This month's topics: Water quality planning • Sanitary sewer overflows • Disinfection • Public engagement

May 2019 • Volume 31 • Number 5

This month's featured content

Understanding Water Quality in a Large Watershed
Planning for basin-wide collaboration helps mitigate top water quality issues
Mike Osborne, Drew Ackerman, Robert Osborne, and Gina Kimble

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SSO Risks Increase with Flow
Top to bottom cleaning doesn’t cut it in small diameter sub-basins
Mark S. Holstad

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Smart Customer Engagement Using Social Media and Data Analytics
An experiment in the United Kingdom could change problem detection public interaction worldwide
Neeraj Yedekar and Kevin Johnson

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Smarter Dosing for Disinfection
Pilot- and full-scale validation of advanced dose control for chemical disinfection of wastewater
Kyriakos Manoli, Siva Sarathy, Roberta Maffettone, Inken Mello, and Domenico Santoro

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Features

Understanding Water Quality in a Large Watershed
Planning for basin-wide collaboration helps mitigate top water quality issues
Mike Osborne, Drew Ackerman, Robert Osborne, and Gina Kimble

Water managers need to know what’s in their water and, more importantly, what’s likely to be there in the future. Understanding the interplay between vulnerability to water quality hazards and the consequences of those hazards is essential for effective risk management. As such, tools that turn unusable data into useful information for this type of planning are worth their weight in… well, clean water.

Water resource management in the Catawba–Wateree River Basin is complex. The basin, which encompasses more than 362 river km (225 river mi) in North Carolina and South Carolina, contains 11 reservoirs that support a population of more than 2 million. The Catawba–Wateree Water Management Group (CWWMG) was established in 2007 to ensure the sustainability of the basin; members of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit group include 18 public water suppliers and Duke Energy (Charlotte, N.C.).

Completed in November 2018, the third phase of the CWWMG Water Supply Master Plan focuses on trends in water quality that affect the production of safe drinking water and the use of non-potable water for cooling thermal power facilities.

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SSO Risks Increase with Flow
Top to bottom cleaning doesn’t cut it in small diameter sub-basins
Mark S. Holstad

Collection systems have long focused operations and maintenance (O&M) efforts where sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) were most likely. Hot spot cleaning programs exist because SSOs are more likely to recur in segments that previously experienced a spill. Likewise, closed-circuit television (CCTV) has long identified pipe defects to enable allocation of rehabilitation funds where most needed. Now, utilities are developing and using increasingly sophisticated means to understand where system problems are likely to occur. The concepts of just-in-time and not-too-late O&M and rehab are coming closer and will be based on timely and direct observations.

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Smarter Dosing for Disinfection
Pilot- and full-scale validation of advanced dose control for chemical disinfection of wastewater
Kyriakos Manoli, Siva Sarathy, Roberta Maffettone, Inken Mello, and Domenico Santoro

Disinfecting wastewater requires adding enough disinfectant to inactivate enough pathogens to meet permitted concentration. Current flow-pacing methods to achieve this rely on establishing concentration set-points based on worst-case scenarios (i.e., shorter contact time and poorest wastewater quality leading to the lowest disinfectant residual), and controlling such set-points value via the use of local disinfectant concentration sensors, depending on characteristics of the wastewater, and volume of flow. These systems can operate with or without feed-forward, model-based flow-pacing. As a result of flow pacing strategy, disinfectant often is overdosed — this occurs whenever flows decrease or better quality influent enters the disinfection tank.

The presented work investigated an innovative chemical dosing control technology for chemical disinfection of wastewater, using peracetic acid (PAA) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). This method of controlling disinfectant dosing is based on controlling the ICT dose (ICT-dose pacing). ICT dose is the integral estimate of the time-dependent residual disinfectant concentration.

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Smart Customer Engagement Using Social Media and Data Analytics
An experiment in the United Kingdom could change problem detection public interaction worldwide
Neeraj Yedekar and Kevin Johnson

Today’s customers demand best services and quick responses, placing high importance on improved customer service. As social media is an easy and fast-growing communication platform, it can be used for active customer participation in implementing effective and integrated customer service management strategy.

