Paper-based data is a long-term fixture of the Water and Wastewater Industry including both
Municipalities and Private Operating Companies. Transcribing handwritten log sheets into multiple Excel
spreadsheets is inefficient. It is common for monthly operation and compliance reports to take days to
compile, compared to digital systems that take minutes. Implementing a digital data solution provides a
more efficient and lower cost system with centralized information and reports.
Two questions that are addressed are how to make the transition to digital data and what kind of
technology to use. Points to consider when evaluating replacing the Operators’ handwritten log sheets
with an inexpensive, hand-held device:
- Initial equipment costs
- Replacement costs
- Required IT support
- Standard or non-standard operating system or software
- Security needs
- Required training
Three case studies highlight the successes realized after operations replaced traditional paper log sheets with a digital system.
Posted: May 20th, 2011 | Filed under: Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Control Personnel Costs, Improve Compliance, Improve Plant Reliability, Improved Problem Solving, Increase Operator Productivity, Increased Plant Efficiency, Long-Range Planning | No Comments »
Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD)
Orange County, California
This paper presents actions taken by the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) to
continually optimize its odor control program based upon liquid-phase dissolved sulfide
concentration, vapor phase hydrogen sulfide, vapor-phase odor and volatile organic compound
generation, and cost. Methods used to control costs include bulk chemical quality assurance and
quality control, market evaluations, flexible contracting techniques, price indexing, on-going
product comparison, and testing of new chemicals or chemical combinations. This paper will
present both the administrative measures and results of full-scale field tests.
Posted: May 20th, 2011 | Filed under: >1M, Stormwater, Waste Water Treatment | Tags: Cost Control, Increased Plant Efficiency, Optimized Odor Control Program, Reduced Odors, Treatment Optimization | No Comments »
Systems planning and design is an on-going and challenging task for utility managers to
effectively distribute water, collect wastewater, and convey stormwater runoff through
the system while meeting the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At the same time these utility managers have to operate their systems in an effective
manner while providing the best customer service. Some of the most critical issues faced
by utility personnel today pertain to improving operational efficiency and customer
service through technology, planning and designing infrastructure to accommodate
growth, and regulatory compliance. Due to limited budgets and aging infrastructure, the
agencies are often looking for innovative ways to meet the business as well as technical
challenges, while continuing to provide a high level of customer service. The challenge
to do more with less needs to be addressed with a critical review of the current processes,
identification of areas for efficiency improvements and leveraging the technology tools
available today to bring about these efficiency gains. Therefore, it can be deduced that
with growing demand for automation and integration in systems planning, there is a
corresponding need for innovative technologies to streamline these processes. This paper
presents examples of technological innovations that can also be integrated together to
provide a comprehensive platform for effective planning process, both from technical and
Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Filed under: Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Improved System Planning and Design, Increased Plant Efficiency, Innovative Approaches, Innovative Technology, Plant Optimization, Plant Sustainability | No Comments »
Tennessee Valley Authority
National estimates indicate that approximately 80-90% of the electricity utilized at water and wastewater facilities is attributable to pumps and blower motors. The Tennessee Valley Authority and our power distributors are helping our water and wastewater customers and other industrial users save energy by assessing their pumping systems using the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT) which was developed by Don Casada. TVA has partnered with DOE to provide in-depth training in utilizing PSAT at several locations throughout the TVA service region. TVA is also conducting assessments at customer facilities at their request. PSAT identifies energy savings opportunities in pumping systems and quantifies those opportunities in both dollars and electrical energy savings. Although PSAT does not tell how to improve systems, it does prioritize improvement opportunities. When the opportunities are implemented, the results are often decreased maintenance and repair costs and increased production and energy savings. Source: WEFTEC 2008 Proceedings
Posted: August 27th, 2010 | Filed under: Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Cost Savings, Energy Savings, Increased Plant Efficiency, Pump Optimization, Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions | No Comments »
Alexandria Sanitation Authority
The world’s focus on sustainability is increasing at a rapid rate. Over the last year on the World
Wide Web, searches for key words like “Sustainability” and “Green” have risen 165%. People
are beginning to question our civilization’s behavior over the last century and whether our quest
for advancing our species can be maintained. We as an industry of public servants are also
questioning some things that were previously held as fact:
• Clean water professionals are environmentalists by trade. We already practice sustainability… right?
• Our treatment plants were designed and constructed to protect the environment. That means their sustainable… right?
• We are primarily non-profit, focusing on providing service to our rate payers in the most cost effective manner. That’s sustainable… right?
