Groveland Public Works Sampey Road Water Treatment Facility

The City of Groveland recently marked its one-year partnership anniversary with Woodard & Curran (W&C) to operate and maintain all of the City’s water facilities.

Pictured: Gregory Parks, Troy Kepley, Justin DeMello, Joe Kilsheimer, Steve Guba, Paul Adams, Chris Grove, and Brian Bzdawka.

The decision to use an outside vendor to operate the City water facilities included input from the public, water department employees, and City Staff.  During this first year of operating the City’s five water plants and two wastewater plants, W&C has achieved 100% compliance with all Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency requirements.  They also corrected more than 350 safety and audit items to ensure compliance with OSHA requirements.  During the year, there were no reported staff accidents.  Former City employee Steve Guba, now the project manager at W&C stated, “we have been fortunate to get every bit of cooperation we ever asked for from the City of Groveland.  The impressive list of accomplishments is a real testament to the team.”  The City is seeing and will continue to see rapid population growth.  This partnership is one element of the Groveland plan for mitigating the strain on their water and wastewater utilities.  T. J. Fish, Director of Transportation and Public Works added, “the steps the City Council has taken to empower staff to address the needs in all areas of utilities has positioned the City to provide the excellent services Groveland residents deserve.”

There were over 5,000 work orders completed and more than 18,000 assets (things like pumps, motors, and valves) were added into a computer management software program.  SCADA (Click here for more info: SCADA) which allows constant operational monitoring preventing emergencies and providing overall better service to residents.  Glenn Burden, Area Manager and Senior Principal for W&C elaborated, “this is a classic win-win proposition.  Having a state-of-the-art utility system will be key to future economic development opportunities.”  All this occurred with zero reported staff accidents.

During the year, a full safety and inter-department operations assessment was completed.  Specific actions included CPR and first aid training for all operators and public works staff.  The Groveland Fire Department joined the operators for minor chlorine leak control response and confined space training.  Fire Chief Carrol added, “this was a great collaboration with our partners W&C, who flew in their expert who trained all 3 shifts and all 3 GFD stations and on-site at their plant.”

Funding, Grants, Loans:  The department partnership has submitted many applications for grants and funding initiatives for the first time.  There have been over $50,000,000 in low-interest capital improvement project (CIP) grants approved.  Further, the W&C team is working to create and execute a long-term facility plan.  This will update the City’s water, wastewater, and reclaimed water utility infrastructure, again preparing for impending growth.  Another $15,000,000 in funding opportunities across 11 different programs have been submitted.  Mr. Fish expanded on the planning and use of funds, “the City of Groveland has embarked on a year-long planning process to determine $70 million in utility system needs that should have been addressed throughout the previous 10 to 20 years.  We will meet those needs in the next five years with the construction projects we have identified.

How The Sewer Works

Saving Water: About 2 million gallons of potable (drinking) water per month has already been saved during the first year of the partnership.  A new, redesigned process was implemented to inject chlorine into reclaim water for disinfection.  The new process uses reclaimed water instead of potable water.

Saving Money:  The partnership is on track to come in $35,000 under the Operating and Maintenance (O&M) budget.  The Water and Sewer Enterprise fund comes completely from the water department operation now.  This eliminates the need to subsidize the water department from the City’s general fund, this helps ensure the City’s overall financial health.  Keeping the City reclaim water compliant has also increased the availability of this water for irrigation.  Reclaim water availability preserves a significant revenue opportunity for the City’s general fund while reducing potable water use.

W&C Team

Mr. Burden stated, “Woodard & Curran has brought a collaboration of many skill sets.”  Steve Guba continued, “we have been able to draw on the W&C bench of talent, from both Florida and around the country.”  Mr. Burden then added, “this is a shining example of what Woodard & Curran philosophy and work ethic can do for a community.  We are proud to see how this win-win can work.”

Click here to see the article regarding the beginning of Groveland’s partnership with Woodard & Curran (W&C)



Previous articleBoating For The Kids, Clermont Boat Parade Helps Raise Funds For the Holiday Gifts For South Lake Children
Next articleGroveland’s Hometown Heroes Holiday Celebration Brings Good Will and Hometown Spirit To Its Residents