These FAQs are intended to help Designers for the Clean Water Nashville Overflow Abatement Program (CWNOAP) with an overall understanding of the project procurement and execution process. They are not intended to replace or supersede any established CWNOAP policy, controlled document, or the Metro Nashville Procurement Policy or Code.

+ My firm is interested in doing design work for the Clean Water Nashville Program. What’s the process for selecting Designers?

  1. At the onset of the Program in 2012, design firms were prequalified for different project types, such as gravity sewer conveyance, equalization, or rehabilitation projects. In 2017 Metro elected to limit the list of prequalified firms to only Small Business Enterprise Designers. The selected Small Business Enterprise Designer firms are expected to design sewer rehabilitation and small conveyance projects.
  2. Projects not identified for Small Business Enterprise Designers will be open to all qualified, registered firms through a traditional Metro engineering services proposal process. See the Metro Nashville Procurement site for more information.

+ We received an e-mail notification from Metro Procurement about a rehabilitation project assignment that we need to accept or reject. What happens next?

  1. First, you must respond to Metro Procurement about your decision to accept or reject the project, generally within 3 business days. If you reject the project, you do not need to do anything more. You will retain your place on the project assignment order. If your decision is to accept the project, read on...
  2. Once you have notified Metro Procurement that you are accepting the project, you will need to contact CWNOAP Deputy Director Greg Ballard ( regarding the potential for any clarifications to the project’s Scope of Work. The CWNOAP Deputy Director may schedule a project Scoping Meeting if needed, generally within two (2) weeks. The CWNOAP will arrange for you to receive a loaned hard drive containing available data for the project area including CCTV inspection data, smoke testing data, GIS data, and/or record drawings. Prior to the project Scoping Meeting, you should review and be familiar with the Design Management Manual and its appendices to allow for a productive discussion.

+ What happens if a CWNOAP project Scoping Meeting is held?

  1. The project Scoping Meeting is your chance to clarify the Scope of Work and ask any questions you would like about the project. Representatives of the CWNOAP team will be there to review the project and answer questions. At the completion of the project Scoping Meeting, you should have all the information you need to submit a pricing schedule. It is emphasized that you should have read and be familiar with the attachments provided by Metro Procurement in the project notification (rehabilitation projects) or project RFP (all other projects). The CWNOAP team will answer questions about these documents, but it is not intended that they will step through these documents with the Designer. These documents typically consist of the Scope of Work, Project Summary, the Procurement Non-discrimination Program forms, list of proposed small businesses, pricing schedule template, project design duration, and Certificate of Insurance requirements.
  2. Please note that the Designer should not submit a detailed Scope of Work as part of the proposal. It is the intent of the CWNOAP that the Scope of Work provided in the notification or RFP is the Scope of Work for the project. Questions or clarifications about the Scope of Work should be addressed at the project Scoping Meeting. If the Designer needs to submit a clarification to the Scope of Work or a list of assumptions used in developing the proposal to fulfill the Scope of Work, then those clarifications / assumptions and only those should be submitted with the pricing schedule.

+ So we have completed the Scoping Meeting - now what?

  1. At the completion of the project Scoping Meeting, you should have everything you need to submit the pricing schedule and any clarifications/assumptions. The CWNOAP will be flexible about submittal dates, but, generally, we expect that the proposal documents will be submitted within two (2) weeks from the date of the project Scoping Meeting. The exact submittal date will be discussed and agreed upon at the project Scoping Meeting. The proposal documents should be submitted electronically via e-mail to the assigned buyer at Metro Procurement, and the CWNOAP Director Ron Taylor ( and the CWNOAP Deputy Director Greg Ballard ( should be copied.
  2. Metro will review the proposal documents and request any clarifications needed to complete the contract. This may include requesting a conference call or meeting to discuss your proposal documents. Metro will be flexible in scheduling any additional meetings, but it is expected that the Designer will make these meetings a priority and be available within a reasonable timeframe from the issuance of the request. Metro’s review and clarification of the proposal documents may result in the need for the Designer to make additional revisions. It should be noted that any responses to questions or clarifications provided to the Designer do not revise or change the Scope of Work. In this case, Metro will work with the Designer to reach an acceptable date for the re-submittal.
  3. Once the CWNOAP has accepted the Designer’s final proposal documents, the CWNOAP Director or Deputy Director notifies the Designer as well as Metro Procurement about the proposal acceptance. Rehabilitation projects go through a process to issue a Purchase Order. For non-rehabilitation projects, Metro Procurement develops a Contract Purchase Agreement (CPA) in iProcurement that Purchase Orders can be issued against. The Designer signs the CPA and returns it to Metro Procurement for final execution. Once the CPA has been executed in iProcurement, Metro Water Services (MWS) issues a Purchase Order for the project. Once a Purchase Order has been issued, the CWNOAP Project Manager contacts the Designer and schedules a Design Kick-off Meeting. The timeframe for receiving Purchase Orders can be several weeks.

