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    ANNUAL AND EMERGENCY SERVICE CONTRACTS SAVE PCWASA DOLLARS

    Apr 17, 2017 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    Crews from RDJE, Inc. completed sewer line install and rehab work in the Pebblestump neighborhood two years ago. This general contractor won the most recent bid for the PCWASA Emergency Services Contract.

    Last fall prior to the beginning of the current fiscal year, PCWASA selected two contractors to fill the Annual Services and Emergency Services Contracts.

    Crawford Grading & Pipeline, Inc. was the low-bid winner of the PCWASA Annual Services Contract, while RDJE, Inc. was the low bidder for the Emergency Services Contract. Both general contractors have worked well for the Authority previously, says PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan. The budget for the Annual Services Contract is not to exceed $400,000, while the Emergency Services Contract budget is capped at $50,000.

    PCWASA implemented the Annual and Emergency Services Contracts in 2011. The purpose of these contracts is to have contractor-provided services and support to maintain, repair, and modify the sewer collection system and wastewater treatment operations, which are beyond the capabilities of PCWASA personnel. An additional requirement of the Emergency Services Contractor is that they must be able to respond to an incident within four hours.

    These contracts provide unit pricing for the most common types of materials and equipment needed to construct or repair infrastructure within both the wastewater collection system or treatment plants. By paying a fixed dollar amount on materials and labor for projects outlined in the respective contracts, PCWASA saves time and money, especially in cases of emergency repairs to the system.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    Phone: 770-757-1681
    Email: jcwood@uga.edu or chris@jwapr.com

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    CONSTRUCTION BIDS AWARDED FOR MAJOR SEWER LINE REHAB

    Mar 6, 2017 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    One of the sewer line rehab projects recently awarded to Crawford Grading and Pipeline, Inc. will entail replacing old clay pipe such as that pictured above.

    Following the February PCWASA Board Meeting, three out of the four proposed construction projects budgeted for FY 2017 were underway.

    In all, the Authority is investing more than $576,000 to repair or replace failing portions of the PCWASA Collection and Conveyance System.

    Upon the recommendations of PCWASA staff and their consultants from Integrated Science and Engineering (ISE), the Authority Board awarded contracts to low bidders on three major sewer line or force main rehabilitation projects.

    The first project, totaling more than $218,000, was awarded to Crawford Grading and Pipeline, Inc. This work entails replacing the aging 8-inch clay pipe and moving that sewer line that runs under the railroad near Paschall and Huddlestson Roads.

    The Authority awarded a second contract for a little more than $358,000 to RDJE, Inc. to repair and replace failing portions of the two force mains servicing PCWASA Pump Stations #2 and #3, while installing gravity sewer lines as well. The work will entail the repair of 12’’, 18”, 24”, and 30-inch pipe.

    Collectively, these projects totaling more than $576,000 are approximately $68,000 under budget.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    Phone: 770-757-1681
    Email: jcwood@uga.edu or chris@jwapr.com

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    STUDENTS EXCEL AT FAYETTE COUNTY GEORGIA MODEL WATER TOWER COMPETITION

    Nov 9, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    (L to R): Austin Carmichael, Madeline Nolen, and Emily Eisele show off their winning science project during the 2016 Fayette County Middle School Georgia Model Water Tower Competition. Not pictured: teammate Sarah Waymon.

    Want to get middle school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? Ask them to build a model water tower and add a little friendly competition among classmates to the assignment.

    That’s exactly what took place at J.C. Booth Middle School during the first Georgia Model Water Tower Competition among Fayette County Schools. The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) and Fayette County Water System (FCWS) sponsored the 2016 Competition, which is organized by the state’s two leading water industry trade organizations – the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) and the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA).

    The overall first place winner of this year’s Fayette County Georgia Model Water Tower Competition was the Booth Middle School team of Emily Eisele, Austin Carmichael, Madeline Nolen, and Sarah Waymon. This team, taking on the name of the “Argggange Juice Party Boat,” designed and constructed a functioning model water tower that garnered them a $300 first place prize.

    The second place winner of $200 in prize money was the three-person team of Liam Bourque, Eric Habicht, and Cole Sanford, while third place and $100 in winnings went to the duo of Olivia Quern and Esther Ofielu, who also won the award for Outstanding Presentation/Judge’s Choice. Both the second and third place teams represented Booth Middle School.

    Other awards from the 2016 Fayette County Middle School Georgia Model Water Tower Competition included Outstanding Achievement in Artistic Design, which went to Kortney Avery and Jayna Davis from Flat Rock Middle School. The Award for Structural Excellence went to the Booth Middle School team of Jaron Rosenberg, Natalie Frances, Hannah Moore, and Evelyn Gray.

