Surface Water Treatment Plants Recognized for Meeting AWOP Goals

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 17, 2017) – Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has recognized 36 surface water treatment plants in Kentucky for meeting the goals of Kentucky’s Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP), for 2016.

AWOP is a multi-state initiative administered through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of AWOP is to encourage drinking water systems to achieve optimization goals that are more stringent than the regulations. Twenty-six states, including Kentucky, participate in AWOP.

AWOP provides tools and approaches for drinking water systems to meet water quality optimization goals, which in turn provides consumers an increased and sustainable level of public health protection. In particular, the program emphasizes optimal turbidity removal through the drinking water treatment process. Turbidity, or cloudiness, is a measurement of particles in water, including soil, algae, bacteria, viruses and other substances. The program also focuses on improving existing facilities rather than implementing costly capital improvements.

Participating systems that meet the high standards of AWOP receive certificates that recognize their accomplishments. “Together, these 36 drinking water treatment plants serve more than 1.7 million Kentuckians,” said Joe Uliasz, supervisor of the Compliance and Technical Assistance Section. “Drinking water treatment plant operators deserve our recognition and appreciation for their daily efforts to exceed the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”

Two water treatment plants received an AWOP Champion Award. This award takes into account the high level of optimization achieved, as well as the system’s overall compliance record for the previous three years. Wood Creek Water District was awarded the 2016 Champion Award for a large drinking water treatment plant (designed to produce 3 million or more gallons of water a day). Leitchfield Water Works received the 2016 Champion Award for a small drinking water treatment plant (designed to treat less than 3 million gallons of water a day).

Eleven AWOP drinking water systems received special recognition, with a gold seal on their certificate, for achieving the AWOP goals 100 percent of the time in 2016.  These include Barbourville Water and Electric, Cave Run Regional Water Commission, Green River Valley Water District, Greensburg Water Works, Jackson County Water Association, Jamestown Municipal Water Works, Laurel County Water District No. 2, Liberty Water Works, Logan Todd Regional Water Commission, Madisonville Light and Water, and Rattlesnake Ridge Water District.

The following drinking water systems received certificates for meeting the AWOP criteria:

  • Barbourville Water and Electric
  • Burkesville Water Works
  • Cave Run Regional Water Commission
  • Columbia-Adair County Water Commission
  • Danville City Water Works
  • Franklin Water Works
  • Glasgow Water Company – Plants A and B
  • Green River Valley Water District
  • Greensburg Water Works
  • Hardin County Water District No. 2 – Plants A and B
  • Hartford Municipal Water Works
  • Hodgenville Water Works
  • Jackson County Water Association
  • Jackson Municipal Water Works
  • Jamestown Municipal Water Works
  • Kentucky American Water – Plants B and C
  • Laurel County Water District No. 2
  • Lawrenceburg Water and Sewer Department
  • Lebanon Water Works Company, Incorporated
  • Leitchfield Water Works
  • Liberty Water Works
  • Logan Todd Regional Water Commission
  • Louisville Water Company – Plant A
  • Madisonville Light and Water
  • McCreary County Water District – Plant B
  • Northern Kentucky Water Service – Plant C
  • Ohio County Water District
  • Rattlesnake Ridge Water District
  • Richmond Utilities
  • Stanford Water Works
  • Western Fleming Water District
  • Williamsburg Water Department
  • Wood Creek Water District

For additional information about AWOP visit https://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations/optimization-program-drinking-water-systems or contact Jackie Logsdon at jackie.logsdon@ky.gov or 270-824-7529.

Region 4 AWOP Strategic Planning Meeting and Workshop

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with EPA Region 4 and ASDWA, led a technical training workshop and strategic planning meeting on March 28-30, 2017 in Nashville, TN.  Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. States presented their annual AWOP reports, including AWOP activities and resulting water quality impacts. The technical workshop focused on turbidity data integrity from sampling through reporting.  The Metro Water Services, Omohundro Water Treatment Plant in Nashville hosted the workshop.   Discussion topics included a variety of PWSS and AWOP implementation issues, and the decision to host a corrosion control optimization workshop next November in KY.  State action plans were developed to support ongoing implementation of AWOP.  This meeting was the first to be hosted by the TN Department of Environmental Conservation and also the first time that J. Alan Roberson, ASDWA’s new Executive Director, participated in an AWOP event. (Richard Lieberman, US EPA- TSC)

Corrosion Control Development Activity

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with the KY Division of Water, participated in a workshop on Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment conducted by the Louisville Water Company on March 16th.  The workshop included information on monitoring, data management, process control practices and insights into optimization approaches for corrosion control treatment.  This is being used to assess potential development of corrosion control protocols for implementation in the Area-Wide Optimization Program.  (Matt Alexander, US EPA TSC, Ouro Koumai, US EPA TSC, Rick Lieberman, US EPA TSC).

