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[00:00:01]

OKAY, IT'S 6 0 4

[CALL TO ORDER]

RIGHT NOW, AND WE WILL START REGULAR MEETING AT WEST WATER WESTWATER COMMISSION, GENERALLY MEETING.

AND WE HAVE COMMISSIONER MONTI, PENN, MICHELLE LEE, CASTLEBERRY, AND FISHER.

IM IMPRISONED AND COMMISSIONER NABARRO BY REMOTE.

SO WE HAVE A COLUMN, UH, BEFORE WE START YEAR TO EVERYBODY, AND WE HAVE A NEW DIRECTOR AND WE'D LIKE TO SAY THANKS FIRST TO MR. ROBERT, GOOD FOR HIS HELP, HELPING US THROUGH THE DIFFICULT TIME, AND HAVE A GOOD TRANSITION AND REALLY THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

AND THEN WE WILL ASK THE NEW DIRECTOR TO GIVE US A BRIEFING AND INTRODUCE HERSELF A LITTLE BIT.

THANK YOU.

GOOD EVENING COMMISSION AND, UH, AUDIENCE.

UH, MY NAME IS SHAY RAWLES ROLSON, AND I'M THE NEW DIRECTOR OF AUSTIN WATER.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

AND, UM, PRIOR TO BECOMING THE DIRECTOR, I WAS AN ASSISTANT DIRECTOR AT AUSTIN WATER SINCE APRIL OF 2020.

UM, AND I, UH, WAS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES.

SO, UH, THIS COMMISSION SAW ME A LOT FOR THE VARIOUS, UM, PROJECTS THAT WE BROUGHT FORWARD FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

AND PRIOR TO THAT, I HAD ABOUT 26 YEARS IN THE ENGINEERING CONSULTING WORLD.

SO I WORKED FOR, UM, WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITIES ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS AND AND BEYOND.

SO REALLY SUPER EXCITED TO BE AT AUSTIN WATER AS THE DIRECTOR.

WE HAVE A LOT OF GOOD THINGS COMING, SOME OF WHICH YOU'LL, YOU'LL HEAR ABOUT TONIGHT.

UM, AND, UH, I GUESS WHEN WE GET TO THE, TO THE EXTERNAL REVIEW, I'LL, I'LL THANK THEM FOR THEIR WORK AS WELL.

BUT I THINK WE HAVE, UH, WE HAVE A LOT OF GOOD IDEAS FOR WHAT 2023 IS GONNA LOOK LIKE AT AUSTIN WATER.

AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THOSE WITH YOU.

THANK YOU.

WELCOME.

OKAY.

AND THERE IS NO PUBLIC COMMUNICATION, SO WE WILL MOVE ON TO APPROVE

[APPROVAL OF MINUTES]

APPROVAL OF MINUTES, APPROVAL MINUTES FROM THE NOVEMBER 9TH, 2022 REGULAR MEETING OF THE WATER AND WASTEWATER WESTWATER COMMISSION.

UH, COMMISSIONER GOT A CHANCE TO REVIEW IT.

AND IS THERE A MOTION, MOTION MADE BY COMMISSIONER MONTY AND THE SECOND BY VICE CHAIR CASTLE PERRY? SECOND.

OH, IN FAVOR, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND.

SHOWING ALL IN FAVOR? AND WE GOT COMMISSIONER NARO AND REMOTE MOTION FOR YES.

SO THE MOTION CARRIES, AND

[DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL]

LET'S MOVE TO DISCUSSION AND THE POSSIBLE ACTION ITEMS. AND WE GO, WE WILL GO AROUND THE TABLE AND ASK THE COMMISSIONER IF ANY QUESTIONS OR QUESTIONS OR RECUSALS START WITH COMMISSION.

MOTI, AM I DOING THE MICROPHONE THING RIGHT? I, I NEED TO GET A CLOSER.

IS THIS OKAY? THAT'S PERFECT.

AND I PRESS THE BUTTON, RIGHT? YOU HAVE IT ON.

OKAY.

UH, NO QUESTIONS.

NO RECUSALS.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSION NAP PAN.

NO QUESTIONS.

I HAVE RECUSALS ON ITEMS FOUR AND FIVE.

MY EMPLOYER WAS A SUB-CONSULTANT, IS A SUB CONSULTANT ON THESE PROJECTS.

AND ITEM SIX, UH, OUR FIRM COMPETED FOR THIS PROJECT.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONER NAVARRO, NO QUESTIONS OR RECUSALS.

THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER MICHELLE.

QUESTION ON ITEM SEVEN.

NO RECUSALS.

THANK YOU.

AND I DON'T HAVE ANY QUESTION OR RECUSAL, VICE CHAIR CASTLE PERRY.

NO QUESTIONS.

NO RECUSAL.

COMMISSIONER FISHER? NO QUESTIONS.

NO RECUSAL.

THANK YOU.

SO THE CONSENT ITEMS ARE ITEM TWO, THREE AND 8, 2, 3 AND EIGHT IS THE MOTION.

I'LL MOVE TO APPROVE MOTION MADE BY VICE CHAIR CA BARRY IS TODAY A SECOND? SECOND BY COMMISSIONER MONTY.

ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND SHOWING APPROVED AND UNANIMOUSLY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[4. Recommend approval to execute a construction contract for the Onion Creek Odor Control Facility Stream Bank Stabilization project with Forsythe Brothers Infrastructure, LLC, in the amount of $390,000 plus a $19,500 contingency for a total contract amount not to exceed $409,500.]

NOW LET'S MOVE TWO ITEM NUMBER FOUR, AND I READ IT FOR RECORD.

RECOMMEND APPROVAL TO EXECUTE A CONTRACTION CONTRACT FOR THE ONION CREEK ORDER CONTROL FACILITY, STREAM BANK RE STABILIZATION PROJECT WITH 40 BROTHERS INFRASTRUCTURE LLC IN AMOUNT OF $390,000 PLUS A 19,500 CONTINGENCY FOR A TOTAL COUNTRY

[00:05:01]

AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED 409 400 $9,500.

AND THE COMMISSIONER PEN IS RECUSING ON IT.

IS THERE A QUESTION OR MOTION? I'LL MOVE TO APPROVE VICE CHAIR CAST BETTY MAKE MOTION TO APPROVE IT.

IS THERE A SECOND? SECOND BY COMMISSIONER MS. CHERYL.

OH, IN FAVOR, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND SHALL ALL PRESENT.

AND, UH, COMMISSIONER PEN RECUSED ANG.

THANK YOU.

LET'S

[5. Recommend approval to negotiate and execute an amendment to the professional services agreement for engineering services for Design and Bid/Award phases for the Hornsby Bend BMP Process Ammonia Removal Facility project with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. in the amount of $1,616,842, for a total contract amount not to exceed $2,116,842.]

MOVE TO ITEM NUMBER FIVE.

RECOMMEND APPROVAL TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE AN AMENDMENT TO THE PROVISIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES FOR DESIGN AND BID AWARD PHASES FOR THE MP PROCESS, AMONIA FACILITY PROJECT, WHICH THEN TAKE A CO CONSULTING SERVICES INC IN AMOUNT OF $1,616,842 FOR A TOTAL COUNTRY AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED 2 MILLION HUNDRED AND $16,842.

AND BELIEVE COMMISSIONER PAN, UH, IS RECUSING IT.

IS THERE A MOTION OR ANY QUESTIONS TO THE STAFF CHAIR? MOVE TO APPROVE.

MOTION MADE BY COMMISSIONER MICHELLE AND ALL SECOND, SECOND BY COMMISSIONER CASTLEBERRY.

OH, IN FAVOR, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND SHOWING ALL APPROVAL FOR IT, EXCEPT COMMISSIONER PEN IS RECUSING ON IT.

LET'S

[6. Recommend approval to negotiate and execute a professional services agreement to provide engineering services for the Center Street Pump Station Replacement and Electrical Improvements project, with CDM Smith, Inc. (staff recommendation) or one of the other qualified respondent(s) for Request for Qualifications Solicitation No. CLMP336, in amount not to exceed $6,000,000. (District 3)]

MOVE TO I ITEM SIX, RECOMMEND APPROVAL TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE ENGINEERING SERVICES FOR CENTER STREET PUMP STATION REPLACEMENT AND RICH CO IMPROVEMENT PROJECT WITH CDM SMITH INC.

THAT'S A STAFF RECOMMENDATION OR ONE OF THE OTHER QUALIFIED RESPONDENTS FOR REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATION, SOLICITATION NUMBER CMP 3 36 IN A MONTH, NOT TO EXCEED $6 MILLION.

AND IT, THIS IS IN DISTRICT NUMBER THREE AND I BELIEVE COMMISSIONER PENN HAS TO RECUSE IT.

AND IS THERE ANY QUESTIONS FOR THE STAFF OR ANY MOTION TO APPROVE IT? MOTION MADE CHAIR, MOVE TO APPROVE.

COMMISSIONER MICHELLE.

AND OUR SECOND ON IT IS, UH, IS THERE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? IF NOT, UH, ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND SHOWING ALL APPROVAL ON IT EXCEPT, UH, COMMISSIONER PEN.

RECUSING IT.

[7. Recommend approval of a resolution repealing Resolution No. 20121213-003 and approving a new land management plan for the Water Quality Protection Lands managed by Austin Water and located primarily in southwest Travis and northeast Hays Counties.]

OKAY, LET'S MOVE TO ITEM NUMBER SEVEN, RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF A RESOLUTION REPAIRING RESOLUTION NUMBER 20 12 1 2 13 DASH ZERO THREE AND APPROVING A NEW LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE WATER QUALITY PROTECTION LANDS MANAGED BY AUSTIN WATER AND LOCATED PRIMARILY IN SOUTHWEST TRAVERSE AND NORTHEAST HAYES COUNTIES.

SO, COMMISSIONER MICHELLE GOT A QUESTION? YES.

THANK YOU CHAIR.

AND, UH, GOOD EVENING STAFF.

UM, I MAINLY PULLED THIS ITEM.

I KNOW A LOT OF WORK HAS GONE INTO THIS PLAN.

THIS IS A TOPIC WE DON'T DISCUSS TOO OFTEN.

I BELIEVE THE LAST UPDATE WAS MAYBE 10 YEARS AGO.

