Whenever FII meets with a client for the first time, some of the first questions are: how big an island do we need to solve our problem? How do we go about the design and installation process? In this section we explain how we use our research data and client requirements to create on an optimally-sized floating island, and describe the consultation and launching process.
Please note that some types of projects are very similar one to another; thus, the same processes may be utilized again and again. For example, wastewater lagoons with 100 hook-ups in a specific climate zone will have a predictable nutrient loading so we can estimate the size of island needed based on previous experience. Where there are good on-site data, we can use these to verify the island design. In many cases, however, the needs of our clients require a customized solution.
The a description of our process in this instance follows. It is based on a hypothetical wastewater treatment application:
- The client requests assistance from FII to reduce specific contaminants.
- FII brings together a project team of experts to analyze the existing system’s design and limitations and discuss the best ways to achieve the client’s goals. This analysis includes current contaminant levels, reduction goals, government regulations, site conditions (such as size and volume, temperature and so on) and other challenges unique to the client’s system.
- Based on results from previous research and field installations, the FII team drafts a design plan for a Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) with the island size and thickness, pump size, aeration features, anchoring requirements, reserve buoyancy and other construction features customized to fulfill the client’s goals. This design plan is submitted to the client along with a cost estimate.
- The client determines whether or not the proposed solution will fit their needs and requests FII to make any required modifications.
- The FII team completes modifications to final design work and submits a formal proposal with firm cost estimate to the client for approval.
- Once approved, FII manufactures, delivers and launches the FTW at client’s site. To ensure that the client’s goals are met, routine monitoring is completed per the terms of the contract and governing regulations (usually by an independent, third party).
For a real-time example, look at the FTW placed in Sheepy Lake, California, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A simplified version of the process for this project—which was completed in less than four months—follows:
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) approached FII licensee Laddie Flock of Floating Island West (FIW) for assistance with relocating Caspian terns away from a juvenile salmonid restoration area without hurting the terns—they identified the problem and requested assistance with the solution.
- FIW assembled a team of the necessary experts to complete a detailed analysis of the problem and gathered specific site conditions (such as weather and wind challenges, depth of lake, etc) that would influence the design. In addition, the FIW team interviewed the USACE biologists regarding specific needs of the terns such as type and size of material necessary for nesting, optimum habitat surrounding nests, distance between nests, area necessary to house the population and so on.
- A preliminary design and initial cost estimate were created by the FIW team and submitted to USACE for review.
- After USACE approved preliminary work and requested modifications specific to their project, the FIW team completed detailed design plans and submitted an official proposal with a fixed cost bid.
- Once approved, FIW proceeded with the manufacture, delivery and launch of a customized Floating Treatment Wetland to Sheepy Lake.
- In this instance, FII has completed periodic maintenance checks of the FTW per its agreement with USACE.