Sparks City Council Meeting 5/14/2018 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, May 14, 2018 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 4th St., Sparks, NV

General Business: 9.6

Title: Consideration, discussion and possible approval of a research agreement (AC-5471) with the University of Nevada, Reno for the creation of a process computer model for the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility in an amount not to exceed $126,000.
Petitioner/Presenter: John A. Martini, P.E., Community Services Director/Michael Drinkwater, P.E., Treatment Plant Manager
Recommendation: Council approve the research agreement.
Financial Impact: This expense will be charged to Fund 5605; Program 131500, TMWRF Administration / 603242, Professional Services.
Total Costs: $126,000.00
Fund: Joint Treatment Plant    Account: 603242
Program: TMWRF Administration (131500)
Amount: $126,000.00    Budget Status: Budget Exists
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

TMWRF staff desires to evaluate process and treatment performance at TMWRF through a comprehensive collection of flow and loading data over the course of one year. The University of Nevada, Reno has prepared a proposal entitled Development of a TMWRF Process Model and Evaluation of Combined CNP Treatment Alternatives. The University is qualified to conduct the research associated with such project. 


TMWRF is a tertiary water reclamation facility treating approximately 30 million gallons of wastewater per day through 17 distinct treatment processes.  These processes must work in conjunction with one another for effective treatment of the wastewater.  Six of the processes are biological where the treatment is being performed by micro-organisms. 

A wholistic treatment plant process model is typically developed for such complex treatment processes in order to assess the treatment outcomes prior to making process changes.  The model also helps build confidence in operating the plant, compliance with the effluent permit, and potential savings related to chemicals and energy consumption.  

In the absence of a wholistic plant process model, staff currently uses monitoring data and experience to make process changes in response to changing operating conditions. This approach often leads to uncertainties in decision making, difficulty in meeting permit limits, and overuse of chemicals and energy.

The process model will account for all physical, chemical and biological processes into a program that will work together to predict the treatment and effluent quality from each process and down to final effluent quality. It will demonstrate the effect of operating conditions and change in wastewater quality on the treatment efficiency and effluent quality helping staff on decision making process. In addition to providing data for real-time operations, the model can be used predictively to help asses plant performance under different future scenarios and assist in the planning process.


TMWRF staff will work with faculty from the University of Nevada, Reno’s (UNR) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to develop the model.  Once the model is created, it will be calibrated through extensive water sampling and testing throughout the facility across all four seasons to make the model represent the specific conditions at TMWRF.  During the development phase, UNR faculty will train TMWRF staff on the use of the model. Once completed, the model will be owned and managed by plant staff for ongoing plant operations and long-term planning.

  1. The City Council could approve the research agreement as presented by staff.
  2. The City Council could reject the research agreement and provide direction to the City Manager.

Recommended Motion:

I move to approve the research agreement with the University of Nevada, Reno for the creation of a process computer model for the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility in an amount not to exceed $126,000.

Attached Files:
     Sparks-UNR Research Agreement No. 1800736.pdf
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