2012 ASCE Mississippi Report Card
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2012 ASCE Mississippi Report Card

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Final presentation of the Mississippi Section of ASCE infrastructure report card. www.msasce.org/reportcard

Final presentation of the Mississippi Section of ASCE infrastructure report card. www.msasce.org/reportcard

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  • 1 ASCE as a organization’s first cannon of ethics advocates that practicing engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.2 Failure of aging infrastructure is a chronic problem in MS that compromises the health of our citizens, hurts economic development efforts, and contributes to a lower quality of life. While we all have an idea that we are probably behind on maintenance and system upgrades, we don’t always have a qualitative snapshot of really where we stand. Our goal was to put our hands on as much budget information as we could to compare stated needs versus current funding levels currently available for the different types of work studied. 3 "We need about $8 billion to meet our needs totally.“ say MDOT officials. July 9th 09, article, Clarionledger. “The capital city needs an estimated $76 million to upgrade the city’s water and sewer system. July 9th 09 article, Northside SunInfrastructure funding must be a priority on the federal and local level. The needs of all agencies can be detailed through this independent report. In most any organization there is turnover and knowledge is simply lost. Large water and sewer systems put in may have a design life of 30 years or more in areas with little population growth and eventually replacement costs are ommitted from city budgets due to more pressing concerns. As leadership changes over time, our public works projects are taken for granted and little thought is given to saving funds for future public works projects. While this is obvious to everyone and perhaps easy to repair a small system should a failure occur in a water or sewer system, the entire system ages at the same rate, and a failure in one part of the system is actually systematic of impending failures of the entire system. Underground pipe networks then become a ticking time bomb and repairs and maintenance costs quickly overrun the abilty of the town to manage with the available tax base. This is happening all over the state and in every town, county and state in this country. The needs are now far beyond the existing available funds. 4 ASCE is a leading professional civil engineering organization in MS, as officers of ASCE- MS we can do our part by highlighting these issues and affect change in MS. This report is not in any way meant to lay blame at any level of government, rather we hope to point out the importance public works project play in our way of life and assist all entities involved to improve the way we design, maintain and budget for public works projects if we hope to continue the level of health and safety we currently enjoy.
  • The actual topic focused on for this initial report included, dams, drinking water distribution and treatment systems, road and bridge networks, and wastewater collection and treatment systems.
  • In order to establish a fair grading system, we elected to focus of the different funding and maintenance levels of each type of public work. For example in topic x, if the federally maintained and funded system is rated as a top system among other states, it would receive an A grade, if the state maintained systems were slightly less funded and maintained – B, and so on. An average was taken for the all the different networks and a total grade was given. Overall rankings can be found in EPA reports or AASHTO reports for roads for example. Grades were established based on the general placement in those rankings.
  • Also to provide a more accurate report, professional engineers that work in the different areas of engineering were recruited and volunteered their time to review the material and added their thoughts and educated opinions of the current state of the day.
  • Unlike most infrastructure facilities, the majority of dams in MS are privately owned and operated. The office of Dam Safety at the Dept of Environmental Quality regulates construction, operation and maintenance.There are over 3500 dams in total in the state and the vast majority of these are small, low hazard dams that if breached would pose little danger to property of loss of life. Currently the DEQ considers 256 dams in the state to be of a high hazard potential if failed and likewise 83 dams in the state pose a significant hazard to the public.The DEQ works with all owners both public and private to establish regulation for periodic inspection, maintenance, action plans and other best practices in dam safety.The number of high hazard dams have decreased as the state has worked to lower risks down stream of significant and high hazard dams.Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) instituted by the DEQ and used by owner/operator of high hazard dams are plans of action that outline the procedures the owner should follow to minimize potential threats to the public. A big push has been made within the DEQ to establish EAP’s throughout the state. Current MDEQ regulation require dam owners to complete inspections based on best practices or hire consultants to perform inspection using provided forms. Only 4 full time agency employees. Funding has increased 35% over the last two years.In the last 5 years or so, much work has been done to identify dams that need remediation work and about half of those dams have been upgraded in that time. The state can issue orders to owners and operators if remedial action is not taken.MS does not have a substantial number of the population in harms way of dams due to the rural nature of the state. The only concern identified is that there is not suffecient staff within the agency to adequately monitor or assist operators in maintaining these structures. Since most of the funding for new construction and repairs is provided by private entities outside capital investment funding is not as critical in this topic other than regulatory funding.
  • 1600 public water systems, 3400 water wells85% from ground water resources (more than any other state)93% of potable water comes from aquifersOnly 3 systems use surface water sourcesUnderground water sources are secure from surface pollution due but are vulnurable at the well points. No real data could be found on the aquifer water levels at this time. While supply seems to be a positive for MS, supply networks and treatment are quite a different story. Many of these systems were established in the 60 under farmers home grants. After 50+ years of service most all water systems in the state have some percentage of their distribution network that is operating beyond designed life. The state department of health complies a capacity development program for water systems to provide a rating system on technical, managerial and financial matters. Due to the sheer number of systems versus existing agency staff this is a daunting task. Also there are few if any penalties for systems not meeting the standards of the program. Due to the rural nature of the state and limited funds of some systems, fines would not be paid even if levied. The state does however work to ensure the quality of water is safe and work incrementally to improve the overall standing of failing systems. The state dept of health offers support, technical assistance, peer review programs and operator training.The biggest hurdle for water systems is compliance with ever increasing environmental standards. As found on the latest drinking water needs assessment report, MS will be underfunded approx 50% (adjusting for inflation) in the 20 years study period (total of $2 billion shortfall – 225 million per year) Without adequate funding agencies will have to reduce service areas to continue high quality of water treatment.More efficient designs and construction with technology improvements over time in treatment may be able to reverse some of these needs but the vast majority of the needs are replacement costs which will have to be addressed with old fashioned dig and replace style work.