This study showcases the use of social media data in identifying concerns of customers and manging them proactively. It focuses on combining insights from social media data such as user sentiments, keywords, and trending topics with real-time operational data gathered from smart assets. This combination provides well-informed, contextual and accurate responses to customers in near real-time.

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News

WOTUS Rule Remains in Play
U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case affecting ‘Waters of the United States’ rule
LaShell Stratton-Childers

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army continue their proposal of a rule to redefine “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA), another challenge to WOTUS will soon go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the case of the City of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, the court will tackle whether a “discharge of a pollutant” under the CWA occurs “when a pollutant is released from a point source, travels through groundwater, and ultimately migrates to navigable waters.”

The Supreme Court also will address the question of whether it should re-examine other issues on which petitioners are seeking review that fell under a previous ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when it heard this case. Two of those issues are whether Maui County is liable under the CWA for its discharge into the Pacific Ocean through groundwater and if the county had fair notice that a CWA permit was required for its underground injection control wells that operated without this type of permit for almost 40 years.

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Australian Research Builds on a New Concept
University team uses biosolids to create environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient bricks
LaShell Stratton-Childers

When it comes to biosolids, there’s always the question of final disposal. Facilities choose among options including incineration, land application, land fill deposition, and stockpiling. Now, however, researchers in Australia are offering another alternative: using biosolids to make building bricks.

A team at RMIT University (Melbourne) collected biosolids samples and used them to produce “excellent bricks,” said Abbas Mohajerani, an associate professor at the School of Engineering at RMIT University. The bricks contained up to 15% biosolids, with different properties, such as hardness, compressive strength, absorption, etc., depending on the percentage of organic content.

Sustainable recycling options such as these biosolids–clay bricks, could help diminish biosolid stockpiles over time, according to the study authors. According to the team’s research paper, Australia produces “approximately 300,000 tonnes of biosolids per year, and, of this amount, 55% is recycled for use in agricultural applications, 15% is used for land rehabilitation, compost or forestry and the remaining 30% is either discarded in landfills or stockpiled.”

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From the Editors

A Fresh, New Look

Welcome to the revised and refreshed Water Environment & Technology. Over the past few months, our designers and editors have worked to create a new and fresher look for the magazine. Magazines typically get this sort of overhaul every 5 to 10 years; Water Environment & Technology last had a major change in September 2010. We’re excited for you to see this new design and want to share some of the details as well as what we hope these changes and additions will provide to you.

‘Operations & Engineering’

Water Environment & Technology has included a focus on operations and operators for nearly 20 years. But with this redesign, we wanted to reinforce that commitment, so we added a tagline: Operations & Engineering. When these two segments of the water sector collaborate effectively, everyone — designers, operators, management, customers, and the environment — sees the benefits. We feel that your magazine should reflect this throughout, beginning on the cover.

Signposts and Connections

On a more concrete level, we also wanted to make your reading experience easy. This also starts on the cover. We added page numbers to point you right to the content you want. (Sometimes, the simplest changes can do the trick.)

Next, we added navigation markers at the top of nearly every page to let you know where you are at a glance. These markers are ideal for those of you who skip the page numbers and prefer to flip through. The number of markers tells you how many pages are in an article and the coloring indicates which page you’re currently on. Some articles also have descriptive watchwords next to these navigation marks to indicate the topic of the article on that page.

For Table of Contents readers, we’ve built in several things to help you choose among the articles. Most prominent of these elements are the subject tags that provide some information beyond the title and subtitle of selected articles. You can quickly spot that Collection Systems or Disinfection article you need.

Family Connection

Water Environment & Technology is a magazine for the entire water sector, published proudly by the Water Environment Federation. We want to make sure this relationship can be seen — quite literally — throughout the magazine. To achieve this, we have added the WEF logo on the cover as well as included WEF’s Critical Objectives alongside the magazine’s official policies on p. 6. We also will end every article or section with a small WEF symbol.

As the flagship publication of the organization, we strive to represent the same core values of Leadership, Collaboration, Service, Scholarship, and Passion. We feel this new version of the magazine helps live up to these values, and so we’re proud to welcome you to the new Water Environment & Technology.

