Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund (DWSRF)
Project Guide For ALL Projects

Contract Documents

Legal agreements for professional services (Engineering Agreements) are to be submitted to your Project Manager for review and approval by the DWSRF Program prior to the signature of any party. A line for the signature of a representative from this Program should be included in this agreement. The Program will not reimburse professional fees charged on a percentage of project cost on DWSRF financed projects. Engineering fees will be allowed on a fixed fee for design and hourly fee for inspection. Agreements should include provisions for the design consultant to provide as-built plans, a written O&M manual and facility startup technical assistance, as necessary, at the completion of the project.

Two sets of contract documents must be submitted to the DWP, one to the Drinking Water Program in Augusta and one to your Project Manager. A line for the signature of a representative from this Program should be provided in these contract documents to officially document our involvement in the project. Construction plans and specifications must be reviewed by your Project Manager to ensure that the project complies with the technical requirements of the State of Maine Rules Relating to Drinking Water. Final plans and specifications must be submitted to the DWP for review and approval a minimum of 30 days prior to bidding the project and 45 days prior to starting construction. Construction costs will not be reimbursed until the contract plans and specifications have been reviewed and approved by the DWP.

The contract documents must also meet specific requirements of the DWSRF Program. Your project must comply with several federal statutes and executive orders that are referred to as cross-cutting authorities. Brief explanations of each of the cross-cutting authorities is included in Appendix E. A majority of the authorities will be met by the completion of an environmental review for your project(s). Others will be met through the construction contractor's adherence to the DWSRF Construction Contract Supplemental General Conditions and the standard EJCDC contract conditions mentioned below. Some of the cross-cutting authorities are anti-discrimination statutes that your system and project must meet in order for you to receive DWSRF financial assistance. This, among other things, includes making necessary accommodations for persons with disabilities according to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Executive Orders 11914 and 11250.

Appendix F includes the DWSRF Supplemental General Conditions. These Conditions in combination with the use of EJCDC documents No. 1910-8-FA (Contract General Conditions) and No. 1910-8-A-1-FA (Owner/Contractor Agreement), both the 97 Editions of the Funding Agency version, should satisfy all Program contract requirements. Appendix F also contains wording that must be included in the Advertisement to Bidders, the Notice to Bidders and the Bid Form. The Supplemental General Conditions include the requirement for a Project Sign. The requirement for a Project Sign may be waived if a request to do so is made in writing and the project is not readily visible to the general public. A Project Sign will be required when contractors or subcontractors are allowed to post a sign at the project site. For an example of an approved project sign, contact your DWSRF Project Manager.

The Program requires that all systems require their project contractor(s) make an attempt and document their attempts to make good faith efforts to achieve a goal of 1.3% utilization of Minority Business Enterprise firms and 3.7% utilization of Women Business Enterprise firms in construction of DWSRF financed projects. The requirements of a "good faith effort" are given in the DWSRF Construction Contract supplemental wording in Appendix F.

Construction contracts shall be awarded through an advertised competitive bidding process unless the DWP approves another method. It is your responsibility to provide evidence that an alternative method will be fair and cost effective. The DWP may approve another method under the following conditions:

  1. An emergency situation exists and time is not available for the preparation of contract documents suitable for advertised competitive bidding, or
  2. Compelling cost savings are to be realized.

Standard forms (AIA, EJCDC, etc.) of construction contracts may be modified to allow the following:

  1. Shortened bidding times, to a minimum of 10 days for contracts estimated to be less than $250,000. The usual time for bidding being 30 days.
    • Qualification of responsive and responsible bidders through the bidding process, or a pre-qualification process, to ensure that the successful bidder is able to satisfactorily complete the contract within time and performance constraints. No party shall be precluded from taking part in a qualification or pre-qualification process.
  2. The use of additive or deductive alternate bid items is encouraged when the scope of the project may need to be modified dependent upon bids received.

When the estimated total project cost of construction is less than $100,000 a water system may solicit a minimum of three written quotes instead of a formal competitive bid process. If you receive less than three quotes the DWSRF Program Manager may request additional information from you in order to approve your solicitation process or request that you solicit additional quotes. A clear scope of work and plans approved by the DWP shall be the basis for solicitation and preparation of quotes.

Your public water system must also be able to demonstrate adequate financial, managerial and technical capacity in order to receive DWSRF financial assistance. A strategy to evaluate your capacity has been developed by the DWP. The DWP and the MMBB through the loan application process will qualitatively evaluate your system’s capacity. The Program may require you to make changes to your proposed project, system operation or management, prior to entering into a loan agreement, or may condition the loan agreement as a means of attaining and/or maintaining the required capacities.

You must keep and maintain records in such a manner that the Program and/or EPA can audit activities accomplished with DWSRF funds. Records that the construction contractor is required to keep and maintain are identified in the DWSRF Supplemental General Conditions.