Alabama’s Latest “Draw The Graph” Newsletter

Alabama’s Area Wide Optimization Program has just released its April 2012 issue of Drawing the Graph, the newsletter that highlights optimization news and activities of the program.  This issue includes articles specific to Alabama like their revised DBP optimization goals and a listing of water systems meeting optimization goals with an example press release for these systems to share their success with the public.  There are many other topics of interest to other AWOP states.  These include a pilot project on the development of Performance Based Training (PBT) for distribution systems that includes a focus on consecutive system participation and a discussion of data integrity.  There is also a very informative article on the practice of Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash (ETSW) focusing on the methods as well as the benefits in water and cost savings of this approach to backwashing filters.

Enjoy the Alabama news letter:  Drawing the Graph – April 2012 Issue

Region 10 AWOP Planning Meeting and Training Event: Tumwater, WA – March 20 – 22, 2012

A Region 10 planning meeting and training event was hosted by the Washington Department of Health AWOP team in March 2012 at the health department’s offices in Tumwater. Participants included AWOP partners from Oregon, Utah, Washington, EPA Region 10, TSC, ASDWA and PAI. The meeting included a training event on turbidity data integrity and turbidity monitoring instrumentation. Representatives from Hach Company attended the training session and presented a chronology on the development of water quality monitoring instruments with a focus on one of the newest online turbidity monitoring instruments that uses a laser as its light source. The training event provided an excellent exchange of information between the instrument vendor and field staff on a wide range of topics from support for out-of-date instruments to fully utilizing the capabilities of the newest instruments (e.g., use of the RSD function).

The planning meeting included updates by the states, region, and NOLT and discussion on priority topics such as planning for the next multi-state CPE in Ilwaco, WA in June, tools and resources for developing training on arsenic treatment and optimization, and approaches for sustaining AWOP in the current funding environment. The next meeting and training event for the group will be a remote conference call and Internet meeting on June 19 – 20, 2012. Technical topics under consideration for the meeting include feedback on the Ilwaco CPE, optimization approaches for arsenic treatment, and draft membrane optimization goals.

Bill Chamberlain (EPA Region 10) and Alvin Smith (Hach Co.) discuss features of a laser turbidimeter and steps to calibrate the instrument.

Ethan Moseng (WA) and Darrell Osterhoudt (ASDWA) discuss ideas on including turbidity data integrity activities into AWOP field events like Performance Based Training.

AWOP Planning Meeting – Region 4

AWOP Planning Meeting Update

Region 4 – March 2012 Meeting

By Bob A. Hegg

Region 4 Planning Meeting – Raleigh, North Carolina – March 27 – 28, 2012

Region 4 AWOP planning group consisting of Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Region 4, and EPA/PAI met in Raleigh, North Carolina in March 2012.  An additional participant from EPA TSC participated via teleconference.  A Data Integrity Workshop was conducted at the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) water treatment plant to demonstrate an approach for assessing the turbidity data integrity of a working utility.  The training exercise was able to be completed in an afternoon because of the exemplary approach to sampling, recording, and verifying taken by the OWASA award winning facility.

Kicking Off the Data Integrity Workshop

Solitax Turbidimeter Sensor with “Wiper”

Despite the lack of data integrity issues, the AWOP participants were pleased with the learning experience that the workshop offered.  The utility had several different types of turbidimeters including Solitax (in-situ) turbidimeters, surface scatter turbidimeters, and FilterTrac (laser based turbidimeters).  Several states are planning on incorporating some of the data integrity ideas into their inspection activities.

Each of the states presented their annual reports during the planning meeting.  The reports showed multiple year impacts of AWOP and for the first time, each state was able to present graphs of the population served by optimized systems.  This data provides an impressive demonstration of the impact of optimization efforts.  Multiple case histories were also presented and may appear as standalone articles in future AWOP News Blogs.  A topic of discussion during the planning meeting was distribution system optimization.   This topic was a major issue because of the Stage II regulations and their implementation.  States were looking for approaches to dealing with the impending non-compliance status of many of their systems The next Region 4 planning meeting is scheduled to be held in Kentucky and the technical topic to be discussed is Setting up a DS Flushing Program.  The training and Planning meeting will be held on August 14 – 15, 2012.

William McClimans (ADEM) observing the “small monitor” showing SCADA data

Janine Morris (Region 4) Verifying SCADA Signals

AWOP Planning M…

AWOP Planning Meeting Update

Region 3 – March 2012 Meeting

By Bob A. Hegg

Region 3 Planning Meeting – Culpeper, Virginia – March 14 – 15, 2012

The Region 3 AWOP planning group consisting of participants from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, EPA Region 3, EPA TSC, Process Applications, Inc. and representatives from the state of North Carolina (Region 4) met in Culpeper, Virginia in March 2012.  The Region 3 AWOP is participating in a train the trainer implementation approach for developing a DBP PBT in their respective states.  Participants are attending the Region 3 planning meetings to receive training and then return to their own state to implement training for their staff and their selected utilities. The interest in the DBP PBT was again demonstrated by the fact that every state had multiple participants with a total of 20 state personnel in attendance.  The number of facilities participating in each state varies from one in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania; six in West Virginia, and seven plants in North Carolina.  The states have or will be presenting Session 2 (Special studies) to their utilities and they reported back on their progress at the Virginia meeting.  North Carolina reported on the positive impact of peer pressure of the PBT approach.  Maryland identified the value of making presentations on the PBT efforts in enhancing operator skills.

Train the Trainers Trainers – Hard at Work!

Session 3 was presented in the train the trainer format at the Culpeper plant.  This session covers the topic of jar testing to show the potential of increased TOC removal through enhanced coagulation.  UV254 was demonstrated as a potential surrogate for TOC.

Some of the Train the Trainers Trainees Use “Modern” Jar Test Equipment

During the planning meeting the states reported out on their AWOP activities for 2012.  The impact of AWOP was again demonstrated by the states through a series of graphs showing changes at utilities over multiple year periods.  Another discussion was the status of a Region 1 state (Connecticut) joining the Region 3 AWOP efforts.  Current feedback from Connecticut is that they are planning on attending the next Region 3 planning meeting in July.  A continuing topic of concern is the impact of bromide that is emerging in the Region 3 states.  This will likely remain a concern for the foreseeable future.  The next regularly scheduled meeting of this AWOP network group is scheduled for the week of July 16, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The meeting will focus on train the trainer efforts for Session 4 of the DBP PBT approach.