The Board of Directors of the Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) met in a regular session on October 18, 2007, at 9:00 a.m. at the Administration and Operations Center at 168 Spotnap Road in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members Present: Mr. Wagner, Chairman; Messrs. Humphris, Roberts; Dr. Palmer
Members Absent: Mr. Lumpkin, Mr. Larsen
Staff Present: Messrs., Fern, Gorham, Bowling, Barrow; Ms. Breeden, Ms. Herr, Mrs. Rea, Mrs. Thraves
Public Present: Several Members of the Local Nurseries, Landscaping, and Irrigation Industry; Mr. Jack Farmer, Mr. James Colbaugh
1. Call to Order
The Chairman called the meeting to order and a quorum was established.
Mr. Humphris moved to adopt the resolution, seconded by Mr. Roberts. The Chairman called for a Roll Call vote: Dr. Palmer, aye; Mr. Wagner, aye; Mr. Humphris, aye; Mr. Roberts, aye.
Mr. Fern stated that at last month’s Board meeting, Mr. Larsen had to leave before adjournment of the meeting. He explained that this left the Board without a quorum; therefore, the Board was not able to adjourn the meeting.
Mr. Humphris moved to adjourn the meeting of September 20, 2007, seconded by Dr. Palmer. All members voted aye.
4. Approve Minutes of August 29, 2007 and September 20, 2007
The Chairman asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Public Hearing for August 29, 2007.
Dr. Palmer referred to Page 7, second paragraph, of the August 29, 2007, Public Hearing minutes, explaining that her question was in regards to water-saving pool filters. She stated that the County of Albemarle’s website lists 50 ways to conserve water, with No. 39 suggesting that residents “consider a new water-saving pool filter.” Dr. Palmer asked if the ACSA would consider offering a link on their website regarding best management practices for swimming pool owners on public water. Mr. Fern replied that the ACSA would be happy to look into providing a link.
Mr. Humphris moved to approve the minutes of the August 29, 2007 Public Hearing, seconded by Dr. Palmer. All members voted aye. Mr. Roberts abstained, due to his absence at the August 29, 2007 Public Hearing.
The Chairman asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the September 20, 2007 Board meeting.
Mr. Humphris moved to approve the minutes of the September 20, 2007 meeting; seconded by Dr. Palmer. All members voted aye. Mr. Roberts abstained, due to his absence at the September 20, 2007 Board meeting.
5. Matters from the Public Concerning Items not on the Agenda
There were no matters from the public.
6. Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates
Mr. Fern introduced Mr. Jack Farmer with Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates and explained that he would be presenting the results of the audit conducted on the FY 2007 financial records.
Mr. Farmer stated that he was pleased to report an “unqualified or clean” opinion for both the financial statements and the Government Auditing Standards Report. Mr. Farmer added that Ms. Breeden, Director of Finance for the ACSA, and her staff did an excellent job in providing concise financial results of operation and net assets.
Mr. Farmer explained the basic financial statements of the CAFR (Attached as Pages 7265-7301.) He referred to Page 20, Statement of Net Assets, noting that Total Current Assets were $8.8 million, with $12.5 million in unrestricted assets. He then referred to Page 21, Statement of Revenues, Expenses, and Changes in Net Assets, comparing totals of FY 2007 and FY 2006. Mr. Farmer noted the following items:
· Operating Revenues and Expenses showed an Operating income before depreciation of $9,710, and an approximately $1.9 million loss after depreciation.
· Non-Operating Revenues showed a net income of $804,649 and an approximate $1.1 million loss before capital contributions. Capital contributions received were approximately $5.9 million with net assets of approximately $4.8 million.
Mr. Farmer encouraged the Board to read the Notes to Financial Statements, starting on Page 23 and continuing through Page 35. He noted the following items:
· Page 30, Note 6 – Construction Work in Progress for FY 2007, showed in detail, amounts of construction, the amount that was transferred to capital assets, and the balance.
· Page 31, Note 7 – Long Term Debt, showed a total of approximately $1.4 million in long-term debt.
