Entering its fourth week and now the longest in the country’s history, the partial government shutdown is affecting a wide range of federal employees and agencies. Naturally, water and wastewater treatment operations are no exception.
In his State of the Union address on January 30th 2018, President Trump called for a $1.5 Trillion investment in infrastructure. If you’ve been around the wastewater industry for a while, you’ll know that infrastructure spending is often directed to roads and bridges first, transit needs second, and drinking water a distant third. But our industry has a pressing need for investment too.
Water quality standards introduced by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) came under renewed scrutiny late last month as Miami-Dade’s government operations committee joined a lawsuit to challenge them.
After the Supreme Court cleared the way for an Obama-era environmental regulation to go into effect, Congress may become a hot spot for a major fight over water policy.
In laying out the U.S. EPA’s agenda for 2018, Administrator Scott Pruitt indicated that the agency would focus on scaling back Obama-era clean water regulations while ramping up the fight against lead contamination in public drinking water.
Massachusetts faces a deep problem with raw sewage.
As with any industrial process, the right tool for the job depends on the nature of the task at hand. In aerobic wastewater treatment, that optimal choice often comes down to a balance between the biological and financial demands of the application. Either way, here are several performance comparisons of how multiple aeration methods and locations stack up in industrial wastewater treatment applications.
Aeration for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment involves more than simply moving volumes of air through a treatment basin. It really comes down to creating and sustaining an optimal oxygenated environment for microorganisms to convert oxygen consuming compounds into CO2 and water. Here are some key considerations for making better retrofit decisions about upgrading existing basin capacity and efficiency with jet aeration.
In water and wastewater operations, optimizing energy use plays a huge role in cost efficiency, but how can you know if pumping equipment and other motors are running as efficiently as possible? Analytics systems that interpret performance from a variety of data points — pump curves, run time, flow rates, vibration, temperature, energy consumption, etc. — can quantify pump operation to keep performance efficiency on an upward track.
Unlike most municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) applications, industrial wastewater can vary widely from one application to another, even within the same plant, depending on the process being run. Industrial wastewater professionals — especially those facing specific challenges or planned volume increases — can benefit from comparing key points of differentiation in jet aeration system options before making any upgrade.
The biggest obstacle to investing in natural infrastructure, such as wetlands and reefs, often is that experts have not figured out how to value the protection that these habitats provide in economic terms. But a new report, published by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal Hazards Program, solves that problem for one of our planet’s most biodiverse ecosystems: coral reefs.
The hardest aspects of comparing efficiencies among submerged aeration technologies are the many variables in capital expense (CAPEX), operating expense (OPEX), and complexity of wastewater makeup. Instead, consider comparing the physics of different aeration technologies and the relative costs associated with them. Here are five major categories for evaluating industrial wastewater aeration efficiency.
Air release valves play a critical role in maintaining pipeline integrity, but most don’t seal properly at lower pressures without changing to a softer seat, when the system is most at risk. The key to avoiding problems, while achieving optimal performance, is selecting air release valves that work in low- and high-pressure applications. The good news is that there are some advanced valve products on the market that seal over a much wider range.
Combined and sanitary sewer overflows are natural hazards for wastewater collection systems. Without a comprehensive solution to monitor troublesome conditions, overflows can be triggered with little warning and lead to expensive and embarrassing situations. Fortunately, versatile analytical systems that capitalize on existing wastewater collection infrastructure hold promise for avoiding such negative impacts.
Water quite literally flows through every facet of life, being the key element for everyone and everything on Earth. The world’s population is increasing at 1.1 percent (roughly 83 million) every year, an incredible and alarming rate straining the world’s fresh water supply. The increasing pressures between what humanity demands and what is currently available emphasizes the importance of conservation.
Water is essential to life. And it is a very precious commodity in Israel, home to 9 million people living in a rocky desert that receives about 10 inches of rain a year. By comparison, Denver, considered semi-arid, gets about 15 inches of rain a year, which is about a fourth of the precipitation a tropical city such as Miami receives.
PFC contamination is the number one drinking water issue today. So how are local and federal leaders working to put an end to it?
Last year was full of twists and turns for the drinking water and wastewater treatment industries. What can 2017’s biggest stories tell us about what’s to come this year?
Though some preliminary regulations have taken place to curb the presence of microplastics in the environment, more research is needed to determine what role wastewater treatment plants can and will play in solving the problem for good.
With water treatment plant operators around the country relying on paper and pen to record critical quality data, there is an opportunity to make life easier online.
As excess nutrients continue to pollute source water, bringing dead zones and toxic chemicals, it’s time for the disparate agencies that can make a difference to band together.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has compiled a report on the world’s leading stormwater management solutions and challenges. Reviewing its contents can be an opportunity for communities to build stormwater strength together.
