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Coordinating Regional Efforts to Protect Valuable Assets: Working Cooperatively with Satellite Municipalities

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The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's (MMSD) continuing collaboration with its satellite municipalities includes a number of efforts that address regional system performance, two of which will be discussed in this paper: (1) the regional Capacity assurance, Management, Operation and Maintenance Program (CMOM), and (2) the Wet Weather Peak Flow Management Program (WWPFMP). The MMSD has chosen to develop and implement these programs in a fashion that will protect regional assets through collaboration with the satellite municipalities.

The MMSD is a state-chartered, governmental agency providing regional wastewater conveyance, treatment, and disposal for 29 satellite municipalities within a 411-square mile planning area, within five counties and having a population of about one million. The MMSD is dedicated to protecting public health, property and the environment within all or portions of the six Greater Milwaukee Watersheds. The MMSD's chief responsibilities are to provide sewage treatment services and to maintain and improve over 110 miles of watercourses for nearly all of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and portions of municipalities in surrounding counties. There are approximately 310 miles of MMSD sewers, 2200 miles of municipal sewers, and other 2,200 miles of private sewers (including laterals).

To effectively plan and implement regional programs, the MMSD long ago determined that the inclusion of municipal staff and regulators is needed. Discussion relevant to both CMOM and WWPFMP follows.

CMOM . At the outset of CMOM Program development, MMSD insisted that the project be conducted in an innovative fashion - applying the CMOM review process to all of its systems: wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and watercourse management. Additionally, the MMSD understood that embracing CMOM practices for its assets alone (approximately six percent of the total conveyance system) would not have the desired effect in the region. Consequently, the MMSD and its 29 satellite municipalities have worked collaboratively to develop a regional CMOM approach with a goal of producing improved business practices relative to the region's collection systems.

MMSD recognized the importance of consistency amongst its 29 satellite municipalities in developing and implementing CMOM. Stipulation Agreements with the State of Wisconsin requires satellite CMOM compliance within 2 years of MMSD reaching that status. In an effort to insure consistency, the MMSD funded the effort with each satellite municipality to perform a Readiness Review and Compliance Strategies. These efforts are completed, and each satellite municipality is currently developing its program documentation, which must be completed by June 30, 2009. To assist in this effort, the MMSD is holding a series of workshops, over a period of seven months, with municipal staff. The topics of these workshops include: (1) Transition from Strategic Plan to Program Documentation; (2) Tools available to assist with plan development, (3) Management Plan, the “backbone” of your CMOM Program [Tactics; Performance measures; Benchmarks; Personnel/positions; Funding]; (4) Asset Management [Level of Service; Condition assessment; Criticality]; (5) Overflow Response Plan; (6) Communications Plan; and (7) Audit Plan.

As demonstrated by the workshop topics, a comprehensive discussion of program components occurs with municipal staff. Additionally, the MMSD staff is available to assist individual municipalities if they so desire. CMOM is discussed frequently with municipal staff, either at individual meetings or at regularly scheduled monthly meetings with all municipalities.

CMOM is a comprehensive tool to insure that all satellite municpalities have a Program in place. The CMOM Program will address all components of asset management, including, but not limited to, vision, mission, legal authority, finance, design standards, construction, operation and maintenance.

In addition to providing technical assistance and guidance during CMOM Program development, the MMSD requires submittal of the program documentation for review and approval and alsorequires an annual report on activities.

This regional effort is being undertaken to insure protection of the region's valuable assets.

WWPFMP : In addition to developing and implementing a regional CMOM program, the MMSD is developing, in collaboration with the satellite municipalities, a program to develop and implement means and methods to monitor and manage wet weather peak flows that are conveyed to the MMSD's sanitary facilities (conveyance, storage, and treatment) from the satellite municipal collection systems at rates and volumes that were established in the most recent MMSD facilities plan. The WWPFMP will address three areas: (1) technical; (2) operational; and (3) legal.

This WWPFMP is currently under development, with the first major effort nearly complete: Establishment of a flow monitoring program, which identifies the locations and types of flow meters and rain gauges to ensure that adequate information is available to make a determination concerning the peak flows and volumes that are conveyed to the MMSD facilities. Concurrently, development of the Peak Flow Reduction Motivation Program, which will include the enforcement approach, is underway.

Analysis of the flow monitoring data will be occurring on a regular, ongoing basis. The purpose of this analysis is to insure that the peak flows from the satellite systems are in accordance with the facilities plan and the MMSD rules. One of the challenges in performing this analysis is that both the facilities plan and the rules identify a design event and, therefore, the actual flows must be interpolated to allow this comparison. Currently, the effort to define this analysis is underway.

At the time of the WEF Collection Systems 2009 conference, this program will be nearing completion of all facets of the program development, with some of those facets already implemented.

Both the CMOM and WWPFMP play critical roles in protecting the region's assets. It is imperative that these programs are developed and managed such that they complement each other and keep the ultimate goal in focus – protection of the region's assets.

The full technical paper will provide further details on both of these programs, including activities, feedback, and how these programs will allow the region to continue fulfilling its mission of protection public health, property and the environment.
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Keywords: CMOM; collection system; monitoring; peak flow; rain gauges; regional collaboration; wet weather

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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