Mr. Farmer then referred to the Statistical Section, noting that schedule and tables started on Page 37 and continued through Page 50, highlighting the following tables:
· Table 1 – Net Assets of the ACSA over the last five fiscal years.
· Table 2 – Change in Net Assets over the last five fiscal years.
Mr. Farmer added that the remaining tables show the last ten fiscal years of history for overall operations of the ACSA.
Mr. Farmer then opened the floor to any questions or comments from the Board.
Dr. Palmer referred to Ms. Breeden’s memo to the Board, and asked if System Development and RWSA Capacity charges were the only items recorded as Customer Contributions. Ms. Breeden replied that System Development and RWSA Capacity charges total approximately $1.7 million, with the balance of the Capital Contributions consisting of Non-cash Developer Contributions of approximately $4.2 million.
Mr. Humphris referred to Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates’ memo and asked if any changes were made to the auditing standards or regulations. Mr. Farmer replied not for the current year, but that there was a new auditing standard, Standard 112. He explained that the new auditing standard requires the auditee to prepare their financial sections. Mr. Farmer added that the ACSA has always prepared their financial statements and works very diligently with his firm during the audit process. Mr. Farmer stated that one auditing standard to be included next year involves post-employee retirement benefits. This auditing standard primarily deals with benefits that are offered to retirees of which an organization pays a portion or all of the costs.
7. Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) FY 2007
Ms. Breeden thanked her staff and the staff of Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates for their excellent work during the audit process. The ACSA Board commended the ACSA’s Finance Department for their excellent job.
The Chairman stated that he felt the audit report was very easy to read and understand. Mr. Humphris agreed and added that compared to 25 years ago, the audit report had made great strides.
Mr. Fern requested that the Board accept and approve the FY 2007 CAFR.
Mr. Roberts moved to approve the FY 2007 CAFR, seconded by Mr. Humphris. All members voted aye.
8. Drought 2007
Mr. Fern referred to the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority’s (RWSA) Press Release (Attached as page 7302) and Drought Management Report (Attached as pages 7302-7304), dated October 11, 2007, detailing the current drought conditions. Mr. Fern stated that as of October 17, 2007, total reservoir capacity was at 81%, and reservoir levels had been recorded as follows: Sugar Hollow down 13.4 feet, Ragged Mountain down 2 feet, South Fork down 1.1 feet, Beaver Creek down 2.4 feet and Totier Creek was full.
Mr. Fern stated that earlier in the week he had attended the Water Environment Federation Conference. He noted that the conference is one of the largest wastewater conferences in the world, with attendees from all over the United States. Mr. Fern stated that during the conference, discussions were held regarding states located in the southwest experiencing drought conditions for four to five years, and how they wished they would have imposed water restrictions much sooner.
Mr. Fern brought to the Board’s attention a proposed amendment for Section 16 – Emergency Water Restriction Policy. He stated that the proposed amendment resulted from discussions held over the last month and with local nursery, landscaping, and irrigation industry members. Mr. Fern requested that the Board review the proposed changes, and if desired, vote to implement these changes to Section 16 of the ACSA’s Rules and Regulations.
The Chairman opened the floor to the public for questions and comments regarding the proposed amendment.
Mr. Dale Dudley stated that he felt the drought restrictions were shutting down local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses and other industries such as car washes and restaurants were not being impacted. He felt that local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses were being singled out.
Mr. Scott Price with Snow’s Garden Center said that he also feels that local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses are being singled-out due to the fact that they are visible consumers of water. He stated that when the restrictions were imposed, the local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses were the first to react. He said that his business was very proactive in notifying clients to turn off irrigation systems and continues to educate their clients and consumers about the water restrictions. Mr. Price stated that since the restrictions were imposed, it has cost the local nursery, landscaping and irrigation industry hundreds of thousands of dollars. He stated that he, as well as the public, feels incredibly frustrated with the amount of confusion regarding the water restrictions. He stated that when his business calls the ACSA office to ask questions regarding the drought restrictions, they are told one thing and their clients are told something different. He explained that in recent months, people have driven by and shouted profanities at his employees for irrigating with water brought from outside the county.
