February 2009, Vol. 21, No.2

It All Starts With IT

IT strategic planning can serve as the catalyst for continuous business improvements throughout an organization

Feature1Lanyon.jpg Richard Lanyon, Doug Harp, Rod van Buskirk, and Keith Smith

In January 2007, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) commissioned an information technology (IT) strategic plan to align information systems with operations, facilitate best business practices, address business and operational drivers, and support MWRD’s strategic plan. Through a formal planning process, MWRD developed an integrated, organizationwide IT strategy and consensus among managers on IT priorities. MWRD expected that the plan would be the catalyst for continuous business performance improvements in asset management, regulatory management, financial management, customer service, facilities engineering and construction, integrated budgeting, planning, and more.   Read full article (login required)  


Adventures in Thickening

A Colorado utility’s conversion to biological nutrient removal has new implications for its thickening processes

Feature2Fevig.jpg Stephanie Fevig, John Bratby, Chris Douville, and Paul Heppler

Like many plants, the 75th Street Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Boulder, Colo., has to serve a growing population and meet more stringent effluent permit limits. To keep up with demand, the WWTP recently converted its trickling filter–solids contact process to a biological nutrient removal (BNR) activated sludge process with dissolved-air flotation thickeners (DAFTs). While the thickening process evolved during construction and final configuration, it operated successfully during and after construction. Moreover, the conversion was a learning experience for WWTP staff, who have learned how to optimize the thickener operations and are better prepared to handle future thickening challenges, both planned and unplanned.   Read full article (login required)  


Old School Meets New School

A blend of technologies can help meet regulations for reclaimed-water disinfection

Feature3Salveson.jpg Andrew Salveson, Larry Brotman, Nitin Goel, Keith Bourgeous, Mark Courtney, Brian Bernard, and Tanja Rauch–Williams

The City of Glendale, Ariz., has been using ultraviolet (UV) disinfection to meet regulations related to reclaimed-water use and aquifer recharge. While the current system has performed successfully with regard to coliform and disinfection byproduct (DBP) compliance, it requires considerable operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. Glendale needed to find an alternative disinfection technology (or combined technologies) that would reduce staff time and O&M costs while still meeting the city’s stringent coliform and DBP requirements.   Read full article (login required)  


Operations Forum Features

How To Overcome the Six Factors Holding Back Your Automation

Manning_Art.jpg Alan Manning

Wastewater treatment facilities nationwide have a tremendous opportunity to improve their processes and bolster operational efficiency. For some, the solution already exists within their plants, residing within the untapped capability of their existing automation. For others about to implement new automation, it is all about getting the most out of your investment.

The reality is that many treatment plants fail to utilize their existing automation properly. During a time when utilities are taking a hard, critical look within their organizations to find ways to cut costs and improve efficiency and performance, it is essential that automation is not only understood but used to its fullest potential.   Read full article (login required)  


Door-to-Door Service

A county bridges the gap between current needs and future expansions with mobile biosolids dewatering units

Lonergan_Art.jpg Robert Lonergan, Lynn Spivey, John Pacifici, Ifetayo Venner, Landis Legg, and Mark Morgan

 While highly populated counties tend to regionalize their water and wastewater treatment plants, smaller counties, such as Hernando County, Fla., usually have several smaller treatment plants dispersed throughout. However, rapid growth is affecting the requirements of the county’s wastewater infrastructure.

As part of the county’s sewer master plan to expand treatment services by 2025, mobile biosolids dewatering support facilities are proposed at four of its six wastewater treatment plants. These mobile dewatering units are an interim solution for dewatering from all of the county’s plants until full regionalization has been implemented and permanent dewatering facilities have been constructed. The sewer plan will be implemented in phases, which are the focus of this article, to accommodate future population growth and regulatory requirements.   Read full article (login required)