Streamlined hydrant sampler redesign: smaller, lighter, and less expensive

The TSC optimization team has successfully piloted a redesigned hydrant sampler for distribution system investigative sampling. The new design reduces the number of necessary parts, thereby making for a smaller, lighter, and less expensive device. The new design keeps the flow control valve (20 gpm) to enable easy calculation of the appropriate flushing time prior to sample collection. The pressure gage also remains in the design. However, the sampling arm has been eliminated and the same part of the sampler is now used for both flushing and sampling. Cam and groove fittings, similar to what firefighters use to connect their hoses, are used to easily attach and detach the flushing hose for an easy transition from flushing to sampling. The gate valve is used to reduce the flow rate from the 20 gpm flushing rate to a lower flow rate for filling a sampling container. Eliminating the sampling arm of the hydrant sampler cuts down on overall size and weight, and makes it easier to thread the sampler onto the hydrant, especially if the hydrant port is close to the ground. The TSC optimization team piloted the new design and concluded that it works just as well as, if not better than, the original version. See below for more information, including an example parts list. Contact Matt Alexander (alexander.matthew@epa.gov, 513-569-7380) or Tom Waters (waters.tom@epa.gov, 513-569-7611) for further information.

Redesigned Hydrant Sampler

Pilot testing the new hydrant sampler design

 

Hydrant Sampler Parts List.png

 

Example parts list for redesigned hydrant sampler:

Section of Sampler Item Photo Letter Quantity Per Sampler Average Unit Price Total Cost
Main Brass hydrant reducer (2.5″ FNST inlet by 1″ MNPT outlet) A 1 $31.49 $31.49
Main 1″ MNPT red brass nipple, closed threaded E 3 $5.70 $17.10
Main 1″ FNPT red brass tee B 1 $21.40 $21.40
Main 1″ FNPT brass gate valve F 1 $16.35 $16.35
Main Dole flow control valve, 20.0 gpm, 1″ FNPT inlet/outlet G 1 $32.47 $32.47
Main 1″ MNPT x 1″ ID red brass hose adapter J 1 $20.90 $20.90
Main #16 hose clamp for 1″ ID hose K 1 $0.99 $0.99
Main Thread sealant tape, PTFE, 3/4″ x 520″ 1 $1.44 $1.44
Main 1″ ID hose (reinforced PVC), per ft L 4 $1.54 $6.16
Main 1″ cam and groove fitting, polypropylene coupler, coupling type D, female coupler x FNPT connection type I 1 $6.94 $6.94
Main 1″ cam and groove fitting, polypropylene adapter, coupling type A, male adapter x FNPT connection type H 1 $2.64 $2.64
Pressure Gauge 1″ MNPT x 1/4″ FNPT chrome plated brass reducing bushing C 1 $5.70 $31.30
Pressure Gauge Pressure gauge, filled, 2.5″, 300 psi, SS D 1 $54.50 $54.50
Total estimated cost (w/out PRV): $244

 

If the static pressure in the distribution system exceeds 150 psi at a particular sampling site, a pressure-reducing valve (PRV) is recommended, as many of the parts in the sampler are rated to 150 psi or less. Here is an example parts list for the PRV and associated fittings:

Section of Sampler Item Photo Letter Quantity Per Sampler Average Unit Price Total Cost
PRV adapter Brass hydrant reducer (2.5″ FNST inlet by 1″ MNPT outlet) A 1 $31.49 $62.98
PRV adapter 1″ FNPT brass, water pressure reducing valve (PRV) M 1 $134.50 $134.50
PRV adapter 1″ FNPT brass union N 1 $36.70 $36.70
Main 1″ MNPT red brass nipple, closed threaded E 2 $5.70 $11.40
Total estimated cost (with PRV): $458
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Region 10/8 AWOP Planning Meeting and Workshop

The Optimization Team, in collaboration with EPA Region 10, led a technical workshop and strategic planning meeting during May 15 – 17, 2018, in Spokane, WA.  Representatives from Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington attended the meeting and workshop.  Remote participants included representatives from Colorado, Montana and EPA Region 8. The states provided updates on their optimization efforts and impacts of their programs on public health protection.  The technical workshop, hosted by the Vera Water & Power utility located in Spokane Valley, WA focused on tools to evaluate distribution system data integrity. The workshop demonstrated that the approach is directly applicable to a ground water system utilizing multiple wells as the water source.  Representatives of two Tribal utilities and the Indian Health Service also participated in the workshop.  (Richard Lieberman,  Tom Waters,  Alison Dugan  and Matthew Alexander; US EPA/ TSC).

