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Posted on: January 5, 2023

Request for Qualifications - Wastewater Reclaim Treatment

Town of Surf City

Department of Public Utilities

Request for Qualifications for the

Town of Surf City

Wastewater Reclaim Treatment and

Distribution System Engineering & 

Consulting Services

January 1, 2023

The Town of Surf City invites qualified professional engineering firms (PEF) to submit qualifications to provide Wastewater Reclaim Treatment and Distribution planning, infrastructure management and design, and consulting.

Request for Qualifications

The Town of Surf City (Town) Department of Public Utilities (Department) is soliciting Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) from professional Wastewater Treatment planning/engineering firms to lead and facilitate the development of a comprehensive Design and Implementation, Cost of Service and Rate Study associated with a Wastewater Reclaim System for the Town.

Department Profile

The Town of Surf City is located in eastern Pender County and Onslow County, North Carolina with a population of approximately 5,600 residents. It’s city limits encompass approximately 5.3 square miles. Surf City has a tourism and service-based economy. Surf City’s current sanitary sewer system consist of 50 regional pump stations that transfers sewage to a 1.5 MGD sequential batch reactor wastewater treatment plant with .767 MGD of spray irrigation disposal. The Town also has 4500 potable water connections of which 660 are dedicated to irrigation services.

The Town of Surf City is seeking expertise in wastewater treatment utility engineering to provide an overall comprehensive design to treat wastewater to reclaim standards is distribute the effluent to local irrigation systems, to include suppling irrigation to a new established dune line, as well as assessing data to compile rate structures that will be needed to support the reclaim water system within the Town.

The Town intends to award a contract to the firm whose solution most closely meets the requirements defined in this Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The firm’s ability to provide a clear project path and approach towards the successful implementation of a reclaim utility are critical factors in the selection process.

Initial Scope of Work

The initial scope of work for the reclaim utility implementation is generally described within the following elements:

1.    The Consultant will be expected to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and all required sections of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to gain permissions and permits to utilize reclaim quality water on dune plantings in conjunction with the upcoming beach nourishment project. 

2.    The Consultant will be expected to work with local plant nurseries to select dune plantings that will have beneficial use of reclaim water that will allow the Town to receive capacity credit and to support a stronger dune line.

3.    The Consultant will develop a design and oversee construction of the complete reclaim water utility. The design and implementation should include the following:

    Develop a dune irrigation system that will be included in the master design of the beach renourishment project.

    Design a reclaim water distribution system for the primary purpose of suppling reclaim water to the beach renourishment project but can be expanded to supply irrigation water to other sections of town.

    Design a reclaim treatment facility utilizing existing town properties and infrastructure.

    Determine possible rate structure models to be considered that encourage reclaim water over domestic water supplies while maximizing revenue.

    Provide training and operation and maintenance schedules to Town staff on new infrastructure.

    Present options of fee structures for plan implementation to the Town Council.

Submittal of Qualifications

Interested firms shall submit five (5) copies of their qualification statements and project proposals, which shall contain the following:

    Introductory Letter - Provide an introduction letter summarizing the unique qualifications of your firm to meet the needs of this project. The letter should be presented on the firm’s official letterhead and signed by an authorized representative who has authority to enter into a contract with the Town on behalf of the firm. Include the name, address telephone and email address of the individual who serves as the point of contact for the solicitation.

    Objectives – The firm’s preliminary interpretation of the objectives to be achieved in the development of the design and implementation of the reclaim water utility as well as the development of the rate structure.

    Project Understanding, Approach and Schedule – Provide a comprehensive narrative, outline, and/or graph demonstrating the firm’s understanding and approach to accomplishing the tasks outlined in Scope of Work section of this RFQ. A description of each task and deliverable as well as the anticipated schedule for accomplishing each shall be included.

    Provide Company Background

o    Include background information on the firm and provide detailed information regarding the firm’s experience with similar projects. Provide a list of all similar contracts in the past five years, accompanied by at least three references (contact person, organization, telephone number and email address).

o    How many years has your company been in business?

o    Please describe the ownership of your organization (Sole proprietorship, partnership, privately or publicly held corporation). If a corporation, please provide evidence that the firm is in good standing and qualified to conduct business in North Carolina.

o    How many reclaim utilities are you currently engaged with and providing assistance? How many of these are within coastal communities in North Carolina? Please provide examples.

    Experience – Provide specific project experience in working with similar organizations in leading, facilitating, and developing plans as described in the RFQ. Each example should include the name and size of the organization as well as a short description/overview of the services provided. Please provide the name, title, and contact information for a person(s) from the organization familiar with the services the firm provided.

o    Project Team Experience – Provide proposed staffing, deployment, and personnel to be assigned to this project. This shall include information as to the qualifications and experience of all executive, managerial, legal, and professional personnel to be assigned to this project, including resumes citing experience with similar projects and the responsibilities to be assigned to each person. Also please include, a project-specific organizational chart which clearly illustrates the roles, responsibilities, and the reporting relationships of personnel anticipated to work on this project. The project manager should be clearly identified with qualifications, experience, and expertise highlighted as directly relevant to this project. 

