Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

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Session Overview
Location: 120AB
Date: Monday, 13/Sept/2021
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 02A: Social Equity - Livestream
Location: 120AB
10:30am - 11:15am
ID: 179 / Session 02A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: STEM/STEAM, Outreach, Equity, Diversity, Community

How Do We Make Outreach More Equitable? A Case Study at Murraysmith + Quincy

Maricris "Mari" Orama, Sage Ebel

Murraysmith, United States of America; ,

It is no secret that STEAM fields lack the diversity and inclusion of the communities they serve. Many individuals and organizations are working hard to develop plans for increasing racial and gender equity within their fields. STEAM Outreach plays a significant role in supporting long-term societal goals of increasing STEAM literacy and diversity within our STEM workforce.

STEAM Outreach has been found to provide communities—particularly students, parents, and teachers—with opportunities to engage in ways that are relevant, educational, and inspirational. COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and remote schooling have posed both challenges and advantages for STEAM Outreach. Ultimately, without an intentional focus on equitable structure and practice within an outreach program, students in underserved communities will continue to have limited access and exposure to knowledge of STEM fields, technology, resources, and a comprehensive STEM educational experience (Avendano et al, 2018; Boyce, 2017).

What can we as professionals in the engineering industry do to build and foster more equitable STEAM communities? How do we structure our Outreach Programs to focus on equity?

This presentation explores the steps taken at Murraysmith + Quincy to improve its STEAM Outreach program. We will discuss: 1) the significance of STEAM versus STEM; 2) the challenges and advantages posed by remote learning and STEAM outreach; 3) the restructuring of our program; 4) lessons learned and next steps; and 5) pertinent conclusions and recommendations for other companies looking to initiate more equitable outreach programs.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Maricris “Mari” Orama – Maricris Eleno-Orama, EdD, P.E., has 10 years of experience in water, stormwater, and wastewater design and planning projects throughout Washington State. She has seven years of experience as a chemistry/engineering professor in Higher Education, including supporting the Washington Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (WA MESA) Program at Tacoma Community College as the Faculty Sponsor. She has been with Murraysmith since 2019 as a Professional Engineer and is on Murraysmith’s Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Team. She supports Sage Ebel in initiating an Outreach Program focused on equity for local underserved communities. She is also a co-founder of S.C.O.P.E., or Supportive Community of Professional Engineers, an outreach project focused on connecting students to local engineers and computer scientists within Pierce County, Washington.

Sage Ebel has been with Murraysmith for three years as an Engineering Designer. She has experience working on water, wastewater, and stormwater projects in various capacities ranging from planning, modeling, and design to inspection and construction support. She has taken the lead in restructuring the Murraysmith + Quincy outreach program and supports the company’s outreach team’s regional representatives in their efforts to incorporate equitable outreach into the fibers of daily life.

11:15am - 12:00pm
ID: 304 / Session 02A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: equity, infrastructure, community engagement

Walking a Mile in Our Communities' Shoes

Nicki Pozos, Jessie Maran

The Formation Lab, United States of America; ,

Wastewater professionals often struggle to translate equity principles into their everyday work. At the heart of this struggle is a lack of understanding—how does our work interact with the life conditions of the communities we serve? This interactive session will explore three scenarios relevant to utilities: basement flooding, trust in drinking water, and construction impacts. Attendees will explore how socio-economic resilience, disenfranchisement, and transportation access affect our lived experience.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Dr. Nicki Pozos, Principal with The Formation Lab, brings 19 years of experience in engineering, planning and communications for major infrastructure projects. Nicki is a recognized leader in promoting equity within the water industry. She has presented on bias and equity to thousands of technical professionals, is a co-founder of Leading Water Forward, and serves as a minority evaluator for the City of Portland. Nicki’s experience includes developing a unique approach to managing and supporting DMWESB firms, coordinating engagement with tribal nations on a major capital program, and integrating input from underrepresented populations into Oregon’s recycling program.

Jessie Maran, Principal with The Formation Lab, brings over 25 years of experience in urban design, graphic communications, operations, and project management. Jessie is a systematic and compassionate leader focused on creating equitable cities. Jessie manages DMWESB development programs on major capital projects, develops equity strategies for private firms, and works with utilities to integrate equity into the planning, design and operation of public infrastructure.
1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 02B: Workforce Development - Livestream
Location: 120AB
1:15pm - 2:00pm
ID: 207 / Session 02B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: Diversity, equity, workforce, leadership, culture

Be the Catalyst: How Individuals Can Shape an Organization and Transform the Water Workforce

Shelby Smith, Vicky Hollingsworth

Brown & Caldwell, United States of America; ,

Virtual Speakers

The water industry is undergoing a significant cultural transformation in response to social equity challenges and a rapidly evolving workforce. The future workforce has different priorities, backgrounds, and drivers from that of the past and present. Workforce retention challenges emerge due to organizational cultures where employees feel unsupported, disconnected, and inauthentic. Companies that do not evolve to foster inclusive work environments are less competitive and innovative, struggle with recruiting and retaining talent, and ultimately face obsolescence in the water industry. But individual actions at all organizational levels can break down barriers to inclusion and build more desirable work environments.

In 2018, Brown and Caldwell (BC) employees sought to create a more inclusive, open, and diverse work environment that provided them with a space to connect, be authentic, find community, and learn. Out of this movement, employees formed the Women at BC Employee Network Group (ENG), which created an inclusive and safe space for women to share their stories. This first ENG sparked broader conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. New ENGs quickly followed – each centered around different BC employee experiences and challenges. BC leadership listened and advocated based on these conversations. The company established the 10 Commitments to Balance and Belonging, which set the long-term plan to transform, operationalize equity into business and hiring practices, and challenged the organization to go beyond current industry limitations.

