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Wastewater Facilities Planning

City of Point Arena.  Was asked by the City to recommend Infiltration/Inflow improvements to the sewer system since the City’s percolation ponds had nearly overflowed during the preceding winter.  Determined that improvements of the percolation ponds would increase the capacity of the system at only a fraction of the cost of improving the sewer system.

Pinecrest Permittees Association.  Conducted a “repair, replace, or abandon” evaluation on the rotating biological contactor (RBC) process at this small treatment plant in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  When the shaft of the existing RBC unit broke for the second time, the Association requested an evaluation of whether it should be repaired or whether some other treatment technology should be selected.  Careful attention was given to the limitations of the steeply sloping site, large differences between winter and summer flows, and severe icing problems in winter.

City of Mill Valley.  Evaluated the alternatives of improving the Enchanted Knolls Pump Station versus replacing the station with a gravity line connected to a force main leading to the wastewater treatment plant.  The feasibility of using a gravity line depended upon the actual height of the hydraulic gradeline in the force main during periods of peak flow.  A program to investigate the actual height of the hydraulic gradeline was developed as a part of the work.  The gravity sewer line proved to be technically feasible, if provided with several safeguards, and was designed and constructed, allowing the City to abandon the pump station.

Portola Valley Sewer Alternatives Evaluation Study.  Conducted a major study of how best to serve an unsewered area that was experiencing scattered failures of leach fields.  The report considered:  conventional gravity sewers;  on-site grinder pumps and pressure sewers; septic tank effluent pump (STEP) systems; and septic tank effluent gravity (STEG) systems.  A detailed estimate was made of the actual operation and maintenance cost of existing STEP systems and a survey was conducted of how other agencies handled such systems.  Alternative financing arrangements for sewer improvements were evaluated.

Water Facilities Planning

City of Stockton.  Prepared an evaluation of an elevated steel water tank that had been found to be corroded.  As a part of the evaluation, a determination was made that there is lead based paint on the exterior and interior of the tank.  Methods were proposed for abating the lead based paint.  The team that was assembled for this project included a structural engineer, a corrosion engineer, a lead based paint consultant, and an underwater video inspection contractor.  Confined space entry and fall protection were major issues in the execution of the work.

City of Tracy.  Feasibility study of converting mined-out gravel pits into raw water storage reservoirs.  The pits are conveniently located near the City’s water treatment plant.  The availability of storage would allow the City to use inexpensive surplus winter water rather than expensive year-round water.

Monterey Peninsula College.  Prepared a report on the feasibility of drilling a well to supply irrigation water for the athletic fields so the potable water previously used for irrigation could be used as an offset for a new Library Technology Building.  Due to the shortage of water in the Monterey area, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District requires such offsets for all new construction.  Identified and determined the requirements of all relevant agencies, as well as the technical requirements for the well.

San Bruno, CA. Sweeney Ridge Waterline Evaluation.  Evaluated the alternatives for dealing with a waterline that may be failing.  The waterline delivers water to and from a ground level reservoir on Sweeney Ridge and is the only source of water for fire fighting in one zone of the City.  The line had sprung a leak each year for the past three years.  Determined that all three leaks were in one area.  Recommended that corrosion investigation be done of the pipe in the area where the failures occurred, before a decision to replace the entire pipeline is made.

Stormwater Facilities Planning

Modesto Stormwater Detention Basin Design Guide Review.  Reviewed the stormwater permit, draft master plan, standard specifications, Guidance Manual, and dual use document to evaluate why there is so much diversity in the types of stormwater detention basins that are built.  Made recommendations on how the designs of the basins can be managed to produce facilities that are more effective and easier to operate and maintain.

City of San Juan Capistrano.   Prepared a Water Quality Plan for the City of San Juan Capistrano to control non-point sources of pollution.  This plan is a part of stormwater work mandated by the Clean Water Act.

San Carlos Airport.  Provided technical advice on stormwater improvements to accommodate further development of the site.  The airport authority questioned how additional stormwater piping without any additional pumping capacity could increase the capacity of the overall stormwater system.  Determined that the bottleneck in the system was the piping, not the pumps, and that the proposed improvements would in fact result in an increase in overall capacity.

Other Planning

Pittsburg Montezuma Stormwater Pump Station.  Made a preliminary analysis of pump replacement at an ancient stormwater pump station.  Noted to the client that the various criteria for the project were conflicting.  Recommended that the project not be undertaken until further scoping could take place.  This recommendation was accepted.

Environmental Review of Wastewater Facilities for Dunnigan, CA.  Reviewed the wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems proposed in an Environmental Impact Report for the Town of Dunnigan in the Central Valley.

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD).   Prepared training materials and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the newly constructed Dystor digester cover.  The Dystor cover includes two membranes, the inner one containing the digester gas, the outer one containing air.  This arrangement allows a large volume of digester gas to be stored.  EBMUD will use the stored digester gas in their cogeneration system for peak-shaving of energy loads.

Stonehurst Subdivision.  Served as District Engineer for a subdivision which has its own wastewater treatment and disposal system.

Placerville, CA Hangtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Value Engineering.  Served as the sanitary engineer on a value engineering team for a $13.6 million wastewater treatment plant expansion and improvement project.  Significant issues included:  rehabilitation of the existing headworks versus building a new headworks; process performance that might be obtained by raising the clarifier walls; and the need for a building over the headworks.  Potential savings of $1.64 million were identified.

Chemonics International, Inc.  Spent three and one-half weeks in Tunis, Tunisia leading a team that evaluated the El Menzah pilot project, which is the first project in a program that involves the privatization of a portion of the wastewater collection and treatment facilities in the country.   Interviewed Tunisian and U.S. Agency for International Development officials, and the French contractor who is operating the sewerage system.

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