ASHLAND WATER ADVISORY COMMITTEE
June 28th, 2016
CALL TO ORDER
John Williams called the meeting to order at 4:06 PM
Committee Members Present: Don Morris, Amy Patton (vice chair), John Williams (chair), Rich Miller, Joe Graf, and Alex Amarotico, Pat Acklin, Donna Rhee, and Lesley Adams (left early 5:00pm), Darrell Boldt, Kate Jackson, Councilor Carol Voisin
Committee Members Absent: None
Staff present: Scott Fleury, Mike Faught, Julie Smitherman, Emily Killam, Steve Walker, Greg Hunter, Pieter Smeenk
Staff absent: Karl Johnson
Consultants: Tyler Dunkin (RH2), Jeff Ballard (RH2)
2253 Hwy 99, Ashland, OR 97520. Ph #: 541-973-0254
Gutcheon says he’s a little critical when it comes to Global climate issues and that nobody knows how to deal with it. He states that he kind of knows how to deal with it since he was back in Vietnam doing the same thing, except under peak oil. Now renewable energy is the same answer about what we should do. He said there are renewable energy guides and it’s happening fast. However, he feels there are some problems, such as trucks stopping, food going away and less water. He is concerned about not having enough water for food. In his own words, he states that it has been verified that we do not have enough water for food. He says that it is ignored by the staff and the City and that the City says we’re going to add more people.
REVIEW PROPOSED MASTER PLAN
Faught stated Council previously approved a contract with RH2 for the water master plan update. Jeff Ballard and Tyler Dunkin from RH2 are in attendance.
Committee asks if they have received the previous meeting minutes for approval. Staff states the minutes were not attached. Group asks for minutes to be sent via email for review and approval at the next meeting. Minutes were also handed out at meeting. Group would also like to see the Council staff reports discussing the drought and awarded the master plan contract to RH2. Staff to email these staff reports to AWAC group along with minutes.
Fleury introduced the RH2 project manager Jeff Ballard, as well as his counterpart Tyler Dunkin. Jeff will be the project manager for the RH2 group and will be directly liaising with this (AWAC) group as well as City staff.
Ballard introduced himself and discussed RH2’s sub consultants for the project. The first is Maddaus Water Management. Maddaus is very well known in the water modeling and conservation field. They will be working with staff and the AWAC group with respect to conservation modeling analysis and water supply forecasting. The software being utilized was presented to the group at the April meeting.
The last water master plan was finished in 2012. It was a very detailed document and Ballard stated that major portions of the group had heavy involvement in the document. RH2’s plan is not to revisit the entire document; that is not their goal. Their goal is to take the framework and base work of what was created before and move forward with the additional information that was requested in the RFP gained through the discussion with the City. For that to happen and the initial steps will involve data collection and analysis. RH2 is familiar with parts of the system with respect to previous work.
To get to the next steps it will take 2-3 months roughly to allow the City to supply them with all the information that they need. Williams asked if this is to plug into the Maddaus software, and Ballard stated it’s for both the Maddaus software and the actual hydraulic modeling system. It will give them the opportunity to look into it and update the model after they get all that information. They try to get all their information in the beginning so that they can keep it a contained process. If they can get all the information now, they can move forward from that point in a fairly streamlined fashion.
The demand forecasting is the first phase which could cause some changes with how they evaluate the plan and how they move forward. They are going to look at the conservation pieces and look at the different supply issues and different opportunities that there are, as well as the best way to utilize resources, the facilities and the cost of everything combined. This will include the ability to expand the tap supply to 3 million gallons per day (MGD), vs the current 2.1 MGD. There will be some work with looking into the TID supply and how the City can utilize all of our options all the way down to a long term solution. They will also start looking into the process of evaluating the “One-Water” concept, possibly water reuse in the future. They will be looking into a very large variety of options and try to give guidance in which option is the best direction.
Hydraulically there have been some changes in the system with the TAP coming online in the existing master plan in 2012. That project was included but not necessarily to the level of detail that they can look at it now to see how it effects the entire transmission and distribution level, so they’ll be doing that as well.
In addition, they have Katherine Hansford reevaluating the financial plan based on RH2’s capital improvement recommendation. She previously completed the cost of service study for the City and has a good understanding of the financial system.
They will be looking at the analysis of the Mount Ashland aquifer potential, not recreating what was done previously, but taking a little bit different look at the stream flows and how it flows into the Reeder Reservoir. He believes that the City is still moving ahead with some water quality work at Reeder Reservoir, and if any of that information comes into play they’ll bring that into some of those supply options that RH2 has talked about.
The One Water work is actually being done by Black and Veatch, they did the 2014 water plan for the City of LA and will be helping us out with that document, just from a very high level prospective, not going into a whole lot of detail, but laying out the options.
Aklin asked for the record to explain what One Water is. Faught stated he attended a conference last July for the wastewater industry. They had EPA and DEQ representatives there who explained the future is One Water, with the intent to have wastewater going right back into the water treatment plant, however, it is not legal in Oregon right now. Because this might be the future, he asks the committee to look at what One Water might do to our community.