This presentation will dive into the story behind some of the individuals who became the spark that accelerated a cultural transformation in the workplace. Organizations that create space and establish platforms for employees to be authentic and vulnerable will drive allyship, diversity, and inclusion. These key ingredients create resilient organizations where employees can thrive, innovate, and better serve their communities.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Shelby Smith is a professional engineer with 9 years of experience in program and project management for the municipal wastewater sector. She has supported numerous PNW municipalities with capital investment planning, design, and delivery, stakeholder engagement, alternative delivery methods analysis and procurement, public outreach, and permitting. Shelby has answered a personal call to action to take more responsibility for addressing racial and social inequities. She is a member of Brown and Caldwell’s PNW Diversity and Inclusion Team, Vice Chair of the PNCWA Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee, and actively engaged in Brown and Caldwell’s Community of Color and Women at BC ENGs.

Vicky Hollingsworth is a professional engineer with over 13 years of experience in the design and construction of wastewater treatment and conveyance. She is one of BC’s pumping systems subject matter experts and provides her expertise on projects across the company. Vicky is originally from Nicaragua and moved to the US to pursue an education and a purposeful career. A few years back, Vicky realized that she had a seat at the table and was not using it to make the space more inclusive. Instead, she was too busy trying to fit in. Since then, she has been on a mission to be more authentic and create safe and inclusive environments for those coming after her. In 2020, Vicky co-founded the Community of Color ENG, which focuses on the unique challenges faced by people of color in our industry. She has a sense of urgency and responsibility to make things better for generations to come.

2:00pm - 2:45pm
ID: 308 / Session 02B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: Diversity, Equity, Racial Justice, Social Justice

Sharing Your Privilege – the Criticality of Advocacy in Diversifying the Pacific Northwest Water Industry

Rob Lee

Leeway Engineering, United States of America;

Virtual Speakers

The face of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) movement here in the PNW has largely been women and people of color, and rightfully so in many cases. But this can and has led to cases of fatigue, frustration, and even challenging accusations such as “self-promotion”.

As the topic of diversity has become more prominent and as the numbers are starting to be documented about the genuine benefits of diversity, a challenge that has become evident is the critical role that must be played by those who have privilege and the power to enact change.

This session will begin with an introduction of the importance and benefits of diversity and a brief introduction to the ways that PNCWA, as a volunteer organization, is taking steps to advance Racial and Social Justice. The remainder of the time will be given to a panel discussion by advocates in the industry and representatives from several municipalities including the City of Boise, the City of Portland, King County, and Seattle Public Utilities. This panel will provide numerous viewpoints regarding privilege and how anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or orientation, has an important role to play in progressing our industry for positive change.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Rob is a graduate of Cornell University, a licensed Environmental Engineer, the founder of Leeway Engineering, currently President-Elect for PNCWA’s Board of Directors, and the inaugural chair of the Racial and Social Justice Committee. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest as an Asian-American, Rob has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the water industry, and Rob is passionate about being a change agent to better represent our rapidly changing communities.
3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 02C: Stormwater - Livestream
Location: 120AB
3:00pm - 3:45pm
ID: 280 / Session 02C: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Stormwater, Utility & Assessment Management, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Stormwater, Retrofits, Water Quality, Prioritization

A Scalable Decision-Making Framework For Stormwater Retrofit Investments

Blair Scott1, Robin Kirschbaum2

1King County; 2Robin Kirschbaum Inc.; ,

King County (County), WA, Stormwater Services Section (SWS) has identified the lack of stormwater controls in older developed areas as one of the most significant problems preventing recovery of the County’s streams, lakes, and Puget Sound. With approximately 150 square miles of untreated developed areas and population growth among the largest over the last decade of any county across the United States, the need to strategically plan and begin implementing stormwater management to control stormwater runoff and restore or prevent further degradation of aquatic health is considered urgent by King County and its regional planning partners.

SWS is working collaboratively with Robin Kirschbaum, Inc. (RKI) to develop clear goals and a strategic decision-making framework for identifying, prioritizing, and implementing stormwater management and engineering projects led or influenced by SWS that restore aquatic resources through improved stormwater controls. Building on existing County programs, policies, and initiatives, the project will not only focus on water quality and aquatic health, but on broader principles of critical importance, such as equity and social justice (ESJ) and climate change preparedness.

The decision-making framework will address subbasin prioritization and individual project identification, evaluation, and prioritization organized around the following multi-benefit outcomes:

  • Improve water quality outcomes
  • Increase resilience to climate change impacts
  • Preserve and restore wildlife habitat
  • Implement Environmental and Social Justice
  • Increase community stewardship
  • Accelerate or exceed regulatory requirements using stormwater retrofits

The decision-making framework will serve as a foundational pillar of the County’s 30-year plan for stormwater investments, currently being co-designed and co-implemented by a group of partners from across the region. The stormwater investment plan will rethink the region’s approach to addressing polluted runoff and prioritizing the needs of the residents impacted the most.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Blair Scott is a Water Quality Planner for King County, and Robin Kirschbaum is the Project Manager/Stormwater Engineering Lead for this work as well as the president of Robin Kirschbaum inc.

