WE&T Magazine

Sept06CoverWater Environment & Technology (WE&T) is the premier magazine for the water quality field. WE&T provides information on what professionals demand: cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, operations and maintenance, regulatory and legislative impacts, and professional development.


September 2006, Vol. 18, No.9

Featured Articles

Leading by Example


When Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky (Fort Wright) began planning an expansion of its office and industrial complex, leaders didn’t want a classic square building on a conventional site with a giant retention pond and acres of pavement. They asked, “Why not showcase one or two stormwater best management practices (BMPs) onsite instead?”


Lost in the FOG?


 Imagine that the city council has finally accepted the case you have made for the critical need to develop strict local limits for fats, oils, and grease (FOG), as well as a grease-trap policy for food preparation operations. All those years of fielding early-morning telephone calls about plugged lines in the collection system and plugged sludge-transfer lines at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) are about to end, and the operations staff looks at you as a hero. The worst of your problems appears to be over. But before the euphoria wears off, get ready for the next big question: “Will you accept loads of hauled grease?"



Pushing the Limit

Half of the people in the United States live on its coast. Can smart growth and changed behavior reverse their negative impact on water quality?

Up and down the coasts of the United States, nearly half of the nation’s estuaries are in a threatened state, according to the 2005 National Coastal Condition Report II, a collaboration of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

The report summarizes vast quantities of data evaluated under five indices — water quality, sediment quality, benthic, coastal habitat, and fish tissue contaminants. The poorest estuary conditions lay in the Northeast and Puerto Rico, while the Southeast, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, and West Coast regions fare just a step ahead. Overall, 21% of estuaries (excluding the Great Lakes) are unimpaired, 35% are impaired (poor condition), and 44% are threatened (fair condition) for aquatic life or human use, according to the report.

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Coming in the next issue:

  • Evaluating Bioreactor Alternatives. Finding the optimal process to treat contaminants in industrial wastewaters can be difficult. What factors should you consider?
  • When It Bubbles Over. Excessive foaming in anaerobic digesters is a serious problem that is becoming more prevalent. But foaming can be controlled if operators have the time and resources to monitor the system.
  • Establishing a Training Academy. In an economic downturn, education is often viewed as an expense rather than as an investment. But with an effective training program, utilities can see a substantial improvement in productivity, customer service, and profitability.
  • Automation Made Simple. While automation systems play an important role in modern water and wastewater treatment facilities, they add another level of complexity. Control and telemetry systems should be expandable and open, as well as easy and safe to operate, maintain, and service.
  • Weathering Alarm Storms. Automated systems can provide valuable information and essential alerts, but nuisance alarms and the lack of an established response protocol can lead to operator headaches and major alarms getting buried.
  • Info Exchange. As plants become more complex and staff size shrinks, operators need to know what’s happening throughout the plant and be able to make adjustments. Learn the options for remote and continuous process monitoring.
  • Technology Focus: Sewer Rehabilitation. A look at regional rehab issues, as well the broader trends across the United States. Plus, some of the creative approaches taken by municipalities around the country.