DOWNRIVER UTILITY WASTEWATER AUTHORITY
October 14, 2021 MEETING MINUTES
HYBRID MEETING (due to COVID19)
1. Roll Call and Introductions
DUWA Chair Gail McLeod (Allen Park) called the hybrid meeting to order at 9:09 AM and asked for roll call to be taken. At the time of roll call, voting representatives were in attendance from 9 communities either in person or virtually via Zoom: Allen Park, Belleville, Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Riverview, Romulus, Southgate, and Wyandotte. A quorum (at least 7 members) was present.
2. Approval of Agenda
Copies of the Agenda were made available prior to the meeting (Attachment 1). Motion by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) and supported by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) to approve the Agenda. The motion passed unanimously by all attending members.
3. Approval of Minutes from September 9, 2021 Board Meeting
Copies of the meeting minutes from the September 9, 2021 Board meeting were distributed by email prior to the meeting (Attachment 2). Motion by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) and supported by James Krizan (Lincoln Park) to approve the minutes. The motion passed unanimously by all attending members.
4. Legal Update
Attorney Brandon Grysko, of Fausone Bohn, provided the Legal Update.
a. General Counsel Monthly Report
Attorney Grysko stated that a written summary of the monthly legal update was provided in the pre-meeting Board packet (Attachment 3). He noted that the Fausone Bohn team has been assisting the System Manager with matters related to the exemption policy retroactivity as well as addressing issues with VJM’s roof repair work and associated water damage. The Fausone Bohn team also assisted with the preparation of the Riverview Tunnel Agreement, which will be presented to the Board for approval at today’s meeting.
b. System Manager Annual Review Process
System Manager Lambrina Tercala stated that the Fausone Bohn team will soon be conducting the annual System Manager review. An online survey via Survey Monkey will be sent out to the Board commissioners in the next few weeks to review the System Manager’s efforts this past year. The questions will be similar to last year’s questions, and System Manager Tercala requested Board commissioners to reach out if they have any recommendations for improvements to the survey.
5. System Manager Update
System Manager Vyto Kaunelis, of OHM Advisors, provided a verbal summary of activities since the last meeting. A written summary was provided in the pre-meeting Board packet for the System Manager Report (Attachment 4).
a. System Manager Monthly Report
System Manager Kaunelis noted the following highlights from the System Manager Report:
• EGLE provided a response to the request to eliminate the Control Measure D improvements (Upper Tunnel control project). Control Measure D was requested to be eliminated due to other improvements that have reduced the number of blending events. EGLE is requesting an updated schedule for the delay of this project instead of approving its elimination altogether. The System Manager is working with Veolia to prepare and provide an adjusted schedule to EGLE. The schedule will consider implementing Control Measure A followed by having an evaluation period on the system operation, then determining whether further improvements to the tunnel are justified or needed.
• A meeting was held with EGLE to discuss the PFOS local limits and how to address specific dischargers such as the airport and BASF. These customers have permits with DUWA as well as other agencies, and work is being done to coordinate the approach on the various permits.
• Raftelis is working on applying the 2020 data to the proposed rate methodology that was presented at the last Board meeting. Raftelis also worked with the Technical Committee to estimate interceptor inflow and infiltration (I/I) and determine how to include it in the proposed rate methodology. The Technical Committee is in the process of developing a cost benefit analysis to evaluate the additional flow metering that was requested by some communities. Outcomes of this analysis will be presented to the Board once the evaluation is complete.
• VJM has begun the roof repair work at the DWTF. Some work began prior to a rain event and the temporary seal was not watertight which resulted in flooding inside the Administration Building. Significant cleanup was necessary. VJM brought in a specialty firm to complete the drying out of the building and perform mold testing, as well as identify any areas needing repair. The System Manager is now working through these issues with Intertek and VJM.