3:45pm - 4:30pm
ID: 225 / Session 02C: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Stormwater
Keywords: LID, pfas, copper, zinc, phytoremediation

A Greenhouse Evaluation of Stormwater Remediation Of Heavy Metals And PFAS By 10 Native Oregon Plants

Richard Hilliard, Bethany Parker, Jennifer Field, Tyler Radniecki

Oregon State University, United States of America;

Stormwater collects dissolved and particulate phase pollutants from improved surfaces and carries these to receiving water bodies, degrading their quality. Contaminants of particular concern include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and heavy metals such as copper and zinc. Infiltration systems of various designs are being implemented widely to provide passive treatment of these waters. Inclusion of plants in these systems provides potential for phytoremediation, prevention of erosion, increased soil porosity, and an aesthetic quality in the built environment.
Plants, along with associate microbes often vary greatly in their provision of degradation and removal of stormwater pollutants. In this study, 10 different native Oregon plants (n=6) including various monocots and dicots were investigated for potential treatment of copper, zinc, and PFASs (spiked-in) in surface runoff collected from a public works utility site in a 10-week greenhouse experiment. Aqueous, soil, and plant samples were analyzed using a combination HPLC-MS/MS and HPLC-QToF for PFAS and ICP-MS for heavy metals. Throughout the experiment, evapotransipration rates were monitored by weighing of the planted units. After the experiment, plant physiological qualities (masses and lengths of roots and shoots) were recorded. Enrichment of plant microbiomes in the rhizosphere and the bulk soil was evaluated by 16s rRNA amplicon sequencing to examine whether microbes are involved in stormwater phytoremediation.

Preliminary data suggest that some plants were much more effective at removing PFAS, particularly the shorter chain compounds. Additionally, some plants showed a net production compared to the control of PFPeS, PFBS, and PFHxS, suggesting the transformation of parent compounds FHxSA and FOSA.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Richard Hilliard is a PhD candidate at Oregon State University in the Environmental Engineering program. He defended his Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering at Oregon State in the fall of 2018 and obtained his BA from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME. His research involves the use of engineered biological systems for more efficient treatment of contaminated waters.

4:30pm - 5:15pm
ID: 241 / Session 02C: 3
Main Technical Program
Topics: Stormwater
Keywords: Stormwater, Technology, Permit Requirements, Watershed Management

Emerging Technologies for Stormwater: A CMAC Pilot Project

Josh Van Wie1, Peter Holte2

1Osborn Consulting, Inc.; 2City of Redmond; ,

Emerging technologies for stormwater are playing a crucial role in the Pacific Northwest to help municipalities meet their NPDES permit requirements and watershed management goals. Public agencies and their consultant teams must rely on innovation and collaboration to harness the latest technologies as permit requirements become more stringent and watershed management becomes more critical in urbanized areas.

During 2020-2021, the City of Redmond completed a pilot project to install Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Control (CMAC) retrofits at two stormwater ponds. The CMAC system uses cloud software to optimize and control pond discharge flow rates through a remotely operated control valve. This technology was selected because of its potential to improve flow durations and protect downstream creek habitat in areas that were developed prior to current regulatory requirements for flow control.

To initiate the pilot project, Redmond identified four stormwater ponds as possible retrofit locations in the Monticello Creek watershed, which was previously selected as a priority watershed for the City’s 2013 Watershed Management Plan. A feasibility study was completed by Redmond’s consultant team, led by Osborn Consulting, to analyze the four ponds using the Western Washington Hydrology Model (WWHM) to assess potential improvements in flow durations at each pond after installing a CMAC retrofit. The modeling proved to be a valuable step in the process as some ponds showed significant potential improvements while the others showed little to no improvement due to site-specific hydraulic configurations or changes in basin hydrology that had occurred since the original design and construction.

Two ponds were selected to move forward with final design in late 2020 and construction of the CMAC retrofit installations in early 2021. The performance of the CMAC system will be monitored to determine its effectiveness and whether this technology has potential for more widespread use in helping the City meet its stormwater management goals.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Josh Van Wie has worked on a variety of water resources projects in Washington State. His experience includes planning and design for stormwater retrofits, municipal capital improvement projects, and fish passage culverts and habitat restoration. Josh has closely coordinated with agencies including the City of Redmond, Spokane County, Seattle Public Utilities, and others to successfully develop planning studies and PS&E packages.
Peter Holte is Senior Plan for the City of Redmond and coordinates the City’s Watershed Management Program. Peter holds Masters of Environmental Studies for the Evergreen State College, Masters in Public Administration for the University of Washington, and has over 20-years of experience working in stormwater management and habitat restoration.
Date: Tuesday, 14/Sept/2021
8:00am - 9:30amSession 10A: Utility Planning - Livestream
Location: 120AB
8:00am - 8:45am
ID: 137 / Session 10A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Facility Operations & Maintenance, Utility & Assessment Management
Keywords: Smart Utility, Utility Management, IoT, SCADA, Utility of the Future

Being “Smart” Is Essential For The Utility Of The Future: Understanding What Is Hard To See In The Data

Kevin Stively

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Virtual Speakers

Utility leaders find themselves caught in a paradox of working within a society that increasingly achieves benefits through smart technologies and the reality that their organizations remain unable to capitalize on large utility data storage across systems often referred to as “dark data.” Bringing this dark data into the light and leveraging past and future investments in digital technologies is essential for effective utility management. Of the nearly 60,000 water and wastewater utilities in the U.S., only a small percentage have tapped into existing data resources to achieve effective utility management.

Today’s utilities are challenged by increasing customer expectations, the need to continuously improve efficiency, loss of institutional knowledge, and managing an aging and complex infrastructure. Managers want to believe technology holds the promise of solving problems and improving service. Yet these same managers find themselves asking questions like, “Is my existing data any good”, “are smart solutions really going to improve my bottom line”, and “do I have the workforce to support more advanced technology solutions”. For many, smart solutions have the appearance of “supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) with a new coat of paint” or something that seems to over promise as many other new ideas have done.

Answering the questions above is possible by taking a phased approach customized to the utility’s vision and digital technology requirements to allow for building confidence in smart utility solutions. A phased approach allows the utility to explore the possibilities of smart solutions on specific use cases testing their efficacy in a practical manner.