The Chairman asked Mr. Price to provide a specific situation with regards to his phone calls to the ACSA. Mr. Price explained that prior to aerating a lawn, he called the ACSA to ask if the irrigation system could be turned on to mark the heads and was told no. His client called and was told yes. He added that there are also situations where a homeowner will call and is told exemptions are possible if requested in writing and sent to the attention of Mr. Gary Fern.
Mr. Price stated that he is unable to finish work currently under contract; therefore, the money is held in escrow. Mr. Price stated that he feels unable to honor warranties that typically offer a guarantee of three years. He stated that the County of Albemarle (County) requires the installation of planted material for certain projects. The Chairman asked Mr. Price why this was a requirement of the County. Mr. Price replied that a certain amount of density is required for commercial projects. The Chairman stated that the Board was informed by the County that planted material could be bonded. Mr. Price replied this was correct.
Dr. Palmer stated that an email from Mark Graham at the County, which she forwarded to the Board, regarded a question about certificates of occupancy. She noted that Mr. Graham’s email response stated that landscaping bonds were being held at 20 to 30 sites, due to the inability to irrigate, with numbers increasing by one to two per week. Mr. Graham also noted that the posting of these bonds was creating extra work and cost for everyone and that there was not a single circumstance where a certificate of occupancy had been refused due to the lack of landscaping.
Mr. Dudley asked why the local car wash facilities were not being affected by the water restrictions. The Chairman stated that during the Drought of 2002, there were several discussions with the Car Wash Association. As a result of these discussions, the ACSA’s Rules and Regulations were revised.
Mr. Corbin Snow with Snow’s Garden Center requested that the Board consider relaxing the water restrictions to allow local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses to salvage the remainder of this fall’s planting season.
Ms. Heather Amar, a local homeowner, stated that she had paid for most of her landscaping up front in May of 2007, before the Drought Warning Restrictions were imposed. She added that part of her landscaping cost included new sod to be installed in the fall. Ms. Amar stated that her landscaper is holding her money for new sod until the work can be completed.
Ms. Lesley Sewell, an employee of a local landscape grower and a board member of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, stated that she was in attendance to present an action plan titled “What to Do Before, During and After a Water Shortage Hits Your Area.” She stated that this plan was developed as a result of research funded by the state association after the Drought of 2002. Ms. Sewell presented Mr. Fern and the Chairman with a copy of the plan. She stated that the landscape industry in Virginia, which is the fourth largest agricultural commodity and generates over $185 million each year, is always concerned with best management practices and wise water use. Ms. Sewell added that this is typically the busiest time of the year, with 30% of the yearly income generated, and she would like to see the restrictions relaxed.
Mr. Neil Williamson of Free Enterprise Forum commended the ACSA for meeting with the local nursery, landscape and irrigation industry. He feels that the industries are willing to invest in water conservation and would be happy to meet with the ACSA to discuss ways to do so.
Ms. Heather Taylor, President of The Piedmont Landscape Association, stated that the association is a resource for both the ACSA and local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses. She added that the association has just recently established an action committee to offer assistance with problems, such as the drought, and would be willing to work with the ACSA as well. The Chairman stated that he would like to see the ACSA staff meet with Ms. Taylor and the Piedmont Landscape Association to discuss the drought.
Mr. Tim Reese of Snow’s Garden Center demonstrated to the Board several water-saving hose-attachment devices, which are available to homeowners.
Ms. Lynn O’Donnell said that she maintains several small gardens which are surrounded by asphalt. She stated that due to the size of these gardens, and the small amount of plant soil available, plants tend to dry out much faster. She explained that by watering with a three gallon bucket, the water is not absorbed and runs off. Ms. O’Donnell stated that in order to properly maintain these gardens, she would need to water using a hand-wand.
Ms. Carol Church, a nursery manager with Southern States, said that she was concerned about the public’s perception of the water restrictions. She feels that any amendments made to the current water restrictions, if approved, should be advertised to the general public.
Mr. Humphris suggested that the ACSA may want to issue permits stating that a specific use of watering is approved. Dr. Palmer added that this may alleviate the volume of calls the ACSA would receive from the public.