Riverview Attorney Kerry Morgan asked for clarification on EGLE’s response to the blending improvement effort. System Manager Kaunelis responded that several control measures were proposed to be implemented, and one of these is Control Measure D which would improve the use of the upper tunnel. In looking at the implementation of this control measure, it was determined that the upper tunnel was already well utilized during blending events due to Veolia’s effective operation of the system, noting that these control measures were developed using operational data from when Wayne County operated the system. With better system operation by Veolia, a memo was submitted to EGLE requesting to eliminate the implementation of Control Measure D. EGLE then responded requesting a modified schedule to delay the implementation as opposed to eliminating the project altogether. It is now proposed to delay the implementation of Control Measure D until after the evaluation of Control Measure A, which may indicate that additional or modified improvements are still needed.
Riverview Attorney Kerry Morgan asked if EGLE still allows 5 to 6 blending events per year. System Manager Kaunelis responded that EGLE still allows 4 to 6 blending events per year, and the DWTF has had 5 blending events so far this year, which is within the acceptable range. It is expected that EGLE may reduce the number of allowed blending events per year in the future for NPDES permit holders, but DUWA will address that issue when it arises.
b. Biosolids Dryer Facility Project
The biosolids dryer facility monthly progress report is provided in the pre-meeting Board package (Attachment 5). Some defective parts were identified on the third centrifuge that was purchased. These parts will have to be replaced which will cause a delay. The dryer start-up can still proceed without the centrifuge, but this centrifuge is still an essential piece of equipment. Additionally, some fabrication issues were identified on the dryer equipment, and Kruger is currently working on addressing those issues. This will also impact the schedule, but the extent of the schedule impact has not yet been determined.
c. Substantial Completion of SCADA Split
The SCADA split work is finally complete, and the new SCADA system is up and running. Eramosa arrived onsite in September and worked effectively with multiple parties to make the stand-up of the SCADA system successful. Veolia will assess the final transition and ensure everything is working properly.
System Manager Lambrina Tercala, of OHM Advisors, later noted that the new SCADA system will save DUWA nearly $0.5M and provides Veolia and the DWTF with brand new infrastructure. It also allows for Veolia to capture new data and provides a firewall for security.
6. Other Requests for Authorizations and Approvals
System Manager Tercala provided the following requests to the Board.
a. Riverview Tunnel Agreement
Riverview requested to construct a direct connection to the tunnel to alleviate backups in a small neighborhood to the south of the Pennsylvania Interceptor. This neighborhood has experienced multiple backups over the years as the existing drain has not functioned as desired. A presentation was made to the Technical Committee in September to provide an understanding of the studies that led to this requested connection. Riverview performed SAW (asset management) work in 2016 to assess the adequacy of the system to provide the desired level of service. This neighborhood was reviewed as a part of that work. Recommended improvement options included making improvements to the local sewers, construction of an equalization basin, or constructing a connection to the tunnel to be used as a relief sewer. It was determined that the tunnel connection would provide the best value to Riverview. Riverview is a tunnel community but does not currently have a direct connection to the tunnel to discharge flows.
Per the proposed Agreement (Attachment 7), a primary flow metering device will be installed at the point of connection. DUWA will have access to the data from this device to monitor flow rates through this connection. Based on past analyses, it is expected that this connection will be used infrequently and will convey relatively low flow volumes. DUWA would own the point of connection to the tunnel, and Riverview would be responsible for the maintenance of the connection. Additionally, the tunnel will be inspected 50 feet upstream and downstream from the point of connection to ensure the tunnel is not negatively impacted after construction of the connection. All construction project costs would be paid by Riverview. The Agreement was reviewed by both the Technical Committee and Legal Committee, which also addressed questions and concerns from the Board.
Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) asked if the Legal Committee reviewed and approved all final revisions to the Agreement. Attorney Grysko responded that the Agreement was initially drafted by Fausone Bohn, who then worked closely with the Legal Committee to review and make revisions.