Elements of this presentation were featured at 2019 WEFTEC and in a Podcast hosted by Water Online. This paper will present use cases implemented in various utilities using a phased approach that allows the utility to explore the possibilities of smart solutions on specific use cases testing their efficacy in a practical manner.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Over the past 33 years, Kevin Stively has provided Instrumentation and Controls engineering and project management services to municipalities and private-sector industrial clients across the United States. Kevin is presently Vice President and Managing Director for Brown and Caldwell’s (BC’s) Digital Water Services providing clients with forward thinking technology solutions that leverage smart utility concepts known as BC Blue.

8:45am - 9:30am
ID: 275 / Session 10A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Utility & Assessment Management
Keywords: SCADA, IT, OT, Network, Risk

The City of Vancouver Has Reduced Significant Utility Risk and Improved Use of Enterprise Data Through Re-design and Replacement of the Wastewater Control System IT Infrastructure

Jeff Kanyuch1, Frank Dick2

1Jacobs, United States of America; 2City of Vancouver, Washington; ,

IT infrastructure is the heart of the control system used for automated monitoring and control of critical infrastructure, including wastewater systems. Advances in IT components and implementation approaches can be applied to provide faster, more reliable control systems with better access to integrated enterprise data to help engineering, planning, and O&M staff better understand and manage their facilities. Correct application requires thoughtful planning and regular upgrade to keep the system functional and reliable.

The City and its contract operations partner, Jacobs, are nearing completion of a major Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system upgrade of the City’s two Wastewater Treatment Plants. The SCADA upgrade included complete redesign of the IT systems at the City’s Wastewater facilities, which has reduced major risk and provided significant value to the City.

The new core network and computer equipment includes virtualized servers with automated backups to reduce physical space and facilitate disaster recovery, ring networks for improved reliability, a DMZ for protected access of shared system data, updated computer hardware with current operating systems and software to accommodate supportability and reliability, and new fiber optic cable infrastructure. The project will also network-connect large Variable Frequency Drive motors for monitoring of voltage and current, and remote resetting of drive failures. The SCADA system will be linked to the computerized maintenance management system to allow work orders to be automatically triggered based on equipment alarms or runtimes from the SCADA system.

Operators can now monitor and control the entire wastewater system from workstations at either treatment plant or from any remote station. Jacobs support staff provide troubleshooting and maintenance via secure remote access, and are notified of problems in real time to provide faster response.

This presentation will include video interviews with plant staff describing what has changed, current operational practices and lessons learned.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Mr. Kanyuch has more than 30 years of I&C / SCADA system planning, design, and construction/implementation experience for the water and wastewater industries, including alternative delivery. He is Jacobs' design-build project manager for the City of Vancouver SCADA upgrade project.

Mr. Dick oversees sewer and wastewater engineering functions, including capital projects, wastewater system planning, interface with the City’s contract operator for wastewater (Jacobs), and the City’s fully delegated pretreatment program. He has worked in these functions in Vancouver for 14 years and is City's project manager for the Wastewater SCADA Upgrade project. Prior to his position at Vancouver, Frank spent 17 years at semiconductor and electronics manufacturing facilities in the Portland-Vancouver area, in consultant and staff positions for facilities engineering and environmental compliance.
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 10B: Utility & Assessment Management - Livestream
Location: 120AB
10:30am - 11:15am
ID: 303 / Session 10B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Utility & Assessment Management, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: strategic planning, utility management

Strategic Planning to Define the 4P’s – People, Policies, Pricing, and Projects

Matt Gregg

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Projects – the first of the 4P’s and the typical focus for utility planning efforts. Planning efforts usually being with a similar question: what things do I need to build to solve my problem? Whether it be a new pipeline to serve a new area, a new tank to replace a failing tank, or maybe a whole new facility to provide more capacity in the system, we have used planning simply as a means to define a capital improvements program. However, utilities are much more than just projects and infrastructure. They are dynamic, thriving organizations that embody they communities they serve. In our drive to define the physical projects we need to complete we have lost sight the ways utilities truly interact with their communities – through their people, policies, and pricing.

Robust strategic planning efforts should strive to define all of the components that will allow them to enact their outcomes. This requires focus on PEOPLE and organizational roles, POLICIES and business processes, PRICING and financial strategies, and PROJECTS. Each of the 4P’s is critically important to define for a plan to be successfully implemented. Doing so requires a commitment from utilities to define a broader scope for strategic planning efforts.

This presentation will highlight the recent successes of several northwest utilities in defining each of the 4P’s in their strategic planning efforts. This will include a discussion on how each of the 4P’s was investigated and how changes were enacted by the utility to support the implementation of the strategic plan. It will draw on these projects to highlight lessons learned and best practices for utilities looking to implement similar efforts for their next planning effort.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Matthew Gregg is Brown and Caldwell’s Western Business Unit Client Services Director. He has experience as a program manager, client service manager, project manager, and wastewater engineer. Matt’s primary focus is assisting clients with long-term utility management decisions and large program execution. Matt has a master’s degree in civil engineering with a focus in wastewater engineering and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, both from the University of Idaho.

11:15am - 12:00pm
ID: 288 / Session 10B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Regulatory Challenges
Keywords: Integrated planning, regulatory, compliance

Boise City’s Integrated Plan for Long-term IPDES Permit Compliance

Kate Harris1, Tom Dupuis2, Haley Falconer1

1City of Boise; 2HDR; ,

The City is committed to providing effective and affordable water renewal services that protect public health and the environment, meet customer expectations, and support long-term community planning efforts. To this end, the City has made considerable investments to construct and maintain these assets. These investments include upgrading water renewal capabilities, optimizing collection system maintenance and renewal efforts, and improving conveyance (i.e., lift stations) facility performance.

Notwithstanding these significant efforts, the City continues to face aging infrastructure needs, increasingly complex water issues, and growing service demands. There are a number of current and future Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory drivers that will require major capital investments and impact financial and management resources. The City is concerned that potentially overlapping compliance timelines for multiple federal and state regulatory drivers will limit their ability to efficiently manage resources and make system improvements difficult going forward. The City needs an approach for managing the largest capital investments such as one period being when the City does some asset management to complete regulatory upgrades alternating with a second period being when the City focuses on asset management and regulatory conditions remain status quo. Condition driven projects, including asset management, are fundamental to meeting regulatory requirements, thus the need for this managed approach.