Steve Spicer, Editor in Chief

Splash Shot

See how the Wachusett watershed system was built at the turn of the 20th century

When indoor plumbing became commonplace in Boston near the end of the 19th century, the city’s Metropolitan Water Board (MWB) sought out a new water source to satisfy the region’s booming population. The result was the Wachusett watershed system, a massive public works undertaking that took a decade of painstaking labor and more than $21 million – more than $592 million, adjusted for inflation – to build.

Upon its completion in 1906, Wachusett was considered the largest public water supply reservoir in the world, with about 246 billion L (65 billion gal) of capacity. The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum (Boston) provides a glimpse into Wachusett’s grueling construction process in its exhibit, “Workers of Wachusett, 1896-1906,” which is on display through fall 2019.

The exhibit features samples from more than 6000 historical photos. The photos have been enlarged from original plate-glass negatives.  The scenes show how a century of technological advancement has changed the way water professionals do their jobs.

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Research Notes

Low-Cost ‘Micromotor’ Uses Light and Hydrogen Peroxide to Purge Metals from Wastewater

Researchers in the Czech Republic have created a tiny motor capable of removing such heavy metals as lead, copper, and cadmium from water. Powered by visible light and containing none of the expensive metals or rare photocatalysts required by similar micromotors, the research team’s product has the potential for low-cost, highly scalable wastewater treatment applications, according to a December 2018 paper published in the journal ACS Nano.

Researchers developed their micromotor solely based on a nitrogen-containing variant of graphite called graphitic carbon nitride. Natural properties of the material, derived from the inexpensive organic compound melamine, include the ability to adsorb heavy metals and to emit fluorescence under light excitation. That fluorescence makes it far easier for scientists to track the motor’s movement through a solution than conventional metal-based micromotors, according to the study.

Operating the tube-shaped motor requires first adding hydrogen peroxide into a water solution. While under a source of visible light, electrons in the graphitic carbon nitride coating break down the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The motor turns that oxygen into a stream of bubbles, which propel the machine around the solution, adsorbing metals along the way. Turning off the light source effectively stops the motor.

By deploying large amounts of these micromotors, they could work in concert to remove metals from larger water samples such as water resource recovery facility influent, the study says.

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Also in this section:

  • New Method Creates Dye-Neutralizing Nanonparticles Using Pistachios
  • Advanced Carbon-Capture Techniques Could Lead to Carbon-Negative WRRFs

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Waterline

Researchers Read Tea Leaves To Study Precipitation Across Millennia

On North Stradbroke Island, located about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Brisbane, Australia, paper-bark tea trees have grown around Swallow Lagoon for millennia. Deep beneath the bed of the lagoon, tea leaves preserved in sediment offer scientists a first-hand record of local environmental conditions ages well before the continent was settled by Europeans in the 19th century.

Scientists from The University of Adelaide in Australia recently unearthed and studied more than 7000-years-worth of those preserved leaves to create a comprehensive timeline of precipitation in eastern Australia. After withdrawing core samples — small, cylindrical pillars of sediment — from as deep as 370 cm (145 in) below the bottom of the lagoon, the research team was able to use carbon dating and other chemical analysis techniques to derive information about what precipitation in the region looked like when each leaf was fresh.

“For instance, the carbon isotope composition, or chemistry, of the leaves can tell us about the degree of moisture stress experienced by the plants when the leaves were growing,” explained Cameron Barr, a University of Adelaide research fellow and study co-author, in a news release. “So, in effect, we can use leaf carbon isotope composition to infer rainfall through time.”

Results of the study suggest that the eastern Australian climate used to be far cooler and wetter until a major climate shift occurred about 3200 years ago. That shift was likely connected to El Niño and La Niña, phases of a recurring climate pattern known as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that periodically bring either warmer or cooler conditions to areas surrounding the Pacific Ocean. While warmer and drier El Niño conditions tend to dominate ENSO when it occurs today, wetter and cooler La Niña conditions are thought to have played a larger role in regional climate fluctuations before the shift occurred, the study says.

Read more about the University of Adelaide team’s results at http://bit.ly/tea-leaf-study.   