Motion by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) and supported by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) to allow the Chair or Vice Chair to execute the Riverview Tunnel Agreement. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
b. Pollution Liability Policy (by Allied World) 3-Year Renewal
At the August Board meeting, the Board authorized a stub extension of the Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Policy from September 2021 to January 1, 2022 to align the expiration date of this policy with the other DUWA insurance policies. There is now a request to renew this policy for another three-year term (Attachment 8). This policy provides protection to DUWA in excess of Veolia’s O&M contract and drop down where there is no coverage. It also covers clean-up costs and emergency response expenses associated with an incident/physical damages. The cost of this policy will be applied to DUWA’s Insurance Premiums budget line item. Policy expenses will be up for Board approval in November.
Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) to approve the Pollution Legal Liability Insurance Policy by Allied World from 01/01/2022 through 01/01/2025 for a total cost of $59,645, contingent upon terms and conditions that satisfy DUWA’s legal team. The cost shall be applied against DUWA’s Insurance Premiums budget line item. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
c. HRC Construction Administration for Fordline Interceptor Rehabilitation
During Veolia’s CY2020 CCTV efforts, two infiltration runners were identified in the 60-inch Fordline Interceptor. HRC was authorized by DUWA to assist with recommendation of repair and to provide construction observation and construction administration services under their current as-needed contract with DUWA. HRC recommended that these infiltration runners be grouted. Doetsch was awarded as the contractor to perform the grouting. Doetsch mobilized a couple weeks ago to complete the work. During the grouting process, a third infiltration runner was identified, resulting in the need for additional grout and work hours. Based on the extension of work, it was desired that HRC also be onsite for technical oversight of the work. HRC budgeted 36 hours in the original contract, but is now requesting an additional 58 hours to complete the project for a cost of $5,526 (Attachment 9). This request was not received in time to be reviewed by the Technical Committee.
Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) asked how the work is progressing. System Manager Tercala responded that the work is complete and only the post-construction sewer inspection remains to be done. A reconciled change order will be provided at the next Board meeting. Based on current estimates and balances from Doetsch’s contract, there will likely be a net increase of $10,496 to the project due to the extra runner work.
Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) asked for clarification on the initial scope of work. System Manager Tercala responded that initially, there were two distinct areas of infiltration runners within the sewer. HRC estimated the volume of grout needed to repair those two runners. However, upon mobilization, a third area of infiltration was identified resulting in the need for additional workdays and HRC oversight to repair. Originally, HRC budgeted for 36 hours of oversight, but is now requesting an additional 58 hours for a total of 94 hours (12 days) of oversight for the project.
Motion by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) and supported by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) to authorize HRC for construction administration services associated with the Fordline Interceptor rehabilitation project. Services will be performed per HRC’s October 6, 2021 proposal for a NTE cost of $5,526. The work would be completed as a distinct task under HRC’s as-needed professional service contract with DUWA. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
d. Intertek Construction Observation Change Order
Intertek was authorized by DUWA to perform construction observation and construction administration services for the Roof Repair project that is being completed by VJM Design and Build Corporation at the DWTF. Some workmanship quality and crew experience issues have been identified by Intertek. For example, VJM performed some roofing work prior to a rain event, and the temporary tie backs were flooded over resulting in significant leak in the Administration Building. Intertek is working closely with VJM to ensure quality workmanship is being performed.
Intertek budgeted limited construction oversight hours, but based on the workmanship quality so far, it is recommended that Intertek provide full time oversight. Based on the work completed to date, Intertek is requesting an additional 18 full day site visits at their unit rate of $960 per day for a total of $17,280. Intertek is requesting full day visits because they want to ensure the substrate is dry in the morning before any new roofing material is installed and that the temporary tie backs are properly secured at the end of the day. This request was received via email as the formal Change Order #4 has not yet been prepared. This work is WIFIA eligible and would be paid from the Small Capital budget. This request was not received in time to be reviewed by the Technical Committee.
The best value to DUWA is to continue working with VJM and ensure quality workmanship is being performed. VJM was the low bidder and it would take much longer to finish the project if DUWA were to hire a new roofing company at this time.
