Rozga Plumbing & Heating Corp. Completes Complicated Water Treatment Job
Constructing to Code: Multifaceted Rozga Plumbing & Heating Corp. Creates Water Treatment Plant in Pewaukee
Working at a food processing facility in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, Rozga Plumbing & Heating Corp. of West Allis, Wisconsin, installed an onsite water pretreatment plant.
“We designed the facility specific to what we needed to treat and the level of [water characteristics] it must meet,” says Todd Stair, Manager of the Sewer and Water Division at Rozga. “It will function as its own private treatment plant to get the wastewater conditioned and prepared to allow it to safely enter the city main sewer.”
General contractor Rozga installed the facilityto bring the company into compliance with municipal codes. The city required changes and has a sampling manhole at the lot line, about 75 feet from the new pretreatment facility, which tests and ensures the water meets municipal limits. The eight-week project began in February 2018, had a tight deadline, and finished on time and within budget.
“Now installed, the lab results showed that the customer was in compliance immediately upon startup,” says Sam Gillis, Owner and President of Rozga.
Rozga custom designs and installs water-treatment systems specific to the customer’s needs. The current project’s system required treating the biochemical oxygen demand, fat, oils and greases. The pH also needed modification. Rozga initially bench tested the output, but as the job progressed, some design modifications to the plans were necessary before starting.
Construction also presented some interesting challenges, particularly with heavy semi-truck volumes in a tight location. The owner constantly moves product from the plant to a nearby storage area.
“Special challenges included safely managing large, deep excavations in a highly populated area with a lot of traffic throughout the day,” Gillis says. “The semi traffic in direct proximity to our work area is intense. The company also had other deliveries on a constant basis, and our 100-ton crane and six quad-axle dump trucks just added to the mix.”
Rozga performed the large and deep excavations, while maintaining safe perimeter access for the plant’s employees to park and walk into the facility.
“Situational awareness and safety of our team and our customer’s employees was paramount,” Gillis says. “By stressing this at daily safety meetings and being trained for this in advance, our employees maintained vigilant monitoring at all times.”
Weather also posed some problems. Rozga hauled out 3,000 cubic yards of spoil. On the second day, Rozga’s fleet of dump trucks was making the rounds. But the disposal pits that the crews were hauling to closed at noon, because the rain was so intense.
“We worked through the rain with what we could and made up for the short second day with great effort on the third day, as we had our large tanks coming on schedule – rain or shine,” Gillis says. “The excavation floor needed to be solid, stable and level ready for the tanks to be set.”
Starting on day four, the 100-ton crane arrived as did the semi trucks loaded with the project’s treatment tanks, stone backfill and a traffic bond, so asphalt drives and parking areas could have the asphalt restored when the project is completed.
Masons experienced some issues with the freezing cold temperatures while constructing the control building, but with some added protection from the elements and heat, they were overcome.
On this project, Rozga rented a Link-Belt 490 Excavator, machine mounted compactor and several road plates with great results.
“The Link-Belt 490 was huge,” Stair says. “It was loading quad axles in a minute and 20 seconds, and it took only three scoops of that machine to fill them.”
The company also used a John Deere 624K Wheel Loader, a Takeuchi 175 Excavator, a Bobcat skid steer, a 100-ton crane, six quad-axle dump trucks, and a Komatsu 120 Excavator. The company employs a full-time, in-house mechanic to keep everything from small generators to large dump trucks department of transportation compliant and safe.
“We are constantly upgrading and improving our fleet, one truck, trailer and excavator at a time,” Gillis says. “We rent the occasional machinery that we don’t own and Kelbe Brothers Equipment in Butler, Wisconsin, has been a huge support in supplying us with anything we need.”
For 29 years, Rozga has been working with Kelbe Brothers, founded in 1953 with five people. Kelbe has grown over the years, adding different equipment lines, employees and locations. Kelbe Brothers’ factory-trained technicians service all of the company’s equipment lines, including Spectra Precision/Trimble lasers.
“Kelbe is very responsive to our service needs,” Gillis says.
Dedication to the Industry
Bill Rozga founded the company in 1981. Gillis says he is known as a hands-on guy, not afraid to get his hands dirty as his strengths were on the projects. For his dedication to the trade and association, Bill received the prestigious Wes Meilahn award from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
“He worked very hard during those first 10 years on his own to get the company off the ground,” Gillis says.
Rozga hired his first apprentice Sam Gillis, in 1991. Gillisstrived to deliver a positive attitude and high-quality work and climbedhis way up through the ranks, building high-level teams in the process. He worked on both the inside and outside plumbing teams and has now been a master plumber for nearly 20 years.
“Our personalities are very different but meshed oddly well, because we worked with the same servant’s heart and streamlined vision of taking care of our customers,” Gillis says. “We are the contractor for the simple tasks of fixing a faucet, air conditioning, or all the way up to our large projects with the underground sewer, water and septic systems. We are a primarily a referral-based business. Our happy customers keep us busy and growing.”
Gillis now owns the award-winning plumbing, HVAC and underground sewer/water/septic company, which performs residential and commercial work.
“Hiring and training A-level talent is what puts us out front,” says Gillis. “We believe in surrounding ourselves with men and women with top-tier talent, unwavering character and who support our positive culture, all working towards our mission of helping people and giving back.”
Stair joined the management team about four years ago and brought knowledge of and experience in designing, building and repairing septic systems and private wastewater treatment facilities. The company also performs work for municipalities, including emergency sewer and water main repairs. Many cities reach out to the company when they are overloaded, Gillis adds.
“Todd’s continuous hunger for learning as well as his commitment to training others has taken his division to a new level,” Gillis says. “He leads our hardworking, long day/nights, rain, sleet, snow, all-weather troopers in that division. This crew tows the line with no complaints. It’s our own band of brothers. When you are 20 feet down in the ground, your lives are in each other’s hands. But with our safety focused commitment, we are confident in our abilities.”
Rozga employs about 40 people, including ABC apprentices, and primarily works in the Milwaukee metropolitan areas surrounding counties but also may travel around southeastern Wisconsin for larger projects, such as food service industry pretreatment plants.
The company cross trains employees, so if necessary, they can be licensed and work in any of its three divisions: plumbing, heating/air and sewer/water/septic.
“We’re continuously busy but are staffed for growth and always welcome more work,” Gillis says. “We will always stay true to our residential customers and emergency service, which has gotten us to where we are at. But as our skills and teams grow, we are equipped to go full force toward whoever and however we can help.”