Renewing the Music City, One Sewer Pipe at a Time
Nashville is known for its monumental contributions to the music industry, but with parts of a sewer system older than the rise of country music itself, a major transformation was needed. To facilitate a billion-dollar budget covering more than 70 projects varying in size and complexity, the Nashville Metro Water Services (Metro) launched the Clean Water Nashville Abatement Program (Clean Water Nashville) in 2011. The program will reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) to ultimately improve water quality along the Cumberland River and its tributaries.
Setting up the Right Structure
Prior to any shovels hitting the ground, it was important to understand whether Metro had the right logistical structure and resources in place to implement such a grand program. CDM Smith investigated the existing processes and procedures Metro used to complete capital projects and then determined the process and procedure requirements typically needed for a large program like Clean Water Nashville. Being on the same page on all logistical fronts has helped Metro be as efficient as possible in everything from using the same process to procure designers and contractors to using the consistent formats to document records for easier future reference.
The robust controls and procedures established at the beginning of the program have allowed us to carefully track budgets and schedules, which has resulted in multiple successful program audits and ensured that the program will achieve its goals.
Following Through with the Right Tools
Capturing the many moving parts of Clean Water Nashville and, more importantly, keeping the overall program on track to meet its purpose is facilitated by a program management information system (PMIS). The PMIS was developed and implemented by CDM Smith using the Primavera Unifier platform and was rolled out in the spring of 2012 to the Metro team and all others involved in completing the program. Since its start-up, the PMIS has captured more than 40,000 documents, 2,000 construction submittals, 500 requests for information and documented approximately $150 million in expenditures on program projects.
According to Michael Krabacher, PE, BCEE, CDM Smith Program Controls Manager, “The implementation of the PMIS has allowed us to run the Clean Water Nashville more efficiently and deliver the necessary controls and reports to allow Metro management to make informed decisions that have contributed to the overall success of the program.” The PMIS has also been used to verify compliance with program policies and procedures, which have been confirmed by Metro’s third-party auditor for the past several years.
Advancing Towards A Renewed City
As the implementation of Clean Water Nashville continues, much has been accomplished to renew sewer system infrastructure and improve the water quality in Nashville’s creeks, streams, and the Cumberland River. The number of SSO and CSO events have dropped significantly since the start of the program, and additional improvements are expected as projects are completed. CDM Smith’s deputy program manager, Kimberly Martin, PE, is very pleased with the progress: “Working collaboratively with Metro and the rest of the program team, we’ve aggressively moved projects from the planning phase through design and construction, addressing overflows, renewing infrastructure and improving system reliability.” Thirteen major construction projects have been completed and another 19 are slated for completion by 2018. As each project is completed, the Music City is moving one step closer towards having a first-class wastewater system by 2023.
Having the right processes and tools is critical to the successful implementation of a large, complex program like Clean Water Nashville.