Doug Drysdale (Riverview) asked if Intertek is confident that the additional 18 full day site visits will ensure the project is completed successfully. System Manager Tercala responded that she is proceeding per the advisement of Intertek, who is overseeing VJM’s work to ensure the project is done to contract standards. Further, OHM Advisors is working with DUWA Legal on contract advisement for payment of additional costs if there are future issues.
Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) asked for details on the lack of crew experience. System Manager Tercala responded that there are many different ways to perform this work, and the means and methods may differ, however VJM demonstrated a lack of insight on how to achieve the best outcome for the project in some instances. For example, one crew member had tried to install new roof materials on wet substrate and debris management has been poor. Additionally, final detailing was not performed within the typical 2-3 days. Intertek needs to be onsite to ensure all of the best practices are followed.
Riverview Attorney Kerry Morgan asked if the contract calls for Intertek to prepare daily progress reports. System Manager Tercala responded that daily progress reports are received approximately 1-2 days after the work, and weekly progress meetings are held each Friday morning.
Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) asked if the unit rate of $960 per day is based on an 8-hour workday. System Manager Tercala responded that the unit rate is based on an 8-hour workday Monday through Friday. Weekend work is considered overtime and there is a different cost associated with overtime.
Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) asked if there are any warranties on this project and if any bonds have been collected. Attorney Grysko said he would review the contract for specifics and follow up after the meeting. System Manager Tercala noted the material warranty for the flat roof would match the manufacturer’s warranty (likely 20-25 years), and DUWA’s typical workmanship warranty period is for one year.
Motion by Roberto Scappaticci (Romulus) and supported by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) to authorize the Chair or Vice Chair to sign Intertek’s pending Change Order #4 in association with additional construction observation for the 2021 roof repair for a net project cost increase of $17,280, contingent upon DUWA’s legal approval of associated terms and conditions. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
e. WIFIA Loan Servicing Fees
DUWA received the WIFIA loan in February of 2021. There were some upfront expenses/fees that were paid to the US EPA for the WIFIA application and startup services. There is also a routine annual service fee of approximately $10k that covers WIFIA efforts such as quarterly progress reports throughout construction of the projects. An additional maintenance fee of approximately $7k-$8k is also assessed over the life of the loan that covers the financial processing efforts related to the loan payments. These charges are for the US EPA to recover their costs to the Federal Government for servicing the WIFIA credit instruments. There is a set start price within the loan agreement, and this price increases based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The US EPA will provide DUWA with an updated CPI on an annual basis.
The next Construction Period Servicing fee of $10,700 is due to the US EPA by November 15, 2021. It is requested that this fee be approved for payment as well as for all future WIFIA loan servicing fees over the life of the loan (Attachment 11). Payment of these fees is not WIFIA match eligible.
Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) to approve payment to the US EPA for the WIFIA Construction Servicing Fee of $10,700 as well as for all future WIFIA loan servicing fees over the life of the loan. These fees will be paid from DUWA’s Administrative Charges, Banking Fee budget and are not WIFIA match eligible. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
7. Contract Operator Update
Kelly Irving, Veolia’s Program Manager, and Jason Tapp, of Veolia, provided the Contract Operator update.
a. August 2021 MOR
The August 2021 Monthly Operating Report (MOR) was provided in the Board’s pre-meeting packet (Attachment 12). Highlights from the summary and other updates included the following:
• Plant operations were in compliance for the month of August, with no violations.
• The ratio of the peak flow rate to the average flow rate in August was the highest it has been this year.
• There was a long wet weather event in August which resulted in the bypassing of approximately 65 million gallons. Note that the bypass process involves bypassing certain parts of the treatment process, but all flow still goes through ultraviolet disinfection and meets NPDES permit limits. It is expected that the ratio of the peak flow rate to the average flow rate for September will be high as well.
• Operations staff has been busy with the biosolids project. There have been a number of planned shutdowns of the dewatering process in order to make connections and tie-ins as well as perform other activities. These shutdowns have been a little challenging, but it is better to perform these activities now rather than in the winter when glycol inflows are high.
