May 2012, Vol. 24, No.5

Sustaining San Diego

An ongoing demonstration project is testing the viability of implementing indirect potable reuse to bolster San Diego’s limited water supplies

Quicho art.jpg Joseph Quicho, Amy Dorman, Marsi Steirer, and Anthony Van

Because of its limited local water sources, the city of San Diego relies on imported water for approximately 85% of its water needs. To help reduce its reliance on importing water, the city embarked on a three stage water reuse program.

The first stage, which was completed in 2006, was a comprehensive evaluation of methods for maximizing recycled-water use. The second stage, which is ongoing, is a demonstration project to evaluate the feasibility of using advanced treatment technology to produce purified water that can be stored in a reservoir, then treated and distributed as potable water. The third phase, should the demonstration project succeed and contingent upon funding and approval, would involve building a full-scale purification facility and transmission pipeline. Read full article (login required) 


Considering both the practical and the visual

A New York plant’s MBR upgrade produces substantial savings for the facility while maintaining its aesthetic character

Khare art.JPG Ashwini Khare, Matthew M. Seng, and Sean McGowan

Upgrading wastewater treatment facilities is an important part of watershed management in New York state. The Waccabuc Country Club (Waccabuc, N.Y.) is a century-old private golf, tennis, and aquatic club located within the New York City watershed area. It needed an upgrade to replace its failing septic system in 2008.

The upgrade was part of an initiative to reduce the amount of phosphorus runoff and subsequent algae growth in the surrounding watershed reservoirs. It was an attempt to treat the Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in these reservoirs.

But preserving the aesthetics of the historic country club, located in an upscale neighborhood, also was important during the upgrade. Read full article (login required) 


Allocating CSO costs using impervious area

DC Water adopts Clean Rivers fee to help fund multibillion dollarlong-term CSO plan to protect waterways 

WET_Downs_collage.jpg Yvette Downs

DC Water (Washington, D.C.) has a plan to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) by 96% in the District of Columbia. The Clean Rivers Project comprises the construction of three large storage tunnels to capture and store wet weather runoff. Though the project is federally mandated, funding had not been earmarked for the project.

As the process stands now, the 130,000-plus account holders served for the District of Columbia — including residential and wholesale suburban customers — will pay the vast majority of project costs, estimated at $2.6 billion through 2025. To help allocate cost as equitably as possible among its customers, DC Water developed a stormwater fee based on impervious areas. Read full article (login required) 


Operations Forum Features

Going regional

Ten Arkansas communities band together to address wastewater needs, take phosphorus removal to a new level

NACA art.JPG Steve Yonker, Eldon Schneider, John Sampier, Belva Plumlee, and Rick McClain

By itself, the town of Highfill, Ark. (pop. 560) would have a hard time finding the technical, financial, and other resources needed to provide wastewater treatment facilities to meet some of the most stringent phosphorus removal requirements in the country.

The same thing is true of nearby Tontitown (pop. 2460) or even much larger Bentonville (pop. 35,300). But as these three and seven other northwestern Arkansas communities learned, they can accomplish much more working together than going it alone.

These 10 communities today are members of the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority (NACA), a body formed in 2002 to develop affordable, regional solutions for managing the biosolids produced by the region’s municipal wastewater treatment plants.

NACA since has evolved into much more, developing a long-term regional solution to wastewater collection and treatment and becoming an unlikely leader in a national effort to reduce the nutrient content in wastewater effluent. Read full article (login required) 


Where's the capacity?

How to stretch capital dollars by retrieving valuable hidden plant capacity

Melcer art.jpg Henryk Melcer, Richard T. Kelly, Adam Klein, John R. Bratby, Don Esping, Jose A. Jimenez, Denny S. Parker, and Eric J. Wahlberg

In today’s economy, it is common for wastewater treatment plant administrators to seek funding. Repairs, equipment replacement, and upgrades or expansion to meet increasing flows and loadings or to meet more stringent regulatory requirements all require investment. Unlocking hidden capacity can provide some relief to the question of how much funding is needed and when.

To help find this capacity, a group of engineers developed a tool that administrators and operators alike can use to evaluate a plant’s capability to treat higher flows and loadings. This tool also provides a guide to future capital investments that will maximize a plant’s treatment potential and its flexibility to accommodate increasingly stringent regulatory demands. Read full article (login required) 


Closing the book on printed maps

Water utility field crews embrace mobile technology

American water art.JPG Chris Kahn and Steve Taylor

As infrastructure ages, repair and replacement needs grow, and water utilities are becoming more and more interested in technologies that help manage information, assets, and workers.

Five years ago, New Jersey American Water (Voorhees, N.J.), a state subsidiary of American Water (Voorhees), converted from a computer-aided drafting (CAD) system to a geographic information system (GIS) to manage its infrastructure. Indiana American Water (Greenwood, Ind.), another state subsidiary, completed a similar conversion in 2011.

In addition to GIS desktop analysis and Web-mapping services, both companies launched mobile GIS applications, which are designed specifically to increase operational efficiency and improve productivity in the field. These mobile options eliminate printed map books and provide workers with more up-to-date information. Read full article (login required) 


Absorb this

Arizona treatment facility battles freshwater sponge infestation

Bowman art.jpg John T. Bowman

When is a fungus not a fungus? When it’s actually a freshwater sponge. Prescott Valley, Ariz., discovered a funguslike growth in its wastewater treatment facility, and personnel were surprised to discover that the invader wasn’t a mold after all. Even more surprising, the sponge was virtually unknown to wastewater management professionals in North America. So, staff had to dig a little deeper to find an effective treatment. Read full article (login required) 

©2012 Water Environment Federation. All rights reserved.