+ I have my own template for doing fee proposals; can I just use that?

  1. No, fee proposals must be submitted using the Excel template in the task-explicit format provided by Metro Procurement.

  2. The fee proposal must establish all staff categories and billing rates for the prime and all subcontractors in the proposal.

  3. If geotechnical or other special services are proposed, those costs should be divided into (1) labor, which should match the labor classifications in your proposal, and (2) unit prices for any testing or analyses. Fees associated with permit applications may also be reimbursable as stipulated in the Designer’s Scope of Work or if approved in advance by MWS. No other direct charges such as printing, mileage, supplies, etc. will be allowed per contract terms.

+ To be selected for the original CWNOAP Project Designer short lists, we presented a Small Business Plan. Do we have to follow that Small Business Plan for each project?

  1. Designers must commit to at least 15% small business utilization for CWNOAP design projects. Designers should submit a plan for the 15% small business participation based on the specific Scope of Work for the project. The same small businesses originally proposed to be on the CWNOAP Designer short list do not have to be used for the project-specific proposals. CWNOAP encourages Designers to carefully review the Scope of Work for each project and establish roles for small businesses that are clear and have a high probability of being utilized because the 15% requirement cannot be waived. For example, assuming that a rehabilitation project will need 15% of the project value in surveying or cost estimating is not realistic based on the Scope of Work for a rehabilitation project.
  2. For small business set aside projects, the small business prime consultant must complete at least 51% of the work. Since this exceeds the 15% requirement, it is at their discretion whether or not to add additional small businesses to their team.
  3. Please note that Metro’s Procurement Nondiscrimination Program is separate and distinct from the small business requirements and must be completed for all projects as described by Metro Procurement. For questions about the Procurement Nondiscrimination Program, please contact the Metro Procurement Business Assistance Office (BAO) at or (615) 880-2814.

+ Once a project budget is established, do I need to adhere to task limits or just the overall total budget?

  • The CWNOAP expects that budgets established for each task will be tracked and controlled by the Designer, and, as such, the budget established for each task should be treated as an individual task limit. However, Metro understands that, in the course of executing a project, additional effort may be needed for one task and less effort may be needed for another. Therefore, it is expected that the Designer will notify the CWNOAP Project Manager of any variances from the proposal. No other action will be required provided the overall design budget (total of all design tasks) is not exceeded. If any issue or out-of-scope request from CWNOAP arises that may impact the ability of the Designer to complete the design within the design schedule and budget, the Designer should immediately notify the CWNOAP Project Manager. In no case shall the total project upper limit be exceeded without a formal change order based on a change in the Scope of Work that has been approved by Metro Procurement. Reporting requirements for both budget and schedule updates are included in the Scope of Work.

+ If our contract has an “allowance” Category, what can I use that for?

  • A project allowance may be included at the discretion of MWS to address potential design-phase issues that are within the original Scope of Work and may require unforeseen additional design analysis. For example, an allowance item could include evaluating, at the request of MWS, an alternative pipeline route that was not originally planned by the Designer. When the Designer is directed to perform additional design analysis not contemplated in the original budget, the Designer will provide documented estimates for the additional level of effort required and request funding this effort from the allowance. MWS must approve the proposed use of the allowance before any of the proposed work is initiated. The allowance may also be used for reimbursement of permit application fees when authorized in advance by MWS.

