By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Project Manager Eric Sherrard and Staff Engineer Zac Musgrove from the Thrasher Group updated the City of Parsons on the progress that has been made on the Parsons Sanitary Sewer System Improvements Project.
Thrasher has been working with the Department of Environmental Protection, according to Sherrard. “We’ve been working with DEP,” Sherrard said. “We’ve addressed comments on the Facility Plan, which is their version of the planning document. That is going back in this week.”
Sherrard said once approval is received, plans and specifications on the project can be submitted. “Once we have their approval on that, we will be able to submit plans and specifications to them, as well,” Sherrard said.
According to Sherrard, plans should be available to the council by next month. “So, we should be able to bring a set of plans around here hopefully by your meeting next month to go through with this group before we submit to the DEP. That’s our plan,” Sherrard said.
According to Sherrard, the specification documents are almost ready, but the plans take longer to complete. “We have all the spec documents about done,” Sherrard said. “Pulled all the specifications, front end documents, which has all the bid requirements stuff through DEP. All that part is done. Plans are what takes the time to get done because of the CAD time.”
Council Member Tim Auvil asked about documentation outlining the Inflow and Infiltration reduction of the sewer project. According to carrollengineering.com, I&I is excess water flowing into a sewer system. Inflow is from stormwater runoff that generally comes from damage to the manholes. Infiltration is groundwater that leaks into the system through joints or cracks in the system itself. “Are we going to have some documents that are going to show how much I&I reduction we’ll be accomplishing with this project?” Auvil said.
Sherrard said there will be meters and other items to address the issue that the DEP likes to see. “There’s going to be a couple of things that come out of this,” Sherrard said. “We have some flow data and we will be reducing …by putting meters back into the same manholes when we are done to show that difference. We are also specifically addressing some items in the Environmental Control Plan and probably putting in the flow meters in the outfalls that you have. So will actually be able to monitor what you are actually able to treat at that time. Its one of the things that the DEP likes to see. If you’re monitoring that, every time you do a project after this one, you’ll be able to see how much you impact what gets discharged to the river.”
Auvil said the project is just a start, but it will address the worst areas of the city sewer. “It’s still just kind of scratching the surface,” Auvil said. “Cause the rest of the town is still mostly terracotta. It’s getting the worst areas addressed first.”
There were areas of the city sewer system that cameras could not get into, according to Sherrard. “Its getting areas that have been identified as the worst areas based on camera work, some of it we couldn’t even get a camera in,” Sherrard said.
Auvil asked about whether a long-term plan would be included in the project. “Our long-term plan will be included with the project?” Auvil asked.
According to Sherrard, his team will be supplying above what only meets requirements. “We will do an update for the Long-Term Control Plan,” Sherrard said. “And you also have an Asset Management Plan when its done. That’s a requirement of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. Instead of just meeting their requirements, we do try to put one together that is usable so you can get an idea of what you have in and then your future projects will go off of that.”
Auvil said that several phases have been previously completed, but a storm drain project had to be bypassed previously. “Several of the phases have been completed,” Auvil said. “We did have to kind of bypass one of them. That was Phase Four which was the storm drain project.”
Sherrard said there would be new phases that will emerge from the project. “You’ll get a lot of whole new phases,” Sherrard said. “We’ll do a whole new revised control plan which will add additional phases.”
Auvil said the storm drain project should be the next priority following completion of the current project. “That one should be kind of a priority the next go around,” Auvil said. “When we go to the next projects cause that will reduce the flooding issues over there, besides getting a lot of the I&I out. Most of the storm water that is over there is just going in the sewer now.”
According to Sherrard, his team is working on environmental documentation for the EPA as part of the project’s funding. “We’re also working on the Environmental piece for the EPA portion of the funding,” Sherrard said. “You guys are one of the first round of EPA, the earmark funding that was applied for. That is a whole fund process. Has all of its own federal guidelines that we’re working on following. One of the last pieces we have are in there are the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) documentation, which we are putting together and go on our Environmental Evaluation to get that clear.”
Sherrard said on Thrasher’s side, it meant that a detailed report would need submitted. “Our end of it, it’s just a detailed environmental report to submit,” Sherrard said. “We’re expecting that we’ll get…exclusion from them when it’s done, which basically eliminates any other environmental steps we have to take. But they could come back and require a finding of significant impact in which, you advertise, you do a little more evaluation, you have public meetings.”
The next meeting of the Parson’s City Council Meeting will be held on October 17th at 6 p.m. at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building located at 341 Second Street in Parsons.