For those in the drinking water and wastewater treatment space, the climbing temperatures in summer months can bring with them an obstacle that seems to get worse every year — harmful algal blooms.
Some of California’s struggles with drinking water are well known. The state’s ongoing drought conditions and the difficulties around providing enough supply for residents are usually spread across headlines.
Warming weather can be a cause for concern at drinking water utilities around the country where summer temperatures mean the return of toxic algal blooms.
This month, Pennsylvania will begin sampling more than 350 public water systems in an effort mandated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to curb per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination.
With nearly one in five New Jersey residents receiving tap water contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the local governor has ordered industrial polluters to help find a solution.
Increased treatment processes apparently haven’t been enough to curb levels of a potentially dangerous contaminant in a North Carolina water supply.
Water is becoming more complex for industry. Its cost as a component of production is on the rise, and greater regulatory scrutiny continues to expand post-process wastewater treatment. Against a backdrop of growing water scarcity, industrial leaders are focusing more time and energy into leveraging water acquisition and usage to their competitive advantage. The days when access to water was taken for granted are over. In fact, by 2030 global water demand is projected to exceed available water by 40 percent.
Dealing with fine particulate matter, nutrients, and pathogens is essential for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) striving to meet Clean Water Act (CWA) effluent standards. Before that stage, however, come important considerations about removing larger debris that can clog pumps, overload clarifiers, or disrupt other downstream processes — especially during periods of elevated flow and debris loading.
Without an appropriate control strategy, even the best wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) equipment can struggle to deliver maximum efficiency. Because energy costs represent up to 60 percent of WWTP plant operating expense, air distribution designs and changing loading (biochemical/biological oxygen demand [BOD]/chemical oxygen demand [COD], ammonia) demands require control strategies designed to adapt to all eventualities efficiently. The following checklists, plus important Do’s and Don’ts, can help in identifying an underperforming control strategy and developing a better one.
At AWWA’s ACE 2018 event, Maury Gaston, Manager of Marketing Services for AMERICAN’s Ductile Iron and AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe product lines, presented on reducing energy through pipe selection, evaluating the City of Huntsville and its 1,297-mile long network. Gaston presented his findings and explained the energy savings in terms of dollars but also kilowatt hours, carbon equivalents and bond values.
Envision a world absent of a water crisis, an end to the threatened health and economic welfare affecting nearly 1.5 billion people due to water scarcity. Clean, safe, fresh water is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century and we are only scraping the surface on achieving public awareness. As our global population increases, access to clean water decreases; a metric with diminishing returns.
In many water industry applications, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system is considered the heartbeat of the operation. As a result, many data management decisions revolve around what the SCADA system can or cannot do and how big of a deal and expense it is to change. Can’t there be a way to devise more ROI-responsive data solutions, without having to change SCADA solutions?
Big Data is more than a marketing buzzword. It’s become an essential tool for helping utility operators prioritize capital investments, manage network assets, and provide a higher level of service to customers.
Understaffing, upcoming retirements, and finding qualified replacements seem to be recurring themes in the water industry. Perhaps the answers are as much about the tools we use as the people using them. Here is how a new approach to utility data management can capture the knowledge of retiring workers, share the insight across all disciplines, and shore up the skills and interests of the next generation.
Fewer things are more aggravating to commuters than being told they’ll need to take a detour because of a water main break. Those breaks also leave water utilities with a hefty, unplanned bill. Smart fire hydrants, however, offer water managers the ability to get ahead of these problems by providing more insight than ever into their distribution systems.
“We have too much data” is the refrain we continually hear from water utilities. It’s no surprise that managing data from multiple sources and turning it into business insights presents a daunting challenge; however, data influx does not have to be a burden. When managed well, there’s no such thing as too much data, especially if your business is implementing a big data strategy — a topic that has implications and reach beyond the scope of this paper.
The U.S. EPA is gearing up to limit perchlorate in public drinking water systems, so municipalities should start preparing to adopt the appropriate testing and treatment technologies. In a recent report, the agency identified several technologies as the best available to address the perchlorate problem.
When I attended the U.S. EPA-hosted PFAS Summit held at the Horsham, PA high school auditorium on July 25, 2018, the education I received from state and municipal leaders focusing on the local problem was more than just a professional briefing. It was ominously personal, due to the fact that the Water Online editorial office where I work and drink water every day is served by a utility sitting smack-dab in the middle of one of the most concentrated PFAS hotspots in the U.S.
Nick Burns, director of water treatment technology for (the Americas region of) Black & Veatch, discusses the health concerns, current regulatory status, and documented presence of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), also sometimes called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in drinking water supplies — as determined by sampling under the U.S. EPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR3).
By now, just about everyone in the U.S. has heard about Flint, Michigan’s water woes. Despite the many issues raised by that incident, urban water systems are not the sole reason the 2017 Report Card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the U.S. drinking water infrastructure an overall “D” grade. Hidden within that disheartening rating are the harsh realities faced by rural water systems.
It’s no secret that the U.S. EPA has changed course in the last year. But how have those changes affected local water and wastewater treatment operations? And how are those operations going to evolve along with the federal agency?
Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded the largest hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico since monitoring began 32 years ago. Hypoxic waters, often referred to as dead zones, have dissolved oxygen concentrations of less than 2-3 ppm. They are caused by eutrophication or excess nutrients that promote algal growth in water bodies. As algae decompose, they consume oxygen creating dead zones.