+ I have heard that the CWNOAP has its own electronic filing system and software. If I don’t have that, can I just submit hard copy documents to the Program?

  • No, in addition to hard copy requirements, all submittals must be made electronically using the Program Information Management System (PMIS) described in the Scope of Work. PMIS is not intended to replace your internal filing system or to be used to transfer documents within the Designer’s project team. PMIS does not require special software and is accessible on the internet through a web browser. Soon after the Design Kick-off Meeting each Designer will be given two (2) user accounts for the prime Designer only. A brief separate (2 hours or less) training session will be scheduled on how to submit CWNOAP documents via PMIS, as needed. The CWNOAP will also identify a system administrator to support each Designer if questions or problems come up in using PMIS during project execution.

+ Does the process for submitting documents generated by the Designer vary by document type?

  1. Yes. The majority of CWNOAP deliverables are submitted using the Design Submittal Business Process including the Project Work Plan; schedule update; Preliminary Engineering Report; Basis of Design Report; and 30%, 60%, 90%, and 100% Design Submittals. However, other documents generated by the Designer are submitted by other means. Refer to the Design Submittal BP Quick Guide for instructions on how to submit CWNOAP deliverables via PMIS.
  2. Correspondences such as letters, memos, and transmittals are either sent as hard copies to the CWNOAP office or via e-mail to the CWNOAP Project Manager with a copy to the PMIS system business processes. The CWNOAP Project Manager may forward the e-mail to the project’s mailbox.
  3. Monthly Progress Reports and invoices are submitted as hard copies to the CWNOAP office.
  4. Meeting minutes are entered into PMIS using the Meeting Minutes Business Process. Presentation information should be added as an attachment to the Meeting Minutes record.

+ What is provided at the design Kick-off Meeting?

  • At the Design Kick-off Meeting, the Designer is provided with sample invoicing formats, schedule submittal details, submittal methods, CADD standards and templates, CWNOAP standard specifications, sample bid forms, items listed in the Project Summary, and other relevant information to aid in design if not provided prior to the Design Kick-off Meeting.

+ What is envisioned or has been the involvement of the Designer for project Public Relations?

  • MWS will lead the Public Relations and communication efforts for the project, and the Designer will provide support as requested by the CWNOAP. This support may include the development of exhibits, attendance at public or neighborhood meetings, or other activities requested by MWS.

+ What time duration in the schedule should be allowed for CWNOAP reviews?

  • Unless stated otherwise in the Scope of Work, the Designer should allow 2 weeks for the reviews of the listed deliverables.

+ What data is available to support the design of rehabilitation projects (record drawings, CCTV inspection data, smoke testing, manhole inspections, etc.)?

  1. The availability of condition assessment data, such as CCTV inspection data or smoke testing data, will vary by project. In some locations, CCTV inspection data may be available for nearly every sewer segment. Other projects may have limited, scattered, aged, or no CCTV inspection data. The Designer is expected to analyze the available condition assessment data and supplemental information provided, make design recommendations, and produce the required deliverables.
  2. For locations where CCTV inspection or other condition assessment data is not available during design, the Designer is expected to prepare deliverables and estimate quantities utilizing available data, such as geographic information system (GIS) data, record drawings, or condition assessment data from adjacent sewers within the project area. This includes estimating quantities for manhole rehabilitation, point repairs, heavy cleaning, line replacement, stormwater infrastructure impacts, and other work that may be anticipated during construction. The Designer should use appropriate engineering judgment for design in areas where specific information is not available.
  3. The awarded rehabilitation contractor will be required to complete CCTV inspection for review and verification by the Construction Management Consultant prior to rehabilitation. In those cases, it is recognized by MWS and CWNOAP that this design approach shifts the rehabilitation analysis to field decisions during the construction phase and that the final quantities will vary from the design quantities.

+ Are record drawings available for the project area?

  • Available record drawings will be provided for both the original sewer installation and previous rehabilitation work in the project area. Record drawings for all areas, however, may not be available, particularly in areas of the system acquired by MWS. The Designer should use appropriate engineering judgment for design in areas where information is not available.

+ What if there are discrepancies found in the GIS database?