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Also in this section

  • Satellites and Statistics Work Together To Predict Mekong River Water Levels
  • More than 400 Bacteria Species Discovered on Microplastics in the Ocean

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Facility Focus

Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant

Location: University Place, Wash.
Startup date: 1984
Service population: 300,000
Number of employees: 55
Design flow: 170 ML/d (45 mgd)
Average daily flow: 68 ML/d (18 mgd)

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The Pierce County (Wash.) Chambers Creek Regional (CCR) Wastewater Treatment Plant sits on a former gravel mine along the shores of Puget Sound. It is the third largest water resource recovery facility (WRRF) discharging into this estuary. The county strives to be a good environmental steward to ensure the facility contributes to the health of Puget Sound.

The CCR facility site resides within a 376-ha (930-ac) park that includes the Chambers Bay Golf Course. Since its construction in the 1980s, the facility went through an upgrade in 1991 and a major expansion and upgrade in 2017.

A team led by Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.) planned and designed the facility expansion to anticipate not only future increases in flows and loads but also more stringent discharge limits. The $342 million project increased the facility’s capacity from 109 ML/d (28.7 mgd) to 170 ML/d (45 mgd) and upgraded its treatment processes. The facility now is equipped to serve a population projected to double by 2040.

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Problem Solvers

Dewatering sieve helps produce distributor remove solids from wastewater

Problem: Pumping systems were clogged and a local facility was burdened by the total suspended solids in produce wastewater.

Solution: High performing, low-maintenance dewatering sieve removed solids and saved money.

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Selling fruits and vegetables not only requires water, but also produces a substantial amount of wastewater.

The Class Produce Group (Jessup, Md.) sells fresh-cut produce prepared by its subsidiary TGD Cuts (Jessup) to stores restaurants, the military, schools, and other food-service customers throughout the eastern half of the U.S. Washing these fruits and vegetables generates an average 105,980 L/d (28,000 gal/d) of wastewater which contains lots of total suspended solids (TSS). When the solids-laden wastewater began causing problems for both the company and the local municipality that treats the wastewater, TGD Cuts began searching for a solution.

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Produce waste causes problems

Produce peelings, seeds, and debris comprised the bulk of TSS in the wastewater, and clogged pumping systems at the TGD facility. The wastewater also put a burden on the filtration system at the Howard County (Md.) municipal water resource recovery facility (WRRF).

Howard County is located in the busy corridor between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Population growth puts a strain on existing, aging infrastructure. The county experienced a total 30% increase in population between 2000 to 2017. Businesses and residents are being asked to reduce TSS by taking such actions as composting vegetable waste instead of sending food through garbage disposals.

“Howard County has a 20-plus-year-old infrastructure that is trying to keep up with growth,” said Vic Sainato, lead refrigeration technician at TGD Cuts. “They told us we had to reduce the solids being piped to the treatment plant.”

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Projects

Modern Water (Guildford, England) applied for planning permission to build Gibraltar’s first-ever water resource recovery facility (WRRF) at an estimated cost of $32 million.

Located on Europe’s southern-most point to the South of Spain, the densely populated British overseas territory and headland has been preparing for WRRFs construction. Thr project to date has included basic design, surveying, and conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment required for full planning and environmental approvals as well as preliminary site work.

The new facility must have a particularly small footprint. By collaborating with its joint venture partner, Northumbrian Water (Durham, England), with whom it secured preferred bidder status in October 2014, Modern Water will ensure that the space the facility uses is adequately restricted.

On completion of the design and build, Northumbrian Water will then be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility for 20 years.

Modern Water and Northumbrian Water are working with the government of Gibraltar to finalize the main design–build–operate contract.

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Also in this section

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (Reston, Va.)
  • Prince William County (Va.) Service Authority
  • City of Memphis, Tenn.

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Business

The Water Design-Build Council (WDBC; Sacramento, Calif.), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to collaborative delivery methods for water infrastructure projects, invited Tesco Controls Inc. (TESCO; Sacramento, Calif.), one of the U.S. largest control system integrators focused solely on the water, wastewater and renewable energy sectors, to join its organization.

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Buchart Horn Architects (York, Pa.), a division of Buchart Horn, which is a full-service international engineering and architectural firm, acquired Celli-Flynn Brennan Architects and Planners (Pittsburgh). 

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Gannett Fleming (Harrisburg, Pa.) acquired the assets of KEH & Associates Inc. (Oxnard, Calif.), which is known for its comprehensive water, wastewater, and recycled water portfolio, particularly in large pump station and pipeline design, treatment facility design, operations support, and program management services. The company now operates as KEH, a business group of Gannett Fleming.

