Friday, April 15, 2011

Alternative Selection - How to incorporate Sustainability

Most alternative selection is currently based on NPV (net present worth) analysis of capital and O&M costs. While that is still required, incorporating sustainability is almost required these days to have a viable fit-for-purpose asset selection. Most agencies and engineers are confused with how to incorporate sustainability principles into their decision making process. Enclosed is a presentation where Water Corporation made a proactive approach to start incorporating sustainability principles into design decisions.

I was involved in this project while working for W2W Alliance.

Design Build Project Delivery

This is the presentation I gave at CWEA 2011, Ontario.  I believe that Design-Build is where our water and wastewater industry should and will head in the future, especially now that many other industries (Transportation, Energy, Oil & Gas, Buildings, Federal, etc.) have gone that direction. This project delivery method is particularly suited for small projects (capital cost <= $5M) and very large projects (capital cost >= $500M). For projects in between, owners should look at combining few projects in a package and issue them as design-build.

Proteus Consulting has developed a comprehensive training program for consulting engineering firms desiring to enter the design-build arena and partner with construction firms. Most of these firms are traditional consulting engineers who find it very difficult to adjust to the pace and culture of design build, particularly adjusting with contractors and their priorities and pace of work. We have four, three hour modules, designed specifically to address these challenges and help with the culture transition. These modules address the lessons learned from design-build project delivery and will help the engineering firms effectively plan the deliverables, streamlining design management, and thereby maximizing the profit potential.

For the Owners, Proteus Consulting is very pleased to assist as Owner's Representative / Program Manager.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Half Yearly Report - Proteus Consulting

Proteus Consulting is six months old this week. It has been a really good experience and future prospects look bright. While we have some nice projects to work on, more importantly, we met some fantastic people and built relationships that will yield great results ahead. Listed below is a brief overview of our company's progress since October 2010.

Proteus Consulting has six major offerings:
  • Traditional Engineering
  • Design-Build Engineering and Consulting
  • Management Consulting
  • Regulatory Compliance and Grants
  • Operations and Maintenance Consulting
  • Sustainability Frontiers
Traditional Engineering. We worked on four projects in the last six months and details on these projects can be found here. Into the future, we are looking at some very promising projects, three such projects are in the contracting phase and there are seven more on the horizon in the next six months.

Design-Build Engineering and Consulting. Over the last six months Proteus Consulting has developed very good relationships with the following contractors Filanc, Stanek Constructors Inc., TC Construction Company, Neal Electric, Meruelo Construction, Doty Brothers Construction Company, and PCL. We have reviewed few design-build projects together and proposed on one such venture. In the coming six months this service offering will develop further. Soma is also presenting at CWEA this April on Design Build Project Delivery.

Management Consulting. Proteus Consulting believes in continuous improvement and striving to achieve the most efficient and effective organization. To this effect Proteus Consulting has assembled a group of experts to help our clients achieve excellence. Our major teaming partners are DestinHausBHIConsulting, FCS Group, and TMG Communications, Inc. Proteus had one project in this arena in the last six months and other assignments are in the works.

Regulatory Compliance and Grants. Most projects in the public utility arena cannot happen without grants. Proteus Consulting has partnered with two experts who help us find the best grants for our clients and also to write applications. Proteus Consulting is also committed to help our clients achieve regulatory compliance. There is a plethora of regulations and stipulations that our clients have to deal with everyday, we are their extension of staff - we work through the cumbersome reporting requirements and help them achieve compliance. We helped the City of Oceanside with a critical issue.

Operations and Maintenance Consulting. Proteus Consulting provides this unique service to our clients where we have On-call Operations & Maintenance experts to troubleshoot issues and provide solutions - we provide an O&M SWAT Team.  We have a team of very talented and experienced professionals that can help our clients resolve issues at their facilities - be it water, wastewater, recycled water, membrane plants, etc. Proteus Consulting also creates custom O&M manuals tailored to the needs of operators, supervisors, engineers, managers, and leadership. In addition, we provide customized training program - basic system training, site specific system training, detailed system data monitoring and data interpretation training.

Sustainability Frontiers. This is the most exciting prospect for Proteus Consulting. We are interested in and very active in every aspect of sustainable solutions including but not limited to  Rainwater Harvesting, Graywater Systems, LEED Certification and Design, CleanTech, Green Solutions, and  Water-Energy Nexus.  We have several partners that we work with and this space will be something to watch for in the future.

Invited Talks. Proteus Consulting was invited to give the following talks:
There are two more talks planned in the upcoming six months. Soma is very happy to speak at public events on variety of topics related to the water and wastewater industry, sustainability, and personal/professional development. Feel free to contact us to schedule a talk on a topic that interests you.

Conference Presentations. Proteus Consulting has the following papers / presentations scheduled this year :
There are few abstracts submitted and under review for upcoming conferences. Proteus Consulting is very pleased to be able present technology papers that help define the future of the water and wastewater industry.

In The News. Proteus Consulting has been quoted in two articles in the last six months: 
Proteus Consulting has been interviewed by KPBS for a piece on water management in the San Diego area. This will be aired in the coming months as a part of their plan to start a conversation on effective water use and management of water in our desert county.

