August 2016
A regular meeting of the Board of the Plum Creek Municipal Authority was held on August 16, 2016 at the Plum Creek Municipal Authority Business Office Building, South Manheim Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.

Board members present at the meeting were Jim Ridderhoff, Tom Nagle, and Dennis Scharadin. Also in attendance were Dave Bright (PCMA Engineer), Joe Zerbe (PCMA Attorney), Jeff Crawford (PCMA Operations Manager, Select Environmental), and property owners who signed the attendance record: Rob & Barb Petlansky.

Jim Ridderhoff called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m.

Jim welcomed the visitors who attended the meeting and opened the floor to them. Rob Petlansky asked the Board for consideration on his water bill due to excessive amounts of water that had to be run off due to dirty water. In the period Mr. Petlansky was addressing, he used approximately $120 more in overage charges than he normally did. Jen looked back at the two-year water usage history of his property and, although there was always overage that was used, it never resulted in the overage amount that accumulated from running off dirty water during April, May, and June of this year. Mr. Petlansky said that he had no dirty water for the past two weeks, which corresponded to the repair and maintenance of two of the PCMA’s wells. The Board granted the Petlansky’s request for a reduction in their water bill in the amount of $120 for excess water used during the second quarter of the year. The minutes of the prior meeting held in July, 2016 were reviewed and accepted by motion of Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, and carried by all.

The Treasurer's report for July, 2016 was reviewed and accepted by motion of Tom Nagle, seconded by Dennis Scharadin, carried by all.

Jeff gave the manager’s report. In water operations he reported:

  • Normal operations continue. No violations were reported for the month of July.
  • Well #3’s pump and casing were replaced by Kohl Bros. on July 29th – the casings from Well #8 were used in Well #3. Initially, after replacing the pump and casing, the gallons pumped per minute (gpm) was 110 but it dropped to 80 gpm the following day. After that, it dropped down to 70 gpm. Since August 3rd, the gpm has gradually dropped even more as the well depth dropped. As recommended by Scott Mundell from SSM, Well #3’s pump was shut off on August 16th for a period of 24 hours to perform a recovery test.
  • The Booster Station was at 15.2 psi, and was increasing moderately every few days, until the dam test was done for the LWPOA, after which the psi dropped to 13.5. A visual inspection of the interior of the large water storage tank was performed and the water level was found to be five feet from overflowing.
  • Daily phosphate testing continues at each of the wells. The Klenphos dosage for Well #3 had to be increased.
  • Repaving for areas that were disrupted due to water system leak repairs has been completed.
  • Quotes from Subsurface Technologies for Aqua Freed cleaning for the wells were received. The cost per well falls between $22,000 and $30,000.
  • The second pressure test on the water line running across the big dam was completed on August 9th, with both main valves closed, as requested by the LWPOA. The LWPOA’s engineer was present and he seemed satisfied with the results of the test. At the start of the test, 140 psi was recorded and it dropped to 120 psi, possibly due to a leaky faucet close by. After the conclusion of the dam test, excessive flushing was required to eliminate dirty water which occurred. The expected flushing resulting from the test was the reason the test couldn’t be done sooner; the storage tanks had to have adequate water to clear the system of the dirty water the test produced. Roughly 100,000 gallons of water was needed to flush the system after the dam test was completed, which brought the supply in the storage tank down considerably.
In sewage operations, Jeff reported that:
  • Normal operations continue.
  • In comparison to four loads of sludge taken to Pine Grove in previous months, one is anticipated for August. Use of the new polymer is contributing to fewer loads needing to be hauled out.
  • Axiom is scheduled to start drum filter bearing repairs on Monday, August 23rd, along with installation of the blower.
  • The composite sampler was installed on July 28 and 29.
  • A plant safety inspection was performed on July 21st by Glatfelter Insurance, the Authority’s insurance company. A report from the insurance company has not been received yet.
  • The new used pump truck was licensed and Mickey started using it to determine and recommend the modifications needed. There was an issue with the air line that Mickey repaired himself. All three trucks will be utilized – two will be used for pumping and the third will be used for storage until the load can be put through the sewage treatment plant. There are still approximately 35 backlogged septic pumps that need to be done.
  • The small pickup truck is scheduled for annual inspection next week.
Jeff said that on the first pump with the new, used pump truck (referred to as the Blue Star), had an issue. The prior owner moved the air lines for the brake lines for painting purposes, and the air lines were then reinstalled on the top of the exhaust for the pump. When Mickey took it out to do a pump, the air lines burnt through and he lost the use of the brakes and couldn’t move the truck. He figured out a way to release the brakes using sticks to plug up the holes, got the truck moving and back to the plant, and then went for new air lines and installed them on the truck where they won’t get burnt. Jeff said Mickey also recommended using recapped tires rather than new tires because of the way the tires turn in driveways. The tires are damaged by the tar on the roads and the snow in the wintertime. The Board said they had decided at another meeting earlier in the year that recapped tires should be used when they’re replaced again.

