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The Utilities Department is composed of three major program groups: Water and Sewer Operations Division; Wastewater Treatment (CH2M HILL); and Utilities Management and Capital Projects. It is an integral component of the City's organization and provides significant service to our customers. The Water and Wastewater utility is also an integral City function, without a separate utility board overseeing operations. This organization allows maximum customer service responsiveness, whereby the Utility Director answers through the Chief of Staff to the Mayor, and the City Council determines guiding ordinances, resolutions, and funding approval.
The Department provides service through 86 City and 38 CH2M HILL (contract) employees who staff key facilities 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. These employees are the front line in public safety and environmental protection, ensuring our water is safe to drink, wastewater is treated to very strict standards, downtown and the Dickson Street Entertainment District parking needs are fully met, and that City staff is fully supported through excellent telecommunications support.
WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITY
The Water and Wastewater Utility provides regional drinking water and wastewater treatment services to Fayetteville and nearby areas. The City of Fayetteville owns the entire water system (blue boundary on map) which provides retail service to customers in Fayetteville, Farmington, Goshen, Greenland, southern Johnson, parts of Washington County, and Wheeler, and wholesale contract service to Elkins, Mount Olive, Washington Water Authority and West Fork. The City of Fayetteville owns the wastewater system (green boundary on map) that provides service to Fayetteville and southern Johnson. It operates and maintains the wastewater systems in Farmington and Greenland under contract, while those cities own their respective systems. Fayetteville also provides wastewater service to Elkins under a wholesale contract, and is considering a request from the City of West Fork to provide wholesale wastewater service to that city as well.
Drinking water is purchased from the Beaver Water District, with Fayetteville accepting ownership in its pipelines that begin at the water treatment plant in Lowell. Over ten miles of 36" and 42" water transmission mains carry the water to Fayetteville. The City's average daily water consumption exceeds 14 million gallons per day, with 4,948,421,000 gallons of water purchased in 2013 alone. The City's water system was first constructed in 1889, and consists of over 750 miles of pipe lines.
The wastewater system collects and transports the wastewater to the Paul R. Noland Wastewater Treatment Facility on the south and east sides of town and the West Side Wastewater Treatment Facility on the north and west sides of town. Treated water is returned to the White River or Goose Creek, a tributary of the Illinois River. The Noland and West Side Wastewater Treatment Plants are permitted to treat at an average of 11.2 and 10 million gallons per day respectively. The City's wastewater system was first constructed in 1907, and consists of over 540 miles of pipe lines.
Water/Sewer Operations Division
Contact: Tim Nyander, Water/Sewer Operations Manager, 479-575-8386
The Water and Sewer Operations Division operates and maintains the water storage and distribution system, and the wastewater collection system. Water supply facilities include 750 miles of water main, 4,000 fire hydrants, 15 water storage tanks, 11 water pumping stations and 41,190 customer services. Wastewater facilities include 540 miles of sewer lines, 12,716 manholes and 34,757 customer connections. Operation, maintenance and replacement functions are accomplished with 72 persons.
Key functions of this program include the maintenance of the infrastructure systems including: installing new service connections; repairing pipe failures/blockages; replacing and rehabilitating pipes; maintaining water tanks and pumps; and coordination of capital improvements/system expansions. The growing age of the core infrastructure system combined with the increasing customer demands require development of a long range master plan and capital improvement program to plan and forecast needs.
The meter operations division supports the business functions of the utility operations and manages the backflow prevention program. This team executes the monthly reading of residential, commercial and industrial water meters, the data being electronically recorded and entered into the utility billing system. This function is tightly scheduled and closely coordinated with the business office to sustain regular billing intervals for customers. This work group also checks readings on high/low consumptions, installs new customer meters, performs delinquent account cutoffs, schedules reconnections, tests and repairs meters, and provides numerous customer services. The backflow prevention aspect of this division oversees a program designed to prevent the contamination of the water system by backflow from certain categories of water customers. With a 20 person staff, this team coordinates reading and operating more than 39,550 meters each month, disconnecting approximately 6,900 delinquent account meters per year, and turning on/off over 26,500 meters per year due to customer turnover.
Continuing technological advancements in this field, such as radio meter reading equipment and remote meter reading capability for large meters, are offering opportunities for further efficiency and effectiveness.
