Louisiana Hosts the Region 6 AWOP Meeting in Baton Rouge

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals hosted the Region 6 AWOP meeting in Baton Rouge on July 31 – August 2.  Participants included representatives from Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma (via conference call), Texas, EPA Region 6, TSC, ASDWA, and PAI.

Backwash team calculates the ETSW settings (from left, clockwise: John French, Julie Leblanc, Mark Moeller, Austin Lee, Jatin Mistry)

A field training event was conducted on developing and implementing a special study on the Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash (ETSW) approach for optimizing filter backwash recovery.  The event was hosted by the St. John Parish Lions Water Treatment Plant.  In addition to providing their plant as a 1-day research facility, they also served up some good ole Louisiana jambalaya for everyone to enjoy.  Participants worked in teams focused on different aspects of the study (i.e., backwash procedure, filter bed expansion, performance impact, and data integrity).  This plant would be an excellent candidate to benefit from this optimization approach based on the performance team’s assessment of their post backwash turbidity spikes and length of rewash.  Based on the backwash procedure team’s calculations, the last low wash duration during filter backwash would need to be extended to about 11 minutes from the current 1 minute length.  During the implementation of the ETSW step, the plant operator was surprised to find out that their filter control program limited the length of the final low backwash duration to 3 minutes.  Unfortunately, this finding limited the ability of the team to implement the ETSW approach during the training event; however, the plant staff and LDHH plan to continue pursuing the approach and reporting on the outcome at a future AWOP meeting.

Discussion topics during the planning meeting included identification of approaches for re-engaging in AWOP activities following a program slowdown, field testing issues related to chloramine residual, state input into SDWIS Next Gen to support optimization, a planned Region 6 THM stripping pilot project, and technical assistance approaches for dealing with manganese treatment issues.

Bill Davis is always happy to optimize whatever he gets his hands on … even retirement!

The Region 6 AWOP group also took advantage of this meeting to recognize Bill Davis for his outstanding support and direction he provided to the group over the last 15 years.  Bill will be retiring from EPA at the end of September and will be greatly missed at future AWOP events.  Jatin Mistry has taken over Bill’s AWOP leadership role in the region and has plans to continue the region’s strong support for AWOP into the future.  The next Region 6 AWOP event is a multi-state CPE the week of November 5th in Tyler, Texas.

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