The Woodman Report II

[editor’s note]  Mr Woodman was a manager that retired from the Port Orange Utilities Department several years ago.  Mr Woodman presented a comprehensive report on our Utilities  Department 2 years ago (aka Woodman Report] …….

I finally got a chance to view the video of Neff’s reports to council on I&I and meters. It was rife with confusion, half truths and improper terminology. It is clear that this guy has very little knowledge and understanding of utilities operation and management.
Even when Bob Ford tried to nail him on a few things he continued to try and blow smoke up councils collective rear ends. It was embarrassing to watch his ineptitude and seeing council eat that crap up. His remarks about I&I and plant flows/capacity were off base. He improperly kept referring to lift stations as problems and not clarifying how they factored in to the I&I equation.
That leads to more confusion ad makes it look like we have a bigger problem and need to spend more than we need to. He glossed over the subject of large meters, many of which are improperly installed.
His overview of water plant metering was confusing at best and looked as though he was trying to take credit for work in that area. when plant operations and maintenance has been working on improving accountability of water used in the plant processes for a few years before he got here.
There were several questions that council and citizens asked and they got the usual answer, I’ll get back to you. It shows he was not well prepared. I could have answered some of them right on the spot.
R. Woodman

Submitted on 2015/11/24 at 8:44 am  by P.O.E
FYI, Richard Woodman was the Maintenance Superintendent for Port Orange Public Utilities for over 35 years and probably has more systemic institutional knowledge of our utility system than anyone else. He does not have a personal axe to grind with Mr. Neff. It is just very clear to him that Mr. Neff does not know his ass from his elbow about public utility systems in general and our specifically.
Woody’s objective observations are further evidence that we are now saddled with another incompetent utility director in the similitude of Tiny Yarborough.

Councilman Ford gets nervous while interviewing Utilities Director Neff on Neff’s somewhat strong desire for grandiose spending of city funds.

[vsw id=”146787382″ source=”vimeo” width=”550″ height=”400″ autoplay=”no”]


13 thoughts on “The Woodman Report II

  • November 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Ted asked about flow to the reclaimed plant. Any and all flow in the sewage collection system becomes plant influent and is metered as it enters the plant. This includes I&I and water pumped from the reclaimed water augmentation ponds. Therefore it becomes part of the daily flow through the plant it is not counted as additional flow for operational purposes. Flow readings should be readily available in minutes.
    Inflow is generally a more serious problem in our systems than infiltration. Smoke testing is inexpensive and will give quick and easy results. This can be done by city workers. Just drop smoke canisters and walk or drive the system checking for smoke rising through manholes and cleanouts or possibly the ground where pipes may have holes in them. To my recollection unless any smoke testing has been done in the last two years since I left, it was close to 15 years ago since any was done. That was in the area near Isabelle and Commonwealth that during high rainfall, flow inundated the lift station that served that system.
    As to Burnette’s comment about not flushing toilets during the hurricane, yes the lift stations were impacted by I&I but there was no electrical power to the vast majority of our lift stations so they couldn’t run. This issue has still not been properly addressed. Now we find ourselves in a reactive instead of proactive situation due to years of neglect by not having the programs in place to maintain our systems. It’s never to late to try to be proactive. You have to start somewhere.

  • November 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    From: Ted Noftall []
    Sent: Friday, November 20, 2015 9:37 AM
    To: Jake Johansson (
    Subject: Un-answered questions from Nov 17th council meeting
    Good morning Manager Johansson,
    Where do you stand with providing answers to those questions that went un-answered at the Nov 17th Council meeting ??
    Ted Noftall
    Candidate for Mayor
    City of Port Orange -2016

  • November 24, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    How can the utilities director put a price tag on repair & rehab (R&R) of the sewer collection system using just preliminary information?. So far they just identified some areas of concern but they have not done a detailed assessment of the actual work that needs to be performed. I think it is premature to put dollar amounts on it. There is definitely work that needs to be done but he needs to do more homework. I’m not sure he’s up to the task. He has alienated so many of the good people in the department to the point where the only ones that will genuinely help him are a few brown nosers and inexperienced rookies looking to further their careers.