Ballard says the reality behind the One Water is the beginning of the understanding that water is not limitless. So to understand the relations or to start looking into the relationships between the irrigation, stormwater, drinking water, and sewer as an overall concept of all the opportunities that exist in the areas that we have.
Voisin asked why we didn’t discuss this earlier or start with the use of One Water. Ballard stated that part of it comes down to the financials of it. Most of these things will end up being high level and high cost things that can be envisioned in the future. Use this as a guidance document to take forward. If the committee does see interest for this in the community, use this as a stepping stone to move forward.
Faught stated that our wastewater is treated and can be used for irrigation. It just can’t be brought back into the treatment plant. A lot of time was spent on the reuse option in the 2012 plan and it was deemed too expensive at that point. One Water is preparing us for how far we are willing to go as a community. Climate change has changed the dynamics of water supply.
Jackson mentioned the integrated water resource strategy the water resource department wrote 5 years ago, and they are currently soliciting public comment on the document. They had a meeting last week in Medford to guide them towards revisions to the plan. You can go online to the water resource department and look for a way to submit comments.
Fleury discussed the master plan schedule. He stated we are looking at a couple months before they reconvene and discussed significant issues. Once they get enough data put together and formulated, they’ll meet back up and talk about the next steps and the process. Their initial estimate was for the next meeting to occur in September.
Faught was reminded as Amaratico walked in, about a previous email sent to Faught about an interest in touring the TAP building. Faught suggested having a tour in place of the July meeting. Faught will also plan to have a celebration similar to the previous one when the new pump station is fully operational. He asked if there was an interest in touring the TAP station and also the water treatment plant in place of the July and August meetings.
Williams asked the group for their thoughts on the tour idea. Everyone agreed it’s a good idea to tour and that staff will set them up for the July and August meetings.
Fleury outlined water projects completed or in process since adoption of the 2012 plan. Approximately 7,000 yards of material have been removed from the east and west forks. There are 3,000 yards left on our permit and we are working on that removal project this summer. Bathometry of the reservoir was recently completed and compared to the 2007 data. The one area at the mouth showed a little bit of sedimentation, but the overall impact wasn’t significant based on the data. The data showed approximately 2,500 yards of accumulation near the mouth between 2007 and 2016.
Hunter stated it happened a couple years ago. There was a high flow in February that came over the W. fork and blew out a bank that was built up from the 1997 flood and moved it down into that low zone. It was a onetime thing that ended up moving most of that material into that section or Reeder Reservoir.
Fleury stated that sediment removal is a continual maintenance project for the City.
The permanent pump station improvements are almost done and he’ll set up the tour so that we can see the facility. There have been general system improvements such as Terrace Street Pump Station electrical improvements to make it safer, as we are currently working on upgrades to the pumps.
A perimeter security fence was constructed around the treatment plant and security cameras added to the dam. Telemetry was installed in Steve Walker’s office so he can now see the storage and distribution system operations during the day.
Staff also contracted for analysis of a high capacity well within the City. The treatment process at the plant was changed as part of a disinfection byproduct study in order to meet new water quality testing rules and the changes appear to be working well. Hunter stated we had a perfect storm event, where the worst water quality test came in and the resulting testing in the system showed no problems.
Fleury stated staff is currently working on engineering for some general operation & maintenance water main replacements. Council also recently adopted the Cost of Service Study which reallocated costs across the customer classes for the water fees. These are kind of the big general things that were done and/or working on moving forward.
Patton asked if there are any infrastructure improvements happening.
Fleury said we’ve done the engineering on the IV Morton water line and the water line in Siskiyou Blvd. near Crowson Rd.
Faught stated the 2012 master plan the committee worked on has led to low interest loans of for capital projects including one million dollars of principal forgiveness for the water treatment plant projects. Without AWAC’s work this would not have occurred. All the work that has been done is paying dividends.
Williams remembers one of the other things that was looming over the existing water plant is that DEQ wanted a wall around portions of it which would be very expensive for potential rock slides etc. Faught said we didn’t have to do that, and the main options agreed to by the group were construction of a new treatment plant.
Faught discussed the current year’s water supply outlook. On May 1st there were 54 inches of snow at the Big Red snotel site, with the previous two years being zero. As part of the drought response previously Faught kept the Reservoir full by using TID water early in the season with Council approval. Now Faught would like to use TAP prior to using TID water if the reservoir drawdown occurs faster than the established drawdown curve. The reason is use of TID is a huge impact to staff both for distribution and treatment. TAP is treated water and during drought events, it should be the first source of water and TID would be the second source. The additional cost to run TAP over TID for 60 days is $16,800. During an emergency situation it’s best to use TAP, and we are asking Council to consider this at their next meeting.
Fleury informed the group that Council recently approved the IFA loan for the new water treatment plant. Staff is waiting for one document from the Legal Department to finalize the loan. Once we get IFA’s approval, staff can solicit for a consultant engineering firm for the design of the plant. Staff estimates it will take 4-5 months to make a final selection and begin the design process.
Meeting adjourned at 5:18pm.
Public Works Administrative Assistant