Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:38 AM
Dear Mayor Green, Vice Mayor Burnette, Councilman Bastian, Councilman Ford and Councilman Kennedy:
Jason Yarborough, former director of Port Orange Public Utilities, received a warning letter from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on April 28th, 2014. He received a 2nd related letter on June 2nd, 2014. Both are attached for your review.
The City of Port Orange is being fined an as yet unknown amount by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection because we discharged water into the Halifax River in an illegal manner. We exceeded our authorized amount. See portion in red below. Further a consent order with remediation instructions for the City of Port Orange is being prepared from that agency, is in draft form now and will be released within several days. I know all this because I just spoke with Jenny Ferrell @ 407-897-4173 who is referenced in the PDF attached labelled Compliance Inspection. A very forth coming young lady. She answered all my questions and reminded me that this is all public information. Information that I as a taxpayer am absolutely entitled to. How refreshing.
To restate: Port Orange is being fined because it exceeded its allotted discharge amount into the Halifax River per this paragraph below from the warning letter of April 28th, 2014:
“According to the February 2014 DMR submittal, the flow (FLW-2) annual average for D-001 was reported as 1.081 million gallons per day (MGD), which exceeded the flow annual average permit limit of 0.999 MGD”
“Violations of Florida Statutes or administrative rules may result in liability for damages and restoration, and the judicial imposition of civil penalties, pursuant to Sections 403.121, Florida Statutes
We are facing these fines because our reclaimed lakes system west of SR 415 does not work or works intermittently and badly. How I think this problem arose: The Reclaimed Water Reservoir/Recharge Basin Project has failed to achieve its stated goal of allowing the City to basically eliminate the discharge of effluent to the Halifax River (quote from Quentin Hampton,engineer of record). As I understand it, this project has not worked as expected for years due to the failure of the concept because of improper design of the SOCKS system, a type of filtration system, compounded by unexpected deterioration of the system.
The project styled as the Reclaimed Water Reservoir/Recharge Basin Project, Phases I, II, & III and located west of State Road 415 on city land was conceived and implemented to avoid the exact crisis that was identified during an inspection on January 14th and 15th, 2014. This plan was to be an alternative to dumping water like other cities currently do and are able to still do legally because they did not agree to establish this reclaimed lakes system we have in place and that does not work.
The engineer on this project, is our engineer of record for 32 years, Quentin L. Hampton Associates.
Below are quotes taken directly from Quentin L. Hampton Associates active website, today’s date, about this project, described as a “Notable Project”. I hope what is below provides some context about the issue. The Port Orange City project ironically is touted by Quentin Hampton on their website as one of its notable successes as an engineer and is being used apparently to attract further related business. Based on the fact that Port Orange is soon to be fined, is now under scrutiny by the DEP, and has to take remedial action, I would question its placement on their website as “notable”. At this point I would like to ask: do we get some help from Quentin Hampton on our fine and do they have errors and ommissions insurance? And are they going to fix this project that does not work? And when? We have paid this company millions of dollars over the years. 32 years.
QLH has served as Port Orange’s utility consultant since 1982. All of the City’s water and sewer projects for the past 30 years were designed and overseen by the firm’s engineering staff. The reclaimed water reservoir/recharge basin project was conceived by QLH as part of a regional program which would ultimately consist of a series of interconnected reservoirs enabling seasonal storage of reuse and shared utilization of the resource. The project was a required component of the City’s Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) and SJRWMD shared in the cost of construction.
Primary components of this project include: (1) 3.0 mg storage tank, 22,000 LF 24” D.I.P., 100acre and 75-acre pair of reservoir/recharge basins, 8,500 linear feet of horizontal recovery wells, recovery pumps/ controls, transfer pumps, pump station, and paved access road. All of the components are constructed on City western wellfield property west of Tomoka Farms Road in Volusia County. This project provides for increased reuse utilization, eliminates effluent discharge to the Halifax River and enhances aquifer recharge. The project also includes the harvest of storm water to transfer and store in the basins as further reclaimed water supply augmentation and recharge.
