WE&T Magazine

WET_cover1_Apr11-90Water 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.


April 2011, Vol. 23, No.4

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Featured Articles

Maximum benefits

middle basin feature art

The recently completed expansion of the Johnson County Wastewater (JCW) Douglas L. Smith Middle Basin Treatment Plant in Overland Park, Kan., will improve water quality far beyond county boundaries. Completed last June, the Middle Basin expansion is among the first in the Kansas City metropolitan area to incorporate biological nutrient removal (BNR) to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen discharges. Not only will this improve local water quality, but it also will help reduce hypoxia problems in the Gulf of Mexico. 


Remote gate control maximizes interceptor storage and minimizes CSOs

Lowell feature Art

The Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility (LRWWU; Lowell, Mass.) operates a major combined sewer system (CSS) with average annual untreated combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges in the billions of liters. In 2002, the utility began work to use remote data collection and equipment control to capture more flow.  



A new frontier


While gas companies, universities, high-tech research firms, and even NASA have waded into the waters of algae-based biofuels, many wastewater utilities have stood along the shoreline watching others as they make the leap. But a few have realized the technology’s potential, growing algae at their wastewater treatment plants in order to remove nutrients. 

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Coming in the next issue:

May 2011

The collection system cycle

The idea is simple: Underground pipes carry wastewater to the treatment plant. Reality, however, is another matter. From construction and installation to constant maintenance to periodic rehabilitation, getting the wastewater to the plant takes almost as much effort as treating it.

Even though gravity sewers are the standard, other technologies exist, such as vacuum sewers. Find out how this alternative system functions, where it performs best, and what maintenance it requires.

Once the system is in the ground, the next step is to keep things flowing well. Learn how one utility used previously overlooked data to develop and refine its preventive maintenance program. This utility found better and more complete answers by using land use maps and aerial photography.

Sometimes, maintenance alone is not enough. Enter rehabilitation. Read about a small utility tackling a major pipeline and manhole rehabilitation project to eliminate infiltration and inflow and, in turn, avoiding a treatment plant upgrade.

Understanding the buzz

Buzzwords such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, emerging contaminants, and microconstituents can raise a public fervor regarding safety even though the supporting science is incomplete.

When the questions arose, one Midwestern utility took action to put the issue in the proper perspective. It screened local waters for contaminants and evaluated its treatment plants’ removal efficiencies for these substances. By translating the results from scientific findings into an everyday context, the utility helped to quell undue fear and alarm.

That’s not to say this issue doesn’t deserve attention. The study of these compounds continues and some regulations are appearing. Find out what to expect in future permits and what treatment technologies to plan for to remove these contaminants.


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