Mr. Jonas Snow with Snow’s Garden Center noted that during last month’s Board meeting a statement was made that these restrictions were not intended to result in employee lay-offs or to shut down local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses. He asked that the Board please take this into consideration when considering the proposed amendment.
The Chairman stated to the public that the ACSA, as well as Board members, receive emails and phone calls that are 100% opposite of the opinion being expressed at this meeting. Mr. Fern added that on a daily basis, the ACSA receives complaints by telephone from neighbors reporting other neighbors for illegally watering, expecting the ACSA to issue fines immediately.
An unknown member of the public asked how many fines had been issued to date. Ms. Breeden replied six.
Mr. Roberts asked what basis was used in assessing ACSA fines. Mr. Fern replied that if a person is in violation of the ACSA’s Rules and Regulations, a fine can be assessed. The first offense is $500, the second $1,000 and anything further could result in disconnection from the system. Mr. Fern added that multiple notices are given prior to assessing any fines.
Mr. Fern stated that it is not the nursery, landscaping and irrigation industry who pose the problem; it is the customers who do not water wisely. These customers continue to run their irrigation systems and constantly over water. Mr. Fern firmly stated that the water supply must be saved for drinking water in the months to come.
Dr. Palmer stated that since she was not on the Board during the Drought of 2002, she contacted Craig Hansen of Wash Tech. She stated that during that time, the car wash industry had requested the ACSA to certify all area car wash facilities as water savers. The ACSA responded that they would not be able to do so, but suggested that the car wash industry may wish to develop something internally.
The Chairman added that during the Drought of 2002, a staff member with the ACSA, in charge of water conservation issues, assisted the local car wash industry in obtaining certain exemptions, which were approved by the Board.
Dr. Palmer suggested that perhaps the ACSA could certify local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses allowing them to water legally.
Mr. Tim Reese stated that certifications were available through the Virginia National Landscape Association (VNLA) and Institute of International Agriculture (IIA).
Dr. Palmer stated that she was alarmed by a memo provided to the Board from Mr. Frederick stating “but in a water system like ours where safe yield is barely equal to demand, failure to recover full reservoir levels in a year of severe drought can lead to catastrophic results.” She added that when she considers relaxing the water restrictions, she worries about what these changes will do to the current water usage. Dr. Palmer stated that if the overall water consumption increased significantly, the relaxation of these restrictions would have to be revisited. Mr. Bowling stated that if the ACSA were to move into a Drought Emergency, the amended water restrictions would no longer apply.
Mr. Dudley stated that if the situation was so critical, he felt the ACSA should hire someone to enforce the water restrictions.
Mr. Humphris added that perhaps the ACSA could contact the local police to assist in the enforcement of the water restrictions. Mr. Fern stated that the ACSA would continue to enforce the restrictions from an internal standpoint, and if needed, revert back to the way the Drought of 2002 was handled, by working overtime shifts, etc.
The Chairman asked Mr. Fern what the City was doing with regards to the enforcement of water restrictions. Mr. Fern stated that he has not directly heard from the City, but that other sources state that the way the ACSA enforces the restrictions, even though the restrictions are identical, are sometimes different from the City. He added that the City in some cases does allow sod to be installed and watered.
Mr. Humphris requested that landscapers provide an estimate of water required to establish vegetation installed. He stated that the volume of water to be used is what is important, given the current weather conditions and the long-range forecast.
An unknown member of the public stated that it would be difficult to estimate a water budget, which would depend upon the weather and individual circumstances. She added that plants in a drought situation would require more water due to the fact that they are struggling.
Mr. Humphris requested that an estimate be given based on a worst case scenario.
Mr. Roberts said that in his opinion, there should be a way for the ACSA to assist the local nursery, landscaping and irrigation businesses. He added that if licensed car wash facilities are considered exempt, then landscaping and irrigation businesses should be too.
Mr. Fern stated that one of the drought restrictions implemented in 2002, took individual car washing from the homeowners, but allowed all licensed-commercial car wash facilities to operate during Phase 1 restrictions. Mr. Fern stated that he feels the restrictions set forth in Section 16 need to be revisited and perhaps similarly amended in regards to irrigation.
