Water 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.
A ‘Perfect Storm’ of Upgrades
Grafton, Wis., a village 40 km (25 mi) north of Milwaukee, is a growing community. In 1997, the Grafton Water and Wastewater Utility had to decide whether and when to abandon its existing wastewater treatment facility and build a new one jointly with a neighboring utility. Before making this decision, Grafton staff needed to know the plant’s current capacity, its capacity-limiting treatment processes, and how much margin was left.
The project team evaluated the existing plant and found unused capacity that would enable the utility to postpone major capital improvements. Minor modifications to the existing plant would not only increase capacity but also improve effluent quality and reduce energy costs.
A Biosolids Process With a Renewable Power Bonus
Faced with the need for a more reliable biosolids disposal solution, the management and engineers at Ventura (Calif.) Regional Sanitation District proposed a creative idea: Use methane gas produced from decaying refuse in a local landfill to fuel a regional biosolids drying system and simultaneously drive a network of microturbines to generate power for the facility and the local grid.
Stakeholders Mull ‘Consequences’ of Chesapeake Bay TMDL Strategy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December let the other shoe drop after unveiling its strategy in November for developing and implementing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for Chesapeake Bay. The November announcement set “rigorous expectations” for actions to be taken by bay watershed states (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia to achieve bay restoration by 2025. Then, on Dec. 29, EPA issued a “consequences letter” stating alternative actions it may take if those expectations are not met.
Coming in the next issue:
Unique challenges and new situations often require skills and advice that fall outside of the municipal wastewater industry. Clever professionals know that sometimes solving a problem at home requires looking elsewhere. For example, instead of giving up on an ambitious grit pumping project plagued by clogs, a New Jersey utility looked for help in the mining industry. Using the knowledge and experience of a trade that pumps rock slurries hundreds of miles led to a clog-free solution.
The information technology industry is another partner that can help water utilities perform better. As technology surges forward, customers are resetting their expectations for responsive customer service from ground-based timeframes measured in days to electronic response times measured in minutes, if not seconds. Find out how to what Web 2.0 tools — such as Twitter, blogs, and texting — can do for you.
Defining Good Practices
Establishing a solid foundation for everyday practices alleviates common headaches and ensures quality practices. When repairing and replacing collection systems, standard practices are essential. Especially when bypasses are used to reroute flows around work areas. Learn the essential elements for designing a safe and effective bypass pumping system.
Ultraviolet disinfection is another area of wastewater treatment that could benefit from some standardization. Methods used to size ultraviolet systems vary among manufacturers and make clear comparisons difficult. But one group of researchers is moving toward a single standardized protocol. Discover what steps they’ve taken so far.