Project Profile: Strong Long-Term Partnership Is Catalyst for Complex Metering System Upgrade

RJN Group, Inc. was selected by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to provide professional engineering services, including assessment of the existing wastewater metering network and data platform, field services, flow meter and data platform evaluations, design, and resident engineering/inspection services, associated with the upgrade of the MWRA’s Wastewater Metering System. To learn more about this win, see RJN’s official press release:

https://www.rjn.com/news-and-events/567-rjn-mwra-major-upgrade

This project is a major undertaking, and we wanted to provide you with a preview of it so that you can see how RJN will use its capabilities to exceed the client’s goals.

System History and Background

The MWRA’s permanent wastewater metering system was initially constructed in 1994. The primary purpose has been to quantify wastewater flow from each of the 43 MWRA wastewater member communities for use in the formulation of sewer charges, which includes a flow-based component. Other uses of the data include collection and treatment system analysis and planning, infiltration and inflow quantification in member communities, use in hydraulic models and to a limited extent, operations support.

In 2005, the first wastewater metering system replacement project was completed by RJN Group—the existing MWRA wastewater meters were installed with wireless phone communication and a data collection system. Currently, the wastewater metering system consists of 212 metering sites located throughout the 43 wastewater member communities. 189 are rate meters and 23 are non-rate meters. Of the 212 meters, 187 are located inside of sewer manholes and 25 Remote Terminal Units (RTU) are installed inside of MWRA and community facilities.

Project Challenges

Among the primary challenges for this project are:

  • Evaluation of metering technologies to meet the MWRA’s current and future needs
  • Evaluation of data platforms to meet the MWRA’s current and future needs
  • Ensuring accurate capture of unmetered flows in the member communities including the City of Boston

RJN will successfully meet these challenges with its engineering specialists and experienced technicians who have the knowledge, skills, and creative thinking necessary to choose the right technologies and produce a highly accurate flow monitoring program for the Authority.

PROJECT AT A GLANCE

Project Title: Wastewater Metering System Replacement – Evaluation, Planning, Design and Resident Engineering/Inspection Services for Installation of Metering Equipment

Project Start Date: July 2017

Estimated Duration: 36 Months

Project Goals: This project will include planning, design, and Resident Engineering/Inspector (REI) services for the replacement of the wastewater metering system and the evaluation of existing metering methodologies by incorporating the new measurements of wastewater flows in unmetered areas.

Subcontractors: EST Associates – Flow Monitoring and 813 Consultants – Resident Engineering

Other challenges for this project include meter depth/size and public relations. The majority of the meters are installed in gravity sewer lines, owned and operated by the Authority or its member communities. These sewer lines have various pipe shapes, ranging in size from 8 inches to 150 x 138 inches, with manhole depths ranging from 5 feet to over 40 feet deep. The various sizes and depths mean a very customized, particular, and comprehensive approach to metering inspection and construction is necessary.

In addition, this challenging project requires considerable public relations. The metering sites are located in residential, commercial, and industrial areas, which will require added care and coordination throughout the project.

Strong Long-Term Partnership

RJN and the MWRA have a long working relationship on its metering system. RJN successfully handled the MWRA’s flow metering system upgrade in 2004.  RJN has been working with and around the MWRA and MWRA communities since the early 1990s.  The two organizations look forward to working together over the next three years to develop the best solutions for the new metering system.