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City of Clearwater Capacity, Management, Operation, and Maintenance (CMOM) Does it Work? Program Performance History

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In November 1998, the City of Clearwater, Florida, received a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 inviting them to participate in the new Management, Operations, and Maintenance (MOM) program. The invitation arose from the concern over possible water quality stress from pollutant loadings in the Tampa Bay Estuary watershed. The Tampa Bay Estuary is Florida's largest open water estuary, encompassing almost 400 square miles.

In 1999, the Public Utilities Wastewater Collection Division of the City of Clearwater embarked on a structured analysis of their methods of operation and maintenance activities using the EPA MOM program approach. The program later added Capacity and became known as the CMOM program.

With the assistance of TBE Group, the Wastewater Collection Division restructured the daily maintenance activities and developed standard operating procedures for both maintenance and operational requirements. Other MOM plan elements included a sewer system evaluation, a hydraulic model of the wastewater collection system to help identify capacity problems, and a capital improvement plan (CIP).

The initial CIP budget was aggressive in nature. Pump stations were rehabilitated or replaced, new force mains installed, and wastewater flows redirected for more efficient transportation to the treatment facilities. Gravity system basins were cleaned and inspected, and as a result manholes and pipes were lined or replaced where needed. Benchmark activities were monitored to determine program efficiency. Overall, a significant reduction was noted in overflow volumes and number of occurrences, gravity system reactive maintenance, customer property and maintenance claims, pump station failures, operational job backlog and overtime activities.

In 2005, EPA Region 4 representatives met with the Utilities Department staff to make an audit of the MOM program performance that was implemented in 2001. EPA representatives examined the management structure, operational and performance records, personnel performance, and operational and capital budgets. After the two day visit, the representatives later stated in writing that, “EPA commends the City for making exceptional progress toward meeting its program improvement needs, and considers the City's participation in the MOM Programs Project to now be complete.” The City of Clearwater continues to be proactive in the capacity, management, operations and maintenance evaluation of their wastewater collection system.

By progressing from a reactive approach to a proactive approach the City was able to show statistically that the CMOM approach works. This paper will present significant data on the program highlights and results including charts and graphs depicting improved operational performance.

Keywords: Capacity; Clean Water Act (CWA); Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP); Management; Operation and Maintenance (CMOM); Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs); Sanitary sewer evaluation study (SSES)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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