When validating the 1,000,000 data points that compose the typical Phase III trial, focusing on errors that don’t matter easily leads to wasted resources. Human Factor Analysis (HFA) uses uniquely structured datasets to reveal underlying behaviors and factors that are otherwise difficult for humans to sense or reconstruct, but ultimately are the root cause of an incident. Read how HFA can be incorporated into risk-based monitoring as a useful approach for protecting your clinical data.
With the proliferation of sensors, data collection, and cloud storage, there is the potential for operational insight heretofore never available, and the opportunity will only expand as the technology evolves and the Internet of Things becomes, well, more of a thing. But data is only truly useful if it informs decision-making that results in positive impact — for an organization's bottom line, its personnel, its customers, or even the world at large (i.e., the environment).
Refineries are among the major consumers of water that has both process and non-process origins. The average refinery requires 2.5 gallons of water for every gallon of crude oil processed. Depending on the type of crude oil, composition of condensate and treatment processes, the characteristics of refinery wastewater varies widely. The design and operation of modern refinery wastewater treatment plants are challenging and are driven by technology. This article will highlight the most common types of waste streams in a refinery and suitable wastewater treatment strategies.
Degassing applications in the oil industry are numerous; steam is used in nearly all processes for refining oil. Therefore, water must be treated to prevent scale and pipe pitting through the removal of dissolved ions and dissolved gasses such as oxygen and CO2. Boiler feed water for producing steam must also be free of dissolved CO2 and oxygen; SEPAREL® degassing membranes can remove both gasses in a single compact system.
In this sixth installment on the selection and use of quality improvement tools in your organization, Ben Locwin wraps up the series with a treatise on the 7 Tools of Quality.
Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assays are used across the life cycle of a biopharmaceutical, from target identification, through CQA determination, development, and on-going quality control. This article focuses on concentration assays associated with late-stage development and biotherapeutic drug chemical manufacturing and control.
Basic construction activities today are more complex than ever when it comes to environmental concerns. Dewatering is a common necessity for contractors and developers today. In addition to ensuring a safe construction site, contractors must be aware of groundwater disposal constraints and regulations.
Effective control of the microbiological environment in water distribution systems is one of the biggest keys to providing a healthy product. When it comes to processes for achieving this, the U.S. can some take lessons from Europe, where utilities are more likely to monitor temperature. Advanced flow metering technology that incorporates temperature monitoring provides a significant tool for utilities without the need for additional instruments.
Secondary metabolites of algae — including algal toxins and taste and odor compounds triggered by a harmful algal bloom — can find their way into source water, creating the risk that they will ultimately reach the water treatment plant to cause water-quality problems. Here is a checklist of considerations for mitigating those effects through cost-effective oxidation, or combined oxidization processes, across a variety of source water conditions.
Are “ghost forests” a sign of things to come? Rising sea levels and superstorm tidal surges are already impacting coastal areas, with rising salinity levels affecting some drinking water sources. Coastal water utilities are not the only ones that have to worry about salinity, however, as high concentrations of winter storm road treatments, gas drilling, and mining can also generate elevated salinity levels in surface water sources.
As technology improves, contaminants can be measured in ever-smaller quantities. Pollutants formerly undetected are now becoming emerging contaminants of concern. Water utility managers must stay abreast of potential new regulations and plan for ways to address these contaminants.
Mechanical flow meters have a proven track record. However, there’s a downside. Electronic meters — which are gaining wider acceptance — are less prone to damage, require little to no maintenance, and can be comparably priced or even less expensive when operating costs are taken into account.
Water utilities rely on accurate and dependable flow measurement for critical process controls. Regulatory agencies also require flow monitoring and reporting, with specific accuracy limits.
The gas detection camera technique has a wide range of potential uses in the petrochemical industry, all of which have positive benefits for the owner of the plant. It is an accepted Alternate Work Practice in the Method 21 leak detection procedure and has clear time and cost benefits over the conventional VOC meter or sniffer method. Although limited to a certain extent by environmental conditions, the camera has proven many times that it can identify leaks at some distance thereby reducing the cost of surveys by removing the requirement to provide access to every potential leak path.
Most industries are required to remove contaminants from wastewater systems before discharge to a receiving stream or municipal facility. Depending on the industry, contaminants may be numerous or difficult to treat. Finding the most effective, cost-efficient treatment method is critical for both business and the environment.
It is no secret that a large portion of the drinking water infrastructure in the United States is near or past its intended design life. Our nation’s water infrastructure needs an overhaul, and the cost of doing so is climbing rapidly. The American Society of Civil Engineering’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded the nation’s drinking water infrastructure a D. According to the American Water Works Association, an estimated $1 trillion is necessary to maintain and expand drinking water service to meet demands over the next 25 years.
With a high volume of products being produced and dispatched to retailers across the region, Miko has always known that product safety is hugely important, both for its consumers and for the company’s reputation. Seeking to further reinforce positive customer experiences, the company recently set itself the challenge of minimizing the already small risk of foreign body contamination to further reduce the number of customer complaints it received. Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-ray’s InspireX2, designed for high-speed multi-lane applications and able to detect contaminants as small as 0.8mm, such as glass, metal, mineral stone and high density plastic was the solution they were looking for.