated that sump pumps will discharge 20 gallons per minute. Dave Houfe stated that he can usually tell when they are out cleaning sewer pipes if there is a sump pump hooked up. Bob stated that since 2008 the ground level has come up four feet in the area that we are talking about. He stated that his father-in-law has a house on Cherokee Drive that was built in 1950 and the basement had never been wet until in 2008. Mr. Laschinger stated that is the case all over. Dave Houfe again stated that if we do lateral inspections we definitely need to do sump pump inspections at the same time. Barb agreed that it may be useful to do this. Mr. Laschinger stated that our main sewer system ties into each town and he assumes that the towns are doing master plans for their growth. He stated that we have to make sure our interceptors can handle all this capacity. Mr. Laschinger stated that this could create a restriction on the pipe coming down by the river. He added that if we have I&I we need to remove it because it is also affecting our capacity. Mr. Laschinger stated that the I&I program is continuous and we need to budget every year for this. He stated that his clients budget anywhere between $50,000.00 to $300,000.00 for I&I. Mr. Laschinger stated that in Rhinelander they budget for more because of their sewer being in such bad shape. He added that we do not have a lot of bad sewer, which is definitely a plus for us. Barb stated that we already have an I&I program and wondered if Mr. Laschinger feels we should expand on this program. Mr. Laschinger stated that he is just saying to continue with this program. Dave feels that we are buying back capacity with the I&I program. Mr. Laschinger agreed.
Question #3 asked by Todd, “What is the norm for others that we are not doing?” Mr. Laschinger stated that the one item he did see here is the GIS mapping. He added that he is also surprised that we do not have a large map showing the entire system. Mr. Laschinger feels that this would save us time in the long run. He stated that if the district went with GIS mapping, they would come out and shoot all the manholes and get the right elevations. Mr. Laschinger stated that the lateral cards and also a TV tape could be tied right into the GIS system. He added that if Dave Houfe had a problem out in the field he could pull this up and look at it on a laptop that he would have in the truck. Mr. Laschinger stated that it could also be a benefit for the towns since they would pull in all the county information, including the aerial maps, into the GIS system. He stated that we would even be able to see the lot size. Mr. Laschinger added that it does not cost that much since the information is all available. He stated that all they do is download the information. Bob stated that the Town of Albion looked into this but feels that it would be more valuable for the district than the town. Dave stated that it has been brought up here in the past. Bob stated that the Town of Fulton also looked into this. Todd stated that the Town of Fulton turned it down. Bob stated that the cost for the Town of Albion was only $10,000.00. Dave Houfe asked how much it would cost for the district. Mr. Laschinger stated that the survey is the most expensive part of it since they gps everything in; he feels that it would be at a low cost. He stated that sanitary sewer does not move and he believes it would be worth spending the extra money to do this. Mr. Laschinger stated that when someone does an upgrade we should have them furnish everything digital so we can just download it onto the GIS system. He stated that he would like to show us what we would get with GIS and then share the cost with us at that time. Mr. Laschinger stated that a lot of their smaller communities use the GIS and it is very user friendly. Bob feels that it would be very valuable for the district. Dave Houfe agreed. Mr. Laschinger stated that the Board does not have to go with it but does feel it would be beneficial for the district. Dave Houfe feels it would be very helpful around the lake. He added that when they did the smoke testing, they did find every manhole but still feels it would be helpful, especially in the middle of the night when doing an emergency locate. Mr. Laschinger stated that the next step would be the hand held gps and then we could walk right up to it. Dave Houfe stated that the handheld would be good for the day-to-day work. Dave Anderson stated that the hand held is not that expensive. Barb asked for this item to be put on the next agenda. John asked that Mr. Laschinger bring some examples of the GIS system for the Board. Mr. Laschinger agreed. The Board agreed to put this item on the March meeting agenda.