    • November 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      It is good to see that you are monitoring this fiasco. It is difficult to say anything or be heard from within the organization as the city manager is covering for this guy. Thankfully good citizens like yourself and many of the activists like Ted Noftall see this for what it is. You have the institutional knowledge and a respected voice to call this bullshit when you see it. Hopefully the city council will open their eyes and realize how much damage this incompetent interloper is doing to the organization and its stakeholders. Once again thanks for using your voice and respected knowledge to call this deception out.

  • November 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    His report was trash. Garbage in garbage out. Lift station run times. Staff provided that to a paid consultant. Woo hoo! During the storm events pumps ran for hours on end and some were barely pumping as the force main pressures exceeded design under “normal” conditions. Some stations run in high flow situations and don’t pump a drop. Some run times are pumps running dry. None of the “real” field factors were accounted for. How about Ponce, Wilbur, Daytona Beach Shores,and Spruce Creek fly in.Any I&I in those locations. Bob Ford asked what the overall average was. Uhm don’t know. Good comprehensive report huh? But Seabird Island a private park was 48%. WTF kind of answer is that. He didn’t have a clue. The private parks control their flooding by removing their clean out caps. We all know that. A practice for decades. And now we are ready to spend big bucks for more useless studies. Money would be better spent fixing real problems and not chasing bogus numbers on useless studies. People like yourself Woody are ignored because new management looks at knowledge as power. Power they don’t have and won’t utilize. Does Council really think that staff doesn’t know where the money would be best spent? Apparently so. More than I&I are headed down the drain with this arrogant mindset.

  • November 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Right on, In the know. You brought up some really good points. Keep it coming. We also have manhole covers being opened to drain streets. We had to put flushing on force mains in certain areas due to force main flow velocity being too low causing them to plug up. We could go on and on.

  • November 25, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Check near the beginning of the video. Bob Ford asked Neff what the overall system daily infiltration average was. Instead of truthfully answering that question with ‘he did not know’ he gave Ford a totally unrelated answer.
    I was hoping Ford’s Police experience would have kicked in and Ford should have retorted with ‘That’s not the question I asked you’

  • November 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you Mr. Woodman for returning to the blog. What you have to say is very important.

  • November 25, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Here Is A Fiscally Conservative Way!
    (850) 668-2746
    Dear FRWA Member:
    The Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) looks forward to working with your system
    to address your Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) concerns.
    In order for the FRWA staff to assist you in the smoke testing of your collection
    system, we request that you assemble the following materials prior to our arrival:
    1. ‘LiquiSmoke’ smoke product. Liquismoke may be purchased from various
    suppliers including the USA Blue Book. If you choose to order from the USA Blue
    Book, you may contact them at (800) 548-1234
    Liquismoke One gallon jug Stock # 28459 Approx. $50
    Five gallon bucket Stock # 28460 Approx. $185
    2. Marking paint, wooden stakes, flags or other method of marking holes
    3. Gasoline for the smoke blower
    4. A camera and film or a camcorder (if you desire photographs or tape)
    5. 100 feet of ¼ “ or larger rope
    6. At least six sewer plugs (Large traffic cones work quite well, but can not be reused
    as cones, as we have to cut off the bases.)
    In addition to compiling the list of materials, we will need you to provide the following: (We
    will confirm this prior to on-site trip to perform I&I reduction work.
    1. Notification of the public, fire department, etc. Non-notification of your customers
    could lead to a public relations and publicity problem. The Florida Rural Water
    Association is not liable for customer reactions to use of equipment or the assistance
    it offers. You may want to contact each customer individually, as well as include in
    your local paper, (see attached sample notification). Proof of notification will be
    required prior to starting work.
    2. Provide two or three people to be used as spotters during the smoke testing. At
    least two helpers will be needed, who are capable of opening and closing manholes
    and carrying the smoke blowing machine from the truck to the manhole
    3. Involvement and assistance by the Fire Department can be very beneficial.
    4. If you require cataloging of the collection system, we ask that you number each
    manhole and provide a map to FRWA personnel. You will also be asked to provide
    multiple copies of the attached “Manhole Identification Sheet” (one for each manhole).
    Upon completion of all requested items, please contact FRWA at (800) 872-8207 to
    schedule an appointment for FRWA to spend a day with your system to train your
    personnel or complete smoke testing depending upon system size. Most likely, you want
    to consider a three-day window to perform smoke testing in case weather doesn’t allow
    testing on a specific day scheduled.
    Again, FRWA looks forward to hearing from you and working with you on this worthwhile,
    important project.
    FRWA Wastewater Section

  • November 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you Maziie. I have some, what I think are good steps in the right direction concerning utilities and other areas in city operations. I believe there are ways to take a systematic approach and instituting programs that will help to maintain our infrastructure and aid in our budget process. I’m sure as in the past that I will be criticized by haters and it will fall on deaf ears; that’s ok, It won’t stop me from putting my 2 cents worth in.

