Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Water Advisory Ad-Hoc Committee (View All)

Ashland Water Advisory Ad-Hoc Committee - Minutes

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


 November 29th, 2016

John Williams called the meeting to order at 4:07 PM
Committee Members Present: Don Morris, Amy Patton (vice chair), John Williams (chair), Joe Graf (left at 4:45), Darrell Boldt, Rich Miller, Donna Rhee

Committee Members Absent: Alex Amarotico, Lesley Adams, Councilor Carol Voisin, Pat Acklin, Kate Jackson

Staff present: Mike Faught, Emily Killam, Scott Fleury, Julie Smitherman (left at 5:25), Steve Walker, Adam Hanks, Michael Morrison.

Staff absent: Greg Hunter,

Consultants: Jeff Ballard (RH2)

Consultants absent: Tyler Dunkin (RH2),
Public forum
All minutes from April 7th, 2016, June 28th, 2016 and August 29th, 2016 were approved. The two errors from August 29th 2016 were corrected, and all minutes were posted on the website. The Climate Energy Action Plan open house will be December 7th, 2016 from 5:30pm-7:00pm at the Stevenson Union.
Ballard states the TAP pump station is now officially complete and has temporarily been ran. They have only moved Ashland water back into the Ashland station, and have not moved any Medford water into the system. They have ran it twice, but definitely not to the extent that it’ll need to be ran in the future to verify that everything’s operating correctly. However, from a functional standpoint, the facility produces the water that was expected, and everything seems to be running great. They realize that there may be some quirks to work out once the city decides to run it for the trial period, which will be close to a month long. Faught says our general time to run it would be in August. The reason we didn’t run it this year was due to the lead issues Medford was dealing with. It will really depend where they are with those issues before we can really say if we’ll be running it in August. Ballard thinks they’ll be making a selection on December 9th, 2016 to get moving ahead with that project. He states that everything functions properly with the tap house and it runs good. Morris asks when we’re drawing from the TAP into the pump station, if we for some reason we don’t like the PH level, is there any way of moderating it at that point? Or where would it happen? Ballard said that our only available addition is to modify the chlorine level, we can’t modify PH at that location. Faught asks Morris if his question was, are we monitoring the PH versus can we adjust the PH. Morris’s question was if the PH could be adjusted, he assumed we monitored it already. Patton asks Ballard if the PH is being monitored at that location and the answer is yes. She also assumes that because nothing is planned for adjustments that RH2 isn’t anticipating the water quality mixing with our pipes. In our initial evaluation of water mixing there weren’t any issues with their water and our water. Faught say that is correct, but on the other side, if we do see a problem, we can shut that system off. Ballard says that we continuously monitor chlorine, temperature and PH on all the systems. Fleury states the pump station came in on budget which was a very good thing to hear for everyone.
As for the Water Master Plan, Ballard states that it’s been kind of a slow start because of the data collection process. They have relied a lot on the city for the data collection and its very time consuming for staff and just the collection of data in general. Ballard says they make sure that the data that is being collected is the data that is needed to finish the project so they’re not constantly coming back to the city asking for more data. The disadvantage of that is it takes more effort in the beginning from the city, but the advantage is that it doesn’t take time from the city in the future to get that data. Up until this point that is what they have been doing, heavy data collection. This data collection has been coming from two different areas. Ballard has been gathering it from a hydraulic perspective and from a city maintenance perspective and the demand perspective. Then Maddaus who is doing the water conservation and the climate change work, has been working with Julie Smitherman asking for additional data. Some of this is similar data and some of it’s not, and we’re finally getting to a point where we’re getting a significant amount of data. One thing that has been challenging from the conservation end of it, is the change in the city billing software in 2012. All the data prior to 2012 is not the same as the data after 2012. Trying to assimilate that data so that it is comparable so it can be imported into the software takes added time and effort. There have been some anomalies that have been found throughout the process, but Smitherman and Lisa are working on getting those corrected. The timeframe on that is dependent on Smithermans availability and how much time she has to put forward on it. They are making good headway on this, but there is still a ways to go on the conservation end of it and the climate change end as well. 
Williams asks how has the Maddaus software been working. Smitherman answers by saying that so far it’s all data collection and she’s been working countless hours collecting consumption, production data, etc. from all different areas of the city. The next step hopefully within the next month, is putting the data into the model.