Question #4 asked by Todd, “What is it that we do that is ahead of the curve?” Mr. Laschinger stated that by purchasing the land was planning ahead. He stated that the district is being very aggressive on the up keeping of our equipment and not letting it detoriate. Barb stated that most people do not understand that infrastructure needs maintenance.
Question #5 asked by Todd, “What issues do you see as a priority for the district?” Mr. Laschinger stated that the biggest issue is the permit. He added that it may not be a big issue over the next 3-4 years. Mr. Laschinger stated if the DNR does a standard permit we will need to do an operations review and a facilities plan. He added that the heavy duty cost will not happen for 5-8 years. Barb wondered if we could build this in the budget. Mr. Laschinger stated that we should start to plan for that. He stated that when Tomah did their treatment plant they came up with a project cost even before the facilities plan was done. Mr. Laschinger stated that they formed a 4-step increase and only had to increase the first three years because they had generated enough money. He added that they did not have to do the fourth year increase until 11 years after the treatment plant was built. Mr. Laschinger believes that if we plan ahead and increase the rates a little each year then it is not a huge increase later. Mr. Laschinger believes that we need to put aside money for this purpose and dedicate it to a fund. Bob stated that we have done this already by putting off one year of increasing the user rates. He explained that when we first started the Pumping Station Rehabilitation Project we said there would be a $5.00 per year increase for the next three years. He stated that we did not do this every year but does feel that we should go ahead and do this in the future. Bob stated that our user charge is very low compared to other communities in this area. Mr. Laschinger agreed; he stated that we have very good rates and some of that is due to having the lagoons and not adding chemicals.
Question #6 asked by Todd, “What does the engineer feel should be long term goals for the district?” Mr. Laschinger stated that there really is not much more than we have already discussed about the treatment plant. He added that we may want to look to see if we have any collection system issues and if so identify these issues. Mr. Laschinger stated that we do not want to get into the situation where a major development is coming in and we do not have a way to sewer them. Barb stated that every five years we look at this. Dave Houfe stated that Mr. Dreis probably has these figures. Mr. Laschinger stated that he would like to see these numbers. He added that he does not know if this is an issue but something that we should be aware of. Barb feels that we should continue to do this every five years. The Board agreed.
Question #7 asked by Bob Venske, “Review the district’s Sewer Use Ordinance, pages S-1 thru S-33.” Mr. Laschinger stated that he did not review the ordinance in detail because he was not sure what the goal was for this question and also question #8. Bob asked if we should put these on a future meeting. Mr. Laschinger stated that it if the Board wants a detailed review of the ordinance then yes we should put this off to a future meeting. He asked if the Board has issues now that we want addressed. Mr. Laschinger stated that normally with an ordinance review there are things that drive it; such as construction related or it may be charge related. He used an example of one of his clients wanting to surcharge for phosphorus. Mr. Laschinger stated that when we do the treatment plant we will be revisiting the ordinance so he feels unless there are issues that the Board wants addressed now then he would suggest waiting for when the treatment plant is addressed. Barb asked if there is something that the district is missing in the ordinance or that we may even have more than we need. Mr. Laschinger stated that he has only quickly reviewed our ordinance; to tell if we are missing something he would have to go through it in a lot more detail. He feels that we do have all the major chapters required. Barb stated that the ordinances in the Town of Sumner still had some ordinances that were written in the 1940-1950s and they needed updating. Dave Houfe stated that when there are small items to be changed, such as the grease interceptors, we give it to Jonathan Groessl, C.K.S.D. Attorney, and then when we have more items we change it all at once. Mr. Laschinger stated that since our sewer system was installed in the 1970s, the ordinance is not that old. Todd stated that the new rules will most likely call for a change in the ordinance. Mr. Laschinger agreed. He suggests that we wait until we are upgrading the treatment plant to update the ordinance. Mr. Laschinger added that if there is something not working then we should look at it now. He stated that he could take another glance at it but does not feel we are lacking anything in the Sewer Ordinance. Barb stated that she would not think anything would be lacking in our ordinances. Mr. Laschinger asked if we cover the issue of sump pumps in our ordinance. Dave Houfe stated yes. Mr. Laschinger asked if we have who owns the laterals and also any day-to-day issues in the ordinance. Dave Houfe stated yes. Mr. Laschinger stated that these are all standard items that would be covered in the ordinance.