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Also in this section:

  • Freese and Nichols Inc. (Austin, Texas)
  • RJN Group Inc. (San Antonio, Texas) 
  • Motion Industries Inc. (Birmingham, Ala.)
  • Water Quality Association (Lisle, Ill.)
  • RPS(Dallas) 
  • WAGO (Germantown, Wis.) 
  • Nanostone Water (Waltham, Mass.)
  • Gresham, Smith and Partners (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Water Technology Acceleration Project (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

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Water Volumes

Water Distribution System Monitoring: A Practical Approach for Evaluating Drinking Water Quality
Abigail F. Cantor (2018), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., 33487 168 pp., $79.95, paperback, ISBN: 978-1-138-06403-4

As recent coverage of aging infrastructure in the media has demonstrated, many existing community assets require significant upgrades and current asset management protocols are insufficient for ensuring their long-term maintenance. Water systems fall into that category; they are complex, expensive, and have high risk for catastrophic failure.

Water Distribution System Monitoring: A Practical Approach for Evaluating Drinking Water Quality, gives an excellent introduction to the challenges inherent in providing clean and reliable drinking water from a municipal standpoint. There is a significant portion of the book devoted to delineating basic concepts and reviewing the most stringent regulatory and safety drivers that should be considered in any renewal and monitoring program for communities.

The book focuses on a new method for testing in-situ water quality that doesn’t require as much stakeholder contact as previous methods and decreases invasive sampling requirements. The author shows that it’s much easier to determine water quality at the water treatment facility; it can be challenging to determine true water quality when it comes out of the tap, which is why the creation and advocacy for process research stations (PRS) are so important. A PRS provides a way to improve consistent testing, allowing for better estimates of the downstream water quality as the water meets metal and potential microbiology prior to use. It seems to be an easier and less expensive method to ensure point-of-consumption quality for the public.

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Products

Pumps
SPX FLOW Inc. (Frankfurt, Germany); www.spxflow.com

The ClydeUnion CUP-BB5 is the latest generation of high-pressure, multi-stage, barrel-case pump designed to the latest application programming interface specifications. The pumps comply with the most stringent global oil industry requirements. Engineered in various configurations to match process needs, the pump is ideal for applications, including seawater injection, produced water reinjection, flow-line displacement, crude oil pipeline, natural gas liquids pipeline, refinery process charging, gas treatment, boiler feed, and refined product pipeline distribution. The pump is available with opposed or inline impeller arrangements, volute or diffuser-based hydraulics, foot or centreline mounting, and a choice of construction materials from carbon steels to super duplex.

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Desalter technology
IDE Technologies (Kadima, Israel); www.ide-tech.com

The MAXH2O aims to effectively reduce brine reject from brackish water desalination facilities by ensuring a more durable and efficient process. The technology increases water recovery and benefits both municipal and industrial applications, such as mining sites, power stations, and cooling towers. The system uses a semi-batch reverse osmosis (RO) concept together with an integrated salt precipitating unit to eliminate the recovery limitation caused by the water chemistry and allow the RO system recovery to be pushed to the osmotic pressure limit of as much as 98%. The system can be installed as a standalone or connected to an existing facility as a tail unit on the brine stream in order to maximize the facility’s production while minimizing the brine discharge flow.

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Computers
WAGO (Germantown, Wis.); www.wago.us

Nine PFC200 controllers are the latest additions to the company’s line of performance class programmable logic controllers. With increased processor speed and more onboard memory, these new controllers offer gateways between multiple industrial fieldbuses and enable data transfer with Cloud services and SCADA via the MQTT protocol. An onboard web server enables dynamic HTML5 visualizations that can be used by operators and maintenance personnel for system operation. In addition, a built-in firewall and virtual private network helps deploy defense-in-depth strategies without the need for additional components. The controllers are programmed with the company’s advanced e!COCKPIT software tool to provide ease of use and advanced functions. They also are ideal for OEM-based applications where control, data collection, security or Cloud/SCADA interfaces are required.