SO WAS HOPING MAYBE YOU COULD JUST GIVE THE COMMISSION A BRIEF SUMMARY OF, UM, THE PURPOSE AND INTENT, UH, IN THE WORK THAT'S GONE INTO THIS BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE WE TAKE ACTION ON IT.

GOOD EVENING COMMISSIONERS.

KEVIN CRITON, AN ASSISTANT DIRECTOR WITH AUSTIN WATER.

UM, AS YOU INDICATED, REALLY THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR STAFF TO UPDATE OUR LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN, UH, INVOLVING OUR WATER QUALITY PROTECTIONS LAND SPECIFICALLY.

UM, I WOULD SAY AS AN OVERVIEW, YOU KNOW, IT GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO SORT OF REFLECT OUR LEARNING OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS IN MANAGING THE WATER QUALITY PROTECTION LAND, AND ALSO GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO UPDATE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE KIND OF NEW INFORMATION.

UM, WITH ME THIS, THIS EVENING IS DR.

KEVIN THON.

HE IS WITH OUR WILDLAND CONSERVATION DIVISION, AND HE CAN HIT A FEW HIGH POINTS ON KIND OF WHAT THE PLAN ENTAILS.

AND IN KIND OF HIGH LEVEL DETAIL OF CHANGES.

UH, I THINK MR. CRITTENTON, UH, SUMMARIZED THE, THE BIG POINTS VERY WELL.

UH, ONE OF THE IDEAS

[00:10:01]

IS WE'VE BEEN MANAGING THIS LAND FOR OVER 23 YEARS NOW, AND WE'VE HAD, UH, A LOT OF EXPERIENCE ON WHAT'S WORKING ON THE LAND, WHAT'S NOT WORKING ON THE LAND.

SO THIS GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO, ONE, WORK WITH OUR ACADEMIC PARTNERS AT TEXAS A AND M, WHO DO A LOT OF LAND MANAGEMENT AND SAY, HERE'S WHAT WE'RE FINDING FOR THE LAND VERSUS WHAT THE ACADEMICS ARE SAYING WE SHOULD BE DOING.

AND BLEND THOSE TWO THINGS TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH A VERY ADAPTIVE PLAN TO SAY, HERE'S HOW WE FACE THE NEXT 10 YEARS.

AND IN A BIGGER PICTURE, HERE'S HOW WE FACE CONCERNS FROM CLIMATE CHANGE.

AND HERE'S SOME NEW AND DIFFERENT STRATEGIES THAT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK.

UH, THEY REALLY, UH, IT'S, IT'S GONNA BE A LITTLE FUNNY, BUT THIS IS A MUCH SMALLER DOCUMENT THAN THE PREVIOUS ONE.

SO THEY, UH, THEY KIND OF MADE IT MORE READABLE.

THEY PUT IN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND A CONCLUSION, BUT THEN ALSO THEY DID SOME VERY CLEVER THINGS.

WE BROKE DOWN, UH, THE ECOSYSTEMS FROM A MUCH WIDER VARIETY OF ECOSYSTEMS TO, TO MORE LUMPING OF THESE ECOSYSTEMS. WE'RE LOOKING AT SAVANNAHS THAT ARE BASICALLY A LOT OF GRASS WITH SOME TREES.

WE'RE LOOKING AT, UH, SAVANNAHS THAT HAVE MORE TREES THAN GRASS.

AND THEN, UH, WE HAVE AREAS THAT HAVE WOODLANDS, THAT HAVE ENDANGERED SPECIES OF BIRDS.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN CALLING WARBLER WOODLANDS.

PERHAPS THE MOST CLEVER THING IS BECAUSE WE, WE HAVE A LOT OF WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE WHERE WE HAVE DEVELOPMENTS RIGHT NEXT TO OPEN SPACE MANAGED VERY DIFFERENTLY.

ONE SIDE RATTLESNAKES ARE NOT WELCOME THE OTHER SIDE, THEY ARE SO VERY DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS OF THE LAND, BUT TAKING THOSE EXPECTATIONS INTO ACCOUNT AND SAYING, IF WE'RE GOING TO USE PRESCRIBED FIRE HERE, THESE OTHER TECHNIQUES HERE, UH, WE MAY DO THESE LESS FREQUENTLY HERE, NOT BECAUSE THE ECOSYSTEM IS DRIVING US, BUT BECAUSE THERE'S REAL CONCERNS ABOUT NEIGHBORS AND OTHER ISSUES.

SO IT'S TRYING TO BE SENSITIVE TO THE NEIGHBORS AND SAYING, INSTEAD OF A TWO TO THREE YEAR RETURN INTERVAL, INTERVAL ON PRESCRIBED FIRE, WHAT ABOUT FOUR TO EIGHT? IS THAT ALL RIGHT? AND THEN THEY ALSO BROUGHT UP SOME, SOME CLEVER IDEAS IS YOU MAY HAVE SEEN IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, GOATS HAVE BEEN USED TO MANAGE BRUSH IN BERKELEY.

THEY HAVE A, A LARGE HERD THAT COMES THROUGH.

UH, IT'S VERY CHALLENGING TO MANAGE.

AND IF YOU COULD IMAGINE NEIGHBORS WITH DOGS AND A BUNCH OF GOATS, THERE'S CHALLENGES THERE.

BUT WE HAD THEM INVESTIGATE THAT AS COULD WE MANAGE LADDER FUELS, FUELS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO WILDFIRES ALONG THESE WILD INTER THESE WILD AND URBAN INTERFACES RIGHT NEXT TO, UH, DEVELOPMENT AREAS.

SO THEY RESEARCHED THAT AS WELL.

SO WE ADDED IN SOME NEW TECHNOLOGY THERE.

WE ALSO CONSIDERED, UH, YOU KNOW, WHAT IS THE EXPECTATION OVER THE NEXT 80 YEARS WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND, AND DOES THE TECHNIQUES WE'RE RECOMMENDING AND WE'RE USING HERE, DO THEY FIT WITH CLIMATE CHANGE? AND THE ANSWER YOU MAY HAVE SEEN IF YOU GOT ALL THE WAY TO APPENDIX THAT, YEAH, THESE SAVANNAH SYSTEMS ARE GONNA BE REALLY GOOD IN TERMS OF HOLDING THE VEGETATION TOGETHER, THAT DURING TIMES OF, UH, A GREAT EROSION, HAVING THE BIODIVERSITY THAT COMES WITH THESE SAVANNAS, WE'RE GONNA BE ABLE TO HOLD ONTO THAT SOIL, WHICH WOULD BE ONE OF THE PRIMARY CONSIDERATIONS OF POLLUTANTS COMING OFF THESE LANDS.

WE'RE GONNA BE ABLE TO KEEP THOSE RECHARGE FEATURES FUNCTIONING BY HOLDING THAT SOIL IN PLACE, AND WE'RE GONNA BE ABLE TO KEEP DELIVERING HIGH QUALITY WATER TO BARTON SPRINGS UNDER THIS ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT.

THE SAME TIME WE PROTECT BIO BIODIVERSITY, WE PROTECT ENDANGERED SPECIES.

SO IT'S BEEN A VERY GOOD INCLUSIVE PLAN TO COVER A LOT OF THE CONCERNS THE CITIZENS OF AUSTIN HAVE, BOTH AS NEIGHBORS, AS PEOPLE WHO ENJOY BARTON SPRINGS AND AS PEOPLE WHO APPRECIATE, UH, ENDANGERED SPECIES AND THE WILDLANDS THAT WE PROTECT HERE.

THANK YOU FOR THAT THOROUGH SUMMARY.

UH, FURTHER QUESTION.

COMMISSIONERS GOT ANY QUESTIONS FOR THE STAFF? NO.

OKAY.

CHAIR, I'LL MAKE A MOTION TO APPROVE MOTION MADE BY COMMISSIONER MICHELLE.

IS THERE A SECOND? I'LL SECOND.

SECOND.

MY VICE CHAIR CASTLE PERRY.

OH, IN FAVOR, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND SHOWING APPROVE ANTY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR PRESENTATION.

OKAY.

FIRST,

[9. Update from the Austin Integrated Water Task Force – Commissioner William Moriarty]

UH, LET'S MOVE TO ITEM NINE, UPDATE FROM THE AUSTIN INTEGRATED ORDER TASK FORCE COMMISSIONER MONTI, UH, THANK YOU CHAIR.

UM, WE HAD, UH, OUR LAST, UH, SUBSTANTIAL MEETING OF THE WATER FORWARD TASK FORCE IN NOVEMBER.

AND THAT MEETING, AS IS TYPICAL OF OUR EVERY TWO MONTH MEETINGS, WE, UH, THROUGH THE AUSTIN WATER STAFF COVER SUCH ISSUES AS WATER SUPPLY UPDATE, WHICH OF COURSE, I WAS OUT ON LAKE TRAVIS THIS AFTERNOON AND, UH, NOT LOOKING VERY GOOD, BUT, UH, I WANNA SAY THE REPORT IN NOVEMBER

[00:15:01]

HAD US AT A 53% FULL, I'M GUESSING WE'RE IN THE HIGH FORTIES NOW.

AND, UM, AND WE COVERED SOME OTHER TECHNICAL ISSUES.

UM, IN DECEMBER WE DID, UH, UH, ANOTHER MEETING, BUT IT WAS MOSTLY DEVOTED TO EQUITY TRAINING.

AND, UM, THE CITY OF AUSTIN BROUGHT IN KEY STAFF MEMBERS WHO, UH, WORKED FOR THE EQUITY OFFICE AND KIND OF GAVE US, UH, UH, A LITTLE, UH, INSTRUCTION, I GUESS I WOULD CALL IT, ON, ON THE EQUITY PROCESS.

AND, UH, SO, UH, OUR JANUARY MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELED TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, AND I'M NOT SURE WHY, BUT BELIEVE I'VE GOT THE EMAIL ON THAT.

BUT, UH, OF COURSE, THE BIG THING WITH THE WATER FORWARD TASK FORCE IS DEVELOPMENT OF THE AQUIFER STORAGE AND RECOVERY FACILITY.

AND, UH, THEY HAVE, UH, THE CITY STAFF, AUSTIN WATER STAFF AND THE CONSULTANTS HAVE BEEN, UH, VERY DELIBERATELY MOVING FORWARD ON THAT PROJECT.

AND, UM, THEY'RE AT THE POINT NOW WHERE I THINK THEY'VE SURVEYED THE REGION, HAVE IDENTIFIED SOME POSSIBLE LOCATIONS, HAVE DONE A BIT OF OUTREACH TO CERTAIN WHERE THIS THING MIGHT LIKELY BE LOCATED.