Jeff also said that it’s going to take both Mickey and Joe pumping to get the backlogged pumps caught up by the end of September so Jen can send more septic pump due notices out. Jen said, in addition to the pump backlog of customers who called in for their three-year pumps, she hasn’t been able to send notifications out since April. She and Jeff will work on a plan to bring the pumps current without creating a bottleneck every three years.

The daily average for gallons of water production for all of the wells inclusively is 190 gallons per minute, up from 169 for the previous month. Jim asked Jeff if he was satisfied with the recovery of the wells since the pump replacements were made and Jeff told him he refers to Dave Bright and Scott Mundell for their input on that question. He said that Scott feels Well #3 should be addressed next, with video inspection to see what’s happening in the well. Depending what’s found, Well #3 would probably be the best candidate for the first cleaning done with the Aqua Freed process. Jeff added that the supply of the Klenphos 100 being used was down to about six 30-gallon barrels, and the Klenphos 300 will be used after that.

In engineering matters, Dave Bright said, in reference to the question Jim asked about the well repairs and satisfactory results, he’s pleased that the production is up but the numbers aren’t as high as was what would be expected based on the information he has from the hydrogeological information on file regarding the wells. But he said that’s why fouling of the wells is suspected, meaning the fissures in the wells are clogged with iron and manganese. He said Well #3 was one of the wells that had limited information, and some of the information on file was actually wrong concerning the well construction. Dave said he was hoping to maintain a much higher water level than what is being experienced, and Scott Mundell is trying to establish an operating rate until cleaning of the well is done.

Tom asked Dave if he thought it was feasible to do the camera exploration on Well #3, perform the Aqua Freed treatment on Well #3, and install the accompanying Aqua Freed maintenance equipment before the end of the year. Dave said he thinks it would be as long as there’s enough water supply to take the well offline and out of service for the length of time needed to do the work. Dave said he hasn’t asked Scott to develop a detailed game plan because of waiting for an adequate water supply. Tom said if the Aqua Freed treatment and maintenance installation could be done for Well#3 this year, then Well #8 could be addressed next year, then Well#1 the following year, and Well #6 the next year. Then in the year 2020, the maintenance period could start for each well starting with Well #3. The Aqua Freed maintenance would then be on a 4-year schedule. Dave said that when the full-blown Aqua Freed process is done on one of the wells for the first time, a pipe will be installed to be used to do a future treatment on the well without having to remove the well pump again. Tom suggested that, as soon as time and conditions exist, plans should be made to start the work on the first well, and all agreed.

In another matter, Dave said that no word has been received from the Delaware River Basin Commission regarding the allocation application that’s in the DRBC’s hands to review.

On the sewage end of things, Tom said he felt that part of getting the sewage management plan back on track was to replace the big sewage storage tanks at the treatment plant. He said now that the treatment plant is operating much better, replacing the tanks would make it possible to get the full potential out of the plant. He said he was looking at whether or not the project could be done next year rather than putting it off until 2018. He said it might lower the Authority’s financial reserves. He suggested paying off the lowest of the two bank loans the PCMA has, and then applying for a loan to replace the sewage storage tanks. The pump truck loan balance was the lowest at roughly $48,000. The balance on the loan to repaint the water storage tanks is over $125,000. He asked Dave if he could get some specs together to see about starting the project next year, and Dave said he would. Jeff had suggested replacing the tanks with larger ones in prior talks, and Tom agreed it was a good idea.

In legal matters, Joe Zerbe said routine matters were addressed that included bankruptcy claims, lien satisfactions, and preparation for the upcoming tax sale.

Jen told the Board that some customers were asking about making PayPal payments. The Board decided against taking PayPal payments because the terms of service don’t allow for charging fees to help offset the cost of using the service. The PCMA charges a 3% fee for direct credit card payments to help offset the cost.

The Board noted that the PCMA’s Contingency Plan was updated to reflect changes in personnel and to update contact information.

Tom said a discussion took place some time ago about hiring a part-time person to help with well and plant checks on the weekend. He said Mike Kreiser (Select Environmental) said he could supply someone the PCMA could use. Dennis said he thought that would be a good idea, as did Jim. The Board told Jeff to tell Mike Kreiser to provide someone to start training to do the well and plant checks; Tom said he would touch base with Mike Kreiser to work out the details.

There being no further business, Tom Nagle motioned for adjournment, Dennis Scharadin seconded the motion, carried by all. The meeting was adjourned by Jim Ridderhoff at 7:15 pm.

Meeting minutes were taken, prepared, and submitted by Jennifer Hoy.

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