Bob stated that if the market ever changes, there is developable property in the Town of Fulton, Town of Albion and Town of Milton that has already been preapproved through the counties. He stated that we could have approximately 400 new hookups if the lots sell. Bob stated that the developer in the Town of Albion is looking at this summer to develop, especially with the land in the hamlet. He added that there is another chunk of land that has 54 units for sale. He added that all the plat designs have been done and is approved through Dane County on this land; they would just have to renew their permits. Bob asked if this happens, are we going to be good to go here. Mr. Laschinger understands that this has been a touchy subject of whose engineer does what. He stated that it varies all over. Mr. Laschinger stated that the district needs to be in control of the system; how we do it is up to this Board. He stated that they work with a lot of clients and majority of them the developer hires his engineer and the district engineer reviews the utilities and they would have to install the sewer to our standards. Mr. Laschinger stated that many times the district engineer does the inspections but not all the time. He stated that they do have two clients that they actually do the design work for the developers. Mr. Laschinger stated that this does not mean the district has to change how they do things; it is strictly up to this Board. Bob stated that the reason this came up at all is due to three towns submitting letters to the district in the past 18 months asking for Chapter 8 of the Sewer Use Ordinance to be reviewed. He stated that Chapter 8 demands that the district’s engineer does all the design work. Bob stated that we have had complaints from the developers of the high charges from the district’s engineer. He stated that the developer would like to use their own engineer for the design and then have the district’s engineer review the design. Bob asked what Mr. Laschinger feels about this. Mr. Laschinger stated that as long as the district has control, either way is fine. He added that the developer and their engineer would have to meet certain requirements and standards. Mr. Laschinger stated that the developer’s engineer may come up with a lower cost or they may come up with other options; and we may want to change it. He added that the district will be taking over the sewer and we want it done to our standards. John explained that this Board made it mandatory to go with our engineer so there was not any bickering or fighting. Mr. Laschinger stated that he does not have a problem with however the district wants this done; obviously it would be more work for them if they design the entire sewer. He added that it should be done the way the Board wants it done. Mr. Laschinger stated that the majority of their clients do let the developer’s engineer do the design work and they have not had a problem with this because we provide the standards and requirements upfront to them. Dave Houfe asked about in existing areas should the district’s engineer take care of that. Mr. Laschinger stated he feels that the district’s engineer should do that and not the developer’s engineer. He stated that he is assuming that any charges for reviewing the developer’s engineer work would be passed on to the developer. Mr. Laschinger stated that they would only do work for the district not the developer. He added that it is their standard policy to not work for developers.
Question #8 asked by Bob, “Review the district’s Sewer Extension Procedures.” This question was discussed under question #7.
Question #9 asked by Bob, “How important does the engineer feel it is for the district’s engineer to do all the design for developments in the district?” This question was also discussed under question #7.
Question #10 asked by Bob, “How much legal assistance is needed on Developers Agreements and such?” Mr. Laschinger stated yes that we need legal assistance and pointed out that he is not an attorney. Bob feels that the Developers Agreement should be consistence with the town’s plan. He added that the Town of Albion has their own standards for roads and they are above most standards. Bob stated that if a developer comes into the Town of Albion, the town is upfront with them and tells them exactly what they need to do pertaining to the roads.