AND, UM, IT IS MOVING ALONG WITH AN EXPECTED, UH, COMPLETION DATE OF 2040.

I'M NOT SURE I'LL BE HERE FOR THAT, BUT I'M HOPING.

AND, UH, SO THAT'S OUR, THAT'S MY REPORT CHAIR.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPORT.

COMMISSIONER GOT ANY QUESTION FOR COMMISSIONER MONTI? OKAY, THANK YOU.

OKAY.

[10. Briefing on the 2022 Austin Water External Review presented by Dr. Lynn Katz, Director of the Center for Water and the Environment at the University of Texas]

OKAY, LET'S MOVE ON TO ITEM NUMBER 10.

BRIEFING ON THE 2022 AUSTIN WATER EXTERNAL REVIEW PRESENTED BY DR.

LYNN KATZ, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR WATER AND ENVIRONMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

AND WE HAVE CITY OF AUDITOR CORY STOKES TO START IT.

OKAY, EXCELLENT.

ALL RIGHT.

I'M COREY STOKES.

I'M THE CITY AUDITOR AND I'M HAPPY TO BE HERE WITH YOU GUYS TODAY.

UM, I WANT TO INTRODUCE OUR TEAM.

SO, UM, BACK IN FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR, CITY COUNCIL AND PASSED A RESOLUTION, ASKING MY OFFICE TO COME UP WITH AN INDEPENDENT, UM, CONTRACTOR TO DO WORK, UM, TO LOOK AT THE MOST RECENT, UH, NEGATIVE WATER QUALITY EVENTS THAT HAD BEEN EXPERIENCED BY THE CITY.

THERE WERE FIVE EVENTS SPECIFICALLY THAT THEY, UM, ASKED TO, TO BE LOOKED AT IN THE WORK.

UH, WE CREATED AN INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS CENTER FOR WATER ENGINEERING.

AND, UM, THEY'LL BE PRESENTING TODAY.

AND THEY CREATED A TEAM OF EXPERTS THAT INCLUDE FOLKS FROM, UM, ENGINEERING FIRMS BACKGROUNDS AND OPERATIONS COMMUNICATIONS, VARIOUS FIELDS, UH, WHICH DR.

CASTLE TALKED TO YOU MORE ABOUT.

BUT, UM, THAT TEAM WAS ASSEMBLED AND HAS DONE THEIR WORK.

AND SO WE WANTED TO PRESENT, ACTUALLY, THE RESOLUTION REQUIRES, BUT WE PROBABLY WOULD'VE DONE IT ANYWAY, UM, WANTS US TO PRESENT TO THIS BODY.

SO WE PRESENTED THIS MORNING TO THOUGHT AND FINANCE COMMITTEE, AND TODAY DR.

KATZ, WHO LED THE TEAM WILL BE PRESENTING HERE.

SO, DR.

KATZ, THANK YOU.

UM, I BELIEVE WE HAVE SOME SLIDES.

STEPH CAN BRING UP THE SLIDES FOR ITEM 10, PLEASE.

GREAT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

AND THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THE FINDINGS FROM OUR EXTERNAL REVIEW OF AUSTIN WATER.

MY NAME'S LYNN KATZ.

I'M THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR WATER AND THE ENVIRONMENT, AND, UM, A PROFESSOR IN CIVIL ARCHITECTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

UM, I WANNA START OUT TODAY BY, MAYBE I'LL JUST STAY RIGHT HERE.

THERE WE GO.

UM, BY TALKING ABOUT THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS, UH, STUDY, AND, UM, THE FIRST OBJECTIVE WAS TO REVIEW THE FIVE WATER QUALITY INCIDENTS THAT WERE IDENTIFIED BY THE COUNCIL FROM OCTOBER, 2018 TO 2022.

WE WERE ASKED TO EVALUATE WHETHER CURRENT TECHNOLOGY IS SUFFICIENT FOR MEETING REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS, EVALUATE WHETHER THE INFRASTRUCTURE, UM, HAS THE ABILITY TO MEET DESIGN REQUIREMENTS, EVALUATE

[00:20:01]

OPERATIONS TO MEET DESIGN FLOWS DURING NORMAL CONDITIONS AND EXTREME EVENTS.

AND THEN MOVING, MOVING BEYOND WHERE WE ARE NOW THINKING ABOUT PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS TO INCREASE RESILIENCY AND IDENTIFY RELATED ISSUES THAT COULD IMPROVE THE OVERALL RESILIENCE AND FUNCTIONING OF THE CITY'S WATER SYSTEM.

SO, TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE TESTS, WE, UH, WE, UM, ARE ADDRESSING THREE DIFFERENT QUESTIONS.

THE FIRST WAS, HOW DOES WATER QUALITY PRODUCE BY THE WATERSHED IMPACT WATER QUALITY ENTERING THE PLANT AND CREATE RISK TO WATER TREATMENT? AGAIN, LOOKING BOTH AT NORMAL OPERATIONS AND EXTREME CONDITIONS.

THE SECOND WAS, FROM AN ENGINEERING PERSPECTIVE, ARE THE PROCESSES CAPABLE OF HANDLING THIS RANGE OF WATER QUALITY? AND THE THIRD TURN TO, FROM A STAFFING AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE, IS AUSTIN WATER POSITIONED TO OPERATE THE PLANT OVER THE RANGE OF WATER QUALITY CONDITIONS OBSERVED DURING THESE NORMAL OPERATIONS AND EXTREME EVENTS.

SO IN ORDER TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS, WE FORMED A TEAM.

OKAY.

AND, UM, I WANNA INTRODUCE THE TEAM A LITTLE BIT.

UH, I WANT YOU TO NOTICE THAT THERE'S THREE LARGE BOXES IN THE CENTER, AND THESE ARE HOW WE DIVIDED UP THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR, UM, EXAMINING DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING ON THE LEFT, OPERATIONS, DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS, AND WATER QUALITY.

UM, FOR ALL OF OUR, UH, AREAS, WE, WE INCLUDED ACADEMICIANS AND CONSULTANTS WHO HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN IN THE OPERATION AREAS.

SARAH CLARKE, PHIL BRAND, DUER, AND CHRISTINE OWENS HAVE DECADES OF EXPERIENCE LOOKING AT WATER TREATMENT OPERATIONS.

IN THE MIDDLE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE, COMMUNICATIONS AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE CREATED.

OUR SECOND TEAM, CASEY FAUST IS A WATER INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEMS EXPERT.

CARRIE STEVENS IS, UM, EXPERTISE IS IN THE AREA OF ORGANIZATIONAL, UM, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY.

AND HARRY EVANS, UM, IS, UH, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE AUSTIN FIRE DEPARTMENT.

AND HIS EXPERTISE IN, UM, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WAS, UH, EXTREMELY USEFUL WITHIN THIS REPORT IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENERGY REQUIREMENTS.

UH, THE TEAM FROM BROWN AND CALDWELL HELPED US OUT WITH CHAD BARTO, LORI SULLIVAN, AND KRISTEN O'NEIL, WHO IS HERE WITH US TODAY, ALONG WITH SARAH CLARK AND HARRY EVANS.

UM, AND THEN Y'ALL GLAZER, WHO, UM, WHO IS A RESEARCH ASSOCIATE AT UT AUSTIN, UH, HAS AN EXPERTISE IN ENERGY.

SO WE PUT THIS TEAM TOGETHER AND WE SAID, WELL, HERE'S THESE THREE TEAMS. WE WANT YOU ALL TO GO OUT AND LOOK AT YOUR, UM, GATHER INFORMATION INDEPENDENTLY, COME UP WITH OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS.

AND I'M HAPPY TO REPORT THAT THE TEAM PRODUCED VERY SIMILAR OBSERVATIONS AND CONSISTENT RECOMMENDATIONS ACROSS THE BOARD.

AND THAT MADE US FEEL VERY CONFIDENT IN OUR FINDINGS.

SO, AS WE STARTED PUTTING TOGETHER, I'M NOT SURE IF I'M DOING THIS OR YOU'RE DOING THIS, BUT, UM, , YEAH, I'M READY FOR THE NEXT SLIDE.

I GUESS I'M NOT DOING THIS.

UM, SO AM I SUPPOSED TO BE POINTING SOMEWHERE OR IS THAT, IF I WANNA DO THIS, WHERE DO I POINT? I'M, I'M DOING IT.

YOU PLAY.

NEXT SLIDE.

OKAY.

UM, THANKS.

I'LL PUT THAT OVER THERE.

ALL RIGHT.

SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WERE LOOKING AT WHEN WE FIRST STARTED LOOKING AT THE POTENTIAL SCOPE OF THIS PROJECT WAS HOW DO WE COMPLETE IT IN A TIMELY FASHION AND ADDRESS THE QUESTIONS THAT WERE RAISED.

AND TO DO THIS, WE DECIDED TO FOCUS ON THE ULRICH WATER TREATMENT PLANT, UM, FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

UM, THE FIRST IS THAT, IS THAT THE, UM, ALL OF THE THREE TREATMENT PLANTS USE OBTAIN WATER FROM THE LOWER COLORADO RIVER.

SO THE WATER QUALITY SHOULD BE COMPARABLE AMONG THE THREE, AND ALL THREE PLANTS USE LIME SOFTENING.

SO THAT WOULD SEEM THAT ANY OF THE PLANTS WOULD BE REPRESENTATIVE OF THOSE ASPECTS.

AS WE FOCUSED ON ULRICH, WE REALIZED THAT ULRICH IS CRITICAL TO THE SERVICE OF SOUTH AUSTIN.

IT'S ALSO THE MOST COMPLEX DESIGN DUE TO THE VARIABLE SIZE CLARIFIERS THAT YOU CAN SEE IN THE PHOTO.

IT WAS IMPACTED BY FOUR OF THE FIVE EVENTS THAT WERE IDENTIFIED BY THE CITY COUNCIL, AND IT HAS ALSO BEEN SUBJECT TO STAFFING CHANGES OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.

SO THAT GAVE US A, UM, A REALLY STRONG FOCUS ON THE AREAS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE QUESTIONS.

SO, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

OKAY.

