Friday, April 25, 2014

WASA reviewing $1.8 million capital project list


By Pat Cooper

A $1.8 million capital improvement project list presented to the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority will be whittled down to the top five projects on the list, slated to come in under $80,000- within a 10 percent margin- then go back before the board for a final approval.
For the past year, the Peachtree City Water and Sewer Authority has been partnered with RedZone Robotics to gather valuable sewer system data.
The timeline of the data gathering process by RedZone’s Solo Unmanned Inspection Robots was approximately 15 months from the time the work kicked off in April, but the cost of the project was spread over seven years.
According to WASA manager Stephen Hogan, thus far WASA has already completed a pipe bursting project on Huddleston Road at a cost of $27,437.
“This project was identified by RedZone and we felt it needed to be accomplished immediately.”
Similarly, a root control project, which involved chemically treating 12,265 feet of sewer main in the McIntosh, Spyglass Hill and Wysteria Court Basins, at a cost of $19,634. This, however, only covers about 25 percent of the root problems uncovered by RedZone, eating up almost all of the $20,000 set aside in the budget for the project. There’s another $20,000 set aside for the upcoming fiscal year and WASA “hopes to achieve a 12,000 linear foot, depending on size,” said Hogan.
Proposed projects in the new Capital Project List under the structural defects category, include a pipe bursting project in the Wynnmeade subdivision since the current eight-inch VCP pipe is failing. As a result, 1,107 feet of pipe will be replaced via pipe bursting with eight inch High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe along Meadow Road and Meadow Court and along Hip Pocket Road, where some 2,500 feet of pipe will be replaced in the Westpark Basin, via the same method. These two projects- at $325,507 and $378,798, respectively- have a combined cost of just over $704,000.
Additionally in the project list is the trenchless rehabilitation method of Cured In Place Pipe is recommended for approximately 715 feet of sewer main along Lake Kedron. The city will be performing stormwater upgrades in this area and the existing sewer mains require reinforcement. The cost - $$144,748.
Along Golf View Drive, WASA proposes to correct the current sewer alignment and sewer lateral connections which have resulted in both operational and structural issues. Approximately 1,000 feet of sewer main will be impacted.
On Briarwood Ct and Sierra Dr. there is structural surface wall damage. The pipe will need to be structurally restored.
Operational defects, also expensive, were similarly addressed, with another root intrusion project recommended for Planterra Ridge and Hip Pocket at a cost of $20,000.
Approximately 1,056 feet of sewer main along Wynnmeade Parkway, Kings Court and Tower Road will be cleaned to address operational issues at a cost of $16,376; an additional 4,500 feet of sewer main along Rockaway Road will also need to be addressed, at a cost of $79,549.
WASA board chairman Mike Harmon wanted to know how the staff had “come up with $1.8 million in projects, but we only budgeted $300,000?”
Hogan explained that when the budget was first drawn, the staff didn’t know what they were facing in its entirety, yet. Additionally, there had also been a discussion about the possibility of lowering rates for consumers or giving a rebate.
“Moving forward, the intent is to go over engineering and design and come up with a firm cost and come back to the board.”
“It seems to me,” said board member Phil Mahler, “that if we know these projects need to be done, and RedZone says they need to be done, and you’re saying they need to be done, it seems we should do them and if we don’t, then we would be liable for sitting on our fannies and not doing anything.
“We have the money set aside to fix things that are failing or have structural or operational defects. To me if you know about it, and we have the money, we should fix them. I dont’ want to get to a point where we are saying ‘well, we’re looking at it’. We have a responsibility to the people of Peachtree City to get them the quality system they should.”
WASA has $80,000 budgeted for operations, according to Hogan, to engage an engineer as necessary.
“We would engage the engineer as necessary, based on the RedZone report.”
He could, he said, have the list back to the board members by March, with actual construction work on the projects beginning in May or June.
“What, beyond the $1.8 million,” asked board member Terry Garlock, “would you guess is coming out of the RedZone report?”
There are pipes in critical condition, according to Hogan, and in danger of collapsing in the Wynnmeade and Hip Pocket area. These are in the oldest areas of the city.
“We may find more bad stuff as we go through. To date, this is the list I have.”
RedZone doesn’t generate this list, but hands it off to WASA employees to review the data.
“We know,” said Mahler, “that $1.8 has to be done or we could get the EPD down here and give us a consent order like they did our predecessor.”
Hogan also noted that, though there have been a few glaring errors in the review, he believed that they needed to continue with the quality control reviews. Fort he most part WASA has ‘gotten it’s money’s worth” out of the RedZone project.
“Let’s say we were starting the budget process all over again,” said Harmon. “How many of these projects would have to be done this year? How many would you put off until next year.”
“I’d pursue the roots immediately. Those are short term, quick repair. Beyond that, pipe bursting would be second. From what I’ve seen, we’re looking at some imminent failures. It could happen tomorrow, it could happen in six months - we don’t know.”
The Kedron Pond situation, said Hogan, is a result of work being done by the city’s water department.
Mahler said that since there are projects already in a ‘red’ zone - meaning they need immediate attention- “why wouldn’t we fix that? If we have the money set aside to fix them, fix them during 2014. They’re important.”


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