Dr. Palmer stated that it was the Board’s intent to relax the current water restrictions now and make further changes to the Drought Restriction policy at a later date.
The Chairman closed the floor to the public and stated that the matter was now before the Board.
The Chairman explained that the proposed amendment, prepared by Mr. Fern, proposes the following:
· Expanding the time frame to water and allowing watering to be conducted manually, using a non-leaking hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle or wand;
· Allowing establishment periods for plantings and seeded and sodded lawns;
· Allowing testing and servicing of outside irrigation systems recently installed.
The Chairman requested that the establishment period for newly seeded or sodded lawns be considered only if installed by a licensed contractor, as well as the testing and servicing of outside irrigation systems. Dr. Palmer requested that a water usage estimate be a requirement by the ACSA as well.
Mr. Fern explained to the Board that the City and the County would not be following suit on the proposed amendment. He stated that by implementing these changes, the ACSA’s Rules and Regulations would be different from the County’s and City’s ordinances. The Chairman asked if the County’s action is specific about what the ACSA can do or cannot do. Mr. Fern replied no, but that it has always been a concern of the three Boards to send the same message to the public.
The Chairman stated that the proposed amendments stand as follows:
· The use of outside, automatic irrigation systems, including in-ground systems, hoses, and oscillating sprinklers, is prohibited for all established lawns, trees, plants, shrubs, and home gardens. This limitation shall not apply to athletic fields and courts which may be watered only between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., and only as necessary to preserve plant life. The watering of outside established trees, plants, shrubs, and home gardens may be conducted manually, using a non-leaking hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle, and only as necessary to preserve plant life.
· Newly seeded lawns and plantings installed by a licensed contractor shall have a 45-day establishment period from the date of installation. Sodded lawns installed by a licensed contractor shall have a 20-day establishment period and shall use no more than ½ inch of water over the sodded area daily. The customer shall provide a written estimate of the amount of water to be used before the beginning of work. The customer shall provide to the ACSA a dated receipt noting the date of installation. The use of outside automatic irrigation systems may be used during the establishment period, but only between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., and only after written notification is received by the ACSA. Failure to provide dated receipts or written notification will be deemed a violation.
· Testing and servicing of outside, automatic irrigation systems may be completed during a Drought Warning, only if the contract to install the system is dated prior to the declaration of the Drought Watch, with a copy provided to the ACSA.
Mrs. Herr read into the record a resolution that Section 16–02 Drought Conditions, Item B. Drought Warning Stage, Item 3, Emergency Water Restriction policy of the Rules and Regulations be amended and re-enacted effective October 18, 2007 (Attached as Page 7305.)
Dr. Palmer moved to adopt the resolution; seconded by Mr. Humphris.
The Chairman called for a Roll Call vote: Dr. Palmer, aye; Mr. Wagner, aye; Mr. Humphris, aye; Mr. Roberts, aye.
9. Consent Agenda
a. Monthly Financial Reports – Mr. Fern noted that Total Revenues to Date were above the Projected Year-to-Date, with Total Expenses being less than Total Revenues and Projected Year-to-Date Expenses. He stated that overall water consumption had decreased significantly, with some usage still being reported on exclusion and irrigation meters.
b. Monthly Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Report – Mr. Fern stated that the ACSA is in the process of getting an appraised value for the McLaughlin easement with regards to the Red Hill Water System. He hopes to have the appraisal at next month’s Board meeting. Mr. Fern noted that there were four outstanding easements required for the project.
c. Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) Minutes of August 27, 2007 - The Chairman requested that the Board be provided with an update as to how much of the cost the ACSA and the City were expected to pay for the new Community Water Supply. Mr. Fern stated that he would provide the Board with an update at next month’s meeting.
Dr. Palmer requested that the update include percentages of cost for the increase of capacity and the replacement of infrastructure. Mr. Fern stated that he will be meeting on a weekly basis with the City and RWSA to discuss these percentages. Dr. Palmer requested that Customer Contributions for the last several years be looked at with regards to RWSA Capacity Charges and included in the above information.