SO OUR APPROACH WAS TO COLLECT MULTIPLE LINES OF EVIDENCE THAT WOULD SUPPORT OUR OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

WE RESEARCHED BEST MANAGING

[00:25:01]

PRACTICE STAFFING, AUSTIN WATER POLICIES, PROCEDURES, TREATMENT, PLANT DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS, PLANT MAINTENANCE RECORDS, ASSET MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS, AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT TRAINING MATERIALS, WATER QUALITY DATA, UH, RECENT DATA, HISTORICAL DATA, HISTORICAL, RAW AND FINISHED WATER DATA.

UM, THE AFTER ACTION REPORTS THE ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR SIMILAR TYPES OF ORGANIZATION.

AMONG ANOTHER NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS, I WANNA POINT OUT THAT AUSTIN WATER WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN PROVIDING ACCESS TO PERSONNEL ACROSS THE UTILITY AND RESPONDING TO MORE THAN 60 DATA REQUESTS THAT WE MADE.

AND THAT WAS A KEY TO OUR ABILITY TO COMPLETE THE IN A TIMELY MANNER.

NEXT, PLEASE.

WE INTERVIEWED, UM, OVER 25, UH, PERSONNEL FROM ASSISTANT DIRECTORS DOWN TO OPERATORS AND THE PLANTS.

WE WENT BACK AND MET WITH THEM MULTIPLE TIMES.

IN SOME CASES, WE TOURED THE PLANT.

WE SPOKE TO A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE ASSOCIATED WITH AUSTIN WATER.

UM, NEXT PLEASE.

WE REVIEWED AND COMPARED THE INFRASTRUCTURE OPERATIONS TO REG REGULATORY CODES AND BEST PRACTICES AND DOCUMENTS.

UM, AND WE EMPLOYED THE TEAM'S EXPERTISE AND KNOWLEDGE AS WE REVIEWED, UH, THE INFRASTRUCTURE.

UM, WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF STAFFING, WE REVIEWED NATIONAL RECOGNIZED SOURCES FOR BEST PRACTICES, AS WELL AS LOOKED AT BROAD CONCERNS ABOUT STAFFING, INCLUDING NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THE TCEQ, UH, WATER OPERATOR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS SO THAT WE COULD UNDERSTAND WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A STAFF MEMBER, AND HOW DO YOU, HOW LONG DOES IT IT TAKE TO GET PROMOTED? AND, UM, FROM THERE WE ALSO LOOKED AT, UH, PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS, AND WE REFERRED TO DOCUMENTS.

NEXT, PLEASE.

UM, SUCH AS, UM, UH, REPORTS THAT CAME OUT FROM EPA, WHOA, CAN YOU GO BACK, PLEASE? UM, THAT CAME OUT FROM EPA, SUCH AS TRENDING AN INSTANT, A RISK COMMUNICATION GUIDE FOR WATER UTILITIES THAT WAS PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION.

SO, UM, I THINK THE KEY THING WE WANNA HIGHLIGHT IS THAT ALL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS WE TRIED VERY HARD TO, UM, TRIANGULATE THE INFORMATION TO, TO COME UP WITH STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS AND FINDINGS.

SO, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO WITH THAT, I WANNA START ON QUESTION ONE AND ASK THE FIRST QUESTION OF, OR AN, OR GIVE YOU THE FIRST ANSWER TO OUR QUESTION ABOUT HOW DOES WATER QUALITY PRODUCE BY THE WATERSHED, UM, IMPACT RAW, RAW WATER QUALITY, ENTERING THE PLANT, AND CREATE RISK.

AND I'D LIKE TO START OUT BY SAYING THAT THE LOWER COLORADO RIVER WATER QUALITY IS VERY CONSISTENT AS WE STUDIED THE DATA WITH RESPECT TO KEY WATER QUALITY PARAMETERS.

BUT IT IS SUBJECT TO SPIKES IN TURBIDITY DURING STORM EVENTS, AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE GRAPH.

UM, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THAT SHOWS RAW WATER TURBIDITY SINCE 2000.

AND AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SPIKES WITH, UH, THE LARGEST ONE DURING THE OCTOBER, 2018 EVENT.

UM, SIMILAR PLOTS, UM, WERE OBVIOUS.

NEXT, PLEASE, UH, IN TERMS OF TOTAL ORGANIC CARBON PH, TOTAL ALKALINITY AND, UM, I MEAN, YEAH, TOTAL ALKALINITY AND TOTAL HARDNESS.

UM, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS YOU NOTICE ABOUT THIS IS THAT, YOU KNOW, IN BETWEEN THE SPIKES, THE WATER'S, YOU KNOW, VERY CONSISTENT IN TERMS OF ITS TURBIDITY WITH SAY, 90%, UM, OF THE TIME THE TURBIDITY RANGES FROM SIX TO 20 NTU U UM, AND IT DOESN'T EXCEED 20 NTU U MORE THAN 99% OF THE TIME.

UM, THE OTHER THING I WANNA POINT OUT IS IF WE MOVE TO THE NEXT SLIDE, YOU'LL SEE THAT THAT RAW WATER TIBIDITY, UH, ALSO PRODUCES CONSISTENT FINISHED WATER QUALITY.

SO IF WE LOOK AT THIS NEXT GRAPH, PLEASE, UM, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE 2018 FLOOD THAT WAS ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGES IN WATER QUALITY, THE TURBIDITY COME COMING OUT OF THE PLANT.

NEXT SLIDE, UH, MEETS REGULATIONS, WHICH MUST BE LESS THAN 0.3 NTU FOR 95% OF THE TIME IN ANY MONTH, AND NOT HIGHER THAN ONE NTU U AT ANY TIME.

AND THOSE ARE THE PRIMARY DRINKING WATER STANDARDS.

SO THAT BEING THE CASE, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE PLANT IS, UM, YOU KNOW, SEEING WATER QUALITY THAT'S FAIRLY CONSISTENT AND TREATABLE.

SO, MOVING TO OUR NEXT QUESTION FROM AN ENGINEERING PERSPECTIVE, ARE THE PROCESSES CAPABLE OF HANDLING THIS RANGE OF WATER? AND WE BELIEVE THAT THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS APPROPRIATE TO TREAT THE WALL WATER FROM LAKE AUSTIN TO REGULATORY STANDARDS, AND THE PROCESS DESIGN ALIGNS WITH REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS.

AND THIS WAS, UM, GARNERED FROM OPERATIONAL DATA THAT WAS COLLECTED

[00:30:01]

FROM 2013 TO 2022.

THE PLANT USES A LIME BASED LIME SOFTENING BASED TREATMENT PROCESS, WHICH IS WELL SUITED FOR THE RAW WATER QUALITY.

IT'S CAPABLE OF TREATING THE TYPICAL WATER QUALITY EXCURSIONS.

AS YOU SAW FROM THE SLIDES I PRESENTED WITH SOME OF THE DATA, UM, ON TURBIDITY.

IT ALSO PRODUCES WATER, MEANING ALL REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS, UM, UM, DURING TYPICAL OPERATIONS.

NOW, COUPLE THINGS I WANNA POINT OUT ABOUT THIS, SY, THE SYSTEM THAT'S USED, ONE IS THAT LIME SOFTENING SYSTEMS ARE, UH, IN GENERAL, NOT, UM, NOT THE, UH, HOW DO I WANNA SAY THIS, UM, ARE NOT VERY GOOD AT RAPID CHANGES IN, IN, UM, OPERATIONS.

SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM WANTS TO RAMP UP THE FLOW AND CALLS BACK AND SAYS, WE WANNA CHANGE THE FLOW, WE DON'T, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT VERY EASY TO CHANGE A LIME SOFTENING PLANT BY TURNING A KNOB.

IT TAKES, IT TAKES STAFF AND IT TAKES OPERATORS, UH, AND IT TAKES, UM, TIME FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.

UM, BUT IT ALSO REQUIRES MORE EXPERIENCED OPERATORS BECAUSE THESE ARE UPFLOW CLARIFIERS THAT REQUIRE, UM, A LITTLE MORE, UH, UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THE PROCESSES WORK AND TIME TO GET TO KNOW EACH DIFFERENT CLARIFIER.

THE OTHER THING I WANNA POINT OUT IS THAT ULRICH WATER TREATMENT PLANT TYPICALLY OPERATES AT ABOUT 35% OF THE RATED CAPACITY.

AND WE'LL COME BACK TO THIS AS WE TALK LATER ABOUT, UM, SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE MADE.

AND THE RATED CAPACITY IS 167, UM, MILLION GALLONS PER DAY.

OKAY, SO MOVING ON, I WANNA TALK ABOUT, UM, BEFORE I GO ON TO ANSWERING QUESTION THREE, I WANNA SPEND A LITTLE TIME TALKING ABOUT THE RESPONSIVENESS OF AUSTIN WATER TO THE, UH, TO THE INCIDENTS THAT WERE LOOKED AT, BECAUSE I WANNA FOCUS FIRST ON WATER QUALITY AND TREATMENT.

AND, UM, A LOT OF THESE, UH, INCIDENTS, UH, A APPLY TO THAT.

SO THE FIRST OF THESE, UM, INCIDENTS WAS THE FIRE, FIRE FOAM FLOOD.

FLOOD.

AND I WANNA START OUT BY SAYING AUSTIN WATER REALLY HAD NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CAUSE OF THIS INSTANT INCIDENT AND RESPONDED APPROPRIATELY TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE.

UM, I ALSO WANNA SAY THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT THE FOUR OTHER ONE REPORTS, AUSTIN LAU HAS ALSO MADE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS TOWARDS IMPLEMENTING A MAJORITY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND IMPROVING RESILIENCY.

AND TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE NUMBERS, THERE WERE A HUNDRED HUNDRED 92 RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WERE MADE FROM THESE FIVE AFTER ACTION REPORTS.

75% OF THEM HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED ALREADY, AND ANOTHER 11% ARE UNDERWAY WITH MOST OF THE REST BEING PLANNED.

IN TERMS OF THE NEXT INCIDENT, PLEASE, ON THE OCTOBER, 2018 BOIL WATER, UM, ISSUE THAT HAD CHANGES IN WATER QUALITY FOR TURBIDITY, ALKALINITY, AND HARDNESS, THIS REPRESENTED AN UNPRECEDENTED EXCURSION, AS WE SAW FROM THE PLOT.

REGARDLESS, THE, UM, AUSTIN WATER, UM, WAS ABLE TO WORK WITH, UH, ENGINEERING FIRM TO COLLECT WATER FROM THAT AND DO A STUDY TO TRY AND FIND WAYS TO BECOME MORE RESILIENT TO THIS TYPE OF EVENT.