A couple of weeks ago, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt called PFAS groundwater contamination “a national priority” and pledged action at an EPA national PFAS leadership summit.
Corrosion control has always been a priority for distributing safe drinking water throughout the world’s networks of pipeline. This has become all the more critical following the outrageous lead poisoning revelations in Flint, MI — an incident caused directly by corrosion of the city’s lead-based infrastructure.
The Mountain Regional Water District is a Special Service District of the county that was established by the Summit County Commission in 2000 to regionalize water service by consolidating several public and private water companies.
Over the past decade, there has been a considerable effort in the water sector to address industry shortcomings through collaboration. And perhaps there’s been no greater initiative to try to help water utility managers in their day-to-day and future planning than the Effective Utility Management (EUM) Initiative.
Affordability and maintainability are two of the greatest challenges small municipalities face when constructing and managing sewer infrastructure. With these challenges in mind, it’s important for small cities to choose wisely when investing in a wastewater system that needs to last for 30-60 years.
Among water treatment industry professionals, consensus is growing that small- to medium-scale decentralized desalination and wastewater treatment plants are the way forward in a water-stressed future. But governments continue to announce new water mega-infrastructure projects at an alarming rate. Because the public policy debate appears to have simply not caught up with current technology, many companies and NGOs with a focus on small- to medium-scale water treatment or renewable energy have begun to see the Caribbean as something of a new frontier.
Headlines in 2018 were dominated by the red tide along Florida’s Gulf Coast, which persisted for months, causing human respiratory illnesses, the deaths of dozens of Florida’s beloved dolphins and manatees, and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue and cleanup costs. Here are insights on how to forestall becoming the next city to make national headlines related to harmful algal blooms.
Wastewater service charges vary considerably across EPA regions and States. That’s one of the key findings from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) Cost of Clean Water Index. If you live in Montana, Wyoming or the Dakotas (EPA Region 8), your average service charge of $261 a year is considerably less than the $884 your fellow Americans up in New England (EPA Region 1) are paying. As you can imagine, much of the difference is to do with population size and geography.
One of the great turnaround stories in the history of our nation’s water bodies is that of the Chesapeake Bay. Since 1976 when the Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) first undertook a comprehensive study of the Bay, efforts to address excessive nitrogen and phosphorous degradation of water quality have steadily improved the Bay’s complex ecosystem.
Salvator Mundi sold for nearly half a billion dollars. Walter Isaacson’s latest biography is a breakaway hit. Management guru Michael Gelb’s book accessing the thought techniques of history’s most accomplished Renaissance Man — in every literal and figurative sense of the word — is still a bestseller. Almost 500 years after his death, Leonardo da Vinci is still a superstar.
District Sales Engineer Andy Singer has spent enough time troubleshooting problems in the field that not much surprises him anymore. When it comes to dry barrel fire hydrants, though, he still gets a chuckle out of some of his more outrageous experiences. Here is his educational and entertaining take on the care and maintenance of fire hydrants, and ways to maximize a utility’s return on what potentially can be a 50+-year infrastructure investment.
For most of the United States, we’ve reached the time of year where Americans desire to maintain a perfectly green lawn starts to be tested by the warmer and dryer summer months. From the water industry’s perspective, it’s staggering just how many billions of gallons of treated water ends up being sprayed across our hallowed front and back yards in maintaining a full and aesthetically-pleasing lawn.
Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a published Contingency Plan in anticipation of the current government shutdown? I guess in hindsight, you would have expected it for an agency with 134 facilities dotted across the country. And in fact, it’s required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Circular A-11, Section 124 that all government agencies have plans for an orderly shutdown “in the event of an absence of appropriations.”
Choosing the right communication network is crucial to building a successful, smart utility. The quality of the communication technology selected determines whether the data will be transmitted efficiently, securely, and reliably over the long haul. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
There are many options for ensuring accurate billing of water used at established industrial customer locations. But how do municipalities or businesses keep track of water availability and use for intermittent applications or movable access points? We spoke with McCrometer, Inc.’s Marc Bennett for insight into how water utilities and industries can efficiently track and allocate water use for billing or internal accounting purposes in such ad hoc applications.
In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the World Bank held a high-level meeting on recovery and resilience in the Caribbean on October 13, 2017, at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
The fallout from Flint, Michigan’s lead-contaminated drinking water has been far-flung and long-lasting.
Talk about making waves. Cryptocurrency — digital “tokens” or “coins” rooted in computer code and valued for the very fact that they are disconnected from governments and banks — have experienced spectacular rises and falls in recent months. The crypto-economy is already worth hundreds of billions of dollars (REAL dollars!), and it’s anyone’s guess how fast it will grow after that.