Wastewater Treatment Division
Contact: Lynn Hyke, Construction Manager, 479-718-7670
Billy Ammons, CH2M HILL Project Manager, 479-443-3292
The City's wastewater treatment plant and pump station operations and maintenance activities are provided under contract by CH2M HILL. CH2M HILL responsibilities include the operations and maintenance of the Paul R. Noland Wastewater Treatment Plant (11.2 million gallon per day), the West Side Wastewater Treatment Plant (10 million gallon per day), laboratory operations, permit compliance and reporting, industrial pretreatment program management, operation/maintenance/repair of 38 wastewater pump stations, operation of a supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) to monitor remote system conditions of the 38 wastewater pump stations and 31 water sites, maintenance of the flow monitoring devices and the related SCADA equipment for the collection system, operation of the 670 acre land application site which includes nutrient mitigation/hay harvesting and marketing, and maintenance of the 43.7 acre wetland at the West Side Wastewater Treatment Plant. In 2011, CH2M HILL began drying biosolids at the Noland land application site; as of mid-2012 we are selling the dried biosolids as fertilizer, creating a new revenue stream and stopping hauling biosolids to landfills.
The five-year contract will be renewed in January 1, 2015. This contract is amended on an annual basis, and the contract's term ends December 31, 2019. The 2013 contract is for $7,522,060 and has an engineering scope added. Under the contract terms, budget under runs by CH2M HILL are divided on the basis of 87.5% returned to City and 12.5% provided to CH2M HILL, creating cost savings incentive to both parties.
During the term of this agreement, CH2M HILL has consistently maintained the cost below target values. CH2M HILL employs 38 full time employee positions to meet contract requirements.
Capital Projects Division
Contact: Shannon Jones, P.E., Utilities Engineer, 479-444-3452
Lynn Hyke, Construction Manager, 479-718-7670
The team manages water and wastewater capital projects. The team provides technical support to the Water/Sewer Operations Division and Wastewater Treatment Division through a combined 52 years of engineering and operations experience, and provides support to other City project efforts as needed. By selectively performing in-house design and construction inspection, the team has saved over $1 million in consultant costs in 2011-2012 with in-house designs for the $7.7 million biosolids project, the $646,723 Elkins sewer outfall line upgrade, and numerous other projects. The team also manages utilities projects where design and construction are performed by consulting engineers and contractors. In 2009, the team developed specifications for emergency services required for the ice storm cleanup, and provided support to other staff for the City-wide radio replacement project and the Municipal Courts building.
In 2012, the team closed out the largest project ever undertaken by the City of Fayetteville. The Wastewater System Improvement Project (WSIP) was a system wide project that significantly increased the capacity of the City's wastewater system and included the construction of the City's largest ever project - the $61 million new West Side Wastewater Treatment Facility. The wastewater system can now treat wastewater for 115,000 people. Using savings from other project areas, the new biosolids drying facilities were also funded out of this project; the biosolids project reduced operational expenses by over $500,000 per year. The team also finished a complete rewrite of water and sewer design standards, including details to standardize the design and installation of water and sewer lines.
In 2013, the team is managing the design and construction of the Entertainment District Parking Deck, and numerous water and sewer projects, including a $1.3 million sanitary sewer rehabilitation construction project and a $200,000 water pump station replacement project.
Parking and Telecommunications Division
Contact: Sharon Waters, Parking and Telecom Manager, 479-575-8277
The Parking Management program manages and coordinates all downtown parking issues including implementing parking rules and regulations, increasing public awareness of the ordinances that regulate parking, leasing off-street spaces to patrons, enforcing parking ordinances, issuing citations for violation of parking ordinances, and responding to the needs of citizens regarding inquiries and complaints concerning parking matters. This division also handles residential parking permits, City Council parking permits, monthly parking permits and annual permits.
In August 2010, the City implemented a paid parking program in the Entertainment District. This program was passed unanimously by the City Council and was projected to bring in over $1 million per year in parking revenue that would be used for building a new parking deck in the heart of the Entertainment District. We have exceeded this annual projection for both years it has been in place, and have begun preparations for the site selection and preliminary design of a parking deck. Visit our Downtown Parking Deck webpage for more details on the project.
This division also coordinates all Special Event permits for all festivals, parades, etc. that take place in Fayetteville. We coordinate the scheduling, logistics, code compliance, sales tax and HMR tax documents, and notify all other divisions to ensure public safety and efficient traffic management.
The Telecommunications program manages and coordinates all telecommunications equipment and services for City facilities and operations including telephones, network cabling, pagers, cellular, voice mail, and long distance services. This program is responsible for the coordination of telecommunications service requests from all City divisions and performs billing audits, billing consolidations, efficiency studies, and contract negotiations. This program ensures the accuracy of all billings and assesses and evaluates all telecommunications services to obtain the best rates for the City.
During October and November 2012, we have been converting all of the City's telecommunications services to Cox Business. We are also converting the entire telephone system to a Cisco VOIP system that will deliver a vast improvement to our communication tools. We currently have over 450 telephone sets in the organizations.