  • The Designer should utilize available information and use engineering judgment for evaluating discrepancies and estimating quantities. The Designer is not expected to correct GIS discrepancies but, with the 90% Design Submittal, will give CWNOAP a list of discrepancies for MWS’ future correction of the GIS database.

+ What has been the history of line replacements and point repairs in rehabilitation projects?

  1. Only one line replacement has been required to-date, but the Designer’s team should have the capability to design replacement sewers if the condition of sewer segments indicates that lining is not possible without multiple point repairs. In general, sewer replacement is the last option considered for rehabilitation.
  2. Typically, a total of 4 to 8 external main point repairs and 4 to 8 service line point repairs have been required prior to CIPP lining in a rehabilitation project. Service line and other pipe intrusions have been the largest cause of point repairs prior to lining.
  3. Generally, MWS prefers to only address sags in sewer segments that have experienced a history of maintenance issues or that may be anticipated to accumulate significant amounts of debris or grease in the future.

+ Should all sewer services be renewed or replaced to the ROW line or easement edge and by what means?

  1. All services on proposed line segments for comprehensive rehabilitation will be renewed or replaced to the property or easement line. In general, all services under public pavement areas will be renewed by trenchless CIPP lining. Services in easements will likely be replaced by excavation if the replacement will not disturb utilities; damage surface features; or impact creeks, streams, or other water bodies. Shared services should be separated, if practical. Services to buildable vacant lots are also to be renewed or replaced.
  2. Cleanouts are installed for each renewed service at the property or easement line unless field conditions make this cost or site prohibitive.
  3. The Designer should review the project area to determine potential conflicts in service reconnections such as outbuildings, extensive landscaping, or pools in order to establish relative quantities for the different types of service renewals.

+ Does MWS have easements for all existing sewers in the project area? Are easements required to be obtained for rehabilitation using CIPP?

  1. MWS takes the position that dedicated or prescriptive easements exist for all sewers. The easement width is assumed to be 20 feet centered on the sewer. New easements are not required for trenchless rehabilitation including the installation of cleanouts. The Designer, however, should be prepared to develop easements for any line replacement considering possible realignments and/or for construction.
  2. For non-rehabilitation projects, the Designer is responsible for researching existing easement information although available information previously obtained by the CWNOAP will be provided for reference.
  3. Easements for ingress/egress outside the sewer or utility easement for construction convenience are the responsibility of the contractor.
  4. For certain rehabilitation projects where sewers cross large properties or are located in areas with special constraints such as parks or golf courses where access for construction may be an issue, the Designer may be scoped to assess viable access corridors from roadways and assist MWS with preparation of Right-of-Entry documents.
  5. Under special circumstances, the CWNOAP may employ a property acquisition firm to assist with easements.

+ The Scope of Work indicates a percentage of manholes to be inspected. Can you elaborate on the level of inspection required?

  1. The manhole inspections included in the Scope of Work are not intended to be formal inspections such as the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) Manhole Assessment and Certification Program (MACP) Level 1 or 2 inspections. They are included to allow the Designer to assess a representative sample of manholes to aid in establishing bid quantities, to investigate manholes that may require an epoxy or polyurethane lining, and to confirm pipe material when no information exists. Additional manhole inspection information is usually available at the beginning/end of CCTV inspections.
  2. Lost manholes will generally be located during construction by the contractor. Unless critical to design, MWS generally does not locate and raise manholes during design.

+ What has been the history of Designer involvement during the bidding and construction phases of rehabilitation projects?

  • Designer involvement during the bidding and construction phases of rehabilitation projects has been very limited.

+ What major lessons have been learned from rehabilitation projects under the CWNOAP?

  1. Service lateral renewals are the most likely item to present changed conditions resulting in constructability, time, and cost impacts during construction.
  2. The Designer needs to pay special attention to service laterals that are in or cross creeks, streams, or other water bodies. The Designer should consider the need for obtaining Aquatic Resources Alteration Permits (ARAPs) when identifying the type of service lateral renewal (excavation or trenchless).
  3. In several areas, the service lateral’s 4-inch to 6-inch transition has been located under pavement. The Designer should review available information to assess the potential location of the transition and account for this in the contract documents; however, locating the transition is a construction phase activity.