10. Project Authorizations
A. Rio Hill/Berkmar Drive Water Main Connection – Mr. Fern explained that the staff’s original budget for the project was $8,500, but actual costs were $7,443, with the work being completed by the ACSA Maintenance Department. Mr. Fern requested that the Board appropriate $7,443 and close out the project.
Dr. Palmer moved to appropriate $7,443 and to close out the Rio Hill/Berkmar Drive Water Main Connection Project, seconded by Mr. Humphris. All members voted aye.
B. Union Mission Water Main Replacement – Mr. Fern explained that the staff’s original budget for the project was $4,000, but actual costs were $6,325, with the work being completed by the ACSA Maintenance Department. Mr. Fern requested that the Board appropriate $6,325 and close out the project.
Dr. Palmer moved to appropriate $6,325 and to close out the Union Mission Water Main Replacement Project, seconded by Mr. Roberts. All members voted aye.
C. Hollymead Town Center Water Main – Mr. Fern stated that the project was an oversizing project that was originally estimated at $3,430, but actual costs were $3,595. Mr. Fern requested that the Board appropriate an additional $165 and close-out the project.
Mr. Roberts moved to appropriate $165 and to close-out the Hollymead Town Center Water Main Project, seconded by Mr. Humphris. All members voted aye.
D. Scottsville Phase 1 Improvements – Bid and Construction Phase – Mr. Fern explained that the project is currently under design by O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc., and is nearing completion. He added that a fee proposal from O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc. was received in response to the ACSA’s scope of services for bid and construction phases, which staff has reviewed and finds satisfactory. Mr. Fern requested that the Board authorize staff to proceed with the advertising of the project and appropriate $11,790 for the bid and construction phase services.
Mr. Humphris moved to authorize staff to proceed with the advertising of the Scottsville Phase 1 Improvements Project and appropriate $11,790 for the bid and construction phase services by O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc., seconded by Mr. Roberts. All members voted aye.
E. Avemore Water Main – Mr. Fern explained that the project requires the installation of an 8-inch diameter ductile-iron water main. This project will provide a loop and a second feed to the Avemore Apartment Complex and work will be completed by the ACSA Maintenance Department, which is estimated at $16,000. Mr. Fern requested that the Board appropriate $16,000 for the project.
Dr. Palmer moved to appropriate $16,000 for the Avemore Water Main Project, seconded by Mr. Roberts. All members voted aye.
F. Airport Trunk Sewer Agreement – Mr. Fern stated that a signed agreement was received from H.M. Acquisitions, LLC agreeing to provide 100% of the necessary sewer upgrades, upon reaching 80% of wastewater flow in the Airport Trunk Sewer. This agreement also states that H.M. Acquisitions will install a permanent flow metering station to monitor flows in the Airport Trunk Sewer.
Mr. Humphris asked Mr. Bowling if he had reviewed the agreement and found things to be in order. Mr. Bowling replied yes. Mr. Bowling asked if the original agreement had a notary seal. Mr. Bowling added that in order to record an out-of-state agreement in Virginia, a notary seal is required. Mr. Fern advised the Board that the agreement could be deferred if further review was warranted.
Dr. Palmer asked if we anticipated a large difference between the dry and wet weather flow data ranges, since the pipe is relatively new. Mr. Fern replied that we would not anticipate a large difference, but we won’t know for sure until wet weather data is recorded for comparison.
Dr. Palmer asked if the ACSA had met with all developers affected by this agreement. Mr. Fern replied yes, and as a result of that meeting, H.M. Acquisitions, LLC decided to proceed on their own since the other developers were not as far along with their projects at the time.
Dr. Palmer asked what would happen if H.M. Acquisitions, LLC no longer existed as an entity at the time upgrades were required. Mr. Bowling explained that the ACSA would not be obligated to serve that area unless a developer made the required upgrades to the Airport Trunk Sewer.
Mr. Humphris moved to approve the execution of the agreement with H.M. Acquisitions, LLC for the Airport Trunk Sewer, subject to verification of a notary seal, seconded by Mr. Roberts. All members voted aye.
