SEPTEMBER 2017 MANAGER NOTES
The heat this summer has been impressive; my goodness, it seemed like we only had a few days below 90 degrees, and many above the century mark. I went to the opening night of CHS football and, it was over 100 at kickoff for the JV team. We are definitely looking forward to a bit of autumn weather soon.
During the summer season, our District’s Operators invest a lot of time and energy in performing necessary maintenance on lift stations, sewer pipes, and plant equipment so we’re ready for the winter storm flows and river discharge season. Some of our equipment is vintage 1950’s, and requires a good bit of special attention. One of the bigger projects this summer involved the cleaning and minor repairs to the Primary Sedimentation Tank. It’s been operating since 1952, and with regular maintenance, the fellas are keeping it running well.
TLC has a particular meaning for wastewater folks. “Tighten”, “Lubricate”, “Clean”. TLC. Many times, our best preventive approach is centered on these three principles. In our electrical grid, we utilize Infrared Testing (IR) to locate hotspots within our panels that may cause failures or safety hazards. Hotspots are often caused by lugnuts that vibrate loose during routine operation. By implementing this regular preventive maintenance, we avoid costly failures and help minimize violations of our discharge permit.
This past summer, we also implemented the new Ordinance #8 and our new rate structure. Residential rates decreased, and commercial rates increased to reflect the treatment demands each type of discharger exerts on the wastewater plant. The new rate structure is in place for at least 5 years, and provides a reliable consistent financial plan for the sewer district.
We are always looking to maximize grant funding for our infrastructure to protect our ratepayers the best we can. Recently, we learned that we will receive $5.5 million in funding for the wastewater upgrade project. This will include replacement of the antiquated digester, upgrades to the irrigation pumping station, expansion of our storage pond, and upgrade of some old electrical panels. This project is scheduled for public bidding in spring 2018, and completion of construction by Christmas 2019.
Our District will be conducting smoke-testing of our sewer system in the coming month or two. Smoke testing helps us identify broken pipes, illicit connections, and buildings that we didn’t know were connected to our main sewer lines. We’ll have plenty of notifications to the public before the work, so keep an eye open in the mail and for door hangers.
Finally, I am saddened to report the passing of Mr Robert Applegate this past month. Bob was a wonderful friend to our District and to us as individuals. Please check out the “SASD News” page for more information about all that Bob meant to us. I will miss Bob greatly.
Till next time,