Question #11 asked by Bob, “Review the district’s sewer standards, pipe, sizing, grades, clean outs, etc. Review the district’s Standard Sewer Specifications, specs-1 thru specs-14.” Mr. Laschinger stated that Lynne has provided him with a copy of this. He stated that normally they will provide the specifications and have them readily available if an individual or developer comes into our office. Mr. Laschinger stated that he will need to review the specifications that we already have in place. He assumes there will not be a lot of changes since Strand Associates, Inc. did the specifications originally. Mr. Laschinger added that there may be some items that they would like changed; such as they do not recommend solvent joints. He added that he would not recommend solvent joints at all. Mr. Laschinger explained that when there are trenches and the lateral comes out at an angle; there is no way to compact underneath it. He added that with a solvent joint and the soil settling there is no give. Mr. Laschinger stated that with a push-on joint there is some give and it will not break or leak. He stated that if that is in our specifications, he would recommend changing it. Mr. Laschinger stated that this is an item that came up in discussion with Dave Houfe. Dave Anderson stated that our specifications also state that only schedule 40 pipe can be used. Dave Houfe stated that this was already changed in the past. Mr. Laschinger stated that they use schedule 35 pipes; unless it is over 15 foot deep then they recommend schedule 26. He stated that it depends on the depth and the ground level conditions.
Question #12 asked by Dave Houfe, “What is Town & Country’s standard specs for small and large projects?” This question was discussed under question #11.
Question #13 asked by John, “How does the engineer feel the transition is going?” Mr. Laschinger feels that it is going fine. He asked the Board how they feel and to let him know if there are any concerns or questions. The Board did not have any comments at this time.
Question #14 asked by John, “Has the engineer found anything that the district should address? Anything out of the ordinary?” This question was answered with previous questions.
Question #15 asked by John and Dave Houfe, “How are the phosphorous limits going to affect us? Will this change our frequency for testing? In the long run, are chemicals practical cost-wise for removing phosphorous?” This question was answered with previous questions.
Question #16 asked by Barb McGann and Lynne, “Purchase the Gauss land to add to our land inventory for future expansion?” Mr. Laschinger feels that land is a very good investment for the district. He added that if a development gets too close to the treatment plant there could be odor issues. Bob asked if we know a price for this land. Todd stated that the land is owned by Russ Gauss. He stated that a developer did make an offer but Mr. Gauss turned it down. Todd explained that Mr. Gauss wants to use the sale of the land for his retirement. He stated that John suggested that we keep in contact with Mr. Gauss to see what his future plans are. Todd stated that it may come down to what Mr. Gauss’s tax ramifications will be for the sale of the land. Bob asked if this land is zoned agriculture. John stated yes. Barb feels that we should keep an eye on this land on a yearly basis. The Board agreed. Todd stated that we have opened the line of communication with Mr. Gauss and he knows now that we are interested in the land.
Question #17 asked by Barb, “Do a survey of all the possible developable land currently in the district boundaries. For instance, do we have 500, 1000, 2000 developable areas? (This might have to be done by another specialist rather than our engineer.) This would be looking 10 years down the road. Since we are experiencing a decrease in home values that even a slight increase in the economy means that people will be looking hard at second homes on the river and lake areas.” Barb stated that it will not take much with the depression and values; she feels that it is going to make these properties very attractive once the economy starts bouncing back. Bob stated that currently there is almost no shore line of developable land. Barb stated that the land would only need to be near the water. Todd agreed that most of these parcels are gone. Bob stated that each town already knows what developable land there is available. He added that the towns do this with the District Service Area. Barb asked if we actually know how many homes could be put on this land. Bob stated that the towns should know this with their comprehensive plan. He added that the Town of Albion has one acre lots so if they have 40 acres of developable land they know only 40 lots will be on this land. Mr. Laschinger stated that this ties in with the master plan and if we do this every five years that should give us a handle on this. He stated that with this the towns are doing their planning. Bob stated that since we are on a first come/first serve basis, when we are out of capacity and not ready to expand it would put a stop on everything. Mr. Laschinger stated that he does not know if we have this or not but we could implement a connection fee or impact fee. He asked if our current connection fee pays for projects that have been done in the past. Mr. Laschinger stated that normally connection fees are done for something in the ground that we are paying for and an impact fee is for potential future problems. He added that if we have some potential future problems we may want to consider this. Mr. Laschinger stated that the philosophy is that the developer should pay for it, not the entire district. He stated that most communities feel this way. Dave Anderson stated that we are currently putting money aside for future expansion.
