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PCDA Making Progress On Long-Range Planning

 

February 20, 2020

The Pottawatomie County Development Authority heard from two engineering businesses regarding services needed to continue with the Oklahoma Rural Water Associations Long Range Sustainability Plan.

Phil Brown with Brown Engineering, out of Stillwater, presented his qualifications first.

Brown said his company has been in business since 1995. Before opening his own business, Brown worked for the federal government.

The company will gather information from staff and line maps for hydraulic analysis. Based on the data collected, it will provide a long-range plan and make a recommendation on how to best serve current and potential customers. Brown said, “the hardest thing to do is get the maps together showing the line sizes and where users are located to provide the most accurate hydraulic analysis possible. I think the big thing is having somebody you feel comfortable with, that you can trust to tell you what they think is right.

“Some of the systems we’ve worked with for twenty years or longer,” said Brown. “We have a pretty good idea of what’s out there and what they need. But starting in on a new system there are things you will know about your system that even though we have all the map information and you tell us everything you think you can, there are still things we’re not going to know.

Brandon Wall, with Wall Engineering located in Durant, has been working with PCDA for a few years doing water line relocations.

“We do a lot of work in this area,” said Wall. “In fact, I think I’ve passed Hardesty Road ten times this week.”

“We have seven of these water planning studies going on right now,” said Wall. “A big part of our work is treatment. We do a tremendous amount of treatment. A big focus of our firm is water and wastewater treatment along with planning studies for water and sewer. The project is right in our wheelhouse.”

Wall said, “We already have your linework mapped. We’ve never actually looked at how you’re set up hydraulically. I know we’ve looked at a lot of things with Dr. (Joe) Taron on prospective projects but never looked overall at the hydraulics of your system.

“We approach these from the standpoint of existing infrastructure to start with; then proposed infrastructure; then growth areas, where you need to expand. We typically look at 5, 10, 20, and 50-year master plans in terms of water service: how can you receive water; what’s your supply like; look at alternate supplies. Then, what would your whole district look like fully developed? How would it function hydraulically, fully developed? From there, we will back it down to the board’s priorities in terms of storage, additional water lines, additional water lines sizes, and alternate sources. We always take a look at alternate sources.”

Wall also went over information on leak detection systems, which he said are especially helpful for systems that purchase water. The system assists in the early detection of leaks. Additional information discussed included information on where to find grants and recommendations regarding the purchase and replacement of meters.

Board Chairman Marty Lewis said an item would be on the March agenda to decide which firm PCDA would choose for the project.

Project Director Steve Shultz said Shawnee Conservation District removed 50 to 60 unwanted trees on and around the dam at Wes Watkins. He also said he had been in contact with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) regarding road construction at I-40 and Harrah Road. Although the work is not scheduled to begin until 2026, Shultz is working on having NRCS engineers design a riparian wetland in that area.

The south arm of Deer Creek is located on PCDA property and near the future construction area and into Wes Watkins. Shultz said Deer Creek was straightened years ago, which causes the water to run really fast into the reservoir. It is taking sediment with it. The wetland is needed to slow the water down and reduce the sediment Deer Creek dumps into the lake.

“I appreciate so much the awareness that Steve has of our responsibilities,” Taron said. “I want to thank him for his tenacity. He has an awareness of our commitment to NRCS. He’s doing a great job and I appreciate it.”

PCDA manager Robbie Fitzgerald said a service leak on Gaddy Road had been repaired as well as a main leak on Coker Road.

The board will hold its next regular meeting on March 12 at 4:30 pm at the PCDA office located at 1750 Bethel Road.

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