CU’s sewer rehab OK’d
by RICK NORTON Associate Editor
Feb 05, 2014 | 749 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Greg Clark
Greg Clark

Six months after completing the opening leg of the historic sewer rehabilitation initiative called SCOPE 10, Cleveland Utilities has received thumbs up to launch construction on the complex project’s next two phases.

On a unanimous 5-0 vote Tuesday by the Cleveland Board of Public Utilities, the new $4,817,000 round of rehab was awarded to American Infrastructure Technologies Corp., a firm that will work closely with CU and the utility’s SCOPE 10 consultant, Littlejohn Engineering Associates.

SCOPE 10 was designed more than two years ago to modernize aging and deteriorating sections of CU’s existing wastewater collection system. One phase has been completed, but more will follow.

Using money from the low-interest State Revolving Fund Loan program that was secured last year, the current $4.8 million project sounds expensive at first, but Cleveland Utilities had actually budgeted $6,015,000 for the work, according to Ken Webb, CU president and CEO.

The AITC bid, which was the lowest, will allow CU to stretch the total $10 million SRF loan into additional SCOPE 10 phases down the road. Construction on these two newest phases is estimated to take about 16 months, according to Greg Clark, CU engineer who is managing the expansive sewer rehab project.

SCOPE 10 is an acronym for Strategic Commitment to Protect the Environment, a 10-year sewer rehab that could eventually cost as much as $30 million. Modernizations to the system are expected to significantly reduce inflow and infiltration. I/I is a term that refers to the amount of unwanted water seeping into existing sewer lines through cracks and breaks, as well as through damaged manholes.

Excessive I/I contributes to manhole overflows that worsens localized flooding as well as creates the potential for public health hazards. Unrestricted I/I can also be harmful to CU’s wastewater treatment plant and creates cost inefficiencies because stormwater flowing into the plant is also being treated along with sewer system effluent.

In a detailed project report, Clark described the two newest phases and the type of work that will be done.

One is recognized as Phase 2 of a geographic area referred to as Basin 31-45. It is located in South Cleveland. It became the first leg of SCOPE 10 construction work and was completed last summer. The next phase will make similar improvements to adjacent sections of the sewer system on the city’s southern end.

Another part of this SRF-funded project is Phase 1 of a geographic terrain referred to as Basin 10-36. Unlike Basin 31-45 which involves CU’s southernmost service territories, Basin 10-36 is loosely bordered by areas along 25th Street, Peerless Road, Keith Street, Georgetown Road and 20th Street, among others.

Some of the areas included in Basin 31-45 are South Lee Highway, Smith Drive, APD 40, Blue Springs Road and Blackburn Road, as well as others.

Clark said system improvements included in these two phases will include:

n Approximately 46,000 lineal feet of Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP, which is an interior lining inserted into existing sewer lines that prevents the more costly option of total line replacement). The CIPP lining will be steamed in place in sewer mains ranging in size from 6 to 10 inches.

n Some 2,141 lineal feet of “pipe bursting,” which allows the upsizing of certain smaller mains and the removal of “bellies,” or low spots, in existing sewer lines.

n Some 2,270 vertical feet of manhole rehabilitation in 280 manholes.

n The rehabilitation or replacement of 518 sewer laterals, which is the stretch of pipe running from the sewer mains to the customer property.

n The replacement of vented manhole covers with solid covers in areas that receive “sheet flow” during heavy rainfall.

n The insertion of “inflow dishes” in manholes located in areas susceptible to sheet flow or ponding water during heavy rainfall.

“Combined, these [two] basins comprise 21.8 percent of the sewer mains and 23.8 percent of the manholes in the collection system,” Clark told CU board members during Tuesday’s formal monthly session. “During the Sanitary System Evaluation Surveys, all of the manholes were assessed, smoke testing was performed on all sewer mains and CCTV (closed-circuit television) inspection was performed in selected areas of Basins 10-36 and 31-45.”

The complex testing revealed CU’s task at hand, Clark explained.

“Based upon the results of the SSES, the conditions of the collection system at the time of evaluation showed that approximately 40 percent of Basin 31-45 was in need of rehabilitation and approximately 35 percent of Basin 10-36 was in need of rehabilitation,” Clark stressed via his presentation. “The results of the SSES from both basins were combined and the most significant defects from each basin were targeted for remediation during this project.”

Another way of putting it is, “[We’re] addressing the worst of the worst [problems] with rehabilitation,” Clark specified.

CU’s total wastewater collection system is comprised of 1,894,968 lineal feet (359 miles) of sewer mains and 7,596 manholes, Clark said.

Basin 10-36 includes 216,711 lineal feet (41 miles) of sewer main and 930 manholes. Basin 31-45, the southernmost region which has been fingered as the system’s biggest problem child because of its age, is comprised of 196,501 lineal feet (37.2 miles) of sewer main and 879 manholes.

Clark also pointed to a few additional project statistics, dating back to the launch of SCOPE 10 whose first leg is referred to as Basin 31-45 Phase 1:

n During the Basin 31-45 Phase 1 project, 12,100 lineal feet (2.3 miles) of sewer main and 58 manholes were rehabilitated. “These totals comprise 6.6 percent of the pipe in the basin and 6.5 percent of the manholes,” Clark said.

n During the Basin 31-45 Phase 2 project, 6,822 lineal feet (1.3 miles) of sewer main and 45 manholes will be rehabilitated. “These totals comprise 3.5 percent of the pipe in the basin and 5.2 percent of the manholes,” he cited.

Collectively, Phases 1 and 2 of the Basin 31-45 project will net the rehabilitation of 10 percent of the area’s sewer lines and 11.7 percent of the manholes.

Phase 1 of the Basin 10-36 project will include 42,616 lineal feet of pipe (8.1 miles, 9.7 percent) and 229 manholes (24.6 percent) will be rehabilitated, Clark said.

To measure the effectiveness of sewer rehab improvements, CU and contractor crews are placing flow monitors that gauge the level of I/I in areas where rehab work has been completed, Clark explained.

The SRF loans to CU are a two-piece financing package that includes a debt forgiveness of $451,022. The first piece of the loan totals $1,826,000 and the second tallies $8,174,000. Both loans are 20-year terms and are set at a fixed rate of 1.15 percent.

CU is repaying the loans through revenue, some of which is being collected by a 5 percent hike in customers’ sewer rates.

According to SRF timetables, this piece of the two-pronged project must be completed on or before Dec. 5, 2016, with system operation initiated by the same date. Start-up services should be completed on or before Dec. 19, 2016.

On a motion by Joe Cate and second by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, who represents the City Council on the utility board, the governing body authorized CU to enter into a working agreement with AITC and Littlejohn Engineering to begin the project. Others favoring the action were Aubrey Ector, board chairman; Eddie Cartwright, vice chairman; and Chari Buckner, board member.