    Finally, two awards were given for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Design. The Booth Middle School teams of Raaga Bramhadevi, Priyam Kadakia, Sarah Kilgore, and Adelaide Barrett took home one of these awards, with the team of Rebecca Muh, Natalie Robinson, Elizabeth King, and Kennedi Malone winning the other.

    The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which is in its fifth year, challenges middle school students to design and build water towers with specific size and height requirements. This is the first year an event affiliated with the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition was held in Fayette County, featuring students exclusively from Fayette County Schools.

    Dr. Kathleen Lanman, STEM and Gifted Science Faculty Member at J.C. Booth Middle School, was instrumental in bringing the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition to Fayette County. After seeing news of PCWASA’s involvement in this event on the Authority’s website, Dr. Lanman contacted PCWASA Division Manager Keisha Lisbon-Thorpe to inquire about how to get her students involved. This year’s event was the first of more to come for Fayette County Schools, she hopes.

    “This is a great event because it highlights STEM curricula by giving students a real-world, hands-on project that interests them,” says Dr. Lanman. “I think the competition also motivates them to stick with it because there are rewards at stake.”

    Water professionals assisting with the Fayette County Model Water Tower Competition included utility employees, engineers, and other volunteers, such as PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan, who served as an advisor to the students, and Lisbon-Thorpe, who is the Past Chair of the Competition Committee. PCWASA Chairman Bill Holland also was on hand to volunteer his professional expertise as the former City Architect for the city of Los Angeles, California. Holland served as a judge and on the panel who reviewed the science projects and selected the winners.

    The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition requires that students apply what they’ve learned through STEM Curricula – science, technology, engineering and math – in order to complete this science project. The student water tower models are judged based on three criteria, including structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. Judges also conduct interviews with the students about their entries. The model water towers may be designed and constructed from any materials. However, students are rewarded for using creative designs and innovative resources, such as everyday household items.

    The objective of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is to make participants more aware of the importance of reliable drinking water, while introducing them to rewarding (career) opportunities available in the water profession. To do so, the competition requires students to develop an idea into a functioning water tower, just as water professionals do within the industry.

    Media Contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    Phone: 770-757-1681
    Email: jcwood@uga.edu or chris@jwapr.com

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    PCWASA AND FAYETTE WATER SYSTEM HOSTING GA MODEL WATER TOWER COMPETITION

    Oct 13, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) and Fayette Water System are hosting the 2016 Georgia Model Water Tower Competition for Fayette County Schools on Friday, Oct. 21, at J.C. Booth Middle School in Peachtree City. Judging of the student model water towers begins around 9:15 a.m.

    PCWASA and Fayette Water System are supporting this local/regional event to provide an opportunity for Middle School Students from Fayette County Schools to participate in the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which requires participants to design and build water towers with specific size and height requirements. This is the first year an event affiliated with the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is being held in Fayette County, featuring students exclusively from Fayette County Schools.

    Judges for the Fayette County Model Water Tower Competition will consist of professionals from the water industry, engineering firms, and other volunteers. PCWASA Division Manager Keisha Lisbon Thorpe is Past Chairman of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition Committee, while PCWASA General Manager Stephen Hogan serves as a volunteer advisor for the students.

    The Georgia Model Water Tower Competition, which was first held in 2012, is organized by the Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association (GAWWA) and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). This event requires that students apply what they’ve learned through STEM Curricula – science, technology, engineering and math – in order to complete this science project.

    The student water tower models are judged based on three criteria, including structural efficiency, hydraulic efficiency, and design ingenuity. Judges also will conduct interviews with the students about their entries. The model water towers may be designed and constructed from any materials. However, students are rewarded for using creative designs and innovative resources, such as everyday household items.

    The objective of the Georgia Model Water Tower Competition is to make participants more aware of the importance of reliable drinking water, while introducing them to rewarding (career) opportunities available in the water profession. To do so, the competition requires students to develop an idea into a functioning water tower, just as water professionals do within the industry.

    Media Contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA INVESTS IN MANHOLE REHABILITATION

    Aug 15, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    Data collected by RedZone Robotics identified PCWASA manholes in need of repair. The utility then invested approximately $339,000 to rehabilitate 214 manholes within the sewer system.

    The Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA) continually invests in upgrades to its system, in order to improve the reliability and efficiency of its sewer collection and treatment services for more than 10,500 customers.

    The latest evidence of system upgrades comes in the completion of rehabilitation on 211 manholes, which were previously in poor or failing condition. The utility’s manhole rehabilitation project is ongoing, but with this first phase completed, the Authority has addressed some of the most vulnerable parts of its sewer system.