Ballard mentions something that has been discovered through the process on their side is that there are some things that are beneficial for the city to keep records of and keep organized in a way so that data can be used moving forward. They weren’t really aware that it was necessary previously. He states now we will have a little better system of knowing when and how to collect it and keep it orderly, it’ll make the process for tracking and monitoring easier.
Smitherman states it’s been exciting going through the data and seeing the different changes and patterns. She does mention there are some inaccuracies, but they are going to dive in and fix those. Patton says it’s great to have that structure to know what to collect and help us make those predictions. Smitherman says now that we know what we’re looking for we can streamline it going forward.
Ballard says we’ve received the most recent climate change information from the city. They’re still doing some research into how that information is going to tie into the national work that has been done so that they feel comfortable with the factors that are put into play. They haven’t come to that conclusion yet, they’re still a little ways out on the data and getting ahold of the people who were doing that research. Patton asks what data Ballard is talking about and he explains that there is a national climate change model. There has been some refinement done locally in the southern areas of the county. With the national data it has factors that are tied to it and tested, some of the local data doesn’t have that. So for us to feel comfortable, we’d like to be able to tie the national data to the local data and work with the factors on what those impacts are on the streamflow, and rain flow etc. We accept the data that’s been produced locally; Patton asks in regards to weather, temperature, climate, rainfall. Ballard says yes, all those will be based on factors on how they impact the supply for the water system. They have determined the best way to move forward is to work with the people who worked on both ends of the data to find out how they can best tie it together. That will be the next big step for the climate piece of it, along with some modifications of the supply alternatives that go along with that. Such as the addition of TAP and how that’s utilized and how the city moves ahead with the new water treatment plant and how all that supply ties in. So when we’re looking at supply alternatives tied in with the climate change information, all those are moving parts that are evaluated in the software. To get a little better understanding operationally on how those supplies planned to be utilized or could be utilized will all be the in/and scenarios that are built into the program to analyze that further moving forward. So theoretically if you get “x” amount of rain, you can use “x” supply for this long, and the other for “x” long and how that ties in with the supply model. It’s moving along, but it’s lagging behind the conservation piece because there is so much more data required. Smitherman says a lot of that data is going to be used in the climate model, so she’s been collecting the precipitation and temperature data as well. Ballard says it all ties to together pretty tightly, and it’s the same situation on the actual hydraulic analysis, all those demand forecasts ties into the conservation model which then ties into your capital needs. All these things are pieces that are working together so that we can move in the right direction, and Ballard feels good that they’re moving that way.
Ballard says in the meantime since they knew they’d have some downtime, they’ve been moving along updating the framework for the operations manual. As far as understanding what the needs are for this will involve more of the cities time. RH2s role in this is making sure the industry standards are met for maintenance for hydrants, valves, pump stations etc., and laying that out in an orderly fashion. This piece is independent of that data collection portion associated with demand. Another piece of that which isn’t associated with data collection, is the hydraulic analysis for the upper Crowson pressure zone improvements. Previously there had been a recommendation to improve the Park Estates pump station on Loop Road and add a reservoir. They had done some work previously associated with Alsing, so they had a bunch of that model up to date and updated with current demands as of 2015. So they felt more comfortable with doing some hydraulic work on that end of the system since they had already updated that stuff for the Alsing work they had done. In doing that, they were looking at alternatives and one was possibly turning Park Estates into the feeding pump station, not only for Loop Road, but also South Mountain and going all the way possibly to Alsing. Williams asks if that would involve a really long pipe, and Ballard states that the pipe already exists. They looked at the broad picture and talked about getting rid of Hill View and South Mountain, and just have Park Estates which would minimize the number of pump stations to increase the efficiency and use more gravity. It could have worked, but it was substantial piping, and there’s limited distribution piping for that application in that part of town. They couldn’t take that 16” offline of the pressure zone that it’s on right now. So they went back and evaluated it a couple different times and the final recommendation was to just replace Park Estates, and tie together Loop Road and South Mountain off of Park Estates. What this does is eliminates one pump station, and the need for the Loop Road reservoir, but it does require some additional piping which is consistent with the previous plan.
