There may be no easy answers when it comes to handling the capital projects often necessary to keep water infrastructure safe and secure. But there is guidance for how to lead those projects — and produce on-time, on-budget results, including pipelines and systems that perform reliably for years to come.
UV disinfection is certainly proven, but there still may be resistance due to unfamiliarity. Operators need to know the nuance of a technology — regular O&M requirements and how to prevent and control system upsets — in order to feel comfortable using it.
I think we could all speak of a time when we viewed utility workers as one of these “everyday” heroes. Most of us can share a story of a time when a storm knocked out power but, thanks to linemen working around the clock, power was restored to every home within 24 hours. Or of a water main break that was fixed before area residents were placed in a dire situation.
Water utilities are responsible for one thing above all: supplying safe drinking water to their populations on a daily basis. In light of the recent public health crisis in Flint, MI, utilities have never been under more pressure from the public to perform this service.
Mathematical calculations can be a challenge for even the most skilled water and wastewater operator. The formulas for chemical dosing, conversion, filtration, pounds, velocity, volume, and other everyday problems vary, of course, but there are a scant number of basic ground rules that can help make sure your math solution is legitimate regardless of the calculation you’re performing.
For many water-distribution workers and managers up to their elbows in muddy trenches and SCADA data, the drumbeat for ‘Big Data’ probably fades to background noise when dealing with immediate leaks and losses on the front lines. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, however. Many answers we truly want are probably accessible through current water distribution data. We just need an easier way to wring them out.
With a continuous flow of air required to maintain dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, the last thing a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operator wants is to come up short of the volume needed to sustain good microbial growth. With today’s ready availability of high-efficiency rental blowers, losing blowers to unplanned downtime or being unable to test new aeration systems before commissioning are no longer the threats they once were.
For most water utilities, maintaining existing infrastructure — whether planned or in response to emergencies — is a large part of physical plant costs. Being prepared to respond is half the battle. Here are several guidelines and options to consider for maintaining the most cost-efficient solutions to everyday pipeline problems. As with most good plans, they start with proper organization.
Today’s water/wastewater piping options offer numerous advantages in terms of cost, performance, and anticipated service life. Unfortunately, utilities must still deal with what’s already in the ground — steel, cast iron, ductile iron, asbestos cement, plastic, concrete, and even wood. Here are guidelines on making transitions between old and new pipes of varying sizes and materials as smooth as possible.
When one considers all the bell joints in a water distribution or wastewater collection system — caulk-joint or rubber-joint — and all the stresses to which they are subjected, it is a wonder there are not more leaks. Fortunately, bell-joint-leak clamps provide a reliable and relatively easy-to-install solution — if they are properly specified and installed. Here are some key points to consider when trying to remedy bell-joint leaks.
Every city facing infrastructure or operational challenges or concerns about maintaining quality of life in the face of population growth or a changing environment has benefits to gain from a unified smart-city approach. Here are some concepts for promoting understanding and acceptance among utility and government decision-makers, plus several examples of benefits already being garnered by smart cities large and small.
Reasons for changing water or wastewater asset management practices include unacceptable process downtime, statutory requirements for documenting infrastructure integrity, or the desire to refine process cost-effectiveness and maintenance-budget ROI. Here are examples of strategic approaches that can better match desirable asset management outcomes to the real needs of water utility operations.
A variety of research indicates that industry loses 3 percent to 5 percent (and in some cases more) of its productivity annually to unplanned shutdowns due to equipment failure. With all the data and connectivity available through today’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology and SCADA systems, water and wastewater treatment operations can reduce those losses significantly…if management is willing to consider and adopt proven strategic approaches.
Three Water Environment Federation (WEF) employees were recognized and honored during the Empowering Women in Industry Gala, held Sept. 26 in Chicago.
Harry Lorick, P.E., President of LA Consulting, Inc., is pleased to announce Jeff Thurman is celebrating his 11th year with LA Consulting, Inc. and has also been promoted to Senior Consultant. Thurman joined LA Consulting in 2008 after serving for over 22 years in local government.
OPSWAT, a leader in critical infrastructure protection, recently announced a new critical infrastructure protection (CIP) cybersecurity training and certification program, OPSWAT Academy.
Teams from Colorado and Texas bested the rest during the 32nd annual Operations Challenge competition. The Rocky Mountain Water Environment Federation’s Elevated Ops from Denver won Division 1 and the Water Environment Association of Texas’ South Mesquite Rangers from Mesquite placed first in Division 2. The exciting, high-energy event happened at WEFTEC 2019—the Water Environment Federation’s 92nd annual technical exhibition and conference—in Chicago.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Water Workforce Initiative to help cities and communities across the country that are facing critical staffing shortages for the operation and maintenance of essential drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
The Water Environment Federation proudly (WEF) announces the graduates of its Water Leadership Institute Class of 2019.