  • November 25, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    This is something that Woody understands and the existing senior staff of public utilities understand, the same people that Neff has marginalized, disenfranchised, and reorganized.
    Quick Guide for Estimating Infiltration and Inflow June 2014
    For Region 1 NPDES Annual Reporting
    Addressing Permit Requirements to:
    Submit a calculation of the annual infiltration and inflow (I&I), maximum daily, weekly, and monthly infiltration and the maximum daily, weekly, and monthly inflow for the reporting year. For further details on Infiltration and Inflow, see ‘Guide for Estimating Infiltration and Inflow’.
    Groundwater that infiltrates a sewer system through defective pipes, pipe joints, connections, or manholes. Infiltration does not include, and is distinguished from inflow. Infiltration is generally measured during seasonally high ground water conditions, during a dry period.
    Water other than sanitary flow that enters a sewer system from sources which include, but are not limited to, roof leaders, cellar drains, yard drains, area drains, drains from wet areas, cross connections between storm sewers and sanitary sewers, catch basins, cooling towers, stormwater, surface runoff (including leaking manhole covers), street wash-water, or drainage. Inflow does not include, and is distinguished from infiltration. Inflow is generally measured during wet weather.
    Estimations for reporting:
    Definition or How to Calculate
    Average Dry Weather (ADW) flow
    Use highest 7 to 14 day average per day flow without precipitation and during high seasonal groundwater. Includes domestic wastewater and infiltration.
    Groundwater Infiltration (GWI)
    During ADW flow period, average the low nighttime flows (midnight to 6am) per day for the same time period, minus significant industrial or commercial flows.
    Groundwater Infiltration (GWI)
    Subtract GWI from ADW flow.
    Maximum Daily Infiltration
    Subtract BSF from highest daily flow after a dry period of three days or more during high seasonal groundwater.
    Maximum Weekly Infiltration
    Subtract BSF from highest 7 day average flow after a dry period of three days or more during high seasonal groundwater.
    Maximum Monthly Infiltration
    Subtract BSF from highest monthly flow during dry or minimal rain period during high seasonal groundwater.
    Maximum Daily Inflow
    Measured during wet weather. Determine infiltration rate for dry period preceding rain event. Subtract BSF plus infiltration rate from the highest daily flow during the event.
    Maximum Weekly Inflow (includes delayed inflow)
    Determine infiltration rate for dry period preceding rain event(s).
    Subtract BSF plus infiltration from the highest 7 day average wet weather flow.
    Maximum Monthly Inflow
    Determine infiltration rate for dry period preceding rain event(s).
    Subtract BSF plus infiltration rate from the highest monthly average flow.
    Maximum Monthly Infiltration and Inflow
    Subtract BSF from highest monthly average flow.
    Average Annual Flow
    The total annual volume divided by 365 days. The average annual flow can also be calculated by averaging the monthly average flows.
    Average Annual Infiltration and Inflow
    Subtract the BSF rate from the average annual flow.
    Average Annual Infiltration
    Average of the monthly minimum flows.
    Average Annual Inflow
    Subtract the BSF and average annual infiltration from the average annual flow.
    Average Wet Weather Flow (Average WWF)
    The average daily flow during a period of significant rainfall (excludes significant commercial and industrial flow).
    Peak Hourly Wet Weather Flow (Peak WWF)
    The highest one hour flow rate during a significant rain event.
    If your system experiences SSOs or backups, you may have excessive inflow, although infiltration also contributes to the problem. Even where a system is not suffering from SSOs, systems experiencing surcharging should be evaluating their I&I, as should systems where new growth is expected and existing collection system infrastructure may be inadequate or marginal for handling new customers.
    Other calculations used by state agencies to determine whether infiltration and/or inflow are excessive include:
    Is your Infiltration Rate Excessive?
    Some states have an excessive infiltration criterion based on gallons per person per day (gppd) and other states use a criterion of gallons per day per inch of diameter per mile of pipe (gpd/idm).
    To determine gppd, divide the ADW flow by the population served. If the ADW flow exceeds 120 gppd, your state agency may consider the infiltration excessive.
    To determine gpd/idm, first determine your total inch diameter-miles of pipe (idm). As an example, for a sewer system that has 36 miles of 4 inch diameter laterals, 36 miles of 8 inch diameter, 6 miles of 10 inch diameter, and 6 miles of 12 inch diameter gravity sewers, the total number of inch – miles is:
    To determine gpd/idm, divide the dry weather infiltration rate during seasonal high groundwater (GWI from B above) by the total inch miles. In this example, if the GWI is 2 mgd, with 564 inch diameter-miles of pipe, then the gpd/idm would be:
    36×4 + 36×8 + 6×10 + 6×12 = 564 inch diameter miles
    2 mgd divide by 564 idm = 3546 gpd/idm
    Metcalf & Eddy’s text “Wastewater Engineering: Collection and Pumping of Wastewater”, suggests that infiltration rates for whole collection systems (including service connections) that are lower than 1500 gpd/idm are not usually excessive. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection document “Guidelines for Performing I/I Analyses” recommends (as a rule-of-thumb) sewer subsystems of about 20,000 linear feet that exhibit infiltration rates above 4000 gpd/idm be investigated for contributing potentially excessive infiltration. For more information on design standards consult the Technical Report, “Guidelines for the Design of Wastewater Treatment Works, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission TR-16”.
    Is your inflow excessive?
    Divide the Average WWF by the population served to determine the gallons per person per day (gppd). If the Average WWF exceeds 275 gppd your state agency may consider the inflow excessive. This calculation should exclude major industrial or commercial flows.
    A calculation for gpd/idm can also be determined for wet weather.
    Estimating your cost to treat Infiltration and Inflow
    Wastewater collection and treatment cost can range from $2 to $5 per thousand gallons. An annual I&I volume of 150 million gallons would cost between $300,000 and $750,000 per year to transport and treat. For many older collection systems infiltration can be quite substantial, and has been calculated as high as fifty percent of the flow.
    If your