The project was designed to enable recovery (2.5 mgd) on a continuous basis and a peak recovery capacity of 4 mgd. The project will yield 1.0 mgd of additional irrigation water supply. Recharge is estimated at 0.8 mgd. The estimated potable water offset provided by reclaimed water is 0.93 mgd.
Phase I of the three (3) phase project was bid and awarded to Censtate Contractors in June 2004. The total bid price for Phase I was $8.77 million. A Florida Forever Grant of $2.38 million was received for the project.
Phase II was an excavation contract for excavation of the 100 acre reservoir. The total bid price was $1.05 million awarded to Halifax Paving in February 2005.
Phase III was for additional mechanical components and electrical system. The total bid price was $2.28 million and was awarded to Wright Construction in December 2006 and completed in January 2008.
Since completion of the reservoirs reclaimed water has been successfully stored for recovery or recharge of the aquifer. This project has allowed the City to basically eliminate the discharge of effluent to the Halifax River. Recently the City hired QLH to permit a wetland discharge from the reclaimed reservoirs. This permitting effort allowed the City to increase the permitted capacity by an additional 100 MG, by increasing the maximum operating level. Additionally, the reservoir may be ‘topped off’ and overflow 0.99 MGD AADF to an adjacent wetland.
The second and absolutely related issue is Agenda Item #7 Amendment of Agreement with Halifax Paving for excavation and of stockpiling of fill material at the City Wellfields. They were/are directly involved in the project described above. Our costly relationship with Halifax Paving has extended over numerous years. And the work is still not complete. Timeline as we understand it below.
So I would ask our council and mayor, where is our money from Halifax Paving, where is our completed lake, why does this years long project not work, and why are these companies that appear to have failed us repeatedly and for years still working for us?
Please Mayor Green and Council: Allow these topics to be fully vetted before you move forward on Item #7. There is a huge problem here. If council moves forward on this Amendment of Agreement with Halifax Paving, it will generate only further scrutiny, criticism and mistrust. We demand due diligence at this point. Our taxpayers deserve nothing less.
Dianne Templeton Gardner
PS: I may have some minor errors in this letter, but I think I am directionally correct. Please..let me know if I have made any mistakes that are substantial.
|Halifax Paving Timeline|
|Contract and Dates||Terms of Contract||Status of Contract|
|Contract for Bid B05-04 “Sale||Halifax to buy 500,000 cy of excess fill dirt||Continued to 12/31/2007 by|
|and Hauling of Fill Material”||currently being excavated from 75-acre lake.||CO 1 below.|
|00/00/2003-05/03/2005||Halifax to pay city $1,050,000 for dirt.|
|CO No 1 to above||Halifax to build 100-acre lake, berms, restor-||Continued to 12/31/2008 by|
|05/03/2005-12/31/2007||ation work, road work. Halifax to buy dirt for||CO 2 below.|
|$2.10 cy, City to pay Halifax $2.10 cy for the|
|work. It’s a wash. City “to provide 513,000|
|cy dirt to Riverwalk developer at $2.10 cy.|
|CO No 2 to above||Halifax to complete northernlake section by||Continued to 12/31/2010 by|
|11/13/2007-12/31/2008||01/30/2008 or penalties start. Full com-||CO 3 below.|
|pletion by 12/31/2008. SJRWMD okay w/ it.|
|Changed some loading/hauling charges.|
|CO No 3 to above||Halifax to increase depth and get 3:1 ratio of||Extended to 12/31/2014|
|12/02/2008-12/31/2010||Halifax:City of extra million yards. Incentives|
|Storage until 12/31/2013||and penalties for completion. New permit to|
|expire Feb 2011. Halifax can continue to|
|store dirt on site til 12/31/2013.|
|Contract Extension “Extension||Halifax must still excavate remaining 600-||Amended by below|
|Agreement for Excavation and||730,000 cy of dirt and give 300,000 to City or|
|Stockpiling of Fill Material”||$1,050,000 on a schedule.|
|Amendment to Extension||Halifax must supply performance/payment|
|bond for $1,050,000.|