Record of Proceedings Kremmling Sanitation District Regular Board Meeting
April 10, 2023
The Board of Directors for the Kremmling Sanitation District met in the boardroom located at 200 Eagle Avenue. The meeting was called to order by President Noble Underbrink at 6:05 p.m. Directors present: Noble Underbrink, Eric Bradley, Alan Hassler, and Dave Sammons. Director absent: Stuart Heller. Staff present: District Manager Rich Rosene, Superintendent Scott Weber, ORC Thom Yoder, Town Manager Ashley Macdonald and Utility Billing Clerk Caitlin Parks. Audience present: Lihla Clancy of Grand County Septic (by Zoom).
Approval of Minutes:
Sammons moved to approve the regular meeting minutes of March 13, 2023, as presented. Hassler Seconded. Motion Carried
Approval of Expenditures:
Sammons moved to approve the expenditures presented for the period of March 14, 2023 through April 10, 2023 in the amount of $18,582.59. Hassler Seconded. Motion Carried.
- Weber presented the proposal from Element Engineering on the septage receiving station operations. Weber talked over operational issues and recommendations for the station with Yoder and Nick Marcotte of Element and they came up with some recommendations for this summer. They recommend a start date of around June 1st and an end date of September 1st that only septage from Grand County be accepted; that there be a 24-hour limit on time between loading a truck and offloading; a 50,000 gallon per month limit for each customer; and that a manifest card be provided with each load indicating the origin of the load. Yoder said that Marcotte wanted at least 4 degrees C in our influent stream before we accept septage; we are at 1.7 degrees C today. Further limitations would be that no vault or porta-potty waste is accepted and that periodic sampling of loads be done to measure the strength. They also recommended that we consider an increase in the charge per gallon to better cover our increased testing and treatment costs and the possibility of needing a flow equalizing tank. Yoder said they would be looking at possible additional discharge points in pond A for septage. He also said that there should be some sludge judge testing in pond A and possibly into pond B to begin to monitor the sludge depth to help determine when dewatering and sludge removal may be needed.
- Weber said that the lab results from ACZ Laboratories had 13.3 mg/L of ammonia which is better than last year at this time. He said that last year it wasn’t until June before we started going the right direction on ammonia. Weber said that in 2021 when we operated year-round, we brought in about a million gallons of septage and had revenues of about $100,000. Last year we received 112,000 gallons in May, 130,000 gallons in June, 146,000 gallons in July and 143,000 gallons in August. Weber said that we didn’t have any load manifests last year, so we don’t know how much came from vaults or porta-potties. Sammons asked if the vaults were really any worse than household as the vault waste has to be diluted before it can be pumped. Weber wasn’t sure how much dilution takes place and whether it would help that much as it probably is more anaerobic. He said that we have a number of variables to contend with including temperature and possible sludge buildup. The ice has come off of ponds A, B and C, but pond D is still covered. He had hoped to sludge judge last week to see if we are having air problems due to sludge around the bottom of the domes preventing or limiting the air movement. The blowers are being pushed hard right now and the blower temperatures are higher than he would like.
- Weber said that the proposed limits will be hard on the haulers as we have allowed unlimited hauling in the past without really knowing the impacts over time of that much septage coming into the ponds. We are seeing issues now and he hopes that we can use this summer to get a better idea of the problems and can then adjust upwards again during the summer of 2024. Sammons recommended that ponds A and B be sludge judged now and Weber agreed they need to be done as soon as possible.
- Hassler asked Ms. Clancy for her input on the discussion so far and how much dilution occurs. She said they do 25 campground vaults of 750 gallons each and there is some dilution, but she wasn’t sure how much. They normally do vaults just before the 4th of July and at the end of the season in October before the vaults freeze. They do not do any porta-potties. She said they could look at diluting them more if we have a recommendation on how much. She can schedule the vaults and provide the manifest to help spread them out if that would help.
- Underbrink said that we are currently out of compliance and that we asked engineering for a recommendation to get back into compliance and that we should follow that recommendation. There was discussion on whether any commercial operations use septic tanks and whether we needed to draw a distinction between them and household. No one was sure if any commercial septic systems exist in the county. Yoder said that he had talked to Good to Go and they said the sand and oil separators and grease traps are done separately and not mixed in with the septage. Yoder recommended getting more samples of vaults to see what may be coming in from them. Sammons said that we need to see how we can work with our haulers and to meet our needs so we don’t completely cut them off as they have come to rely on us and discontinued some contracts to haul their waste to the Front Range.
- Yoder said we have the option of an equalization tank or to look at ways to meter the large trucks into our system. Underbrink again stated that we need to get back into compliance before we can see how much septage we can take. He said that we asked for guidelines to do this and we need to follow the recommendations of our operators and engineers so we can get back into compliance.
- Yoder said that he talked with Weber and Marcotte for over an hour about issues such as the bio-dome air lines and the potential cost of replacement, working on the ice, metering of incoming septage, and sludge depths. The current lab work is going well and at a reduced cost due to more being done in-house. Yoder asked if Marcotte was watching for new discharge limits and criteria coming in the future. He also recommended that the board get a report directly from Marcotte at least quarterly.
- Ms. Clancy asked if it would be possible to go later into the fall for hauling, possibly into mid-October. Yoder said that he feels that Marcotte knows about the 30 day retention time through our system and took that into account in setting the recommended fall shut-off date. Bradley asked if the sludge issue was of immediate concern. Yoder said he felt we had time to monitor it through sludge judging and get a sense of when it will be necessary to remove sludge.
