Region 3 AWOP Strategic Planning Meeting

The US EPA, TSC optimization team, in partnership with Region 3 and ASDWA, held a strategic planning meeting and technical workshop on April 7-9, 2015 in Maryland. State drinking water program representatives from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia reported on their respective AWOP implementation efforts and presented positive water quality impacts. Four DWPD staff members also joined the AWOP participants in a distribution system optimization workshop conducted at the Bowie, MD water system. The title of the workshop was “Assessing Distribution System Water Quality and Potential Follow-Up Studies and Control Strategies.” State participants provided positive feedback on the outlined approach and especially on the use of free chlorine residual as a key indicator of water quality. (Rick Lieberman & Alison Dugan, US EPA, TSC )

Region 4 AWOP Strategic Planning Meeting

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with EPA Region 4, led a training exercise and strategic planning meeting from March 10-12, 2014 in Cullman, AL. Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The training focused on optimization approaches/tools for Stage 2 DBP Rule compliance assistance. It was supported by the Alabama AWOP team, who shared techniques for enhancing communication between parent and consecutive systems and encouraging combined responsibility for water quality. The training also featured a panel of operators from the Cullman water treatment plant and their consecutive systems, who discussed their perspectives about maintaining water quality in their systems. Meeting topics included: promoting the “combined distribution system” concept; tracking/prioritizing systems for DBP performance; expanding technical assistance provider resources; using optimization tools to support RTCR implementation; and marketing AWOP.  (Alison Dugan & Richard Lieberman US EPA, TSC)

Alabama Releases April “Drawing the Graph” Newsletter

Alabama’s optimization program has just released their latest newsletter – “Drawing the Graph”.  In this issue they report on the status of meeting their optimization goals in 2014, when 54% of the surface water plants met the goals.   Two interesting technical articles cover the need for good chlorine residual management all year long and storage tank water quality and mixing.  Please see the attached newsletter for all the details.

Does your state have a newsletter or optimization report you can share with others on the AWOP News blog?  Contact Darrell Osterhoudt at ASDWA (dosterhoudt@asdwa.org) for more information about contributing to the blog.

Drawing the Graph – April 2015 Issue

EPA Technology Innovation Showcase

On December 2, the TSC ptimization team participated in a Technology Innovation Showcase at EPA Cincinnati, hosted by ORD and Confluence. The event highlighted technology developed by EPA (independently and in cooperation with others) and was an opportunity for the participants to learn more about opportunities for partnering with the Agency. Approximately 300 representatives from business, government, utilities, universities, economic development organizations and the financial community attended.  TSC’s hydrant sampler, a distribution system optimization tool designed and engineered by optimization team members, was among the technologies exhibited and received significant interest. The team is investigating the possibility of using a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), as ORD has done, to partner with a third party to have this device produced, marketed, and distributed for wider use by public waters systems and State regulatory organizations. Commercialization of the hydrant sampler could lead to more water systems collecting representative samples and increasing their awareness of water quality in their distribution systems. (Matthew Alexander and Michael Brinkmiller, US EPA, TSC)

Innovation Showcase Hydrant Sampler Poster

Innovation Showcase Hydrant Sampler Poster

 

 

 

Storage Tank Water Quality Monitoring

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with the EPA-Cincinnati Safety, Health, and Environmental Management (SHEM) program, conducted a water storage tank sampling study on October 20th and November 7th in Georgetown, KY. The study was conducted to support the development of an in-tank sampling protocol and involved collecting water quality samples and continuously measuring temperature at various depths within the tank. Data were collected for approximately three weeks to assess tank mixing performance. Prior to the study, SHEM helped identify potential hazards, recommended appropriate safety equipment, and provided fall-protection training. The SHEM field safety officer also participated in the study to observe and advise. (Matthew Alexander, Tom Waters, Alison Dugan and Rick Lieberman, US EPA, TSC)

Matthew Alexander (EPA TSC), Tom Waters (EPA TSC), and Gerard Henderson (EPA SHEM) preparing safety equipment prior to the study.

Matthew Alexander (EPA TSC), Tom Waters (EPA TSC), and Gerard Henderson (EPA SHEM) preparing safety equipment prior to the study.

Matthew Alexander (EPA TSC) and Tom Waters (EPA TSC) at the top of the tank.

Matthew Alexander (EPA TSC) and Tom Waters (EPA TSC) at the top of the tank.

Tom Waters (EPA TSC) hoisting sampling equipment to the lower platform of the tank.