• Centrifuge 1 is being relocated. There have been some challenges with Centrifuge 1, but it was still relocated to keep the construction progress moving.
• Electrical equipment has been moved to the former control room upstairs. Ventilation has been improved in this area to keep the electrical cabinets cool and provide clean air. The kitchen area has been rehabilitated and has new flooring. New monitors and desks were installed.
• Many maintenance activities have been completed, including the following:
o New polymer pump skids for the centrifuges will be installed. There have been many issues with these polymer pump skids over the years. One pump skid has already been installed, and another will be installed this week. The existing centrifuges will benefit from this new equipment.
o One centrifuge had a blockage that was unable to be cleared, but Veolia was able to use the recently purchased spare bowl assembly to get the centrifuge back online within a few hours. The spare bowl assembly has been a great asset to have onsite.
o Veolia staff is prepping HVAC units for the winter.
o Multi-gas gas sensors have been purchased for all employees. Employees have these gas sensors on their person at all times.
o There was a water main break on the Screened Final Effluent line. This break was located in a difficult spot, so a third party was contracted to perform the dig up of this line. Repair of the valve body was needed. Stainless steel replacement bolts were installed, and the area was backfilled. Veolia is now preparing to pour a cement pad on top as the break was located in the sidewalk near the truck bank.
o Annual maintenance is being performed on the primary and secondary clarifiers. This work is taking longer than expected due to the number of rain events. The clarifiers must be taken offline and drained to allow for maintenance activities, but must be put back online when rain events are forecasted in case they are needed. The number of recent rain events have slowed the maintenance process.
o Control Measure A is being implemented, which involves upgrades to the secondary system. This work involves installation of diversion plates, upsizing motors, and electrical improvements on the aeration system and mixers to increase their capacity. Cranes were brought onsite to install the diversion plates. The maintenance team also fabricated different parts to make additional improvements.
o Troubleshooting has been performed on raw sewage pump #4. The soft starter tripped several times, so the soft starter was taken apart so that all the terminals could be cleaned. The pump is now running better. Another trip occurred this week, so Veolia will try replacing individual components. If this does not fix the problem, the soft starter will have to be replaced.
• The collections system team has been working on manhole inspections throughout the interceptor system using the new 360-degree high-definition camera. This camera allows for all defect coding to be performed in the office, saving time in the field.
• Veolia has been performing monthly PFAS testing per EGLE’s requirements. The PFAS levels have been hovering right around the water quality standard of 11 ppt. Veolia is working with EGLE and OHM Advisors to develop an approach to address the local limits requirements that will be included in the DWTF’s new NPDES permit.
• One operator and one maintenance position are open. One new maintenance technician started a few weeks ago and is doing well.
• The usage of consumables is in line with what it has been. The use of electricity and water is trending downward. Oxygen fluctuates and is usually higher in the summer. Polymer usage has been optimized and will be even more optimized once the new chemical feed pumps are installed. Polymer is used in the sludge dewatering process.
• Five technical engineers from Kruger were onsite this week to inspect and evaluate all of the equipment that has been installed to date. They performed a thorough and detailed inspection of the dryers, and were pleased with what they saw. They will be onsite continuously beginning in January or February when the dryers will first be brought online. A residuals management plan is being developed regarding the disposal of biosolids on farm fields. This plan will eventually be submitted to the State and updates on its progress will be shared with the Board.
Riverview Attorney Kerry Morgan asked what is done with the old polymer pumps that were replaced. Jason Tapp, of Veolia, responded that Veolia removes any parts from the old equipment that could be beneficial to use as spare parts in the future. The contractor then disposes of the rest of the equipment. Jason Tapp also noted that each of the three pumps on the pump skids can be used for each of the three centrifuges. Typically, only one or two centrifuges are used at a time, so there is plenty of redundancy. Veolia will also have a spare mixing chamber and solenoids at their disposal.