11. Camelot WWTP Evaluation
Mr. Fern stated that the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) procured the services of Greeley and Hansen, Inc. to evaluate their interceptors. RWSA, at the request of the ACSA, employed Greeley and Hansen to evaluate alternatives for handling wastewater generated in the area served by the Camelot Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). As part of the study, RWSA directed Hazen and Sawyer, Inc., to evaluate the Camelot WWTP. Mr. Fern noted that originally the Camelot WWTP was designed for 0.365 million gallons per day (mgd), but that average daily wastewater flows were currently at 0.12 mgd. In the evaluation, Hazen and Sawyer, Inc. stated that due to the periodic high organic loading experienced at the Camelot WWTP the facility would not be able to accommodate any wastewater flows greater than the current 0.12 mgd. Currently, the Camelot WWTP is considered to be at capacity and not able to treat any additional wastewater flow.
Mr. Humphris asked if it was known what the cause was for the high organic loading. Mr. Fern replied no, but that the ACSA is currently tack welding all manhole covers shut to prevent illegal discharging into the sewer, and a sampler has been placed within the system to check for industrial discharges. Mr. Fern stated that all industries in the area are aware of the concern and the steps being taken by the ACSA to determine the cause. Mr. Bowling asked how many industries were currently discharging into the Camelot WWTP. Mr. Fern replied there are several, including GE Fanuc and Badger Fire Protection (which is going out of business). Dr. Palmer asked what highly organic meant in comparison to human feces. Mr. Fern stated that the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) of residential wastewater averages 250 milligrams per liter. Periodically, the BOD at the Camelot WWTP is measured at over 1,000 milligrams per liter.
Mr. Fern informed the Board that RWSA and the ACSA are investigating reasons for the cause for the high strength wastewater as well as ways to increase capacity at the Camelot WWTP. Mr. Fern explained that in the Draft Technical Memorandum prepared by Greeley and Hansen, Inc., three alternatives were evaluated:
· Constructing a new Camelot WWTP;
· Conveying flows to the Moore’s Creek WWTP via a pumping station and force main;
· Conveying flows to the Moore’s Creek WWTP via gravity sewer to the RWSA Interceptor.
Mr. Fern noted that in the technical memorandum, which the ACSA is in the process of reviewing, the second alterative (construction of a pumping station and force main) would be the least costly of the three alternatives, both from a capital and an annual maintenance standpoint. He stated that at the next Board meeting, he would provide the Board with more information regarding the project.
12. Items not on the Agenda
a. Mr. Fern brought to the Board’s attention, a display board, presented by ACSA Staff, along with the City and RWSA, which was showcased at UVA’s Energy Day on Friday, October 12, 2007.
Mrs. Thraves explained that UVA’s Energy Day was geared towards local college students in order to provide them with conservation materials and ideas. She added that Ms. Susan Rohm-Briggs represented the ACSA. Mrs. Thraves explained that the presentation board showed, in addition to other conservation literature and ideas, charts regarding stream flows. Mr. Humphris asked if the charts were available on RWSA’s website. Mr. Fern stated as of this morning, they were not. Mrs. Thraves added the information presented was very helpful in educating the public regarding the Drought Warning. Mr. Humphris asked about the “Tap Water Delivers” poster. Mrs. Thraves explained that the “Tap Water Delivers” is a national advertising campaign developed by the American Water and Wastewater Association (AWWA), and is available to all AWWA members. This campaign helps to educate the public regarding aging infrastructure and tap water quality. Dr. Palmer asked how aware the UVA students were regarding the Drought Warning. Mrs. Thraves replied that the students seemed very well informed. Mr. Humphris noted that he had read an article regarding the University of Virginia and the conservation efforts they have taken.
b. Dr. Palmer informed the Board that she will be participating in a forum on November 13, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the County of Albemarle Office Building on 5th Street Extended along with Mr. Frederick. She stated that the topic is aging infrastructure and will be advertised to the general public. Dr. Palmer requested that Mr. Fern attend the meeting on behalf of the ACSA. Mr. Fern agreed.
There being no further business, Dr. Palmer moved that the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Mr. Humphris. All members voted aye.
Return to consent agenda
Return to regular agenda