Tom Waters (EPA TSC) hoisting sampling equipment to the lower platform of the tank.

Region 6 AWOP

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with Region 6 and ASDWA, led a strategic planning meeting and technical training event from October 28-30, 2014 in Austin, TX. Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Region 7. The technical training workshop, held at a nearby water system, focused on an approach to assess membrane treatment plants. Meeting topics included harmful algal blooms, evaluating the status of distribution systems, experiences with membrane treatment facilities, and preliminary planning for the 2015 AWOP National Meeting. This was the first AWOP training and planning meeting where a representative from Kansas was able to attend. They had a positive experience and will be discussing their interest in future AWOP participation with their management. (Matthew Alexander and Tom Waters, US EPA, TSC)

Membrane filtration racks at the Cliff and Eldine Poe Region Water Treatment Plant in Kempner, TX

Membrane filtration racks at the Cliff and Eldine Poe Region Water Treatment Plant in Kempner, TX

Jose Rodriguez (EPA Region 6) and Dan Clair (KDHE) Examining Membrane Filters

Jose Rodriguez (EPA Region 6) and Dan Clair (KDHE) Examining Membrane Filters

Paul Brandt (IDNR) Collecting a Sample During the Training Workshop

Paul Brandt (IDNR) Collecting a Sample During the Training Workshop

Region 3 AWOP

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with Region 3 and ASDWA, led a strategic planning meeting and technical workshop on November 18-19, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA. State drinking water programs representatives from Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia reported on their respective AWOP implementation efforts. New Jersey drinking water program staff also attended the meeting/workshop to learn more about the program. The workshop was structured as a discussion and question/answer forum focused on test methods, monitoring equipment and instrumentation to support implementation of AWOP data integrity activities. Representatives from New Jersey were very positive about the value of AWOP and indicated that they will consider future participation. (Tom Waters and Rick Lieberman, US EPA, TSC)

A Bench Scale Special Study on DBP Precursor Removal

On November 06, 2014, the Optimization Team conducted a second special study to evaluate bench-scale removal of DBP precursors at the Western Fleming Water District in Ewing, KY. During this study, jar test simulations of the drinking water clarification processes were conducted, comparing TOC removal under the plant’s operational conditions and under alternative plant settings. The outcome of this and other special studies will impact the implementation of DBP optimization training and technical assistance approaches. (Ouro Koumai & Alison Dugan, US EPA, TSC)

Disinfection Data Integrity Workshop Conducted in Association with the Region 3 AWOP meeting in August

A disinfection data integrity workshop was piloted as part of the August Region 3 Regional planning meeting in Petersburg, West Virginia at their surface water treatment plant.  The workshop was similar to workshops that have been piloted in the State of Iowa for State Regional field staff, and most recently for some plant operators.  A recent sanitary survey report, including a current treatment schematic and a plan view of the baffling in the clearwell storage tank were provided to the workshop participants prior to the site visit.  After introductions, the site visit proceeded with a  plant tour that emphasized the disinfection process and then the group was broken into 4 smaller groups to conduct special studies on the integrity of the disinfection data.  One group conducted studies to verify the online instrumentation used for disinfection monitoring, one group verified the disinfection segments as identified in the CT analysis performed by the state of West Virginia, one group independently performed a CT analysis to compare with the historical state analysis and one group studied the handling of the disinfection data and reporting.  The feedback from the State participants was positive, most said they would try to find a way to integrate aspects of this workshop into their optimization and drinking water oversight programs.

Region 10 AWOP Training and Strategic Planning Meeting

The TSC Optimization Team, in partnership with Region 10 and ASDWA, led a strategic implementation meeting and technical workshop from October 7-9, 2014 in Portland OR. State representatives from the drinking water programs in Alaska, Oregon, Utah and Washington reported on ongoing AWOP implementation efforts. Region 8, Colorado and North Dakota drinking water program staff members also attended the meeting and technical workshop to learn more about AWOP. The workshop was conducted at the City of Silverton, OR water treatment plant in cooperation with the plant staff and consulting engineer. The objective was to augment previous disinfection data integrity workshops by providing real world experience with tracer study techniques, the results of which are used in calculating CT values. The workshop was followed by discussions on technical and implementation topics which resulted in action items for effective optimization program implementation. Representatives of R8, CO and ND were very positive about the value of AWOP and will pursue discussions in their home offices about future participation. (Rick Lieberman, US EPA TSC).