    Include Proof of Certificate of Insurance (COI) and appropriate licenses.

    Preferences will be given to firms who can demonstrate a successful track record in the assistance in obtaining grants.

    The RFQ schedule is summarized below:

o    01/19/2023 – Issue and publicize Request for Qualifications.

o    02/9/2023 – Consultant questions due by 2:00pm

o    Any questions regarding the RFQ must be in writing via email to and it is the responsibility of the submitter to confirm receipt by the Town: Questions should reference the RFQ page number and section.

o    02/16/2023 – Response to consultant’s questions sent to all submitters and posted on the Town’s website by 2:00pm.

o    Responses will made available via the provided email address that the service providers have confirmed.

o    03/2/2023 – Submittals due by 2:00pm

o    Submittals must be hand delivered to:

David Price

Director of Public Utilities

214 W. Florence Way

Surf City, NC 28443

or mailed to:

David Price

Director of Public Utilities

PO Box 2475

Surf City, NC 28445

o    03/9/2023 – Town Review Team evaluates qualifications for conformance to RFQ.

o    03/10/2023 – Qualified firms(s) is chosen, interviews and finalization of Statement of Work

o    03/2023 – Enter negotiations; execute a professional services agreement.

*Dates subject to change.

    The Town of Surf City will receive submittals from interested firms until 2:00 p.m. (EST) on March 2nd, 2023, at the above-mentioned addresses. Envelopes and/or parcels containing the Proposal should be clearly labeled “Wastewater Reclaim Treatment and Distribution System Engineering & Consulting Services – Request for Qualifications.”

Evaluation Criteria

If an award is made, it is expected that the Town’s award will be to the candidate(s) whose qualifications best meet the requirements of the project(s) described in this RFQ and that are in the best interest of the Town. The evaluation criteria are intended to be used to make a recommendation to the Town Manager and the Town Council regarding the award of the contract. However, they are not bound to use criteria detailed herein exclusively or to award on the basis of recommendation given. The Town reserves the right to change and to otherwise vary from this procedure as it determines to be in the Town’s best interest.

Firms will not be considered unless the following minimum qualifications are met:

    Firm(s) must be properly registered with the North Carolina Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors; and

    Firm(s) must employ at least one (1) North Carolina Registered Professional Engineer in responsible charge of the work anticipated as a result of this solicitation.

Non-exclusive evaluation criteria are as follows and will be used in the solicitation process to determine the firm that represents the best value solution for the Town:

    Ability to provide a clear project plan and proposed approach towards the successful implementation of a reclaim water utility. 20%

    Project management approach and process. 20%

    Relevant experience, expertise, and qualification of the firm(s) and project team members. 20%

    Similar experience in reclaim water engineering with municipalities. 15%

    Depth of team and ability to respond to urgent request. 15%

    Qualification package responsiveness, appearance, and presentation. 10%

    Previous experience working with the Town of Surf City or around Topsail Island.

    Familiarity with the Town of Surf City, NC region and permitting processes. 

Award Procedures

The Town reserves the right to make an award without further discussion of the proposals received. Therefore, it is important that the proposal be submitted initially on the most favorable terms from both a technical and feasibility standpoint. It is understood that any proposal submitted will become part of the public record. A proposal may be rejected if it is incomplete. The Town may reject any or all proposals and may waive any immaterial deviation in a proposal.

At a minimum, proposals will be evaluated based upon the criteria above, as well as assessments and comparisons that include evaluations of skills/experience, client service and references, and/or factors. The Town may accept the proposal that best serves it’s needs, as determined by Town officials in their sole discretion. More than one proposal from an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or association under the same name or different names, will not be considered.

The Town does not have the authority to establish local preferences of any kind and is bound by law to take into consideration quality, performance, and time specified in the proposals for the performance of the contract. However, it is the desire of the Town to contract with vendors and contractors familiar with local conditions whenever possible.

Proposal Review & Evaluations

After receipt of the submittals, a committee will review and evaluate the content and qualifications presented in each package based on the review and evaluation of the content and qualifications presented in each package. Based on the review and evaluation of all submittals received, the committee will recommend from one (1) firm to a maximum of three (3) firms to invite for an on-site (or virtual) interaction session with personnel to discuss the information contained in the submittal and other general and/or specific inquiries.  Presentation or discussion of cost proposals will be excluded during this process. At the conclusion of the interviews the selection committee will rank the firms based on the selection criteria and the interviews. By submission of qualifications in response to this RFQ, respondent accepts the evaluation process as outlined in the RFQ, acknowledges, and accepts that determination of the “most qualified” firm may require subjective judgments by the Town. The Town will provide written notification to all firms regarding final selection by March 16th, 2023.


Upon completion of the selection process, the highest ranked firm will be asked to submit a cost proposal to begin contract negotiations for a fair and reasonable price.  If an agreement cannot be made with the top scoring firm/team, the Town will move on to the next highest scoring firm/team until a contract is executed, or the Town, in its sole discretion, may decide to terminate the selection process. If the Town is unsuccessful in receiving a price proposal which is agreeable, the Town may decide to terminate the selection process.

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