The regulatory framework for an IP was developed and adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 and was recently incorporated into the Clean Water Act via the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act passed by bipartisan action in Congress in 2018 and signed into law in January 2019. The IP framework explicitly recognizes that appropriate long-term planning for most municipal utilities needs to extend beyond the traditional five-year duration of a discharge permit. The City’s Utilities Plan extends out 20 years and beyond, and funding, design and construction of new or upgraded facilities cannot be reasonably achieved in 5 years or less. The IP provides a mechanism for both the City and DEQ to look at a longer horizon and be adequately prepared for needed requirements and employ an adaptive process to address new or emerging water quality considerations.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Kate Harris is the Water Quality Programs Manager within the Environmental Division at the City of Boise. When she is not working, she enjoys exploring Idaho with her family.

Tom Dupuis has over 40 years of Clean Water Act technical and regulatory experience, including NPDES permitting, TMDLs, water quality modeling and assessment, and stormwater management. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marquette University and has worked for research, state agency and consulting organizations.
1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 17A: Construction & Alternate Delivery - Livestream
Location: 120AB
1:15pm - 2:00pm
ID: 294 / Session 17A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Treatment Innovation and the Future, Construction & Alternate Delivery
Keywords: BIM, VDC, 3D Design, Construction, Technology

Digital Delivery - "Tools" For Optimized Project Delivery, Not "Gadgets" Of The Future

Daniel Lister

Slayden Constructors Inc., United States of America;

Picture a time prior to the advent of cell phones, where only calls were made from a stationary telephone, and thankfully “selfies” were not a thing yet. Fast forward to 2021, and now we carry around a computer device that is more advanced than NASA’s computer used in 1969 to launch The Saturn V Rocket, thus putting a man on the moon.

This analogy can be applied to the evolution of Virtual Design & Construction. Where we once had a 2D design delivered on paper, we now have and 3D model that serves as the foundation for most water projects today. However, the over-arching challenge is unlocking the full utility of having a 3D design model and validating its use as the primary communication & data storage tool.

To meet this challenge Slayden Constructors strategically deploys state-of-the-art modeling, visualization, tools in a cost-effective, field-tested practice we refer to as Digital Delivery.

This presentation will provide an overview of several digital construction practices being deployed on our projects that have positively impacted project delivery performance in terms of cost, schedule, quality, and safety. These include the following –

  • Digital Design & Constructability Review - Utilizes 3D models and immersive technology (VR/AR) to review constructability, and plant operation in preconstruction.
  • Digital Design & Trade Coordination - Integrates BIM design models and multi-discipline trade models to analyze for clashes and potential alignment issues to resolve in advance of potential rework.
  • Digital Survey – Using reality data capture methods such is Laser Scanning, and Drone Photogrammetry to stream real-time, accurate site data from the project to all stakeholders and clients.
  • Digital Construction Rehearsal – Applying 4D software to identify conflicts and challenges in the construction sequence so that planning can be optimized before starting work at the jobsite.

In conclusion, we will be showcasing our latest projects and demonstrating that these “gadgets” are actually battle-tested tools & workflows that we use concurrently throughout the project life cycle. We will also walk through the challenges of getting to the ultimate goal of delivering a valuable digital asset for the client and operations staff.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Daniel has 16 total years in the water & construction industries utilizing software and technology to solve common problems. With his 5 years as a BIM/VDC Manager at Slayden, he and his team are responsible for the planning and execution of all BIM/VDC deliverables
for current projects, estimates, and proposals.

He also takes pride in the implementation of cutting edge technology and software. Things like laser scanning, UAV Photogrammetry, and the usage of 4D Scheduling have been monumental in keeping Slayden relevant and competitive in this industry.

When he is not in the office you will likely find him outdoors backpacking with his family, on the river fly fishing, or volunteering in the non-profit sector working on various environmental & humanitarian projects.

2:00pm - 2:45pm
ID: 232 / Session 17A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Construction & Alternate Delivery, Facility Operations & Maintenance, Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Startup and Commissioning, Control System Integration, Biological Nutrient Removal

Startup and Commissioning of Biological Nutrient Removal Facilities

William Leaf, Stephanie McGregor

Jacobs, United States of America;

The startup and commissioning of biological nutrient removal (BNR) systems can be one of the more challenging aspects of a Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) project. Proper design, coordination, and scheduling is required for an efficient commissioning phase, ensuring the unit processes work on day one of operation. Startup and commissioning of a WRRF project is one of the most important phases, where the respective unit process, associated equipment, instrumentation, and communication system must all work together as intended to achieve the project goals. Use of predictive tools leading into the commissioning phase can greatly increase the odds of success of this complicated endeavor.

The presentation provides guidance on the best practices in starting up BNR facilities, bridging the gap between the traditional methods with the new control strategies and innovations available in the industry today. Any biological treatment system requires a level of acclimation prior to meeting the expected treatment performance, and this needs to be addressed to ensure the effluent quality from the facility is achieved throughout the duration of the commissioning phase. There are a number of strategies and approaches available to mitigate a reduction in effluent quality during unit process startup. Implementation of the SCADA system is a key component, requiring a systematic approach to allow a smooth transition for the integration of any updated control logic. Predictive tools are available in the industry to help prepare and address issues that may arise during startup, helping develop mitigation strategies before the actual startup and commissioning phase begins (e.g. – Replica™ control system integration and dynamic hydraulic simulator, whole plant process simulators). Incorporating WRRF operations and maintenance staff in the startup planning and follow-on activities is critical to the success of the project, providing the necessary training together with hands-on operation of the new equipment and instrumentation. Lessons-learned from the recent startup and commissioning projects will be presented, highlighting actual challenges and associated mitigation steps at the respective WRRFs (Grants Pass, OR and Lahaina, HI will be used as reference projects).