  • November 27, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    When you think about I&I you also need to look at the flip side, exfiltration and migration where your sewage collection system becomes a large drain field similar to what is used on septic tanks. Here’s a little snapshot of our possible I&I problems. If you have a completely tight sewage collection system and you’re not putting any additional flow into it i.e. augmentation ponds or other sources the flow to the wastewater plant should be lower than the water pumped out of the potable water plant. Not all potable water goes down the drain and makes it to the wastewater plant. Some of it is used for irrigation, washing your car or boat or filling your pool etc. It soaks into the ground, it’s lost in the distribution system or evaporates. We pump about 5 million gallons a day (MGD) out of the potable water plant and we have about 6,5 MGD as I heard during Mr. Neff’s presentation,. going into the wastewater plant. I think those should be the average flows for Oct. monthly operating reports.So is that about 1.5 MGD coming from somewhere? Would it be logical to assume that at least some of that could be I&I?
    There are EPA guidelines for doing I&I studies. If you use their guidelines and show that you meet their criteria for excessive I&I there is possible grant money available for R&R. I understand that we paid a consultant do an I&I study and we heard the results of it from Mr. Neff at the council meeting. I think the jury is out on how well spent that money was. I researched the guidelines that POE cited in a earlier post done by the Mass. DEP as well as the EPA guidelines. They are quite complex and detailed. I didn’t see anything like that in the presentation given to council. It looks like what little information we got was based on lift station run times.

  • November 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    It will be interesting to see if the city manager finally gets back to Ted Noftall at the December 1st council meeting with the answers to Ted’s questions on the I&I study he posed at the workshop that Mr. Neff was incapable of answering. Hopefully Mr. Woodman will be watching the meeting to critique the answers that the city manager gets for Ted that Neff could not answer. The question is why does the city manager have to get back with the answers instead of Neff? This is the same way it was with Greg Kisela and Jason Yarborough where the director could not even answer for his own department at council meetings so the city manager had to research and answer for him. If the city manager finally gives Ted his answers answers at the Tuesday night meeting, I think Mr. Woodman can give those answers the sniff test to see whether they are valid or simply more bull shit.


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