Monthly Archives: May 2016

On Memorial day we should remember all of those who have gone before us who have helped us maintain our freedom and way of life.  We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live freely as we do today.  Without their sacrifice, well, things could be a lot different.  My Dad’s best friend as a teenager, and also his sister’s fiancee at the time, was one of those who lost his life while training to be a P39 fighter pilot in WW2.  Pop really never totally got over losing his best friend.

Today, the City of Tamarac, FL will unveil the glass statues the commissioned to commemorate Tamarac veteran’s.  Anyone who is or was a city resident was eligible to have their names inscribed in the glass if the proper paperwork was submitted.  My Dad lived the last 7 years of his life in Tamarac, so I submitted his name.  He should be one of the first 600 names up there.  They will honor vets from WW2, Korean war, Vietnam, and the middle east.  They will also remember those that received Purple Hearts.  Pop had one of those  We are going to the unveiling ceremony this am.  I will post photos later tonight.  I think this is a very nice tribute for Memorial Day.  Hope others follow.

Remember those that have gone before us and gave their lives for us.  And while you are at it, thank those that are still with us!  At FAU we have a number of former service personnel that graduate each year.  Thank you!







Three juveniles of African species may not be only ones, say expertsResearchers at the University of Florida have found a man-eating African species of crocodile among native populations in the state’s swamps and Everglades.It is unclear how the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, which can grow up to 5.5 metres (18 feet) in length and was…

via Man-eating crocodiles surface in Florida swamps — The Guardian


Of course they are in Florirda!

WTPspiractorI have a question – what was the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on water and sewer infrastructure funding?  I have a hypothesis – the amount of monies transferred to non-water and sewer operations increased.  Is the hypothesis true?

The next question to answer is that if transfer monies increased, did they decrease once property values started to come back?  My hypothesis is no.

Finally what impact does this have on water and sewer infrastructure going forward?  I suspect that the answer is that we underfund infrastructure or justify the lack of funding through actuarial means (I actually had a utility director tell me that his pipes were designed to last 250 years.  Seriously.  Of course that is nonsense, but it is a means to keep your need for replacement funding down).

I have a student and we are working on these issues now.  We are going to gather data from several hundred utilities over the next six months, crunch 11 years of data and let’s find out.  If you or your clients are interested in adding your data to the mix, please send it to me.  I need 2005 -2015 expenditure info.  Also some operational data like ADF, MDF, miles of pipe, customers, treatment type and CCR. We will be publishing the results.   Should be interesting……

FLInt 2

As you probably know, the continuing saga in Flint has two state regulatory folks and an operator with the City of Flint under indictment.  Where that goes remains to be seen, but the Attorney General Bill Schuette felt something needed to be done.  But are the right people under indictment?   The charges are “tampering with evidence, and misconduct in public office,” but these are employees that few know or see and they were the ones dealing with the symptoms since they did not create the problem.  That means the harder question still is not addressed – there are engineers, managers and local officials who agreed to the change in water source for financial reasons, not public health reasons that precipitated this tragedy.  Where is that responsibility since all indications are that the change in water sources created a situation that could not be managed easily?  The question that those in Flint are likely is asking is whether the local officials going to skate on this?  It is worth asking because these incidents occur every few years, and the reasons are similar – a decision gets made for financial reasons by public officials, a problem happens, and there is a series of events that is uncovered that precipitates the concern.  The utility or City gets sued, but that simply means that the public (you and your neighbors) pay (and in Flint everyone was impacted, who do you collect from?).  The local officials are rarely challenged about these decisions and often accountability is lacking.  So the question is:  is the Attorney General done, or are there bigger fish to fry in Flint? And who are those fish?  Mayor?  Council? Managers? Consultants?  Legislators who cut regulatory funding?


In a deviation from the normal water/utility agenda, I wanted to note that two of our senior design classes has the privilege of presenting their projects to the University President on Tuesday.  The President is interested in fostering a town-to-gown type relationship with the City of Boca Raton, much like that in Chapel Hill or Clemson where the university and the City partner to accomplish many good things.  Boca might be a little tougher since its history is not dependent on the university, although the university is the largest economic engine in Palm Beach County, and in Boca Raton by far.  Our President is particularly interested in creating an enclave of students, grad students, visiting professors and newly graduated student housing area on the east side of campus that would connect directly to the main campus, reduce commuter traffic and improve interaction between the university and the community.  All good goals and if you have been to Chapel Hill or Clemson (or many other university towns,) you know this can be great.  Our students pursued a project based on some input from our planning students (and their advisor Frank Schnidman, Esq) and our architectural students to create a catalyst – mixed use building serving students and area resident services plus amenities.  He was very impressed with what the students did.  Their presentations were excellent.  Judge for yourselves – realizing they have a few thousand pages of backup material and design documents for these.  Hopefully the plan can proceed – maybe these project will serve as the basis for a design build project, much like we had happen for the Dania Beach nanofiltration plant.

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