Members of the Cartersville City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a $98,684 contract with ADS Environmental Services to provide one year of sewer flow monitoring services for the local water department.
“It consists of nine total monitors and a rain gauge strategically placed to segment the main into smaller pieces,” a department summary recommendation reads. “The flow in each segment can then be evaluated to narrow down the areas with the greatest contribution of inflow and infiltration during storm events.”
The contract includes services associated with the installation, maintenance, data logging and analysis of “all points” of a 48-inch main extending from the wastewater treatment plant to Interstate 75 near the Anheuser-Busch plant.
“We did a 90-day study earlier in the year, January through March — you may recall, it rained just a bit during that time period and we learned a few things,” said Cartersville Water Department Director Bob Jones. “Our 48-inch transmission main is one of the most reactive lines we have for a large rain event … average flows at the wastewater plant are around 8 million gallons per day, during, say, a roughly three-inch rainfall that’s intensive in a short period of time, we can see flow peak at 30 million gallons a day in a matter of eight to ten hours.”
With over 200 miles worth of sewer line throughout the city, Jones said it is not financially feasible to mull replacing all of its larger mains at this juncture.
“I think this is going to be more of an issue of death by a thousand paper cuts than us having one hole the size of a pick-up truck in something,” he said. “We need to spend this money in order to focus that capital expenditure on where the problem is and not just do a wholesale rip out and replace.”
Council members similarly voted across the board to approve a contract with Kirkpatrick and Sons — not to exceed $45,000 — for valve repairs.
Jones said his department was notified Sept. 3 of a leak near the intersection of North Tennessee Street and Collins Drive.
“To avoid disruption to residences and businesses in the area, we would like to install a 12-inch TEAM insertion valve into the 12-inch main on Collins Drive,” a department summary report reads. “Additionally, we will install an 8-inch gate valve in the main along Tennessee Street.”
City documents indicate the repairs would result in a brief outage for eight City water customers while the 8-inch valve is installed.
Valve insertion costs are estimated at $16,000, while the costs of excavating and repairing the existing valves is listed as $13,000. At this point, Jones said the only way to stop the leak entirely is to shut the valve off at Highway 41 — something he said the department does not want to do, considering the impact on surrounding properties.
“That is a feeder main for all of the branch blocks that are off of Collins Drive,” he said. “We would put several businesses out of water, we would put an entire neighborhood and multiple commercial entities out of water for a significant amount of time.”
As of Thursday evening, Jones said the department still doesn’t know exactly what is causing the leak.
“The top of the nut on the valve is 14 feet deep, which probably means we’ll have to dig 16 feet deep to get to it,” he said. "The idea here is for us to put these valves in, isolate the area and let it dry out, and that’ll allow us to dig a much safer hole that, hopefully, will not impact any of the other infrastructure around this area.”
The council also voted unanimously to approve a request for $16,128.68 from the City’s electric system department to purchase equipment in preparation of an Aquafil expansion.
“They’re trying to get it done this fall, so time is of the essence,” said City of Cartersville Electric System Department Director Derek Hampton “We needed a primary metering set up because of the type of voltage that they use.”
Under the agreement, vendor Anixter would receive $8,342.68 while vendor Irby would receive $7,804.
Council members similarly approved a request to pay a $7,830 invoice to Southeastern Natural Gas Services of Rome, Inc. for conduit installations along Charley Harper Drive.
“About half of the street lights were out for an extended amount of time,” Hampton said. “We found out it was under the driveway — so instead of saw-cutting and tearing up and having to replace the driveway going into the fire station, we hired a contractor, SEAGAS, to bore under the driveway.”
The council also approved a request from the Cartersville Fire Department to purchase two new vehicles — a 10-passenger van and a mid-size sports utility vehicle for training division use.
“Currently, when we do need to utilize a van, we borrow older vans from Cartersville P.D.,” Cartersville Fire Chief Scott Carter said.
Ultimately, Prater Ford put in the winning bid of $73,549.88 for the package. Carter noted that an additional $3,840 will be spent for graphics and emergency lighting.
The purchase, he said, comes in $17,610.12 under budget.
Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini concluded the public meeting by encouraging local businesses to continue adhering to the emergency guidelines enacted by Gov. Brian Kemp in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
“You might be mad at us for having to enforce them, but the truth of the matter is these are mandated by the State, and those regulations have not changed since everything was allowed to reopen,” he said. “The veracity of which maybe businesses are enforcing or following these has waned a little bit.”
On the whole, he said Georgia is enjoying many “freedoms” that other states aren’t amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“Take a look locally,” he said, “where our restaurants are able to be open, where our hair salons and a lot of other places where people are able to, again, provide for themselves, able to conduct commerce and able to, basically, have the satisfaction that comes along with being able to work for a living and being able to provide for yourself.”
Other items approved at Thursday evening’s Cartersville City Council meeting include:
— A water department request to pay Fortiline Waterworks $6,749 for brass meter settings and plastic sewer couplings.
— A fiber department request to pay ASA Fire Protection $34,950 to install nitrogen-based suppression systems at the City’s southeast and northern nodes. “This is needed and will significantly improve the fire protection of all equipment and data in the buildings,” a department summary report reads. “The Fike ProInert2 system is designed to extinguish a fire without damaging computer equipment.”
— A request from the electric system department to enter into an electrical interconnection and power exchange agreement with Renaissance Group Cartersville, LLC, for the hotel at 5460 Highway 20. “This is a standard agreement that we ask customers to enter into whenever they want to attach power generation sources onto our distribution system,” Hampton said. “This is a means for us to make sure that they do not negatively affect our system and also, it’s a safety thing to make sure that they’re not backfeeding onto our system.”