- Weber said that the water temperatures last year were 5.1 degrees C on April 24 and 10.1 degrees C on May 24. The highest temperature last year was 19.6 degrees C during the season. This year we are at 1.5 degrees C in the first week of April. Underbrink said we have a lot of information to get this season before we can be sure of the dates and operations. Weber said he wants the board to be on the same page that he will continue to monitor operations, do the sludge judging, and find out the status of the airlines in the domes.
Hassler moved to commence with the recommendations of the engineer to allow receiving septage from June 1 through August 31 with adequate temperature prior to beginning: Allow only grand county septage received within 24 hours of plumbing; limit each hauler to 50,000 gallons per month; nor porta potty waste will be accepted. ; A manifest card with source will be provided with each load; and no vault waste be accepted. Bradely seconded. Motion Carried.
Underbrink said we need to determine our additional costs related to septage receiving and operational issues.
- Weber said that the March compliance labs were sent to ACZ Laboratories on it came back with 13.3 mg/L of ammonia, which is in compliance. The April labs have not been done yet. It looks like Mike Oros, our seasonal last summer, will not be coming back so he will be looking for new help.
- Weber said that the lift station at the plant failed on April 3rd and that he contacted Browns Hill to help diagnose the problem. The issue is in the control panel where a circuit board went out. Browns Hill also found that the panel is not in compliance with current safety codes, and they will build a new panel to meet code. The current panel has been temporarily modified to continue operations. Weber hopes to have the new one within a week or two.
- Weber said the access road to the plant is in poor condition as the winter was very hard on it. He talked to Dave Hammer about it and was told that we have an easement across his property, and we have the maintenance responsibility. It needs to be bladed and needs additional gravel.
- Sammons said to talk to the town to see if they can help as they have gravel and a blade. He also said there is a company that works on Grand River Ranch that does mag chloride and they could be contacted for an estimate on application. Weber said he talked to the town last fall about some help, and they were unable to help at that time. Macdonald said that public works is in better shape this year with staffing and may be able to help.
- Weber said he is working with Yoder and Marcotte to get the treater and user agreements for reclaim water updated. The district needs to provide training to the town and potentially to the school district in reclaim water use. Marcotte is working on a template for the training on proper reclaim operations.
- Weber helped set up an 811 training in Granby for contractors and utility owners to get everyone more familiar with the 811 utility locate requirements. This will help to get everyone on the same page on how locates are supposed to work and their responsibilities and liabilities. He said some of the town staff are going and he has talked to some of the contractors he has worked with also.
- Weber said he delivered the letter to CDOT concerning their lift station to the Kremmling office and it was then forwarded to Grand Junction for their review. He hasn’t heard anything back from them yet but did hear through the grapevine that they have contacted Water Technology Group to look at the lift station.
- Update on reuse water franchise agreement with the town: Rosene said he talked to town manager Macdonald about the status of the agreement. She said it was at their water attorney and that it may become a license agreement rather than a franchise. That shouldn’t really change the anything operational, just a slightly different type of agreement. The reclaim water rates will be considered and set at a later date.
- Update on fund discrepancy issue with town: Rosene said he hasn’t completed this yet. He now has the deposit slip booklets to get the actual items in the deposits. Underbrink asked if the auditor has been contacted to find out why this wasn’t shown in both the town or district audits and Rosene said he will definitely be talking to them. There were two monthly checks from the town with the district’s user fees that the previous treasurer thought were double paid in an amount of about $80,000. He will continue to work on this.
- Special District Association Regional Workshop: There will be an SDA workshop in Granby on Thursday, June 15, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Granby fire station put on by a law firm that specializes in special district law.
- Other Items: Sammons said he has a potential candidate for the vacancy. Rosene said the board will need to appoint someone to a 2-year term at the May meeting. He will be putting a vacancy notice at the town hall and the post office. There is an agenda item on the May meeting to interview any candidates and to appoint.
Bradley asked Rosene where he is with his retirement plans and replacement for taking minutes and other administrative tasks. Rosene said he is working with town manager Macdonald on town employees taking on some of the duties. He said the town minutes are very similar to the district’s as far as the amount of detail of discussion, so there shouldn’t be a change there. He said he will work on a system for contacting Weber to look over bills and code them. The town treasurer is taking care of the routine monthly utility and insurance bills. Rosene said he will work with Macdonald and the town treasurer to get a quarterly budget report for the board.
- Exhibit A – 2022 for shared employees. Rosene said he hasn’t completed this and will be discussing the draft he received from Macdonald to get it finalized.
- Other Items:
- Hassler brought up SB23-213, a land use bill currently in the state legislature that could impact the district. The bill concerns getting rid of local zoning abilities and replacing them with a statewide system. The bill would essentially remove all R-1, single family zones in municipalities and make them R-2 to allow for additional living units on all parcels, even those in HOAs where their regulations prohibit this.
- The bill appears to remove current limits on the number of occupants in a dwelling, which could also impact the district. The bill is opposed by the SDA, Colorado Municipal League, NW Colorado Council of Governments Quantity and Quality, and many municipalities. The impact on our ability to limit the number of taps is unknown at this time.
- Hassler also mentioned another bill under consideration that would require a “Do Not Flush”
label on all disposable wipes sold in Colorado. These wipes are a problem in many sewer plants as they get caught in pumps and screens causing stoppages of equipment.
- Underbrink would like to have a place on future agendas for informational items that board members want to discuss without action to be taken.
Sammons moved to adjourn at 7:49 PM. Hassler Seconded. Meeting Adjourned
/s/ Richard A. Rosene