8. Treasurer’s Report
a. Aging AR
Treasurer Jason Couture presented the Aging Accounts Receivable report (Attachment 13). This item was requested to be added to the agenda so that the Board officers are aware of any delinquent payments from their respective communities. According to the Aging Accounts Receivable report, Belleville and Dearborn Heights have outstanding payments greater than 120 days. River Rouge has an outstanding payment over 60 days of about $59k related to excess flow charges. Jason Couture asked that representatives of these communities coordinate with their accounts payable departments to address the outstanding invoices.
Treasurer Couture also noted that there are several non-community accounts that have outstanding payments over 120 days. About $40k of the outstanding invoices are related to surveillance invoices. Treasurer Couture will work with Accountant Drysdale, of DNS Financial Services, to reach out to these customers to pay these invoices. Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) asked Treasurer Couture to touch base with her regarding the Allen Park line item on the Aging Accounts Receivable report.
Motion by James Krizan (Lincoln Park) and supported by Dave Flaten (Ecorse) to receive on file the Aging Accounts Receivable report. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
b. Pending Invoices
Treasurer Couture presented the invoice register for a request for payment. The invoice register was provided in the pre-meeting packet (Attachment 14). The invoice register included 52 invoices due for a total of $6,658,590.77. Largest invoices included those to Veolia for O&M costs and unit cost reconciliations, Walsh for the biosolids dryer facility project, US Bank for the SRF bond payments, VJM for roof repair services, and Wyandotte for utility services.
Treasurer Couture noted that Veolia included invoices for the last two months as they did not provide any invoices in last month’s invoice register.
Motion by James Krizan (Lincoln Park) and supported by Greg Mayhew (Wyandotte) to pay the invoice register. The motion passed unanimously with all attending members.
9. Public Comment
Treasurer Couture noted that Accountant Drysdale, System Manager Tercala, and himself met with a representative from US Bank to review items related to bond payments and investment earnings. US Bank holds DUWA’s reserves. This group met with US Bank to ask for advice and strategies on how to maximize investment earnings on the balances/reserves that DUWA has with US Bank. Once these strategies are identified, the recommendations will be shared with the Board.
10. Other Business
System Manager Tercala informed the Board that a catered luncheon is planned to be held the first week of December for all of the Board commissioners and elected officials. The agenda for this luncheon will include an introduction to DUWA to allow the elected officials to learn about how DUWA works and to generate interest in the Board. System Manager Tercala asked the Board commissioners to let her know if they have any other topics of interest that should be added to the agenda.
11. Next Board Meeting Date: Thursday, November 11, 2021 (9:00 AM; Hybrid)
Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) reminded the Board that the next meeting would take place on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 9:00 AM in a hybrid format (virtually via Zoom or in-person at Taylor City Hall).
There being no other business, Chairperson McLeod (Allen Park) announced that a motion to adjourn would be in order. Motion by Rick Rutherford (Belleville) and supported by Doug Drysdale (Riverview) to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed unanimously at 10:11 AM.
Meeting Minutes Prepared by:
Mackenzie Johnson, OHM Advisors, Engineer
Meeting Minutes Reviewed by:
Lambrina Tercala, OHM Advisors, DUWA System Manager
1. Meeting Agenda
2. September 9, 2021 DUWA Board Meeting Minutes
3. Monthly Legal Update (by Fausone Bohn)
4. System Manager Report for October 2021 Board Meeting (by OHM Advisors)
5. Biosolids Dryer Facility Project September 2021 Monthly Progress Summary (by Veolia)
6. Substantial Completion of SCADA Split
7. Riverview Tunnel Agreement
8. Request for Pollution Legal Liability Policy 3-Year Renewal by Allied World
9. Request to Authorize HRC for Construction Administration Services for the Fordline Interceptor Rehabilitation Work
10. Request for Approval of Intertek’s Construction Observation Change Order #4
11. Request to Approve Payments for Future WIFIA Loan Servicing Fees
12. Monthly Operating Report for August 2021 (by Veolia)
13. Aged Accounts Receivable Report, dated October 8, 2021 (by Doug Drysdale)
14. Invoice Register, dated October 8, 2021 (by Doug Drysdale)