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).

Distribution System Comprehensive Performance Evaluation

During the week of September 8th, members of the Optimization Team, in partnership with the EPA Region 6 and Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), conducted a field event to support the development of a Distribution System Comprehensive Performance Evaluation (DS CPE) for chloraminated water systems. The DS CPE protocol was originally developed for water systems that use free chlorine as a secondary disinfectant. As a result, the existing DS CPE protocol is in the process of being modified to apply to chloraminated water systems, which was supported by the findings and experience gained from this event. The field event was hosted by two systems, Marion County Regional Water District, a parent system, and Yellville Water Works, one of their six consecutive systems. Typically DS CPEs are only conducted at a single water system, so this event allowed the unique opportunity of implementing the tool at two systems with a parent-consecutive system relationship. Both systems welcomed the feedback from the team during the exit meeting and the Optimization Team will request updates on their mutual pursuit of optimization from ADH staff. (Matthew Alexander, Alison Dugan, & Tom Waters, US EPA TSC)

Aim High Campaign Finalist

On September 17th, members of the optimization team from TSC and Region 4 participated in a video teleconference with Administrator McCarthy to discuss the Public Health Protection and Water Efficiency through the Drinking Water Optimization Program. This project, along with four others, was selected as a finalist in the Aim High Campaign on Protecting Water: A Precious, Limited Resource. The optimization project highlighted Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) efforts within the Region 4 states and a tribal system to effectively implement an enhanced backwashing procedure (Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash, or ETSW). ETSW can significantly improve finished water quality and often has a secondary benefit of water savings during filter backwash. One example cited was from the State of Alabama, where AWOP efforts resulted in an annual savings of 500 million gallons of water among 14 water treatment plants. The Administrator appreciated that this work has a direct impact on public health protection, in addition to the resulting water savings. (Alison Dugan & Rick Lieberman, US EPA TSC)

Distribution System Comprehensive Performance Evaluation

During the week of August 26, members of the Optimization Team, in partnership with the Region 4 Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) team, demonstrated the Distribution System Comprehensive Performance Evaluation (DS CPE) in Lawrenceburg, KY. Sixteen trainees participated in this CPE, including representatives from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Region 4. This CPE was the final in a series of three training CPEs conducted with this AWOP. States anticipate that they will implement this tool (either fully, or “pieces”) to support their Stage 2 DBPR compliance assistance activities, primarily targeting systems with compliance challenges who have a desire to optimize and improve water quality in their system. (Alison Dugan & Matthew Alexander, US EPA TSC)