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Sump pump
Vertiflo Pump Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio); www.vertiflopump.com

The Series 800 industrial vertical immersion dual sump pump can be used for sump drainage, flood control, and process drainage. It is designed for severe service at heads to 230 ft and temperatures as much as 350°F, and operates in pit depths to 26 ft and and volumes as much as 3000 gal/min. The pump includes carbon line shaft bearings, semi-open impeller with external adjustment, high-thrust angular contact ball bearing, 416 stainless steel shafts to 1 15/16 in., and a standard NEMA C face motor. Available construction materials are cast iron, 316 stainless steel, or alloy 20.

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Hoods
Flow Sciences Inc. (Leland, N.C.); www.flowsciences.com

The LEV III™ local exhaust ventilation hood is designed to provide personnel protection during processes such as rotary evaporation, flash chromatography, and more. With the ventilation hood, applications and equipment can be moved out of fume hoods to conserve energy and increase lab space. Features include safety from chemical vapors generated during processes such as flash chromatography, evaporation from rotary evaporators and other process equipment applications; portable design; phenolic base; open face or dual hinged front sash; glass or acrylic walls; and standard sizes in 2-, 3-, and 4-ft options to best fit your application.

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Mixer
Xylem Inc. (Schaffhausen, Switzerland); www.xylem.com

The Flygt 4460 mid-sized biogas mixer delivers greater reliability and mixing efficiency and has been designed for easy installation in biogas digester tanks to support the process of turning wastes into renewable energy resources. The mixer has been upgraded with a duplex steel propeller specifically designed to perform in thick, viscous liquids and to endure abrasive and corrosive materials. Coupled with its hydraulic design, the system is ideal to handle the most challenging media associated with biogas production.

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Generator
De Nora (Milan, Italy); www.denora.com

The ClorTec® DN Gen II electrochlorination is designed to offer greater on-site sodium hypochlorite generation efficiency, easier operation, and less maintenance. Upgrades to the system include a new design that allows the duty and standby units to be mounted on the same frame, saving as much as 50% of the footprint. Other improvements include 100% access to every component, making operation and maintenance simple, and a proprietary liquid flow backboard that can be located anywhere in the building for additional flexibility. Additional features ensure optimal performance and efficiency including new non-intrusive level switch and temperature sensor design, optional split flow technology, and new water and brine flow controls.

 

Switches
Antaira Technologies (Brea, Calif.); www.antaira.com  

The Antaira’s LNX-0500-M12-67 M12 IP67 layer two series switches have been designed specifically for harsh industrial environments. The 5-year warranty guarantees reliable operation in applications that are subject to high vibration and shock. The redundant power inputs of 12 to 48 VDC through an M12 5-pin A-coded male connector ensures availability and uptime. The IP67 rating signifies these switches can withstand large volumes of water and submersion for up to 1 min. Other features include a wide operating temperature of -10° to 70°C in the standard model and -40° to 75°C in the extended temperature model.

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Analyzer
Electro-Chemical Devices (Anaheim, Calif.); www.ecdi.com 

 

Electro-Chemical Devices Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with non-dispersive infrared detection technology is a full-featured instrument that utilizes the ultraviolet persulfate oxidation method, which detects generated carbon dioxide using its highly stable non-dispersive infra-red detector for analysis. The analyzer’s advanced design features a valve-free sample line, which largely eliminates blockages. Its auto clean, auto-calibration, and auto-validation functions guarantee correct, reliable values that can be reproduced at any time without the need for manual intervention unlike conventional analyzers where the flow is controlled by a glass tube rotameter. The carrier gas flow is controlled digitally. The analyzer compartment is rated IP54, NEMA 3, and conforms to EN610004-2, EN610004-4, C46-022, EN 55022 and EN 61326, and is housed in a dual-compartment enclosure.

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Monitor
TRU-Vu Monitors Inc. (Arlington Heights, Ill.); www.tru-vumonitors.com

 

The SXOBH-43-XTR sunlight readable waterproof monitors are ideal for use in nearly any environment where bright light, water, dirt, dust, or airborne contaminants would damage a standard monitor. The monitor offers excellent image quality as well as the ultimate protection against the elements. The 43-in. screen features 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution and more than 2500 nits of brightness — 10 times brighter than a standard monitor. The screen is optically bonded and protected via 5 mm anti-reflective, impact resistant.