    The manholes most in need of repair were identified following a nearly two-year study conducted by RedZone Robotics to assess the condition and functionality of the entire PCWASA sewer system. The results of the RedZone YES (Your Entire System) program allowed the Authority to categorize the sewer system’s manholes according to four conditions – rating them as either good, adequate, poor, or critical.

    To categorize those manholes in most need of repair, the PCWASA staff and consulting engineers from CH2M Hill poured through the extensive, detailed data collected by RedZone Robotics. The PCWASA staff brought the additional engineering expertise in for data analysis in order to expedite the first and most critical phase of the manhole rehabilitation project.

    In October of last year, following the recommendation of the utility’s staff and project engineers from Integrated Science & Engineering (ISE), the PCWASA Board of Directors awarded the contract for this first phase of the manhole rehabilitation to Enviro Trenchless, LCC. This contractor provided the Authority with the low bid of $339,000, among the five qualifying bids.

    Work on the manhole repairs began last November and was completed this summer. Some of the specifics of the contract included surface preparation, manhole leak repair, rebuilding manhole pipe seal, invert, bench and wall when needed, repair of the manhole chimney, including grade adjustment, and providing cement liners and coating. Approximately 5 percent of the manholes within this first phase of rehab needed to be replaced completely.

    To assure that sewer services went uninterrupted during the rehabilitation process, the Authority contractors also provided bypass pumping of sanitary sewers in the areas of the system where manholes were under repair.

    Authority officials note that the project was completed without incident and within budget, and the results should begin to pay immediate dividends for customers in the form of more reliable performance of the sewer system.

    “This is an example of a project that’s out of sight and out of mind for most customers, but no less important to the efficient operation of our system,” says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager. “I’m thankful for the foresight of our board to allocate the funding to complete this work, and for the dedication of our staff to oversee a long and laborious process – from the collection and analysis of data to identify the condition of our entire system, to the safe and successful completion of this first phase of manhole rehabilitation.”

    By investing in the rehabilitation of these manholes that were in the poorest condition, the Authority will improve its wastewater collection and treatment efficiency through the reduction of inflow and infiltration of storm water into the sewer system.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    SPENCER PASS LAW PROVIDES ADDED ROADSIDE SAFETY

    Jul 11, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    The newly added provisions of the Spencer Pass Law in Georgia will provide added roadside safety for PCWASA utility vehicles and employees.

    This past legislative session, Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 767 to amend the Spencer Pass Law, which now provides additional safety measures for utility vehicles and protection for citizens and utility employees such as those working in the field for the PCWASA.

    This Act to amend Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relates to general provisions regarding uniform rules of the road, to include utility vehicles among those – such as tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles – warranting this procedure outlining proper procedures for passing.

    Citizens should take caution when approaching a site with utility vehicles in service, which will be identified for protection by traffic cones and/or flashing lights colored yellow, amber, red, and now white (added because of the prevalence of this colored light among utility vehicles such as those of the PCWASA) at the site.

    When approaching a utility vehicle in service, drivers should make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the utility service vehicle, if possible within these particular safety and traffic conditions. Or, if such a lane change is not possible, drivers should reduce speed to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which should be less than the posted speed limit, while also being prepared to stop.

    Fines for violations of this Code could be as much as $500 in most cases. In terms of the new language of this amended Spencer Pass Law, utility service vehicles now include those being used by an employee or contractor of a local authority providing utility services, which now include water and wastewater, making the Law applicable for the PCWASA and its personnel and customers.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    DO YOU KNOW HOW YOUR WASTEWATER IS TREATED?

    Apr 18, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    peachtree city water and sewerage authority, pcwasa, pcwasa wastewater treatment, pcwasa wastewater facilities, pcwasa line creeklarry b turner plant, pcwasa rockaway plant

    The wastewater treatment processes of PCWASA have been designed to treat domestic, commercial and industrial discharges from Peachtree City residents, businesses and industries, which are connected to the Authority’s collection and conveyance system.

    The wastewater flow from PCWASA customers passes through the system’s splitter box prior to treatment in one of the utility’s two wastewater treatment facilities, with a combined treatment capacity of 6 million gallons per day (MGD). The Authority currently averages approximately 3.1 MGD of combined wastewater treatment at its two facilities.

    The splitter box provides the Authority with the flexibility to designate the amount of flow to be treated in each of its wastewater treatment facilities. Such flexibility benefits PCWASA customers, especially during periods of peak demand or occasions when one of the treatment facilities must be taken off line for maintenance.

    Once wastewater enters one of the two PCWASA treatment facilities, it is screened to remove non-biodegradable materials, such as plastic, paper, etc. The waste stream then flows to a grit collection mechanism to further remove non-biodegradable substances, such as sand or rocks, which could be harmful to equipment. From there, the wastewater enters the activated sludge treatment process.

