Region 6 Planning Meeting – Remote using Adobe Connect and Conference Call: January 31 – February 1, 2012

The Region 6 AWOP group conducted a 2-day remote planning meeting the end of January using Adobe Connect and conference call facilities.  Participants included representatives from Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, EPA Region 6, TSC, ASDWA, and PAI.  State AWOP reports included an update by Arkansas staff on expanded data integrity efforts focused on distribution system chlorine residual reporting, a discussion by Iowa staff on prioritizing their AWOP Integration Pilot efforts on training field office staff on turbidity data integrity issues at their plants, an overview by Texas staff on how they use their directed assistance modules to train plant staff on monitoring and process control, and feedback from several states on their presentations on AWOP impacts at the Region 6 Five State Meeting.  Region 6 staff conducted a workshop during the AWOP meeting on identifying in-plant DBP control strategies based on the successful DBP PBT series that they facilitated with the Texas staff.  Discussion topics during the meeting included training on verification of turbidimeter signals in SCADA systems (both reporting and logging), balancing optimization and compliance activities within state AWOPs, application of the Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash (ETSW) approach for backwashing filters, and status of the ground water optimization pilot in Texas (i.e., next steps).  The next meeting is scheduled for May 8 – 10, 2012 and will be hosted by EPA Region 6 in their Dallas office.  A training event is being planned to expand the group’s understanding of how plant instrumentation signals (including turbidimeters) are reported and recorded on plant SCADA systems.

Verification of turbidimeter signals at the plant SCADA screen and data logging locations is a data integrity area that the Region 6 AWOP group has investigated during past field events.

Distribution System Performance Based Training in Alabama

”]On January 25, 2012, the Optimization Team, in partnership with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), conducted Session 3 of Performance Based Training (PBT) focused on distribution system optimization.  Five water systems (the parent system and four consecutive systems) are participating in this project.  All systems are making excellent progress through this PBT, and reported on their efforts since Session 2.  Additionally, they discussed how PBT has increased awareness of water quality in system staff by integrating monitoring into other activities.  During Session 3, the special study concept and a spreadsheet tool to track water quality data were introduced, and participants were tasked with utilizing these tools in preparation for Session 4.  (Alison Dugan & Matthew Alexander, US EPA)

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Ground Water Optimization Pilot in Texas

On February 7, 2012, the Optimization Team met with the Region 6 AWOP Team and participating water systems to discuss an ongoing project focused on developing and transferring optimization tools and approaches to ground water system operators. The participating systems discussed the work they had conducted to assess their system’s potential to achieve CT (i.e., to demonstrate an effective treatment barrier) as well as their ongoing monitoring efforts in their distribution systems.  Participants were introduced to source barrier concepts related to microbial monitoring and assessing the integrity of their wells.  The pilot project is scheduled to end in June 2012.  (Alison Dugan, US EPA)