Patton states she thought there was some need to preserve the amount of storage that they have or even to increase it. Ballard says there is, but Patton thought that he was talking about taking out a reservoir on Loop Road, not installing one. It was recommended to be installed as a small reservoir of about 40,000-250,000 gallons which would strictly be for fire flow.
Patton asks if there was a second reservoir that was recommended and Fleury says it was for Crowson II. It was the other large volume storage reservoir that was meant to go on the side of the water treatment plant location. That was initially sized at 2.6M gallons. The other thing that Fleury mentions is that right now there is a million gallons of storage in Crowson I that is not accessible. By doing these improvements that we’ve been talking about this actually provides access to that million gallons of storage in the system that they didn’t have before. That increases our overall system storage as well, which plays a part in the project moving forward.
Williams asks if the current thought is not to put a small reservoir up Loop Road and Jeff says that his recommendation is not to. Ballard says several things went into that recommendation and one is right now it operates under a closed zone and can easily continue to do so. The reservoir was strictly for fire supply, but we can provide backup power and fire supply through the pump station. When you just try to supply fire storage capacity in a small service zone, you don’t get a lot of turnover in the tank from residential use. So you’re building the tank to supply 1500gpm, for an hour and a half, but you have 25 houses using 300 gallons a day you create a situation where water ends up sitting on the hill not being utilized. The last thing you want to do is increase your water age, which will increase other problems in the system. Ballard says that perspective is why he wouldn’t recommend putting in the reservoir. Fleury said as far as the internal staff perspective, the project eliminates one pump out of the system, rehabs an existing pump station and makes it more efficient of a system to begin with as well. Without installing the Loop Road Reservoir that’s one less major pertinence that we have to maintain and plan for lifecycle replacement as well. Williams said the location was not the best geologically due to its steep terrain, and decomposed granite soil. Ballard said it was a challenging site and this project was part of the previous funding package that the city had applied for. This is one thing that can be crossed of the list and continue in the progression in getting the hydraulic modeling up to date. With trying to avoid the weather, they’ll come through and do pressure testing in town coordinated with the city staff and fire hydrant flows, making sure they’re model is calibrated accurately with the existing water system.
Fleury states they have gone through the consultant selection process for the water treatment plant engineering. They reviewed and interviewed all four firms that applied. A new firm, HDR & Keller Associates was selected and RH2 was the second selection. There is still an expectation to get a preliminary contract to council in January. The preliminary engineering will result in the treatment train process for the new plant before we move into final construction engineering. So AWAC will be involved in part of that process as well. They have asked for the #2 representative if they’re interested, to act as an owner’s representative. This would basically be to perform peer critiques of all the documentation and everything that is brought forward as part of the process. This is also someone who can critique and give us insights are far as staff and the group here moving forward with the selection of the treatment train and the design of the plant itself.
Faught states that the way the qualification base selection process works leaves us blind to the numbers and how much money they’re talking about. State law dictates how we do this, so if we’re unsuccessful at negotiating the price, we then move to the number two selection, and so on and so forth. That whole process has yet to unfold.
Fleury said just as a selection process, we started this process over a year ago. It’s a very in depth vetting process and takes a lot of time on everyone’s part.
Ballard says the final outcome on this project will have impact on the master plan moving forward. So as the preliminary design happens, and when some things start to fall out of it such as how it’s going to function, where it’s going to be, how it’s going to produce as well as other things, all of these things have impacts on recommendations on the capital plan.
Williams states it’s one of the city’s biggest capital plans.
Faught states the Council and the Medford Water Commission approved the Medford Water Commission Contract that we have been having meetings about. The one minor change requesting the removal of the “emergency source” statement was approved. We haven’t received the final documents yet, but should soon.
Minutes ended at 4:45 due to loss of quorum.
Meeting adjourned at 5:35pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Emily Killam
Public Works Administrative Assistant 

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