FROM THAT STUDY CAME THE ADDITION OF A POLYMER SYSTEM THAT'S ALREADY BEEN IMPLEMENTED AT ULRICH AND IS PLANNED AS BEING, UH, IS GOING TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE OTHER TWO PLANTS SOON AS WELL.

UM, SO I, YOU KNOW, THIS WAS A BIG, BIG IMPROVEMENT IN RESILIENCY, UM, IN TERMS OF, OF LOOKING AT THIS.

AND IT, IT WAS DONE REALLY VERY EFFICIENTLY AND IT'S ALREADY IN PLACE.

UH, IN TERMS OF THE ZEBRA MUSCLE EVENT, WHICH CAME NEXT.

UM, WE FELT THAT THIS WAS A DELAYED AND REACTIVE RESPONSE TO AN EMERGING ISSUE.

UM, THE ZEBRA MUSCLES HAD BEEN PEOP BEEN TRACKED FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS BEFORE, AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT THEY WERE COMING TOWARDS AUSTIN.

AND WE FELT THAT IF, IF THERE WAS A PROACTIVE TO RESPONSE TO THIS EARLIER, UM, THIS ISSUE COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.

BUT I WOULD SAY THAT AUSTIN WATER HAS ALREADY IMPLEMENTED A COPPER SULFATE SYSTEM AND IS, UM, MOVE FOR ON THE SHORT TERM AND IS MOVING TO, UM, ANOTHER COPPER SYSTEM THAT WILL BE A LONG-TERM SOLUTION.

SO, AGAIN, UH, VERY RESPONSIVE.

IN CONTRAST TO THE REACTIVE RESPONSE THAT WE SAW WITH THE ZEBRA MUSCLES.

WE ALSO LOOKED AT THE TOXIN EMERGING CONCERNS THAT HAVE BEEN APPEARING ACROSS THE NATION.

AND, AND, UM, IT, WHAT WE SEE HERE IS THAT, UH, AUSTIN WATER HAS BEEN MUCH MORE PROACTIVE IN THE RESPONSE AND THERE'S ALREADY REPORT AVAILABLE LOOKING AT POTENTIAL OPTIONS FOR SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM, UM,

[00:35:01]

UH, UH, CHANGES THAT CAN BE MADE TO HELP IN CASE THIS BECOMES AN ISSUE HERE.

IN TERMS OF WINTER STORM URI, THIS HIGHLIGHTED THE CRITICAL ROLE OF ENERGY RESILIENCY AND AUSTIN WATER HAS, UM, MOVING FORWARD WITH SENATE BILL THREE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN.

AND, UM, WE ARE OBVIOUSLY RECOMMENDED THAT THEY CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

FINALLY, THE FEBRUARY 22ND BOIL WATER EVENT WAS A SERIOUS AND AVOIDABLE FAILURE, AND IT EXPOSED THE MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL ISSUES, STAFFING, TRAINING, INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS, EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND MANAGEMENT.

AND, UM, SO WITH THIS, I'D LIKE TO TRANSITION TO, UM, LOOKING AT QUESTION THREE IN THE NEXT SLIDE, BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONE THAT ADDRESSED THIS, THIS ISSUE THAT WAS REALLY IDENTIFIED MOST STRONGLY IN THE FEBRUARY, 2022 EVENT.

AND SO, FROM A STAFFING AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE, IS AUSTIN WATER POSITIONED TO OPERATE THE PLANT OVER THE RANGE OF WATER QUALITY CONDITIONS OBSERVED DURING NORMAL AND EXTREME EVENTS? WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT THERE WAS A SERIOUS DISCONNECT BETWEEN UPPER MANAGEMENT'S EFFORTS TO IMPROVE OPERATIONS AND TO MAKE, UM, UH, PROGRESS IN TERMS OF ADDRESSING ISSUES FOR AUSTIN WATER WITH MINIMAL PLANT STAFF ENGAGEMENTS IN THESE EFFORTS.

AND, UM, WE FELT THAT THIS WAS A SERIOUS CONCERN FOR AUSTIN WATER.

SO NEXT COMMENT.

THANK YOU.

UM, THE CURRENT AUSTIN WATER ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE POSES SOME CHALLENGES TO EFFICIENT INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS IMMERSION, RESP EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND ATTENTION TO THESE PLANT NEEDS.

IF, UH, NEXT, UH, IF YOU LOOK AT THE GRAPH ON THE RIGHT, WE DID A COMPARISON OF A ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SPAN OF CONTROL FOR DIRECT AND SECONDARY REPORTS.

AND AS YOU NOTICE, THERE'S A, UM, ON THE FAR RIGHT IS THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS WHO HAS A MUCH LARGER SPAN OF CONTROL THAN THE OTHER ASSISTANT DIRECTORS.

WE DID SOME RESEARCH LOOKING AT SPAN OF CONTROL, AND THERE'S A, A STUDY BY GORDON AT ALL IN 2015 THAT IDENTIFIES THAT A NARROW SPAN OF CONTROL IS APPROPRIATE FOR WORK THAT IS COMPLEX BY NATURE.

HIGH RISK RECEIVES A HIGH DEGREE OF SCOOP BRUTIN REQUIRES A GREAT DEAL OF COORDINATION AND IS GEOGRAPHICALLY DISPERSED.

WE FILL THIS, CAPTURES A LOT OF AUSTIN WATER AND FELT THAT FEEL THAT, UH, THIS IS AN AREA THAT COULD BE LOOKED AT FOR IMPROVEMENT.

SO WE ALSO NOTED NEXT SLIDE.

WE ALSO NOTED A NUMBER OF KEY CONCERNS IDENTIFIED THAT RELATED TO EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND ADEQUATE STAFFING AT ULRICH WATER TREATMENT PLANT.

AND WE ALSO IN, IN OUR INTERVIEWS WITH STAFF, UH, NOTED THAT THERE WERE A NUMBER OF CONCERNS RAISED, INCLUDING POOR COMPENSATION, FRUSTRATION OVER THE LACK OF EFFECTIVE TRAINING, CONCERNS ABOUT STANDARD OPERATING, UH, PROCEDURES, AND, UM, WHETHER THEY'RE BEING ROUTINELY ACCESSED AND THE TIME REQUIRED TO OBTAIN CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUNDING AND EXECUTE CAPITAL PROJECTS AT THE PLANT.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO IF WE LOOK AT, UM, A SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE, UH, RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE MADE AT THE PLANT, UM, I WANNA GO THROUGH THOSE BECAUSE WE FEEL LIKE THIS IS THE AREA OF MOST CONCERN.

UM, ONE IS THAT THERE NEED TO BE CLEAR LINES OF SUPERVISION AND REPORTING EXPECTATIONS, AND WE FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT A SINGLE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE ULRICH WATER TREATMENT PLANT WILL HELP CORRECT, UM, SOME OF THE IMBALANCE OF DIRECT REPORTS TO ASSISTANT DIRECTORS.

I BELIEVE THIS IS A, UM, A RECOMMENDATION THAT AUSTIN WATER AGREES WITH, AND WE'RE, WE'RE EXCITED TO HEAR THAT WE BELIEVE THAT AUSTIN WATER NEEDS TO PROVIDE GREATER EMPHASIS ON DOCUMENTATION, TRAINING, AND TEAM BUILDING.

WE BELIEVE THAT THE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH ATTRITION AND RETENTION CAN BE, UM, NEXT PLEASE CAN BE IMPROVED THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, INCREASING COMPENSATION AND CAREER ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

BUT I WANNA POINT OUT THAT THIS IS NOT AN AUSTIN ISSUE.

THIS IS AN ISSUE NA NATIONWIDE.

UM, IN THE, IN THE RECENT REPORTS AND THE MOST RECENT REPORT FROM THE STATE OF THE WATER INDUSTRY, THEY IDENTIFIED, UM, UH, THE, UM, LOSS OF KNOWLEDGE, UM, AS THE FOURTH MOST IMPORTANT ITEM.

I'M THINKING IF I HAVE THAT NUMBER RIGHT, THE EIGHTH MOST IMPORTANT, NO, FOURTH, I THINK IS

[00:40:01]

FOURTH MOST IMPORTANT.

AND, UM, AND RETENTION OF STAFF, UM, ANOTHER KEY ELEMENT.

AND BOTH OF THOSE MOVED UP FROM THE YEAR BEFORE.

SO I THINK IT WENT, THE SECOND ONE WAS 11TH AND IT WAS THE 14TH YEAR BEFORE.

SO IT'S INCREASING IN CONCERN AND IT'S NOT JUST AN AUSTIN WATER ISSUE.

NEXT, PLEASE.

WE BELIEVE THAT, UM, AUSTIN WATER WOULD BENEFIT FROM PROVIDING GREATER ENGAGEMENT OF PLANT STAFF IN THE ASSET MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES, AND EMERGING ISSUES IN WATER TREATMENT.

FINALLY, WE BELIEVE THAT AUSTIN WATER SHOULD REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE CI CITY MANAGER TO STREAMLINE COMMUNICATIONS AND PROCESSES, UM, IN A SIMILAR MANNER AS AUSTIN ENERGY.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

IN TERMS OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS, UM, I WANNA START OUT BY SAYING THAT THE DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS CENTER EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FACILITY APPEARS TO BE WELL DESIGNED AND SUITABLE SUITABLY STRUCTURED TO HANDLE EVENTS THAT DEVIATE FROM STANDARD OPERATIONS.

AUSTIN WATER HAS BROUGHT ON A ROBUST ONLINE EMERGENCY MAT MANAGEMENT PLATFORM, VO OCHI, WHICH STANDS FOR VIRTUAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER.

THESE WERE NOT AVAILABLE DURING THE FIVE EVENTS, AND, UM, WE BELIEVE THAT THIS IS AN APPROPRIATE, UM, APPROACH AS WELL.

BUT IN TERMS OF, UH, SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS WE MADE, THEY FOCUS ON RECRUITING AND RETAINING SKILLED WORKFORCE.

YOU NOTICE YOU'RE HEARING THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION TO ENSURE THAT ADEQUATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND PREPAREDNESS CAN TAKE PLACE.

THAT TRAINING IS NEEDED FOR PLANT SPECIFIC PROCESSES, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, AND SCENARIO EXERCISE.