    During this phase of treatment, the pollutants in the wastewater are brought into contact with a population of activated organisms ready to consume the pollutants in the waste stream. This part of the treatment scheme requires some sort of aeration and mixing to keep the organisms alive and to bring them in constant contact with the pollutants.

    After enough contact time has elapsed, the mixing subsides and the solids (organisms) and the cleaned (waste) water are separated by gravity. The water then flows through a filtering mechanism and onto disinfection.

    PCWASA also uses ultra violet light for further disinfection of wastewater, prior to permitted discharge into a receiving stream, such as Line Creek, or storage in a holding pond for reuse during irrigation of either nearby recreational fields or Planterra Ridge golf course.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA AND GEORGIA 811 COMMITTED TO SAFETY

    Apr 4, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    As a utility advocating for safety through its involvement in Georgia 811, PCWASA is joining other utilities to recognize April as Safe Digging Month in Georgia.

    In addition to overseeing the safety of its employees and contractors in the field, the Authority is an advocate for safety among Peachtree City residents who may be pursuing a project around the house that warrants locating underground utilities. For that reason, call before you dig! Georgia 811 is the number to dial to assure your project is completed safely and without incident.

    Georgia 811 is a non-profit corporation dedicated to preventing damage to Georgia’s underground utilities while promoting public safety. The organization functions as a communication system. It connects member utilities and companies like PCWASA with professional excavators and homeowners who are planning mechanized digging activities, such as excavation, tunneling, grading, boring and demolition.

    Georgia 811 encourages homeowners planning even a small, non-mechanized digging project to call before you dig, so you can ensure your personal safety and the safety of those around you. These projects can include installing a fence, deck, swing set or mail box, planting trees or landscaping.

    The notification system provided by Georgia 811 for its members affords them an opportunity to locate and identify any underground facilities they may have in an area where digging is planned.

    Georgia law mandates that before beginning any mechanized digging or excavation work, you must contact Georgia 811 by calling 811 or 1-800-282-7411 at least 48 hours, but no more than 10 working days, in advance to have utility lines marked.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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    PCWASA WINS STATEWIDE AWARD FOR SYSTEM EXCELLENCE

    Jan 8, 2016 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

    GAWP President Bill Zieburtz (right) presents the Collection System Silver Award to (l to r): Chris Crittendon, Division Manager of Collection/Conveyance, Keisha Lisbon Thorpe, Division Manager of Technical Services, and Stephen Hogan, General Manager.

    Just because a utility is small doesn’t mean it’s not good. That is the sentiment of officials from the Peachtree City Water and Sewerage Authority (PCWASA), as the utility operates a system in 2016 that has been rated among the best in Georgia.

    During its yearend Fall Conference in Athens, the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) honored PCWASA with the industry’s Collection System Silver Award, for achieving a score of 94.9 on its annual system evaluation and audit for 2015. Silver Awards recognize sewer systems in the state that have achieved a quantitative score between 90 and 94.9 on an intense peer review by industry judges of all aspects of wastewater collection and conveyance.

    With its score of 94.9, PCWASA was just one-tenth of a point away from the GAWP Gold Award, which was attained by only 10 sewer utilities in the state in 2015. PCWASA competes against much larger municipal systems for this type of statewide recognition, including those with both water and sewer operations. GAWP 2015 Gold Award winners included major metropolitan municipal and county systems such as Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett.

    “Our community and system may be smaller than those who received similar recognition by GAWP, but we are no less committed as a utility to providing excellent sewer services for our customers,” says Stephen Hogan, PCWASA General Manager.

    “We are pleased to have this statewide recognition for operating above the industry standards and excelling in sewer collection and treatment as one of the best systems in Georgia,” adds Hogan.

    Hogan also notes that the 2015 GAWP Collection System Silver Award is the first of this type of industry recognition for PCWASA during its short history as an autonomous public Authority, reflecting what he believes is a utility headed in the right direction with its sights set on improvement and perhaps bringing home the GAWP Gold Award in the future.

    “Our employees are very dedicated water professionals who take their responsibilities seriously, while striving to get better and improve services for our customers every day,” says Hogan.

    “I cannot thank them enough for what they do, and we also are appreciative for our Board of Directors, who provide us with the resources and support to do our jobs at such a high level,” concludes Hogan.

    The GAWP Collection System Awards are based on an overall grade disbursement that includes 15% for the quality of the utility’s Management Program, 40% for the assessment of its Maintenance Program, 20% for the evaluation of Operations, and the remaining 25% for its handling of Capacity.

    Media contact:
    Chris Wood, Ph.D.
    770-757-1681 (phone)
    jcwood@uga.edu OR chris@jwapr.com (email)

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