Region 4 AWOP Strategic Planning Meeting and Workshop: 

The TSC optimization team, in cooperation with EPA Region 4 and ASDWA, led a technical workshop and strategic planning meeting from April 9-12, 2018 in Albertville, AL. Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. State representatives presented their AWOP annual implementation reports, including AWOP activities and resulting water quality impacts. Improvements in small system performance were evident in the annual reports.  The technical workshop, hosted by Albertville, AL water system staff, focused on tools to evaluate distribution system data integrity. (Alison Dugan and Richard Lieberman, US EPA/ TSC).

Distribution System Optimization Pilot Training in Pennsylvania

On March 28th, the Optimization Team partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to conduct a training workshop on Distribution System Optimization (DSO) for parent and consecutive water systems that use chloramine disinfection.  This was the second in a series workshops designed to improve water quality in chloraminated water systems.  The topics included an introduction to chloramine chemistry and nitrification, a review of operational control strategies to improve water quality, and updates from each of the seven systems about their activities since the previous meeting.  Potential future topics include managing storage tanks to improve water quality, implementing a disinfectant conversion, and anticipated compliance concerns with PA DEP’s new minimum disinfectant residual requirement.  The next workshop is tentatively planned for Summer 2018.

Matthew Alexander and Alison Dugan; US EPA/ TSC

Region 3 AWOP Planning Meeting and Workshop

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with the Region 3 AWOP team, led a program implementation meeting on December 12-14, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA.  Meeting participants included a mix of those regularly involved (i.e., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, EPA’s Drinking Water Protection Branch and ASDWA), as well as those interested in learning more about the program (i.e., personnel from New Jersey and EPA Regions 1 and 5). Michigan, which recently announced their intent to join AWOP, attended this as their first multi-state AWOP meeting.

All participants provided reports on their recent AWOP activities and/or their interest in the program.  The technical topic, distribution system data integrity, was embraced by participants as a potential activity for smaller systems. Topic discussed during the strategic planning meeting included Legionella (i.e., understanding treatment options, approaches for consecutive systems); next steps for new/interested AWOP states; flushing approaches to enhance water quality; drinking water program metrics; and simultaneous compliance challenges. (Alison Dugan, US EPA – TSC)

Distribution System Optimization Pilot Training in Pennsylvania: 

On October 24th, the Optimization Team partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to pilot a workshop on Distribution System Optimization (DSO) for parent and consecutive water systems that use chloramine disinfection.  The workshop topics included an overview on DSO, discussion among the seven participating systems about their current monitoring activities and objectives, a review of sampling and analysis procedures, and discussion of potential (enhanced) distribution system monitoring. Candidate future topics were also discussed, including fundamentals of chloramines, strategies to effectively manage a system during a chlorine conversion (burn), and approaches for improving water quality and addressing nitrification. The next workshop is tentatively planned for Spring 2018.  (Alison Dugan and Matthew Alexander, 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)

Automated Hydrant Flushing Program in Flint, MI

TSC’s Optimization Team, in collaboration with ORD, developed a low-flow automated flushing program to improve chlorine residual throughout the City of Flint while not disturbing the development of scale in pipes. During the week of April 11th, approximately 130 samples were collected throughout the City to identify areas of low chlorine residual. During the week of April 18th, 13 automated flushing devices were installed on hydrants in areas where low chlorine residual was identified. Both of these activities included training for utility staff by the Optimization Team. TSC will continue to support the City of Flint as they carry out and expand their automated flushing program and engage in other distribution system optimization activities.  (Matthew Alexander,  Alison Dugan, & Ouro Koumai, US EPA, TSC)

Chloraminated Distribution System Optimization Development

During the summer of 2015, members of the Optimization Team piloted two distribution system comprehensive performance evaluations (DS CPE) at chloraminated water systems. The first was conducted in Archdale, NC, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The second was in Greenville, PA, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. One system had very stable influent water quality that they were able to maintain throughout their system, while the other system was challenged with very unstable influent water quality. Piloting the approach at two very different systems validated that the tool could be successfully applied to a variety of system, ranging from those nearly optimized to those nearly out of compliance. The team will next be developing approaches to address water quality concerns through a technical-assistance or operator training project. (Matthew Alexander, & Alison Dugan, US EPA, TSC)

Optimization Team Presentation at Pennsylvania Stakeholder Meeting

On May 26, the optimization team presented to the Board of the Small Systems Technical Assistance Center as part of their process to consider increasing the minimum disinfectant residual requirement for water systems in Pennsylvania, from the current level of “detectable.”  The presentation, entitled Area-Wide Optimization Program’s (AWOP) Approach to Maintaining Distribution System Water Quality, highlighted the water quality and monitoring goals that AWOP promotes. It also described optimization-based evaluation and water quality management strategies that AWOP state partners teach to water systems working to address disinfection byproduct and disinfectant residual concerns in their plant and distribution system.  (Alison Dugan & Matthew Alexander, US EPA, TSC)