SO WHILE WE HAVE THIS GREAT SOFTWARE SYSTEM, UM, NOT ALL THE STAFF UNDERSTAND, UM, THE CURRENT DECISION MA MATRICES AND RISK RIGHT GUIDANCE CRITERIA.

AND IN SOME CASES, ESCALATION PROCESSES SEEM TO BE UNCLEAR.

SO THIS IS WHAT I MEAN BY WHEN WE SAY THERE'S A DISCONNECT BETWEEN THESE GREAT THINGS HAPPENING AT, UM, YOU KNOW, TO BRING THINGS, UH, TO MAKE THINGS MORE EFFICIENT, BUT THEY'RE NOT REACHING THE STAFF.

UM, NEXT IS WE WANT TO ESTABLISH, DOCUMENT, COMMUNICATE, AND CONTINUALLY REINFORCE NOTIFICATION THRESHOLDS FOR ESCALATION OF EMERGENT FENCE.

AS I'VE INDICATED HERE THAT, UM, THIS IS A KEY AREA DURING EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO DO BEFORE THERE'S AN EMERGENCY, NOT DURING THE EMERGENCY.

UM, NEXT IS THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO REDUCE THE SPAN OF CONTROL AT THE PLANTS DURING EMERGENCY EVENTS, WHICH IS, UH, ALREADY DONE AT THE DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS CENTER.

SO WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO MOVE TO THE NEXT SLIDE THAT BASICALLY, UM, LOOKS AT THE OTHER AREAS THAT WE LOOKED AT BESIDES, UH, THE TWO THAT I JUST WENT THROUGH.

UM, WE HAD OVER 50 RECOMMENDATIONS, UM, AND THE KEY FINDINGS FROM SOME OF THOSE AREAS.

I WANNA FIRST FOCUS ON THE AREAS WHERE WE BUILT BELIEVE THAT A LOT HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN CARE OF AND DONE.

AND I WANNA POINT OUT A COUPLE OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE INCLUDED, UM, THAT ARE STILL, THAT WE SEE AS ISSUES THAT ARE STILL REMAINING.

SO IN TERMS OF WATER QUALITY VARIABILITY, WE BELIEVE, YOU KNOW, THE POLYMER SYSTEM WAS REALLY, UM, A GOOD INTERVENTION THAT WILL HELP INCREASE RESILIENCY.

BUT WE STILL HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT DURING A FLOOD EVENT THAT THE ALKALINITY AND THE HARDNESS ARE, ARE DROPPING, AND WE THINK THAT THAT SHOULD BE LOOKED AT, UM, UH, IN THE FUTURE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THOSE TRENDS CONTINUE AND WHETHER THEY BECOME, UH, MORE SERIOUS BECAUSE THEY'RE VERY IMPORTANT FOR A LIME SOFTENING PLANT.

WE BELIEVE THAT THE PLANT NEEDS TO LOOK, UM, BEYOND CYTOTOXINS TO OTHER EMERGING CONTAMINANTS, UM, AS THEY CONTINUE TO, UM, POP UP.

AND WE'RE ALL AWARE OF P F A S AND FOREVER CHEMICALS AND OTHER ISSUES THAT ARE FACING, UM, WATER TREATMENT PLANTS.

IN TERMS OF THE, UH, PROCESS DESIGN, THE ULRICH DESIGN CAPACITY, UH, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I POINTED OUT EARLIER IS THAT THE PLANT TYPICALLY OPERATES AT 35% OF CAPACITY.

AND AS A RESULT, UM, WE BELIEVE THAT PROCESS TESTING NEEDS TO BE DONE AT DESIGN FLOWS TO ENSURE THAT THE PROCESSES CAN HANDLE THESE, UH, DESIGN FLOWS WHEN THE TIME IS NEEDED.

IN TERMS OF ENERGY RESILIENCE, UH, YOU KNOW, AS I SAID, WE BELIEVE THAT AUSTIN WATER SHOULD CONTINUE ADDRESSING THE CENT BILL THREE EMERGENCY PREPARED PREPAREDNESS PLAN ITEMS THAT THEY'VE IDENTIFIED.

UM, I WANTED TO GIVE A SHOUT OUT THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CAME OUT OF OUR REVIEW OF, UH, THE

[00:45:01]

AFTER ACTION REPORTS IS THAT WE FELT, WE FEEL THAT THE PUBLIC COMMUNICATION EFFECTIVENESS IS NOW MORE PROACTIVE AND RESPONSIVE.

HOWEVER, WE DO FEEL THAT THE CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER FOR DISPATCH SERVICES THAT DOES NOT CURRENTLY REPORT TO THE AD FOR, UM, COMMUNICATION AT AUSTIN WATER, SHOULD WE BELIEVE THAT AUSTIN WATER NEEDS TO OWN THEIR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, UM, JUST NOT THE BILLING.

UM, THAT'S A PERSONAL THING BECAUSE I REALLY APPRECIATE HAVING A SINGLE BILL.

UM, NEXT, UM, AREA THAT WE, WE DO HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT ARE, UH, SOME OF THE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH DEFERRED MAINTENANCE.

UH, MANY OF THE LOW PRIORITY, UM, PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE ISSUES HAVE BEEN DEFERRED.

UM, SOME OF THIS IS DUE TO, UH, THE 30% OPEN STAFF POSITIONS THAT EXIST.

UM, AND SO WE THINK THIS IS AN AREA THAT THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.

THE OTHER AREA THAT WE LOOKED AT WAS THE SOLIDS HANDLING SYSTEM THAT RAISED SOME CONCERNS.

THERE WAS A MAY, 2020 REPORT THAT, UM, TALKED ABOUT ISSUES THAT NEEDED TO BE HANDLED.

OUR BIGGEST CONCERN HERE WAS WITH THE CENTRIFUGES, UM, DUE TO THEIR, UH, AGE AND CONDITION, UM, THE CRITICALITY OF SOLIDS HANDLING.

IN GENERAL, IF YOU'RE BUILDING UP SOLIDS AT THE PLANT, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO, UH, KEEP PRODUCING WATER.

AND THEN FINALLY, THEY'RE MAINTENANCE INTENSIVE.

SO AGAIN, THEY'RE, THEY'RE, THEY'RE DEMANDING TIME FROM STAFF THAT COULD BE USED FOR LOOKING AT OTHER ISSUES.

SO, WITH THAT, WE ALSO, AS I SAID, LOOKED AT FEEL LIKE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURAL EFFECTIVENESS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS ARE TWO OF THE KEY AREAS THAT, UM, WE FEEL THAT, UM, REALLY NEED ATTENTION AND, UH, SHOULD BE A STRONG FOCUS OF MOVING FORWARD FOR AUSTIN WATER.

SO WITH THAT, I WANNA MAKE A FEW FINAL COMMENTS.

THE FIRST IS THAT AUSTIN WATER HAS A LONG HISTORY OF PROVIDING QUAL HIGH QUALITY WATER TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

THE WATER QUALITY AND TREATMENT FACILITIES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR, UM, MEETING REGULATORY STANDARDS, BOTH AT THE NATIONAL AND STATE LEVEL, THAT THE AUSTIN WATER STAFF IS COMMITTED TO THE MISSION OF PROVIDING HIGH QUALITY WATER AND UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR ROLE IN PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH.

THAT EFFECTIVE OPERATION OF A TREATMENT PLAN IS COMPLEX, AS ALL REQUIRES A FULL COMPLIMENT OF OPERATORS, A BETTER TRAINED STAFF AND CO NATION AMONG THE STAFF, THE SUPERVISORS AND MANAGERS AT ALL, RICK WAS WATER TREATMENT PLANT AND ACROSS AUSTIN WATER.

THE REPORT THAT WE'VE PROVIDED, UM, GIVES RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE BELIEVE COULD IMPROVE AUSTIN WATER'S ABILITY TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH BY PROVIDING SAFE WATER TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN, BOTH DURING NORMAL OPERATIONS AND EXTREME EVENTS.

AND I WANNA IDENTIFY THAT THE MOST PRESENT RESILIENCY GAP THAT WE'VE FOUND IS THAT THE ORGANIZATION LACKS THE STAFFING TO HANDLE EXTRAORDINARY, IMPENDING IMMEDIATE AND ONGOING EVENTS.

AND THIS ISSUE OVERRIDES ALL OF THE OTHERS BECAUSE, UM, IT AFFECTS SCENARIO PLANNING, IT AFFECTS INFRASTRUCTURE, STRESS TESTING, PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE, IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY TO STANDARD AND EMERGING OPERATING PROCEDURES AND OTHER AREAS AS WELL.

SO WITH THAT, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

SO NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

UM, I WANNA, UM, ACKNOWLEDGE AUSTIN WATER, UM, FOR THE COOPERATION THAT THEY'VE GIVEN US THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS, UH, THAT WOULD NOT BEEN, HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE TO DO THIS REPORT WITHOUT THEIR, UM, HELP.

AND I ALSO WANNA ACKNOWLEDGE THE OFFICE OF THE CITY AUDITOR, ESPECIALLY, UM, COREY STOKES AND KATHY HARRISON, WHO WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING US PUT THIS TOGETHER.

UH, THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY PUT INTO THIS, UM, WAS ALSO EXTRAORDINARY, AND I PROVIDE OUR CONTACT INFORMATION.

SO WITH THAT, I'M MORE THAN HAPPY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPORT.

COMMISSIONER GOT A QUESTIONS FOR THE AUDITOR, OR DR.

KATZ , PLEASE, DR.

KATZ.

THAT'S IMPRESSIVE.

UM, THANK YOU TO YOUR, TO YOUR HARD WORK.

UM, I KNOW THAT YOU HAD A REPORT EARLIER THIS MORNING, SO THIS IS A LONG DAY AND PROBABLY BEEN A LONG JOURNEY.

UM, LOTS OF GOOD DETAIL AND THANKS TO ALL YOUR SUPPORTING TEAM.

UM, THIS IS A VERY GOOD REPORT AND, UM, GOOD DEPTH.

I WANTED TO ASK,

[00:50:01]

UM, A COUPLE OF THINGS, UM, THAT I WANNA UNDERSTAND BETTER.

THE ONE IS THE RECOMMENDATION FOR A DIRECT REPORT TO THE CITY MANAGER.

UM, AND I'M DON'T UNDERSTAND ALL THE NUANCES.

I LOOKED IN THE, UM, INFORMATION AND I THINK THEY REPORT, DO THEY REPORT NOW TO THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER FOR MOBILITY? OKAY.