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
William Leaf is a Principal Technologist with Jacobs, specializing in wastewater treatment projects (planning, design, plant optimization, and commissioning). He has been in the industry for over 25 years in the Northwest, and is based in Jacobs' Boise office.
3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 17B: Construction & Alternate Delivery - Livestream
Location: 120AB
3:00pm - 3:45pm
ID: 286 / Session 17B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Construction & Alternate Delivery
Keywords: Project Delivery, Construction, Risk Management

Rethinking Risk Management Approaches in Design-Bid-Build Projects

Michelle Green

Jacobs, United States of America;

VIrtual Sessions

As the use of Collaborative Delivery models (e.g. CM/GC, GC/CM, Progressive Design Build) expand, Owners and Engineers are becoming exposed to the risks that Contractors regularly manage and price. These models inherently require characterization and negotiation of risk allocation, with the goal of shifting risks to the party best able to manage them. This analysis of likelihood and consequence of failure, along with an understanding of the practical cost implications associated with simply shifting risk to the Contractor, results in better informed decision-making. A similar approach can be implemented in traditional Design-Bid-Build delivery models to support better project outcomes.

This presentation will first provide an overview of the risk management process utilized in collaborative models. Then, examples of how to apply these techniques in a traditional delivery model to manage project costs and reduce potential for claims will be discussed. Specific areas of focus include:

  • Actively managing scope growth during design
  • Use of a Risk Register during design development
  • Minimizing unknowns through additional pre-construction investigations
  • Good and bad examples of allocating risk to the contractor
  • Effective utilization of Allowances, Contingencies, incentives, etc.
  • Risks that Owners should retain
Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Ms. Green has over 25 years of experience delivering a variety of water and wastewater projects. Her responsibilities have included the full range of project development—from planning and design through Construction Phase services—in all delivery formats. These have included providing project delivery analyses, leading design services for CM/GC projects, leading Fixed Price and Progressive Design-Build projects, and providing Owner’s Advisory services for both CM/GC and Progressive Design-Build projects.

3:45pm - 4:30pm
ID: 186 / Session 17B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Collection and Conveyance
Keywords: UV-CIPP, Trenchless, Rehabilitation, Sanitary sewer

Between a Lake and a Hard Place: Constructability Constraints & CIPP Lining

Brendan O'Sullivan

Murraysmith, United States of America; Brendan.O'

The City of Fairview’s Interlachen trunk sewer, constructed in 1966, is a 12-inch-diameter concrete sanitary sewer along Fairview Lake’s northern shoreline. To extend the service life of their system, the City decided to rehabilitate approximately 12,000 linear feet of the degraded concrete trunk sewer.

The trunk sewer is located predominantly in private backyards routed through backyard easements of nearly 70 private properties along the lakeshore within an existing easement, presenting a unique set of construction challenges. Any excavation along the Fairview Lake shoreline would trigger floodplain permitting and likely an archaeological investigation, as the project area was once the site of a large Multnomah Native American village known as ničáqʷli. Since development of the land in 1911, an abundance of artifacts and burial remains associated with ničáqʷli have been uncovered.

These challenges provided the opportunity for an innovative solution. In the case of the Interlachen Trunk Sewer, constructability constraints presented the perfect opportunity to use UV-CIPP lining. The small construction footprint helped minimize impacts to residents, requiring less equipment to install the liner than steam or water cured CIPP methods.

This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges faced during the Interlachen Sewer Rehabilitation Project and the advantages of using UV-CIPP lining to minimize private property impacts.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Brendan O’Sullivan, P.E.
With a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Portland Brendan is a principal engineer and project manager at Murraysmith for public improvement projects involving rehabilitation and new installation of municipal water and wastewater infrastructure. And was the recipient of the NASTT 2019 Trent Ralston Young Professional Achievement Award.
Date: Wednesday, 15/Sept/2021
8:00am - 10:15amSession 24A: Risk Assessment & Emergency Response - Livestream
Location: 120AB
8:00am - 8:45am
ID: 176 / Session 24A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Risk Assessments and Emergency Response, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Strategic Planning, Resiliency, Emergency Preparedness

Assessment of Critical Dependencies for Rapid Disaster Recovery

Wayne Gresh1, Dave Breitenstein2, Kent Yu3

1Carollo Engineers; 2City of Eugene, OR; 3SEFT Consulting Group; ,

The Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) mission is to protect the community’s health and environment by providing high-quality wastewater services to the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. In alignment with that mission, MWMC identified and assessed critical dependencies that could impact its ability to respond and recover from a disaster. The effort was part of developing a Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Plan that assessed expected performance of conveyance and treatment facilities and outlined actions and upgrades needed to achieve Oregon Resiliency Plan level of service goals for the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and MWMC’s internal goals for a catastrophic flood adjusted to reflect climate change effects.

To identify critical dependencies, staff used a matrix provided by its consultant team to explore and rank what was most needed for disaster response and recovery. This effort identified employee and family preparedness; City and regional roads; telecommunications; post-event structural assessments; up-to-date Emergency Operations and Continuity of Operations plans; power; data; vendor and shipping services; fuel; and post-event mechanical, electrical, and plumbing assessments as the ten most critical dependencies.

Each of the critical dependencies were assessed by the consultant team in partnership with staff members. This included (a) staff responding to a survey that assessed employee and family preparedness and (b) identifying critical materials and supplies and the respective vendors. The consultant team worked with staff and Eugene and Springfield Emergency Managers to develop actions that could be taken to be better prepared and minimize the potential for cascading failures.