Question #18 asked by Barb, “Have our new engineer look at Station F and get suggestions or new ways to look at Station F with the spring fed water issues.” Barb asked who was out there digging today. Dave Houfe stated that Bill Schroeder, C.K.S.D. Operator, was out there. He added that the trench was already there, Bill was just cleaning it out. Dave stated that this item will be addressed at our March meeting.
Question #19 asked by Dave Houfe, “What does the engineer see as the future life expectancy for the district’s lagoons?” This question was addressed in previous questions.
Question #20 asked by Dave Houfe, “Any further thoughts about Station R and what the right fix would be to make this a properly functioning station?” Dave Houfe stated that he wants to find the right fix for the pump at Station R. He added that we plan to put in piping, which the Gorman Rupp representative wants us to do. Dave Houfe stated that we will put a control valve on it. He added that Charlie Isham from Crane Engineering is going to come out and look at. Dave Houfe stated that this station was going to be a submersible station but then was taken out of the project. Mr. Laschinger stated that the best solution would have been to make it a submersible station. He added that currently the pump has cavitations and he feels that the inlet piping may be undersized. Mr. Laschinger stated that trying to draw 150-200 gallons per minute through a 4-inch pipe may not be working. He stated that is just his gut feeling and he could be wrong. He stated that putting in a larger pipe may fix the problem but instead of doing that we may want to replace the station with a submersible station at some point.
Question #21 asked by Dave Houfe, “Possible solutions to put the make-up air units and other HVAC equipment on timers to cut down on energy consumption?” Dave Houfe stated that he has had some discussion on this with Mr. Laschinger. He explained that all of our make-up air units run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He stated that he is looking for a way to shut them off. Dave Houfe stated it does not make sense to him to heat the air coming into the make-up air unit and then the exhaust fan sucks it right out. He does understand the code issue. Dave Houfe stated that Mr. Laschinger had an idea on this and he just wanted to share it with the Board. Barb wonders if the code issue only applies when someone is working in there. Mr. Laschinger stated that it depends how a person interprets it. He stated that what they do in most applications is that they design it according to code but give flexibility to also run it a different way. Mr. Laschinger added that they could install a timer or control system so that it will only run at a certain time only. He stated that a certain amount of air must be run through to keep the moisture down. Mr. Laschinger stated that it does not have to be run continuous. Dave Houfe stated that Station A has a door switch and it also runs ten minutes out of every hour. He stated that the rest of the stations are not like that. He added that the problem in the summer for stations B, C, D and E is that there is too much moisture. Todd stated that some type of time delay could be installed. Mr. Laschinger stated that the code issues will have to be looked at. Dave stated that we had determined that Station K, Q and R are not an issue because of the wet wells being away from the building. Mr. Laschinger stated that the explosion proof is designed so there are 12 air changes continuous or 30 air changes when a guy goes in. He stated that normally what they do is design 30 air changes but then it is not heated. Mr. Laschinger stated that they also install a small make-up fan that runs 3 to 5 air changes per hour so when a guy goes in it makes it safe. He added that they also set it up so the fan can be operated periodically, mostly for moisture control and sometimes to clean out the atmosphere. Mr. Laschinger stated that the equipment can be downsized so there is enough heat in there and put humidifiers in it and we have also had to have a dehumidifier to take care of the moisture. He stated that we need to deal with the moisture and also the air exchange; but it might have to be a compromise of the two. Mr. Laschinger stated that there are costs for either option. He stated that this may cut the utility bill in half for that station. Dave Houfe stated that we used to have small dehumidifiers in every station. Mr. Laschinger feels that this would be relatively easy to do. He stated that we can talk to L.W. Allen, Inc. on this and we may have to add some relays but does not feel it would cost a lot of money to do this. Mr. Laschinger believes that it will save the district money in the long run. Dave Houfe stated that we have new electrical equipment in the stations and last year in the warm months it was literally raining downstairs of the wet well. Mr. Laschinger stated that they have even put in dehumidifiers and air conditioners in electrical rooms. He stated that the electrical controls are so sensitive to moisture and that new equipment will wear out prematurely when they get damp. Mr. Laschinger feels that it would be very easy to fix. Barb stated that it sounds like something that should be done. Dave stated that he did not want to take it upon himself to shut the make-up units off because if someone goes in there and then there is an air issue that would be a problem. Mr. Laschinger suggested that they device something to look at these cases with the different scenarios and bring it back to the Board. The Board agreed to put this item on the March meeting agenda.