COULD YOU, DO YOU MIND E EXPANDING ON THAT SO THAT I CAN UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE AND YEAH.

SO, YOU KNOW, WE BELIEVE, WELL, LET ME START OUT BY SAYING AUSTIN ENERGY REPORTS TO THE, DIRECTLY TO THE CITY MANAGER.

WE BELIEVE AUSTIN WATER IS THAT, THAT AUSTIN ENERGY IS AUSTIN WATER'S CLOSEST SISTER AGENCY IN TERMS OF ITS CRITICALITY TO THE, TO THE CITY.

UM, WE BELIEVE THAT IF, UM, THERE IS THIS DIRECT LINK TO THE CITY MANAGER AND WE RECOGNIZE THAT, THAT, UM, PREVIOUSLY DURING THE FIVE INCIDENTS, THEY DID REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE CITY MANAGER.

BUT WE BELIEVE THAT THIS INCREASES THE SPEED AT WHICH, UM, ACTIONS CAN BE TAKEN DURING, UH, EMERGENCIES.

WE BELIEVE THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, THAT, THAT IT MAKES SENSE FOR, UM, AUSTIN WATER TO BE ABLE TO REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE CITY MANAGER BECAUSE THE CITY MANAGER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE CITY.

AND SO, UM, YOU KNOW, IF, IF THERE ARE A NUMBER OF DEPARTMENTS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR AUSTIN WATER TO DEAL WITH, RIGHT? SO IF THERE'S AN EMERGENCY, IT'S ALSO GONNA HAVE AN IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND OTHER AGENCIES WITHIN THE CITY.

AND THEREFORE IT SHOULD GET ESCALATED IMMEDIATELY TO A LEVEL THAT IS HIGHER THAN, UM, THAN THE ASSISTANT CITY MANAGERS.

SO THAT'S OUR THINKING ABOUT THAT.

WE DO AGREE THAT THERE ARE SOME CONS.

IT DOES INCREASE THE SPAN OF CONTROL FOR THE CITY MANAGER.

UM, AND WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT IT ALSO PUTS MORE RESPONSIBILITY TO ATTEND MEETINGS THAT MAY NOT HAVE AS MUCH, UM, RELEVANCE, IF YOU WILL, TO THE AUSTIN WATER DIRECTOR.

UM, BUT THAT'S OUR FEELING, THAT'S OUR THINKING.

AND, AND LET ME, BEFORE I GO ON, SEE IF THERE'S, UM, I DO HAVE THREE MEMBERS OF OUR TEAM HERE AS I POINTED OUT.

SO IS THERE ANYTHING ANYBODY WANTS TO ADD TO THAT, THAT YOU CAPTURED PRETTY WELL? YEAH.

OKAY.

THANKS.

THANK YOU.

AND I'M, I'M GUESSING THAT IT'S STANDARD IN COMPARING TO OTHER UTILITIES, UH, LARGE CITY UTILITIES.

IS THAT A STANDARD PRACTICE TO I THINK IT VARIES.

OKAY.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

AND I WANTED TO ALSO ASK, UM, ABOUT YOUR COMMENT ABOUT, UH, AUSTIN WATER OWNING THEIR OWN CUSTOMER SERVICE.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT ACTUALLY CAME UP AFTER SOME OF THE WINTER STORM MURI WORK AND KIND OF MAKING SURE THAT WE, YOU KNOW, THAT, UH, THAT WE HAD PEOPLE RESPONDING THAT WERE IN THE KNOW.

UM, WHAT IS THE SITUATION NOW? WE DON'T HAVE ANY.

UM, THERE'S BEEN, THERE'S BEEN A VERY GOOD TRANSITION.

AS I SAID, WE'VE BEEN REALLY, YOU KNOW, IMPRESSED BY THE CHANGES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.

WE'VE HAD A NUMBER OF DISCUSSIONS WITH AUSTIN WATER AND WHAT'S HAPPENING, AND WE DO BELIEVE THEY'RE MOVING TOWARDS, UM, A MUCH BETTER SITUATION WHERE THEY ARE, UM, INTERACTING MORE DIRECTLY.

UM, AND WE BELIEVE THOUGH THAT IT'D BE GOOD TO HAVE MORE STAFFING AT THE CALL CENTERS AND, AND, YOU KNOW, TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT AS WELL.

THAT MAKES SENSE.

THANK YOU.

AND MAYBE AUSTIN WATER CAN REACT TO THEIR POSITIONS ON BOTH THOSE QUESTIONS, IF THAT'S OKAY.

UM, SO I'LL SAY A COUPLE OF THINGS AND THEN, UM, BUT PREFACE THAT BY SAYING THAT WE ARE, UM, WE HAVE RESPONDED TO ALL OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS, AND THAT'S IN OUR MANAGEMENT RESPONSE, WHICH IS A PART, IT'S AN APPENDIX TO THE REPORT, SO YOU CAN READ THE EXACT WORDS THERE.

AND WE WILL BE PRESENTING, UH, THE MORE OF THE DETAILS OF OUR IMPLEMENTATION PLAN OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS AT THE FEBRUARY 15TH AUSTIN WATER OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEETING, WHICH, UM, THE DETAILS ARE NOT SORTED OUT YET, BUT THAT WILL LIKELY BE A JOINT MEETING WITH AUDIT AND FINANCE ON THAT DAY.

UH, AND THEN WE'LL BRING THAT SAME PRESENT.

UNFORTUNATELY, THOSE, THAT MEETING DOESN'T HAPPEN ON THE SAME DAY AS A COMMISSION MEETING AGAIN, SO WE'LL BRING THAT SAME REPORT TO YOU ALL, UM, AT YOUR MARCH MEETING.

UM, SO THAT, SO THAT'S OUR PLAN TO ADDRESS IT IN MORE DETAIL.

UM, TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION ABOUT REPORTING TO THE CITY MANAGER, I'LL,

[00:55:01]

I'LL REFER BACK TO, UM, DOC WHAT DR.

KATZ SAID THAT IT'S, IT VARIES.

UM, THERE ARE A LOT OF SUCCESSFUL WAYS TO DO IT AND, YOU KNOW, AT THIS TIME, UH, WE REPORT TO, UH, INTERIM ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, ROBERT.

GOOD.

THAT'S A, THAT'S AN EXCELLENT REPORTING RELATIONSHIP FOR US.

AND SO THAT'S, THAT'S WHERE WE ARE FOR NOW.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY THERE'S, UM, THERE'S ALWAYS AN INTEREST IN EVALUATING OUR ORGANIZATIONAL REPORTING STRUCTURE TO MAKE SURE IT'S AS EFFICIENT AS IT CAN BE.

UM, AND THEN THE SECOND ITEM ON CUSTOMER SERVICE WE ARE, UM, ALSO IS, I'LL, UH, JUST SAY HERE, HERE TO WHAT DR.

KAT SAID ABOUT THAT.

THAT IS AN AREA THAT WE'VE BEEN ACTIVELY WORKING ON FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

UM, WE ARE ADDING STAFF.

WE HAVE THE, MY ATX WATER PROGRAM.

WE ARE MOVING DISPATCH FROM OPERATIONS INTO CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

SO WE ARE DOING A LOT OF WORK TO, UM, UH, MAKE THAT TEAM MORE, UM, ROBUST AND BETTER INTEGRATED WITH ONE ANOTHER AND TO HAVE MORE DIRECT CONTACT WITH OUR CUSTOMERS WHILE STAYING HAND IN GLOVE WITH OUR, UM, WITH THE BILLING.

UM, AND THREE 11, UM, AREAS OF THE, OF THE CITY THAT DON'T LIVE INSIDE OF AUSTIN WATER.

SO GOOD THINGS HAPPENING THERE.

THANK YOU BOTH.

EXCELLENT.

UM, RESPONSES PROMISING.

THANK YOU.

COMMISSIONERS.

GOT ANY MORE? UH, COMMISSIONER MODI, PLEASE.

UH, DR.

KATZ, HAVE YOU EVER DONE A PROJECT LIKE THIS BEFORE IN YOUR CAREER? AN AUDIT, AN AUDIT OF A LARGE CITY WATER SYSTEM WITH NO BIG PROBLEMS? I HAVE.

I'VE NOT DONE AN AUDIT, UH, OF A CITY WATER SYSTEM.

I HAVE, UM, WORKED ON SIMILAR TYPES OF PROJECTS FOR, UM, THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY REVIEWING, UM, UH, FACILITIES THAT THEY'VE HAD DONE THAT A NUMBER OF TIMES, INCLUDING THE, UM, YK 12 SITE.

AND, WELL, WHERE I WAS GOING TO WITH, WITH THAT QUESTION WAS IF WHAT THE RESULTS OF THIS STUDY SHOCKED YOU THAT, UH, AND, AND AGAIN, SINCE YOU HADN'T DONE, IF YOU SAID, I DID THREE OTHERS OF THESE AND THIS WAS BY FAR THE BEST OR THE WORST, I WAS CURIOUS TO, TO HEAR YOUR THINKING.

BUT, UM, UM, I WOULD SAY THAT GOING IN, UM, UH, I'LL SAY GOING IN, WE DID NOT EXPECT TO SEE THE ISSUES THAT WE SAW AT THE PLANT WITH STAFFING AND, AND WITH THE, YOU KNOW, STAFFING AND, UM, COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES AND TRAINING ISSUES AND SO FORTH.

UM, SO THAT DID SURPRISE US.

UM, AND, AND I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE.

SO REMEMBER, AND, AND, AND REALLY, YOU KNOW, GOING BACK TO WHAT I SHOWED EARLIER WHERE I SHOWED THAT THE HAD THESE THREE TEAMS OF, UM, PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD YEARS OF EXPERIENCE WORKING, UH, YOU KNOW, WORKING WITH WATER TREATMENT PLANTS ACROSS THE NATION, UM, IT ISN'T SO MUCH WHAT, WHETHER I WAS SURPRISED, I THINK THE TEAM WAS SURPRISED TO, TO FIND, UM, WAS WERE THEY SHOCKED? I CAN'T SPEAK THAT CLEARLY FOR THEM BEING SHOCKED THAT AT LEAST YOU GO FOR SURPRISE, OKAY.

THAT THEY WERE SURPRISED.

UM, I THINK THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, UM, SOME OF US HAVE BEEN IN AUSTIN FOR A LONG TIME AND, AND, UM, ARE VERY PROUD OF AUSTIN WATER.