MWMC has found this effort very valuable to gain a better awareness and understanding of the critical dependencies through staff engagement. The effort provided a direct benefit in the effort needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020 Eugene updated its continuity of operations plan, one of the dependencies identified. Based on that update they were prepared and successfully implemented procedures to address chain of command, reduced staffing, and accounting procedures needed during the emergency. This presentation will focus on the critical dependencies identified and the actions outlined to better prepare for disaster response and recovery.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Wayne Gresh is a project manager with over 40 years experience in planning, design, and construction of wastewater conveyance and treatment facilities. He has led and/or participated on several vulnerability and resiliency planning efforts for utilities throughout the PNW, helping them to prepare for the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and other disasters.

Dave Breitenstein is the Wastewater Division Director for the City of Eugene, where he manages the operation of MWMC’s wastewater facilities. Dave has 39 years of experience in wastewater operations. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Linfield College and an Associate of Science degree in Water/Wastewater Technology from Linn-Benton Community College.

Dr. Kent Yu is Principal of SEFT Consulting Group located in Portland Oregon. He is a nationally recognized champion for community resilience planning, and have been involved in more than 20 resilience planning projects in the Pacific Northwest.

8:45am - 9:30am
ID: 231 / Session 24A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Risk Assessments and Emergency Response, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Seismic; Resilience, Infrastructure, Assessment; Earthquake

Seismic Resilience and Implications on Critical Infrastructure

Scott Schlechter, Jason Bock

GRI, United States of America; ,

The Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) located off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California can produce some of the largest earthquakes (magnitude 9.0) in the world. Over the past 10,000 years, this fault has had 41 significant ruptures with the last large event in 1700. This equates to an approximately 30% chance of another major rupture (Mw 8+) in the next 50 years. Oregon legislature recognized the potential hazard and in 2013, the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission published the Oregon Resilience Plan to determine likely impacts of a CSZ earthquake. The plan addresses acceptable timeframes to restore infrastructure after an earthquake/tsunami event and changes that Oregon can take to reach resilience targets. During the plan’s development, a Water and Wastewater Task Group was created to review vulnerabilities of the state’s pipelines, treatment plants, and pump stations. Per the findings of the plan, drinking water and sewer infrastructure could take up to three years to restore services. Since then it has been left to individual agencies to figure out what to do with aging infrastructure and ways to reduce the damage a CSZ earthquake will have on critical drinking water and sewer systems. Navigating various seismic codes and identifying the right plan is not an easy task. The Oregon Resilience Plan is not specifically tied to design code guidance and therefore there is not a clear approach to seismic resiliency that will be the right fit for every agency. This presentation will focus on how owners and design teams can collaborate to prepare a risk assessment model that will establish how to define resilience, system impacts, and solutions for mitigation. A case study completed at the Port of Portland will demonstrate how to implement a risk assessment model. Through the case study, we will cover the roles of the owner and designer, hazard identification, risks to the economic structure, developing practical mitigation strategies, and cost-benefit analysis. Key takeaways will include steps for understanding state and regional expectations for resilience, demystifying seismic analyses and design, and strategies to prepare infrastructure to be resilient.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Jason Bock, PE
Jason brings 14 years of experience with all phases of investigation, design, reporting, construction specifications, and contract administration for a variety of projects. Jason’s core focus is on seismic engineering and seismic resiliency. Jason is actively involved with Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and ASCE 7-22 subcommittees, he is shaping the profession’s understanding of the interaction of seismic forces on soil and structures and brings a deep understanding of complex methodologies and equipment.

Unique Expertise:
~Specializes in interaction of seismic forces on soil and structures and brings a deep
understanding of complex design methodologies and equipment.
~Promotes community awareness for preparation of a major seismic event.
~Designed practical and constructible foundation solutions for critical infrastructure in
seismically hazardous areas.
~Recipient of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National 2020
Young Engineer of the Year.
~Actively involved in current research focusing on seismic hazards in the Pacific

Scott Schlechter, PE, GE, D.PE
Scott Schlechter is a principal with GRI and has 20 years of experience completing a wide range of geotechnical studies that have focused on challenging soil-structure interaction, deep foundation design, liquefaction studies, and ground improvement for reservoirs, pump stations, water and wastewater treatment plants, pipelines, and waterfront facilities. Scott leads GRI’s seismic design group that has completed seismic upgrade studies for many essential water infrastructure projects. He actively participates in industry forums for improving and refining the seismic engineering guidelines.

Unique Expertise:
~Has helped develop, refine, and implement the seismic design requirements for the
Willamette Water Supply Program.
~Has extensive deep utility design experience in representative hazardous soil
~Recognized expertise in seismic hazard evaluations and applications for critical
infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest.
~Has developed site-specific deformation criteria and reviewed ground improvement and
seismic mitigation for numerous critical riverfront infrastructure projects.

9:30am - 10:15am
ID: 162 / Session 24A: 3
Main Technical Program
Topics: Utility & Assessment Management, Risk Assessments and Emergency Response
Keywords: Risk, Resource, Treatment, Planning, Water

Regional Water System Risk Analysis and Planning

Jason Hurless1, Byron Smith2

1Stantec Consulting Services Inc., United States of America; 2City of Hermiston, Oregon; ,

The City of Hermiston and the Port of Umatilla are partners in the ownership and management of the Regional Water System (RWS) located in the Greater Hermiston, OR area. The RWS was created in the mid-1990’s to convey up to an ultimate flow of 27,000 gpm of Columbia River water to connected and rate paying users. The water is pulled from just upstream of the McNary Dam by the Intake Pump Station and conveyed through nearly nine miles of 42-inch Ameron pipeline to booster stations, a water treatment plant and the end users. These users range from food processors, power generating facilities, data centers, agricultural growers and the City of Hermiston for potable water treatment. The RWS infrastructure is nearly 30 years old, however, the number of users and the sophistication of the system has expanded greatly since it’s creation. With the aging facilities in mind and overall economic importance of the RWS increasing, the RWS requested that Stantec Consulting Services Inc. perform the RWS’s first facility plan. As part of this facility planning effort, Stantec performed a condition assessment on the RWS facilities and worked closely with the users, City and the Port on a system by system risk evaluation. The risks were assigned occurrence probabilities and associated costs if the risks were realized. The weighted risks were monetized and ranked for prioritization purposes. Three main output were developed resulting from this effort:

  1. Future projects were prioritized and an overall CIP for the system established.
  2. Targeted emergency reserve funds were established to manage the potential risks.
  3. Non-potable and potable water rates were updated to create adequate reserve funds as part of the risk mitigation strategy.