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Stormwater treatment
StormwateRx LLC (Portland, Ore.); www.stormwaterx.com

The Purus Nitrate targets soluble nitrate in industrial stormwater runoff. This system is ideal for industries where nitrogen compounds or petroleum products are used or where organic materials are processed, including fabricated metal products, food processing, and chemical manufacturing. The system is normally installed and flow-matched in a treatment-train configuration with the company’s Aquip stormwater filtration technology, an upstream pre-filtration system.

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Variable-frequency drive
ABB (Zürich); www.abb.com

The ACQ580 variable-frequency drive enhances pump performance, simplifies operation, and improves flow in pumping and aeration applications. The drive’s innovative software, intuitive keypad, and menu-driven programming simplify the operation of even the most complex applications. The keypad optional Bluetooth capability provides flexibility and an extra level of safety for commissioning and troubleshooting. The product range includes 1 to 700 hp and 480 V, to be followed by the 100 hp and 240 V, and 300 hp and 600 V. It is available in enclosure classes UL Type 1 and 12.

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Signal conditioners
NewTek Sensor Solutions (Pennsauken, N.J.); www.newteksensors.com

 

The NT-C-6000 Quik-Cal™ linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) signal conditioner offers an intuitive AC LVDT set-up for quick configuration by non-technical personnel. Workers can set zero and full-scale output using front panel push buttons while LED indicators provide prompts for the calibration process. Color-coded plug-in screw terminals further simplify equipment set-up. These smart signal conditioners self-diagnose and indicate LVDT failure while providing cybersecurity lockout and tamper detection. The system is compatible with a wide range of AC-operated LVDTs and inductive half-bridge LVRTs. The system also establishes digital communications via a RS-485 two-wire multidrop bus.

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Detector
Markland Specialty Engineering Ltd. (Georgetown, Ontario, Canada); www.sludgecontrols.com

 

The Automatic Sludge Blanket Level Detector enables water and wastewater treatment facilities to measure, monitor, and control solid-liquid interface levels in clarifiers and sedimentation basins, including dissolved air flotation units; sequencing batch reactors; the constricted area of lamellas; and automate the removal of primary, secondary, and backwash silt/sludge. The detector enables users to program de-sludge pumps to operate only when necessary, reducing energy usage, wear-and-tear on pumps, and downtime for maintenance. In addition, it helps in preventing carryover and optimizing feed density for enhanced dewatering. The detector automatically adjusts the beam power intensity of the LED-phototransistor sensors in its vertical probe, enabling it to accommodate thick or thin biosolids concentrations, or light flocs, such as in the overlying cloud layer. No calibration required.

From the Trenches

Exuding courtesy, empathy, and character
Richard R. Roll and Michael S. Eagler Sr.

Whether you call them residents, customers, or taxpayers, they are the ones who are paying individuals like you — either directly or indirectly — for a service. As such, they deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect, especially under difficult circumstances.

To practice courtesy and respect, consider their perspective. For example, how would you feel if sewage backed up into your finished basement?

There was one Christmas Eve in the 2000s when a sewer maintenance crew was called in to respond to a customer’s water in the basement complaint. They found a relatively short stretch of sewer surcharged from a grease obstruction. The source of the grease was traced back to a chain restaurant that discharged into the head end of the sewer. The flusher truck opened the sewer, and crews recorded information to commence an investigation by the Monitoring & Compliance group after the holiday.

The homeowners were still in a tough spot, though. They were preparing to have family over the next day for Christmas dinner, but now had an aromatic mixture of sewage and chicken grease in their basement. The sewer crew wasn’t permitted to assist with the clean-up or recommend a specific cleaning company, but they apologized profusely and advised them on how to file a claim for damages. Given those constraints, the crew was struck by the absence of malice or anger shown by the residents. They were not sure how gracious they would have been if the tables were turned. Those residents are remembered for their standout behavior.

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For a well-rounded, versatile engineer, technical and regulatory expertise must always remain a core competency. However, understanding and appreciating elements of human nature, team building, safe workplace practices, undocumented tribal knowledge, and unconventional diagnostic methods are just as important. These elements can’t be learned from books or most undergraduate courses. They will come from a blend of first-hand experience and memorable advice collected along the way.

In this series, some seasoned (and battle-scarred) professionals will try to ease the learning curve in collection system operations and maintenance for younger professionals by offering advice and insight based on real-life experiences.

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