AND ONE OF THE REASONS THAT SEVERAL OF US TOOK ON THIS IS BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT AUSTIN WATER, WE CARE ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY AND WE CARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS HERE.

SO I THINK WE WERE EXPECTING, YOU KNOW, UM, TO, WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE WERE EXPECTING, BUT WE WEREN'T EXPECTING TO SEE, UM, THE ISSUES THAT RAN THIS DEEP.

FAIR ENOUGH, DOCTOR.

BUT, BUT LEMME JUST ASK I'M, I GOT A BUNCH OF QUESTIONS, BUT GO AHEAD.

I'M SORRY.

LEMME JUST SAY ONE MORE THING.

THE OTHER THING THAT WE WERE SURPRISED ABOUT IS THAT THIS ISN'T JUST HAPPENING HERE.

SO I THINK MAYBE PART OF THE SHOCK WAS THAT IT'S HAPPENING ACROSS THE NATION AND, YOU KNOW, UM, THAT TO ME IS A BIG, IS ALSO A BIG CONCERN.

ALRIGHT, FAIR ENOUGH.

I'LL LET YOU GO ON.

UM, I'M GONNA BE A LITTLE BIT CRITICAL.

I HOPE YOU DON'T MIND.

AND, UH, THAT'S WHAT THEY PAY ME FOR ON THIS JOB.

I, I GET A PRETTY, PRETTY ROBUST SALARY.

I BET I FOR THE LIFE OF ME.

DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ONLY SURVEYED ONE WATER PLANT.

UM, YOUR, YOUR, YOUR STATEMENT.

I GET THE BUSINESS.

WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME.

I, FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIND THAT UNBELIEVABLE THAT YOU WOULD TELL US THAT BECAUSE THE PROCESSES ARE SIMILAR,

[01:00:01]

THAT ALL THE PLANTS ARE GONNA HAVE THE SAME ISSUES.

AND MY PLEA TO YOU AND THE CITY AUDITOR IS GO BACK AND DO THOSE OTHER TWO PLANTS.

AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY.

JUST LIKE THE SOLIDS HANDLING FACILITY THAT YOU DISCOVERED WAS BROKEN AND CONSTANTLY IN NEEDED REPAIRS AND BEYOND ITS USEFUL LIFE.

GOD KNOWS WHAT WE'LL FIND AT THE OTHER PLANTS.

I MEAN, THE QUESTION IS THE STAFFING ISSUES ANSWER ALL THE OTHER PLANTS, 30% DOWN AND STAFF MEMBERS.

SO STAFFING ISSUES ARE COMMON.

WE DID INTERVIEW, SO I SHOULD SAY THAT, THAT WE DID DO SOME INTERVIEWS AT DAVIS, UM, AS WELL.

SO WE DID GO TO DAVIS, WE INTERVIEWED STAFF AT AT AT DAVIS.

UM, WE, UM, DID NOT GO THROUGH AND DO THE INFRASTRUCTURE REVIEW AT DAVIS AND SO FORTH.

SO YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

WE DID NOT DO THAT.

I'M, I'M IMPLORING YOU IN THE CITY TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT THOSE OTHER TWO PLANTS.

ONE, OF COURSE IS QUITE NEW.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, IT'S BROKEN DOWN THREE DIFFERENT TIMES SINCE IT'S BEEN OPENED.

SO I'D LIKE TO SEE, AND THE REASON WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME, WE'RE JUST GONNA FORGET IT.

WELL, WE'VE GOT TIME, LET'S MAKE SOME TIME, LET'S SPEND THE NEXT SIX MONTHS AND FIGURE IT OUT AND MAKE A LIST OF REPAIRS OR ISSUES.

BECAUSE WHAT I WAS CONVINCED OF IN YOUR REPORT IS THESE PLANTS ARE LIKE INDIVIDUAL FIEFDOMS. THEY OPERATE COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT.

SO YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'D DISCOVER IF YOU WERE TO GO OUT THERE.

UH, I DIGRESS.

UM, I'M ALSO CONCERNED WITH THE CONCLUSION THAT YOU DREW THAT THE POLYMER EDITION WAS GOING TO SOLVE THE TURBIDITY ISSUE.

UH, AND A MATTER OF FACT, IN YOUR REPORT YOU SAYS IT DID NOT AND THAT THAT CONTRADICTS WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD AT THE WATER AND WASTEWATER COMMISSION, THAT THE POLYMER WAS GONNA TAKE CARE OF THIS TURBIDITY PROBLEM.

AND HERE'S ANOTHER THING THAT I THINK WAS WRONG FOR US TO SAY THAT THIS TURBIDITY EPISODE WAS NEVER AN IMPROBABLE CHANCE, I THOUGHT WAS RIDICULOUS.

WHAT DO WE SIT AROUND HERE AND TELL? DO WE SIT AROUND HERE AND TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ALL THESE UNIQUE WEATHER EPISODES THAT HAPPEN? WE COULD HAVE THIS TURBIDITY CRISIS EVERY FIVE YEARS.

I THINK WE'RE MISSING AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO AN ENGINEERING STUDY OF THE WATER SYSTEM AND DE ARMOR IT.

SO, AND IT, WE SHOULD MODEL AGAINST THAT TURBIDITY EPISODE OF 2018 AND MAKE SURE THE PLANTS, OR AT LEAST ONE OF THE PLANTS COULD WITHSTAND IT.

AND THAT'S MY SUGGESTION.

SO, UM, LET ME RESPOND TO THAT A LITTLE BIT.

UM, FIRST I DON'T THINK WE SAID THAT WE SOLVED THE PROBLEM BY THE POLYMER SYSTEM.

NO, NO, YOU SAID THE OPPOSITE.

YEAH.

THAT WE HAD, YOU SAID IT WAS A LITTLE, A LITTLE ALONG THE PATH OF RESILIENCY.

RIGHT.

BUT WE SHOULD EXPECT THAT IF ANOTHER TURBIDITY EPISODE TOOK PLACE LIKE WE HAD, WE PROBABLY HAVE FAILURE.

SO I'D SAY THAT, UM, WELL LET ME SAY A COUPLE THINGS, UH, CUZ I DON'T REMEMBER QUITE THE WORDS THAT WE PUT IN THERE, BUT I, I'LL SAY THIS AND AND YOU'RE WELCOME TO REPEAT THEM BACK TO ME IF YOU WANT TO.

BUT HERE'S WHAT I BELIEVE AND, AND THIS IS WHAT THE TEAM BELIEVES, CUZ WE'VE HAD MANY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THIS.

UM, I SPENT A LOT OF TIME REVIEWING THE REPORT ON THE POLYMER SYSTEM.

I LOOKED AT THE DATA.

UM, THE FIRST THING I'LL TELL YOU IS YOU CAN'T TAKE BENCH DATA AND EXTRAPOLATE IT TO A PLANT EVEN IF YOU BANK THE WATER.

AND WE ALL KNOW THAT, RIGHT? IT'S NOT THE SAME.

BINGO.

SO THE SECOND THING I'LL SAY IS THAT WHEN WE LOOKED, YOU KNOW, OUR CONCERN AS WE SAID WAS THAT NOT ONLY DOES THE TURBIDITY UM, UM, INCREASE, BUT THE ALKALINITY AND THE HARDNESS DECREASE.

AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS AT A SOFTENING PLANT THAT CAN BE OF CONCERN.

SO WE'RE CONCERNED WE, WE, WE REMAIN TO HAVE CONCERNED CONCERNS ABOUT ALKALINITY AND HARDNESS WHEN WE HAVE THESE TYPES OF EVENTS BECAUSE, UM, IT'S A SOFTENING PLANT.

AND IF YOU DON'T HAVE CARBONATE, YOU CAN'T PRECIPITATE CALCIUM CARBONATE.

DURING THE, THE COROLLA STUDY, ONE OF THE THINGS THEY DID WAS LOOK AT ADDING MORE CARBONATE TO SEE IF THAT WOULD'VE HELPED.

AND IN THE BENCH SCALE TESTING THAT THEY DID IT, IT REALLY DIDN'T PROVIDE ANY ADDITIONAL BENEFIT.

UM, AND WHEN THEY ADDED POLYMER TO IT, IT MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

AND THEY LOOKED AT POLYMER WITH THE CARBONATE, THEY LOOKED AT POLYMER WITHOUT THE CARBONATE.

SO THAT BEING SAID, UM, YOU KNOW, WE DO BELIEVE THAT THE POLYMER ADD RESILIENCY, UM, THERE,

[01:05:01]

THERE'S, YOU KNOW, THAT'S TRUE.

NOW IN TERMS OF TRYING TO PREDICT THE FUTURE FOR THESE TURBIDITY EVENTS, I THINK IT'S REALLY HARD TO LOOK AT THE DATA THAT WE LOOKED AT OVER TIME AND SUGGEST THAT YES, THERE'S GONNA BE ANOTHER EVENT SOON.

I MEAN, IT'S, IT'S ALMOST LIKE SAYING, HEY, YOU KNOW, UM, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE, UH, UH, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE A HUNDRED YEAR STORM AND OBVIOUSLY STORM AND FLOODING AREN'T RELATED, BUT IF YOU, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT A HUNDRED YEAR STORM, THEN IT'S HAS A RECURRENCE.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T HAVE 200 YEAR STORMS, YOU KNOW, TWO YEARS IN A ROW.

SO OF COURSE YOU'RE RIGHT THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN.

THE QUESTION BECOMES IS, YOU KNOW, IS CAN THE OPERATIONS HANDLE IT? IS THERE A WAY TO MANAGE IT? AND THAT'S WHY WE BELIEVE THERE NEEDS TO BE SCENARIO TESTING, UM, TO LOOK AT THE SITUATION WHERE, OKAY, SO IF THIS WERE TO HAPPEN AGAIN AT THIS LEVEL, ARE THERE PRECAUTIONS THAT COULD BE TAKEN? COULD UPSTREAM MONITORING HELP, UM, AS HAS BEEN SUGGESTED BY AUSTIN WATER, COULD, COULD IT HELP? YOU KNOW, ARE THERE APPROACHES THAT, UM, AS STORAGE INCREASES, UH, OVER TIME, YOU KNOW, AS WE AS, AS AUSTIN WATER LOOKS AT ADDRESSING SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT, ABOUT SOUTH AUSTIN, IF THAT STOR