  • MS has been fairly aggressive over the last 25 years in growing the interstate and highway system. From the vision 21 plan which established a gas tax for the state dept of transportation, allowed a strong growth phase of interstate and highway miles which has positively impacted economic development in the state, providing jobs and establishing commuter and trucking routes through all parts of the state. Since 85 however, construction and maintenance costs have only increased while the taxes have stayed to this day at a constant 18 cents per gallon. As vehicles become more fuel efficient and the population moves to more urban areas this further reduces the total amount of funds available for the state. Highways and bridges are expected to perform decades beyond their design life and are often times only replaced after they have been deemed to be unsafe for travel. As funds decrease for maintenance, subgrades are allowed to degrade which makes form a much more costly repair had the roadway surface been adequately maintained.Assuming a best case scenario over the next 25 year study period, found in MDOTs recently completed MULTIPLAN report, MS roadways are underfunded 51%. Under these conditions, 45% of MS roads will be catagorized as poor or worse condition at the end of the study. Currently, approx 23% of MS roads are in that category. For bridges under the same time period, 80% of bridge needs can be met with current funding levels. The funding shortfall total we are discussing here amounts to 15 billion dollars in 2035. The city and county maintained roads are in worse funding cases as there are few funding sources available for purely roadway projects. As state and federal roads drop off the maintenance system, city and counties are in no position to cope with these road which will essentially turn back to gravel bases, systmatically reversing the economic gains and ability of this state to compete in overland shipping needs. As the roads go, so go the towns, as many towns popped up around interstate exits these population centers may disappear.Certainly there are technology changes occuring in the transportation field to manage congestion and accidents more efficiently but an adequate road network must exist in order for travelers to have options in travel.
  • MS has been fairly aggressive over the last 25 years in growing the interstate and highway system. From the vision 21 plan which established a gas tax for the state dept of transportation, allowed a strong growth phase of interstate and highway miles which has positively impacted economic development in the state, providing jobs and establishing commuter and trucking routes through all parts of the state. Since 85 however, construction and maintenance costs have only increased while the taxes have stayed to this day at a constant 18 cents per gallon. As vehicles become more fuel efficient and the population moves to more urban areas this further reduces the total amount of funds available for the state. Highways and bridges are expected to perform decades beyond their design life and are often times only replaced after they have been deemed to be unsafe for travel. As funds decrease for maintenance, subgrades are allowed to degrade which makes form a much more costly repair had the roadway surface been adequately maintained.Assuming a best case scenario over the next 25 year study period, found in MDOTs recently completed MULTIPLAN report, MS roadways are underfunded 51%. Under these conditions, 45% of MS roads will be catagorized as poor or worse condition at the end of the study. Currently, approx 23% of MS roads are in that category. For bridges under the same time period, 80% of bridge needs can be met with current funding levels. The funding shortfall total we are discussing here amounts to 15 billion dollars in 2035. The city and county maintained roads are in worse funding cases as there are few funding sources available for purely roadway projects. As state and federal roads drop off the maintenance system, city and counties are in no position to cope with these road which will essentially turn back to gravel bases, systmatically reversing the economic gains and ability of this state to compete in overland shipping needs. As the roads go, so go the towns, as many towns popped up around interstate exits these population centers may disappear.Certainly there are technology changes occuring in the transportation field to manage congestion and accidents more efficiently but an adequate road network must exist in order for travelers to have options in travel.
  • 660 wastewater facilities in the state handles 58% of effluent treatment, which is below national averages of 74%. The additional treatment is handled by onsite methods. The office of pollution control at the state dept of environmental quality regulates the states wastewater collection and treatment. In recent years, MDEQ has increased inspection and issued additional violations. In the last 5 years, violations across the DEQ are up over 300%.Sanitary sewerage overflow is the largest source of increased violations, occuring due to excessive rain causing infiltration of cracked pipes and forcing mixed runoff and sewer out of manholes and treatment facilities. Approx 40 % of households use on-site treatment, and an estimated 10 to 20 percent of these units are deemed as failed causing local pollution and public health threats. Older treatment units pose a major health threat if they are not properly maintained. In MS, due to the rural agricultural base in the state, non-point source pollution of streams from farming is noted as a major concern by the EPA in he latest Clean Watersheads survey completed in 2008, MS is one of the top 5 worst states in non-point source pollution.Over the 20 year EPA study period, after adjusting for inflation, MS will be underfunded approx $600 milion, as approx 70% of the total 2 billion need can be met with existing funding levels. (105 million shortfall per year.)Again shortfalls of this magnatude will force system operator to reduce collection service areas in order to adequately collect and treat sewer safely. Creating a need for more on-site sewer units that may be poorly maintained by the property owners.Much ground has been gained in providing central collection systems in MS since the CWA of 1972, but this growth may be retracted at some point in the very near future, as once again our nations streams and rivers will be overrun with surface water pollution.
  • Increase funding – federal/state changes in budget appropriations. Require paradigm shifts in washington (budget creation) as well as at home (voting booth) Improve economy of scale, fewer projects but larger scopes to improve economy of scale. Lots of solutions exist if infrastructure is a priority and infrastructure requires only a small increase in total US budget.Encourage and seek out research into technology for infrastructure repair, rehab, capacity improvements at lower traditional costsShare this report with government leaders (ASCE workshops), impress dire needs in MS and its impact on health and safety (realize not everyone are engineers, out of sight out of mind)
  • Using a more objective method for developing grades, phone surveys, statistical analysis, increase member involvment.
  • The MS Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers at the recommendation of the National body of ASCE is pleased to prepare this report as an independent review of the current state of Mississippi’s infrastructure. Most of us as engineers are all too familiar with the needs and challenges our agencies or clients face in funding maintenance and new construction.