Since focusing on sustainability causes you to look at the most core elements of your business, it is a pretty overwhelming task. This paper will attempt to tell a story about one clean water plant’s stepwise journey towards sustainability. Source: WEFTEC 2008 Proceedings
Posted: August 27th, 2010 | Filed under: 100K-500K, Sanitary Sewer, Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Energy Efficiency, Increased Plant Efficiency, Plant Sustainability | No Comments »
CFD modeling studies of the Stamford Density Current Baffle have provided a deeper understanding of the several baffle design parameters and have led to the first significant improvements in baffle design and performance in more than twenty years. A matrix of seven configuration variables were defined for the study, representing all of the practical variations of the baffle design parameters. Each of these was simulated in two virtual clarifiers and the effluent solids concentrations calculated over a typical 110 minute retention period. Results were then compared with the “no-baffle” concentration. Key design parameters were identified and evaluated for a variety of operational scenarios. While all of the baffles reduced effluent solids to varying degrees, some were clearly more effective than others. The results led to the development of a new Stamford Density Current Baffle configuration that is calculated to reduce effluent total suspended solids (TSS) by as much as 30% more than the original Stamford Baffle. Source: WEFTEC 2009 Proceedings
Posted: August 27th, 2010 | Filed under: Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Improved Performance, Increased Plant Efficiency, Reduced Effluent Total Suspended Solids | No Comments »
The performance of secondary clarifiers is critical to ensure that stringent nitrogen and phosphorus limits are met in Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) treatment plants. Additionally, these plants rely in slow growth microorganism populations that are difficult to restore in the event of solids washout that could happen in wetweather storm flows. Secondary clarifiers are a key unit to ensure retention of the solids inventory. This paper illustrates the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to four different BNR/ENR case studies covering a wide variety of clarifier geometries, internal configurations and loading conditions. In Case Study 1, the model was used for the validation of step feed as a wet weather strategy to prevent solids washout during storm events. For Case Study 2, the model was use to evaluate the impact that the tank depth can have on clarifier performance and capacity. In Case 3, the model was used to compare the performances of peripheral-feed and center-feed circular clarifiers; and Case 4 presents the evaluation of rectangular clarifiers. In all cases, the model was used to identify improvements and operating strategies that result in improved reliability, increased capacity and reduced capital cost. Source: WEFTEC 2009 Proceedings
Posted: August 27th, 2010 | Filed under: Waste Water Treatment | Tags: Cost Savings, Improved Reliability, Increased Plant Capacity, Increased Plant Efficiency | No Comments »
Most wastewater administrators, managers and operators are unaware of their energy
consumption and, therefore, are managing energy by cost control and not through energy
efficiency awareness and knowledge. Utility energy bills are typically received by the utility
clerk or treasurer, and are directly paid, without a copy being forwarded to the responsible
administrative or operations personnel for review and assessment.
To address this ever-present procedure of not reviewing energy bills, which is being repeated
nationally at small, medium and many large facilities, Focus on Energy, an energy efficiency
(EE) program in the state of Wisconsin, recognized this inconsistency and developed a separate
energy efficient program to address the water/wastewater (W/WW) industry.
The W/WW program has been delivering services to the public and private wastewater treatment
facilities in the state of Wisconsin since 2001. The WW industry has been very accepting of
learning about EE and the value it brings to their utility. The majority of facilities served to date,
nearly 200, have been municipal facilities.
As an initial program research effort, the program decided it was necessary to define, support
and fund a research project that would provide insight into identifying EE values that could be
considered as baseline energy consumptive values that facilities should target for energyefficient
operation. The consultant team that was retained to provide these services blended the
knowledge and insight of team members from both the United Kingdom and the United States.
This composition of expertise proved to be valuable. Not only did the team fulfill the contract,
but they brought knowledge from both continents together to show the differences in energy
consumption to provide the insight that energy consumption in both continents could be
equalized. This combination of values, energy consumption in Wisconsin, United States, and
Europe provided us with the added opportunity to assess how the values between these regions
compared. It was interesting to observe that the European energy consumption was less than that
of the United States on the existing operating conditions. Nevertheless, what was more valuable
was that the United States’ consumption values could be reduced through applying energy
efficiency best practices that were reported in Europe.
The paper presents this information and provides insight into the modifications that could be
made to the existing United States’ facilities to achieve energy consumption levels equivalent to
their European counterparts.
Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Filed under: Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Cost Savings, Energy Savings, Increased Plant Efficiency, Reduced Carbon Footprint, Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Sustainable Infrastructure | No Comments »
Santa Clara Valley Water District
San Jose, California
The Santa Clara Valley Water District (District), the primary water agency for Santa Clara
County, which encompasses the southern part of the San Francisco Bay, provides water supplies
for an expanding urban population containing 1.8 million resident, hosting 200,000 commuters,
and harboring Silicon Valley, a major economic driver for California.
To help meet increasing water demands, the District has developed a comprehensive suite of water
conservation and water recycling programs that have resulted in cumulative savings of 427,000
acre-feet (AF) of new water supplies between fiscal year (FY) 92-93 and FY 06-07. In addition to
saving water, water conservation and water recycling programs save energy and reduce air
pollutant emissions due to the significant quantities of energy required (and air pollutants
generated by energy production) for the water supply chain: 1) Water conveyance; 2) Water
treatment; 3) Distribution; 4) End use; and 5) Wastewater treatment.
Air pollutants generated include (depending on energy source) the following: reactive organic
gases, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide. The latter is a greenhouse
gas that contributes to global warming.
The climate changes and other impacts that occur as a result of global warming present challenges
for water agencies. Sea level rise (including saltwater intrusion into the freshwater San Francisco
Bay-San Joaquin Delta levee system), a decrease in snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountain
range (which supplies water for much of the state), and increased drought are all possible outcomes
of global climate change. The District is committed to responding to these challenges through
adaptation (preparing for future changes) and mitigation (reducing the District’s role in global
warming through more efficient use of resources).
With regard to the mitigation of global climate change, the District recently completed an analysis
of the energy saved by its water conservation and water recycling programs, which have been in
operation since FY 92-93. For FY 92-93 through FY 06-07, the District has saved approximately 1.62
billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, which represents a financial savings of approximately $208
million and is equivalent to the annual electricity required for 236,000 households. Through saving
energy, the emissions of approximately 381 million kg of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, were
eliminated, which is the equivalent of removing 82,000 passenger cars from the roads for one year.
Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Filed under: >1M, Waste Water Treatment, Water Treatment | Tags: Cost Savings, Energy Savings, Increased Plant Efficiency, Reduced Air Pollutants, Reduced Carbon Footprint, Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Water Conservation, Water Recycling | No Comments »