The Alabama Department of Environmental Management hosted the EPA Region 4 AWOP meeting in Tuscaloosa on December 11 – 12. Participants included representatives from Alabama, Florida (by conference call), Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, EPA Region 4, TSC, ASDWA, and PAI.
Walt Taylor explains how ETSW was implemented at the Town of Berry Water Treatment Plant.
A field training workshop was conducted on developing and implementing a special study on the Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash (ETSW) approach for optimizing filter backwash recovery. The event was hosted by the City of Tuscaloosa at their Ed Love Water Treatment Plant. William McClimans with ADEM and Walt Taylor, the Chief Operator with the Town of Berry, started the workshop with an overview on ETSW concepts and a case history on the success of implementing ETSW at the Town of Berry plant over the last 2 years. Perry Acklin, the Tuscaloosa Plant Manager, and Bernard Cassity, the Plant Chemist, provided an overview of the Tuscaloosa plant and assisted with the workshop. Participants worked in teams focused on different aspects of the study (i.e., backwash procedure before and after the modification, performance impact of the modification). Tuscaloosa has been practicing the ETSW procedure with their filter backwashes for several months and has been able to reduce their filter-to-waste times as well as their volume of backwash water used. The city estimates that implementing this backwash modification will save them about 100 million gallons per year for an annual savings of $7,000. The workshop participants thought that the training provided the “need to know information” on how to implement ETSW in a plant and that additional studies would be needed to more fully develop the performance data and refine the backwash procedure. Several of the states plan to implement an ETSW study with a local plant as part of their AWOP activities.
Left to Right: Dale Froneberger, William McClimans, Walt Taylor, and Bernard Cassity discuss ETSW considerations during plant tour.
Left to Right: Alison Dugan, Arshasamine Tellis, Laura Taylor, and Janine Morris brave the Alabama winter to inspect the ETSW filter in Tuscaloosa.
A key discussion topic during the planning part of the meeting was the optimization training focus for 2013 and beyond. The group decided to embark on an ambitious training schedule focused on learning the skills needed to conduct distribution system CPEs. Over the next 2 years each of the states will host a distribution system CPE that will provide the opportunities to learn these new skills. Additional topics discussed during the meeting included individual state approaches for optimizing turbidity removal from their plants, the role of AWOP in operator certification programs, and specific state issues related to optimization (e.g., performance of superpulsator clarifers during startup).
The next Region 4 AWOP meeting will be hosted by EPA Region 4 in Atlanta on April 16 – 18. The meeting will include an overview presentation on the distribution system CPE approach, discussion on site selection considerations for hosting a CPE, and a workshop on data integrity and operational aspects of continuous reading turbidimeters.