Volunteer Work. Soma Bhadra, Proteus Consulting's CEO strongly believes in giving back and helping our water and wastewater community to grow. With this is mind, she holds the following positions as volunteer.
  • Vice Chair II - CWEA Training and Certification Executive Committee
  • Vice Chair - San Diego Water For People
  • Training and Certification Chair - CWEA San Diego Section
  • Awards Committee - CWEA San Diego Section

Regulatory Compliance and Grants - Half Yearly Report

Proteus Consulting offers the following services to our clients: Grant and Loan Analysis and Applications, NPDES / WDR Permit Applications, Title 22 Engineering Reports, Water Recycling Permit Applications, Groundwater Recharge Permits, State and Federal Regulatory Approvals,   California DPH Regulatory Approvals, Permit Management Plans, Regulatory Compliance Reports, Annual Reports, Assistance with encroachment permits and planning approvals. In the last six months we have worked on the following project:

Haymar Avenue Discharge Technical Report and Response, City of Oceanside, CA. Proteus Consulting assisted the City of Oceanside to prepare a formal response to Investigative Order No. R9-2011-0035 issued by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region, to the City of Oceanside. The response letter and accompanying 1,200+ page Technical Report furnished all the requested information on the nature, circumstances, extent, and impacts related to the discharge of untreated sewage to Buena Vista Creek, Buena Vista Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean from a 15-inch gravity sewer line near North Haymar Drive from December 23 – 28, 2010. This discharge occurred when an existing 50+ year old VCP pipeline failed during a heavy storm event. While relocation plans for this critical pipeline was ready for implementation for over four years, the project was unfortunately held up in the permitting process.

Management Consulting - Half Yearly Report

Proteus Consulting offers the following Management Consulting services to our clients: Project Diagnostics, Project Planning, SWOT and PESTLE Analysis, Organizational Transformation, On-call to address unforeseen issues, Crisis management, Project Process Audits, Long-range Risk Analysis and Scenario Planning.  Proteus Consulting is committed to strengthen our client's organizational and operational structure to enable them address challenges in the future - whatever they may be.

Risk Assessment and Scenario Planning, Encina Wastewater Authority, Carlsbad CA. Proteus Consulting was been invited by Encina Wastewater Authority (EWA) to participate in a series of risk assessment workshops to enable long-range scenario planning for EWA. This exercise was conducted with BHI Management Consulting and was aimed to prepare EWA for emerging risks; test the organization’s long-term strategy and resilience; expand and enrich the planning discussion; create a successful implementation plan; understand and apply change management and motivation principles; apply attention to detail in the risk matrix/risk register; maintain the quality and rigor of the risk assessment process to select the best policy option, implement multiple risk assessments, and resolve contradictory stakeholder agendas.

Traditional Engineering - Half Yearly Report

Proteus can expertly perform any projects in the water-wastewater arena from project inception to final completion and handover. We are proficient in Feasibility Reports, Alternatives Development & Evaluation,  Preliminary Design, Project Implementation Plans, Construction Plans, Specifications, and Estimates, Budget and Schedule Management, Bid Phase Assistance, Shop Drawing Submittal Review, Field Engineering, Construction Inspection, Contract Administration & Scheduling. Apart from that we also offer Quality Management Programs and Technical Evaluation and Support.

In the last six months (October 2010 through March 2011) we have worked on the following projects:
  • Aquifer Study and Preliminary Design at MCAGCC, 29 Palms, CA. Proteus Consulting had teamed with Rore Inc. to conduct a hydrogeological/aquifer study and engineering feasibility study for potable water supply at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at 29 Palms, CA. The project included a detailed review of the aquifer and groundwater well field design, demarcation of the aquifer boundaries and water quality profile, followed by preliminary design of water storage, blending facility/treatment, and water delivery infrastructure. Proteus Consulting evaluated feasible blending alternatives from varied groundwater sources to meet potable water quality objectives. This involved the conceptual design of water storage tanks, including number, size, and location, mechanical blending process configurations, and treatment options.
  • Wastewater Treatment Alternative Study, SERE Camp, San Diego, CA. Proteus Consulting has teamed with Thomas/Wright, Inc. to conduct a preliminary engineering study for the wastewater treatment options at the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) training facility at the U.S. Navy's Training Site in Warner Springs, CA located in the Cleveland National Forest. It is in a remote area near the community of Warner Springs in the northeastern San Diego County, at an elevation of about 3,200 feet. The Camp consists of a headquarters area with an administrative building, several staff barracks building, a wastewater treatment plant, and a training compound. All west coast Navy/Marine Corps personnel who risk capture during wartime (e.g. aviators) undergo SERE training at this facility. The Warner Springs SERE Facility covers 6,100 acres and trains over 1,500 students each year. The project includes a detailed review of the existing treatment plant, followed by preliminary design of proposed new facilities/ upgrades. Proteus Consulting will evaluate feasible alternatives to ensure that the new plant will consistently meet the NPDES permit.
  • Mt. Israel Pipeline Replacement, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Carlsbad, CA. Proteus Consulting is contracted by OMWD for a project to design the replacement of an 8-inch potable water pipeline on Mt. Israel Road. The key elements include location of the main in County road and right-of-way, easement analysis, design of pipeline in rock, traffic issues, and community assurance. 
  • Rancho La Cima/Aliso Canyon Pipeline Relocation, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Carlsbad, CA. Proteus Consulting is contracted by OMWD for a project to design the relocation of an 8-inch PVC water pipeline at the intersection of Aliso Canyon Road and Rancho La Cima. This relocation is necessary due to a conflict with the proposed new 60-inch County storm water pipeline along Aliso Canyon Road. The intent of this project is to lower the current water main to clear the proposed storm drain.