Glossary of Terms

Administrative Settlement

An administrative settlement is an effective way to deal with failed negotiations in lieu of an acquiring agency exercising its powers of eminent domain. Such settlements are broadly defined as administrative settlements due to the fact that they are the result of administrative decision.

Equalization Basin

An equalization basin is a facility to temporarily divert flow from the system. The temporary diversion will decrease the incidence and severity of sewer overflows during high rain events.

Bid Tab

A bid tab is the compilation of bids received for a project. The bid tab contains the name of each bidder, line item costs as stipulated in the bid request, and a total amount of a project for each bidder.

Easements (Temporary, Permanent)

Easements may be necessary for construction of a project to provide access or enough space for the actual construction. Depending on the need, easements may be temporary or permanent.

Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG)

Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG) are significant causes of sewer obstructions. Most frequently, food service establishments are the source of the FOG. As a result, the Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) has developed a program, adopted by ordinance by all members of the WRA, that stipulates inspections, fines, and grease trap sizes.

Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is issued when an analysis during the Environment Assessment Process determines that a project has no significant impact on the quality of the environment.


Condemnation is a process sometimes required for the acquisition of property for construction of a project. Condemnation is a last resort after a failure of negotiations to obtain the necessary property.

Change Order

A change order occurs during construction to address a change in design or some other issue that impacts the construction. Change orders usually result in an increase in the cost of the construction, however, change orders can also result in a decrease or may be at no cost.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

Maintenance solutions help organizations increase profitability through improved asset reliability, efficient asset utilization, and reduced asset-related operating costs. EAM software is the tool used to drive asset performance and ensure the delivery of projected financial results. EAM and maintenance solutions helps deploy maintenance resources effectively, manage maintenance-related work order processes efficiently, schedule maintenance based on asset condition rather than on arbitrary dates, model scenarios to determine optimum preventive maintenance and create customized reports to meet business-specific asset management needs.

EAM and maintenance solutions enable the Wastewater Reclamation Facility (WRF) to improve performance visibility by analyzing data for key trends and anomalies, forecasting reliability issues, and making forward-looking decisions that deliver improved bottom-line results.

Fair Market Value

Fair Market Value is determined by a third party (two of the parties being the WRA and the property owner) for the acquisition of property for a project. The fair market value establishes parameters for discussion between the WRA and the property.

Final Payment

The WRA Board approves the final payment to a contractor at the end of construction. A final payment is accomplished after inspection by WRA personnel and the design engineer for the project and a determination has been made that the construction contractor has complied with all aspects of the contract.

Flow Monitoring

The new Flow Monitoring System is a web-based data collection network of 124 flow meters with web access. Collected data is used for billing communities by the amount of sanitary flow measured and reported as average daily flow. Collected data is also used to assist in the operation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), and help with facility planning for the entire collection area. This system allows us to share collected data with all WRA communities on a real time basis, providing a reliable source of information to help manage our wastewater collection system.

Water Information Management Solution (WIMS)

With a maintenance management, laboratory management and process control system in place starting in 2003, the plant staff evaluated software solutions that would incorporate information from these three systems and consolidate that information into one platform. Water Information Management Solution (WIMS) was selected to be that platform and since being implemented in 2004 has provided a single platform to consolidate and disseminate process control information and provide monthly regulating reports.

Laboratory Information Management Software (LIMS)

The Laboratory Information Management Software (LIMS) is the backbone of the WRF laboratory. It allows us to log, track, and report on all samples submitted to the lab, enter and record all test results, and report all results in usable formats. Our LIMS holds all records and helps us meet all state and industry requirements for reporting. It also is an integral part of our plant process control, allowing us to test water and liquids within our fence and make process recommendations from test results quickly, and supports the pretreatment and hauled waste programs. This was implemented in 2000.


The Ethernet network is the backbone of all plant technology including the Plant Control System (PCS) by creating redundancy, enhanced security, and providing platform for future technologies. The PCS monitors and controls WRF plant operations.

Storage Area Network (SAN)

The Storage Area Network (SAN) provides the WRA a central data storage system for all the plant data for which we are required to report and keep. This solution allows the WRA to better manage its electronic data, provide a reduced data total cost of ownership and provide a platform on which we can continue to build other technologies.


The truck scales software provides unattended weighing, tracking and recording capabilities for all hauled waste products and the land application program. It allows us to watch and record the weights of every truck crossing our three scales, and holds all relevant business and contact information for every truck that comes in from private industry, city, county, and state government. The scales provides exact tonnage information for dried digested solids going out to farmers’ lands for fertilization and are used to determine net weight of hauled waste disposals in 20-lb. increments. The WRF’s scales are licensed by the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship and annually certified for accuracy. 

Tree Mitigation Policy

The purpose of this policy is to address preservation or mitigation of trees during the construction process. Trees and associated vegetation that are properly maintained increase property values, maintain the natural ecology, temper the effects of extreme temperatures and winds, reduce runoff, and prevent erosion.

The policy stipulates that any mature tree or canopied area identified for preservation shall be protected during construction activity. Tree mitigation shall provide mitigation for the removal of canopied area by providing funding for one replacement tree for each 2,000 square feet of canopied area to be removed. Replacement trees shall be of a species on the list of tree species approved by the community.

Each project shall make available funding for tree replacement at a value of $200 per tree. Funds from any project tree fund will be available for communities directly affected by removal of trees but will not exceed the total value of $200 per tree per 2000 square feet of removed canopied area. It is intended that disbursement of tree replacement funds is proportional to the area of disturbed canopy in each affected community a community shall provide a description, including map, of the location of the replacement tree plantings and shall be reimbursed after trees have been planted. Replacement trees shall be, when possible, planted within the general vicinity of the project. Replacement trees shall be maintained by the community

Wireless Network (Wi-Fi)

In October 2006 the WRA completed a wireless Ethernet Propagation Study to determine what infrastructure would be needed to provide the plant with 100% coverage of the plant, both inside and outside, with wireless Ethernet. In 2009 implementation of this plan was completed. The wireless network allows plant personnel to interface with PCS, EAM, and all other required programs needed to monitor/control the plant wirelessly from anywhere within the gate.