Question #22 asked by Dave Houfe, “Are wet well transducers worth the cost versus floats for flow totals and pinpointing Infiltration & Inflow (I&I)?” Dave Houfe stated that at the Albion Sanitary District No. 4 and Fulton Sanitary District No. 2 stations we have transducers. He stated that we do not have the floats on any type of schedule; currently we just change them as they go bad. Dave Houfe wondered if it made more sense to start a program to change the floats every five years and put in the transducer with backup floats. He feels that this is a tool for I&I. Mr. Laschinger agreed. He added that we would want to keep it simple and that there is nothing wrong with what we have. He added that we could put in a transducer and it would aid in pinpointing the clear water. Mr. Laschinger stated that he does not know if it would be cost effective or not. He stated that if we are going to replace something, it may be a good way to handle it. Mr. Laschinger stated that we could use funds from the Replacement Fund so it would not affect the user rates. He added that we may have to run new conduit. Dave Houfe stated that we have spare conduits already. He added that it would be nice to see what is actually going on with the flow.
Question #23 asked by Dave Houfe, “How does the engineer feel about disinfection and chlorine; are we due for an update?” Dave Houfe stated that this may change with our permit. Mr. Laschinger stated that if it is working for us now, he would not recommend changing anything at this point. Dave Houfe stated that he is wondering about the building there. Mr. Laschinger stated that someday we are going to be putting money into the treatment plant so he does not feel that we should spend money here now. Dave Houfe wonders if we could tie a chemical storage building in with UV. Mr. Laschinger stated that we would not necessarily have to have a structure for UV; it could be put outside. He feels it would still be expensive. Mr. Laschinger stated that he did not look at our system to see how easy it would be to install a UV system. He added that it would have to be sized for our lagoons due to the algae issues. Mr. Laschinger stated that his general feeling is not to change it now unless we have operation and maintenance issues, which he does not believe we have. He stated that a lot of communities are getting away from chlorine because of the hazard. Mr. Laschinger stated that in our case he would suggest waiting a couple years to see what our permit brings.
Question #24 asked by Dave Houfe, “Address air release valves in the district, especially on the Kidder Farm.” Dave Houfe stated that he has already discussed this with Mr. Laschinger. He stated that the air release valves are deteriorating. Mr. Laschinger stated that we should shut these off one at a time to see if we even need them. He stated that sometimes they are not even needed. Dave Houfe stated that he was always worried about shutting them off. Mr. Laschinger gave an example of one of his clients that do not even inspect their air release valves. Dave Houfe stated that we check them twice per year. He stated that he is worried about the pipe. Mr. Laschinger stated that what they have done in the past is they did not want any odor so they built a filter blanket outside of the manhole where they discharged the extra water and poured it over rock; it treats it like a septic. Mr. Laschinger stated that this gets the bad stuff out of the manhole and is fairly inexpensive to do.
Question #25 asked by Dave Houfe, “Elaborate on GIS and give an estimated cost on this.” This question was discussed in previous questions.
Question #26 asked by Dave Houfe, “Could we get a map of the entire district on one complete map, which includes all pipes and stations?” This question was discussed in previous questions.