2012 ASCE Mississippi Report Card 2012 ASCE Mississippi Report Card Presentation Transcript

  • Why ASCE-MS Report Card? Public Health and Safety Deteriorating Infrastructure Funding Shortfalls ASCE is a leader
  • ASCE-MS Topics Dams Drinking Water Roads/Bridges Wastewater
  • Grading Process Topic grades were averaged based on different types of facility and funding sources. Federal A State B County C City D Avg B-
  • Grading Process Over-sight Committee Student Research Groups (JSU/MSU/UM) Member professionals that specialize in the specific fields also volunteered to review narrative and grades.
  • Dams in Mississippi
  • Dams Grade: D Inspection Frequency Low Operating Budget Remediation Needs  9th Nationally (All Types)  18th Nationally (High Hazard)
  • Drinking Water in Mississippi
  • Drinking Water Grade: C - Potable Water Sources and Suppliers  93% potable water from aquifers Agency Regulation  Lack of enforcement data 21st Nationally per capita needs Funding and Trends  50% shortfall in 20 year study
  • Roads/Bridges in Mississippi
  • Roads/Bridges Grade: C State/Federal Roads v Local Roads Agency Programs Funding and Trends  50% shortfall in 25 year study (Roads)  20% shortfall (Bridges)
  • Roads/Bridges Grade: CTable 3: Total Highway and Bridge Needs with Funding Projections in Millions of DollarsProgram Full Needs Funding ProjectionHighways $25,185 $11,627Bridges $4,612 $3,684Total $29,797 $15,311Total /year $1,103 $567
  • Wastewater in Mississippi
  • Wastewater Grades: C - Central Systems v On-Site Treatment Agency Enforcement 14th Nationally per capita needs Funding and Trends  30% shortfall in 20 year study
  • What can we do? Funding Issues Greater Efficiency/ Technology Improvements Education/ Advocacy
  • ASCE Future Work Update Report - Improve grading process Increase ASCE member involvement Capitol Improvement Workshops Continue ASCE’s Service to Members and to the Public
  • INTRODUCTIONThe ASCE-MS report card is an independent assessment of infrastructure in our state. The goal is to increase understanding of the current and future infrastructure needs in Mississippi and prompt decision makers in government to formulate policies and direct the necessary funding to address Mississippi’s infrastructure needs.