Region 10 AWOP Planning Meeting and Field Event: Portland, Oregon – October 25 – 27, 2011

A Region 10 planning meeting and field training event was hosted by the Oregon Health Authority AWOP team in October 2011 in Portland. Participants included AWOP partners from Alaska (by conference call), Oregon, Utah, Washington, EPA Region 10, TSC, ASDWA (by conference call) and PAI. The meeting included a field event at the North Clackamas County Water Commission, a unique water utility in the Portland area that utilizes both slow sand filtration and membrane technology to meet their water production needs. The membrane treatment and optimization theme of the meeting was kicked off with a presentation by Sam Perry with WA DOH. Sam discussed a range of topics from membrane system approval in Washington to design, operation, and potential optimization considerations for membrane systems. During the one day field event the group toured both the slow sand and the membrane plants and collected detailed information on membrane design, operation, maintenance, and administration. EPA Region 10 provided additional support for the field event by connecting their new laser turbidimeter to one of the membrane cells and monitoring performance for a 2-day period. The overview presentation and field event provided additional information that the Region 10 AWOP group is using to develop optimization strategies for non-conventional treatment technologies.

The planning meeting included updates by the states, region, and NOLT and discussion on priority topics such as next steps for membrane optimization development, an update on the slow sand filtration performance goals, and AWOPs role in compliance assistance. The next meeting and training event for the group will be hosted by Washington DOH in Tumwater on March 20 – 22, 1012. A workshop is planned in conjunction with a turbidimeter vendor on instrument calibration, maintenance, operation, and data integrity issues.

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Submerged membrane cell showing air wash lines and top of membrane modules

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Region 6 AWOP Planning Meeting and Field Event: Austin, Texas – October 4 – 6, 2011

The fall Region 6 AWOP meeting and field training event was held in Austin, Texas in early October. Participants included AWOP partners from Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma (by conference call), Texas, EPA Region 6, TSC, and PAI. The field training event was conducted in Lakeway, Texas, a community located along Lake Travis just outside of Austin. The 1-day training event focused on the topic of turbidity data integrity. As part of the training event, the plant staff conducted a tour of their 7 MGD conventional treatment plant that primarily focused on their turbidity monitoring locations and equipment. Following the tour, three work groups were formed to focus on selected data integrity topics including: 1) turbidimeter maintenance and calibration, 2) impact of turbidimeter configuration on output, 3) tracing turbidity data from source to reporting, 4) reporting turbidity data from online turbidimeters, 5) retrieval of turbidity data from storage, and 6) turbidity data invalidation procedures. The participants were very enthusiastic about their field event experience, and states planned to use the workshop to support future training events for their internal staff and operators.  They also suggested that a similar field event on disinfection (CT) data integrity would be useful for the network.

The planning meeting included a presentation and workshop on the updated AWOP self-assessment and updates on state, region, and NOLT activities. The latter part of the meeting included discussion on priority topics such as maintaining state AWOPs, enhancing the remote meeting experience, and next steps for continuing to improve data integrity. The next meeting and training workshop is planned for January 31 – February 1, 2012 and will be a remote meeting using conference call and Internet file and video sharing software. The workshop will focus on identifying disinfection byproduct control strategies and be based on the Texas DBP PBT project.

Region 6 AWOP team adjusts turbidimeter data aquisition frequency [pictured from left: Noble Johnson (TX), Bob Arthur (AR), Mark Moeller (IA), Austin Lee (AR)]