The CIP framework was finalized and communicated to the users with the first year of capital upgrades projects underway.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Mr. Nick Smith is a Principal Project Manager and civil engineer with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. out of the Boise, ID office. Mr. Smith has 20 years experience in facility planning, wastewater treatment and water conveyance systems and has performed work on the Regional Water System for nearly ten years.

Mr. Byron Smith is the City Manager for the City of Hermiston, OR.
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 24B: Utility Planning & Asset Management - Livestream
Location: 120AB
10:30am - 11:15am
ID: 270 / Session 24B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Utility & Assessment Management
Keywords: CSO, combined sewer, equity, planning, community engagement

Co-Creating a Combined Sewer Plan – A Tool that Reports Infrastructure Costs and Benefits in Real Time to Facilitate Community Based Planning

Brent Robinson1, Alice Lancaster2, Erik Davido3

1Seattle Public Utilities; 2Herrera Environmental Consultants; 3Davido Consulting Group, Inc.; , ,

Seattle Public Utilities is reimagining the planning process for combined sewer overflows (CSO) and stormwater improvements through the Longfellow Starts Here (LSH) project by endeavoring to make planning accessible and meaningful to the community served by this project. Whereas traditional options analysis has centered on technical feasibility and cost minimization approaches with sparse community engagement on leading options, the LSH team is shifting the planning approach to begin with community and co-create an infrastructure vision through simplified planning tools that demystify drainage and wastewater infrastructure. One tool, the Drainage and Wastewater High Level Planning Tool, is a Microsoft Excel based calculator that reports the cost and water quality performance of various user defined infrastructure scenarios in real time. Specifically, the user selects a suite of CSO reduction and water quality treatment options and the tool reports the planning-level cost, CSO volume reduction and pollutant reduction to Longfellow Creek. The intent of this tool is to facilitate simple, iterative planning so that community can collaborate with SPU to “co-create” the project and engage in dialogue around trade-offs and benefits of various options. The LSH team hopes this tool, through meaningful community engagement, will promote unconstrained creativity and help to elevate optimal strategies by removing the historical bottlenecks in infrastructure planning from modeling and cost analysis given that these calculations are performed automatically by the tool. This presentation will provide a summary of the scenario planning tool’s intended uses, an overview of the back-end calculations and assumptions, and a real time test drive of the tool to showcase its performance.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Brent Robinson, P.E. - Strategic Advisor @ Seattle Public Utilities
Alice Lancaster, P.E. - Principle Engineer @ Herrera Environmental Consultants
Erik Davido, P.E. - President @ Davido Consulting Group, Inc.

11:15am - 12:00pm
ID: 230 / Session 24B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Facility Operations & Maintenance, Utility & Assessment Management, Risk Assessments and Emergency Response
Keywords: Asset Management, Condition Assessment, Piping, GIS tools

Asset Management Shifts Utility Management from Reactive to Proactive

Katie Spilker1, Steven Dutschke1, Mia Sabanovic2

1Kennedy Jenks Consultants; 2Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; ,

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Columbia Blvd Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) was first constructed in 1952 and continued to expand in later years​. Many process pipes and plumbing systems are original to the plant’s construction and have often been the forgotten brethren of the CBWTP. The majority of the pipes have not been inspected internally during their lifetime or assessed for their condition and remaining useful life (RUL)​. The CBWTP has experienced an increase in pipe breaks in recent years causing process areas to be taken down and creating a detrimental impact on plants operations and a sharp increase in financial expenditures​. Frequent breaks and leaks also impact operations and maintenance resources as piping systems are continuously patched to ensure reliable operations of the treatment plant.

BES Condition Assessment team has engaged with Kennedy Jenks consultants to prioritize, inspect, and assess plant process piping helping move BES towards proactive management of its pipe assets. The primary goal of this project is to identify BES’s risk exposure due to these aging pipe assets to enable tailored and sustainable long-term replacement/rehabilitation strategies.

This presentation will outline the vision and drivers for this project, along with sharing success stories and how other utilities can adopt similar programs. Attendees will learn about developing a truly integrated asset management solution, from identifying pipe assets, managing these process piping assets in CMMS, bringing GIS tools within the plant fences, developing risk and prioritization tools, using advanced condition assessment technology and conducting this with careful coordination with a busy plant’s scheduling restraints. Finally, the presentation will focus on creating a cultural of change in managing assets, one that proactively inspects piping systems and avoids unforeseen breaks and leaks through effective risk communication long after the team members have moved on.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Steven Dutschke is a reliability and data intelligence engineer at Kennedy Jenks. Steven has spent the last 10 years working to improve operations and maintenance programs through the application of analytics and asset management solutions in the water and oil and gas industries in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Mia Sabanovic, P.E. is an Engineer III at the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). She has over 15 years of civil engineering experience in public utility sector. She has been actively engaged in Asset Management Program in the City of Portland for the past 10 years. Mia leads a dynamic group of analysts and planners at the Colombia Blvd Wastewater Treatment Plant in the pursuit of improved management of BES assets through the application of programmatic maintenance and condition assessment.

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