Question #27 asked by Dave Houfe, “What is the most cost effective way for us to get Applewood’s influent flow totals? Currently, they are being estimated.” Dave Houfe stated that he has discussed this with Mr. Laschinger. He stated that the check valve is attached to the main so we would have to have something before the check valve to get an accurate reading. Dave Houfe explained that we do not have any flow meters there and he is estimating this for the DNR. Dave Houfe stated that he does not know how the DNR looks at this. Dave Anderson asked who designed the sewer system in Applewood. Dave Houfe stated Strand Associates, Inc. He stated that it was brought up at the time. Dave Anderson stated that Strand Associates, Inc. insisted that we have this installed for Albion Sanitary District No. 4. Mr. Laschinger stated that the DNR will probably not care about this unless they suspect something is really wrong. John feels it would be good to have a meter installed due to I&I problems. Dave Houfe pointed out that some of the pumps were installed in old septic tanks. He added that they were inspected at the time but he feels that this could change over the years. Dave Houfe stated that the property owner is not going to let us know if their pump runs all day, as long as it keeps their house dry. Bob stated that this area floods every spring. Mr. Laschinger stated that using septic tanks is not really a good idea. Dave Houfe stated that the septic tanks were whole at the time the pumps were installed. Bob stated that he cannot believe they were allowed to do this. Dave stated that he does not believe this had to do with Strand Associates, Inc. and they did have Jerry Miles, C.K.S.D. former Superintendent, inspect the tanks. He stated that there is no way of figuring out capacity with this area and feels that we may want to. Dave Houfe feels that we should meter it somehow. Mr. Laschinger stated that he had thought if the check valve is close to the manhole then we could put a strap-on meter there, which could be rented for approximately $300-400.00 per month. Dave Houfe feels that we should purchase the meter instead of renting it. John agreed. Mr. Laschinger stated that we may have to put a manhole in and put some type of meter in there. He suggested putting a mag meter in, which would cost approximately $2-3,000.00. Mr. Laschinger stated we would have to run power to it and then hook it up to the SCADA system. He stated that the cost could cost approximately $15-20,000.00. Mr. Laschinger stated that we really should try to meter it, especially with the floods. Dave Houfe stated that this is the only area in the entire district that we do not know what we are getting out of that area. He added that we are not getting run times out of that area. Mr. Laschinger stated that he would like to look at it first and then give the Board an idea of what it would cost to do this. John asked what these meters would cost. Mr. Laschinger stated that the meter would be the same price but we would not have to cut the pipe. John feels that we should purchase one over renting it. Mr. Laschinger stated that he was only suggesting using the existing manhole to see if it is a problem or not. He added that there are more expenses to it than just renting or purchasing the meter. Dave Houfe stated that he would not have a problem with going out once a month and write the numbers down; then we would have a true number. John feels that we do need a true number. The Board agreed to put this item on the March meeting agenda. It was stated that if Mr. Laschinger does not get down to look at this before the March meeting, we can table this item until the April meeting.
Dave Houfe stated that he did not have this on the list but would like it discussed; he explained when the submersible panels get extremely hot we have problems with the UPS turning off. He stated that he has discussed this with Mike Bewick from L.W. Allen, Inc. and Mr. Bewick is looking into this. Mr. Laschinger stated that what they would recommend is to move the transformers outside. He added that when they generate so much heat they also cause problems with the UPS. Mr. Laschinger stated that they were probably installed inside so they would be concealed. He added that we could run a piece of stainless steel around it to conceal it outside. Mr. Laschinger stated that L.W. Allen knows this is an issue and Mr. Bewick is putting something together that would be very reasonable in cost or maybe no cost at all.
John thanked Mr. Laschinger and Mr. Heidemann for coming. Bob feels that we addressed a lot of issues tonight and feels that this meeting was well worth it.
There being no further action to come before the Board, Dave Anderson made a motion, seconded by Barb McGann, to adjourn the meeting at 7:54 P.M. Motion carried.
Lynne Lund, Internal Operations Manager
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