Region 10 Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) Meeting

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with ASDWA, led a program implementation meeting on October 4-6, 2016 in Portland, OR. Representatives of drinking water programs from Oregon, Washington, Montana and Utah reported on ongoing AWOP implementation efforts. Program representatives from Region 8, Colorado, and Idaho also participated in the meeting remotely. A technical workshop focused on contact adsorption clarifier (CAC) optimization at the City of Seaside, OR water treatment plant. The goal of the workshop was to further identify and develop water treatment optimization strategies for CACs. Following the workshop, the group discussed optimization for harmful algal blooms, membrane treatment, and approaches for demonstrating impacts of the optimization program (Tom Waters, US EPA, TSC).

Montana Drinking Water Optimization Training

During the week of September 12 – 16, 2016, the TSC Optimization Team led a training class for drinking water program staff with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) in Helena, MT. Attendees from EPA Region 8 also participated. Topics covered during the 2½-day class included an overview of surface water treatment plant optimization, plant performance assessment (including data trending and analyses) and turbidity data handling from sampling through reporting. A turbidity data integrity workshop was conducted at the Ten Mile Water Treatment Plant in Helena, MT. The in-plant workshop provided participants and water system staff the opportunity to identify the many potential influences on data quality that may impact process control decisions and water quality reporting. Participants concluded the training by summarizing their findings and developing action steps. (Tom Waters, US EPA, TSC).

Region 4 AWOP Strategic Planning Meeting and Workshop

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with Region 4 and ASDWA, led a training exercise and strategic planning meeting August 16-18, 2016 in Marion, NC. Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina. States presented an overview of AWOP activities and accomplishments and discussed a variety of implementation issues. The technical workshop focused on distribution system optimization (DSO). Water system maps, historical water quality data, and results from investigative sampling performed by NC staff members were utilized by the participants to identify areas of the DS susceptible to water quality issues and propose studies to address those issues. State action plans were developed to support implementation of DSO approaches, including collaboration with Technical Assistance providers as appropriate. (Richard Lieberman, US EPA, TSC)

Microbial / Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Comprehensive Performance Evaluation (CPE)

The TSC Optimization team, in partnership with Ohio EPA, conducted a developmental HAB CPE at the Ottawa County Regional Water Treatment Plant in Port Clinton, OH during the week of August 1-5, 2016. This CPE was the first of a series of pilot CPEs to develop an optimization evaluation tool for water treatment plants (WTPs) challenged by HABs. The CPE also served as a training opportunity for Ohio EPA staff, which included participants from most of the state’s district offices and central office. The evaluation at the Ottawa County WTP identified factors that could limit the plant’s performance during a HAB. Ottawa County staff indicated that the CPE findings were informative and indicated plans to implement changes to address the identified factors. Two additional CPEs, as part of the pilot project, are scheduled for January 2017 and April 2017. (Tom Waters, Rick Lieberman & Alison Dugan, US EPA, TSC)

Kansas Kick-off Meeting

The TSC Optimization Team and ASDWA held a kick-off meeting with Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) drinking water program representatives in Topeka July 12-13, 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to review the Area-wide Optimization Program (AWOP) structure, activities, benefits, and participant roles/responsibilities. Based on that review, KDHE representatives decided to formally commit to the program. The meeting then focused on the details of: data management and other activities needed to adopt the program goals; informing water utilities of the state’s commitment to the program; and monitoring water treatment plant performance against optimization goals. KDHE staff explored methods of tracking plant performance within the existing state data collection activities and developed action steps to begin program implementation. The optimization team is excited to welcome the KDHE as the most recent addition to the AWOP network. (Rick Lieberman, US EPA, TSC)

Hydrant Sampler Website and Training Video

On May 4, the website www.epa.gov/hydrant-sampler was launched with a YouTube training video produced by the Optimization Team to describe how to use a hydrant sampler. This tool, developed by the team, allows users to collect representative distribution system water quality samples in a controlled, safe manner. The website describes the parts required to assemble a hydrant sampler as well as the procedure for appropriately using it.

Optimization Potential of the Human Infrastructure

At the 2015 National AWOP Meeting, a workshop session was devoted to the topic of how to assess “optimization potential” and incorporate it into Status Component ranking criteria.  One potential tool is the Major Unit Process Evaluation which helps to determine if a plant has adequate design capability.  Existing CCP handbooks for water and wastewater plants provide guidance for conducting a Major Unit Process Evaluation.  Another aspect of optimization potential relates to the suitability and level of interest of plant managers and operators who would potentially participate in optimization activities.  Clearly, optimization resources are more wisely spent at facilities where there is motivation and capability on the part of its operators and managers.

As a follow-up activity to this workshop, a document was developed that provides potential interview questions to help assess the human infrastructure component of “optimization potential”.  Three sets of interview questions (for state drinking water personnel, plant managers, plant operators) were prepared to help gain insight into a plant’s interest in and suitability for optimization activities.  This approach is roughly the equivalent of a “job interview” for a candidate applying for an optimization training opportunity.

The document linked to this article may be useful to AWOP states when identifying utilities to consider for training activities.  If others in the AWOP network have ideas or approaches on how to assess the human infrastructure capability, they are encouraged to share them on AWOP News or by providing comments to this article. OptPot_25Apr2016