February 2011, Vol. 23, No.2

Building pipelines, community lifelines 

 Through a collaborative process, Racine, Wis., finds a sustainable solution for wet weather overflows

tippery art Christopher J. Tippery and Bryan Rogne

Stakeholder collaboration can be beneficial yet difficult to achieve. Some say that it is costly, time-consuming, and inefficient. Others argue that working in partnership with stakeholders results in a well-developed, optimized solution that addresses multiple objectives. For an agency such as the Racine (Wis.) Wastewater Utility, it is important to address competing needs from multiple stakeholders. In the case of a recent construction project to mitigate wet weather overflows, taking a collaborative approach not only provided the best overall solution, it helped the City of Racine maintain relationships with its outlying communities that will affect how the utility does business in years to come. Read full article (login required) 


Mitigating SSOs 

A cost-effective approach to off-line storage 

crow art James Crow, Craig Johnson, John Holloway, and Howell Anderson

After being issued a consent administrative order (CAO) by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Little Rock Wastewater (LRW) aimed to eliminate its capacity-related sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) in a 2-year, 48-hour storm event for all parts of its collection system. The utility constructed peak flow attenuation facilities — which comprised diversion structures and gravity conveyance, a peak flow pump station and force main, and an equalization basin. After 1 year of operation, the project has proven both cost-effective and successful, noticeably reducing both individual SSOs and total SSO volume. Read full article (login required)


Operations Forum Features

Dewatering from the living room 

A low-cost sludge-thickening system leads to lower hauling costs and remote operation 

deMello art Justin deMello

Faced with an aging wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), the time had come for Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., to develop a master plan that would resolve existing permit requirements, improve reliability and efficiency, and also plan for the future capacity needs of the institution.

But in the meantime, the college needed interim solutions to optimize treatment while reducing operating costs. During 50 years of operating an extended-aeration package plant, Wheaton College had never needed to thicken its waste activated sludge before it was hauled away. But as flows to the plant and the resulting sludge hauling costs increased, the college was looking for a process modification to save money.

The resulting do-it-yourself settling and decanting system uses simple components and reduces the WWTF’s sludge-hauling costs by as much as 50% per year. The system includes a live-feed video camera that enables operators to visually monitor and control the decanting process from anywhere there is Internet access — even the living room. Read full article (login required)


Polymer Ps and Qs 

Implementing polymer quality control 

laMontagne art Peter LaMontagne

Quality control is important. Motor oil, methanol, paint, and most other chemical products usually are certified to match some technical specification or detailed description. The goal is to have a level basis to compare competing manufacturers and ensure that what is shipped is what was promised.

Most wastewater treatmement plants have no significant quality control on polymer. When polymer use goes up, there are many possible reasons — weather, seasonal variation, equipment problems, process changes, and sludge composition — and it’s difficult to sort out cause and effect. But there are steps plants can take to ensure the quality and performance of all incoming polymer. Read full article (login required) 

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