VIDEO. Annual report from Mark Thomas & Company, Inc. on sewer collections systems cleaning oversight, the Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG) inspection program.
RECOMMENDATION: By motion, accept the annual report from Mark Thomas & Company, Inc. on sewer collections systems cleaning oversight, the Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG) inspection program and related work.
FISCAL IMPACT: The FY 2019-20 Operations Budget includes funding for maintenance of the City’s sewer collection system. Maintenance involves a collaborative of City staff and contract services including the Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside (SAM) and Mark Thomas Company.
STRATEGIC ELEMENT: This recommendation supports the following Elements of the Strategic Plan: Infrastructure and Environment, Healthy Communities and Public Safety, and Inclusive Governance.
BACKGROUND: The City owns and operates approximately 35 miles of sewer main lines. The system also includes three pump (lift) stations. These together comprise the sewer collection system. The City is responsible for environmental compliance and any liability associated with maintenance and response to Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO). Maintenance includes regular cleaning, monitoring and repair of sewer main lines, pump stations, manholes and related facilities.
In January 2018, the City Council authorized staff to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for contract collection system maintenance. This RFP was released on January 22, 2018 with a due date of 4:00 PM February 20, 2018. The purpose of this RFP was to ultimately assure the greatest protection of the fragile coastal environment through use of best management practices in the cleaning and maintenance of the City’s collection system, which in turn reduces the potential for spills, associated fines and costs associated with violations of the Statewide Waste Discharge Requirements for sewer collection systems. In addition to the immeasurable cost of environmental impacts and the cost of litigation, fines and violations can quickly exceed savings achieved through insufficient or poorly executed and documented services.
On March 20, 2018, staff recommended that the City Council consider a “hybrid” approach to the contracting of collections system cleaning and management services. As recommended, SAM would continue to provide collection system cleaning including “Hot Spots” and sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) response. Mark Thomas Company would be contracted to provide oversight of cleaning services, SSO response oversight, and maintenance of the pump stations. MTCo would also handle FOG Inspections and manage data collected by SAM within the Lucity and ICOM software packages.
On March 20, 2018, the City Council authorized staff to proceed with negotiations of two separate 3-year contracts; one with SAM and the other with MTCo. On May 15, 2018, the City Council authorized the City Manager to execute 3-year contracts with both SAM and MTCo. Subsequently, following several SAM Board discussions and continuances, the City modified its request to a one-year contract with SAM which the Board ratified.
The hybrid model of collection system maintenance has been fully operational under the new contracts and scopes of work since July 23, 2018. Since initiating the new model, there has only been one small SSO event (reported 6 gallons). Our efforts continue to be focused on proactive and systematic review of the collections system by staff and our consultant/contractor team. Having SAM as our 24-hour, 7 day a week emergency call-out provider continues to be a major factor in our success to-date.
MTCo initiated inspections and documentation related to the FOG Program. As part of this process, MTCo identified almost two times the number of establishments requiring FOG inspection. The majority of these establishments involved the preparation and sale of food.
On May 7, 2019, the City Council executed Amendment No. 1 to the agreement with SAM for collections system cleaning, extending the contract by one year and reducing mainline cleaning to 50-percent per year.
At the same meeting, the City Council approved Amendment No. 1 to the Mark Thomas Company contract to address approximately $4,500 in additional costs for the City’s FOG program. The three (3) year contract anticipated the City’s transition to 50-percent mainline cleaning so no revision was necessary.