CAS Consulting & Services, Inc.

Austin Clean Water Program

 In 1998, a lightning-induced failure of a wastewater lift station just north of Austin, Texas resulted in a discharge of raw sewage into Brushy Creek, causing over 2,000 citizens to become ill. The investigation into the circumstances of the episode widened into a comprehensive review of the City’s wastewater collection system performance, resulting in the EPA issuing an Administrative Order (AO) on April 29, 1999, requiring the elimination of all sanitary sewer overflows from the City’s wastewater collection system by June 30, 2009.  

The content of the AO included the following formally identified milestones in the AO closure schedule, tied to severe monetary penalties: Elimination and/or Modernization of Lift Stations; Collection System Improvements (O&M improvements such as increased cleaning and televising, manholes repair contracts, lining contracts, etc.); and Infiltration/Inflow (I/I) Study, Sewer System Evaluation Survey (SSES), and  Remediation (capital improvement projects to repair/upgrade basin system components) for the three drainage/collection basins. 

Recognizing that it would not able to implement a program of this magnitude relying solely upon its own resources for planning, designing, bidding, and constructing the required Capital Improvement Projects, the City of Austin decided to procure a program management consultant (PMC).  Earth Tech, an operating company of AECOM Technology Corporation, was chosen to fill this role.  To achieve the requirements and milestones set out in the AO, the City and PMC organized a collaborative effort of City and private consultant staff into the Austin Clean Water Program (ACWP).  

 CAS, as a subconsultant to Earth Tech, provided highly-trained professional staff to fill key roles in overall management of the Program; which included: support to issuance of permits (City of Austin, Travis County, State of Texas, USACE); preparation and administration of City contract documents; preparation and negotiation of design phase scope of services; design management; preparation and validation of cost estimates; constructability review; value engineering; project controls; schedule preparation and analysis; cash flow analysis; RFI management and response; project observation; change order and claim analysis, negotiation, and closure; tracking WBE/MBE participation; issues interpretation and problem solving; market analysis and bid strategy; quality control; reporting schedule and budget performance data to the city manager, and close out.  

100 separate projects were identified for design and construction. Approximately 80 miles of new sewers and 2,375 new manholes were installed, including more than 5 miles of large diameter tunnels, plus 73 miles of existing sewers were rehabilitated. The Program’s construction activities were substantially completed by March 31, 2009 for a final construction value of $287 Million at an overall change order rate of 4.5%.  As a result of the ACWP, the volume of sewer overflows in the City of Austin dropped from 13,000,000 gallons in 2002 to less than 300,000 in 2009, with these being outside the Program area.

This program was recognized by the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) as one of the Top 10 North American infrastructure projects of the past 75 years. 

Construction Cost: $287 Million

Completion Date: 2009