Region 10/8 Area-Wide Optimization Program  

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with EPA Region 10, led a program implementation meeting October 23-25, in Portland, OR.  Representatives from Washington, Oregon, Utah and EPA Region 10 attended the meeting and representatives from Montana, Colorado, Idaho and EPA Region 8 participated remotely.  The states provided updates on their optimization efforts and highlighted performance data and impacts of their programs toward enhancing public health protection. The event included a workshop on a modified filter backwash technique called extended terminal subfluidization wash (ETSW) at the Lake Oswego-Tigard water treatment plant. Discussion covered a range of topics, including: slow sand filtration optimization; training for small systems on reducing health-based violations (in support of the EPA initiative); and using water treatment plant alarms to support optimization. (Tom Waters, US EPA Technical Support Center)

Streamlined hydrant sampler redesign: smaller, lighter, and less expensive

The TSC optimization team has successfully piloted a redesigned hydrant sampler for distribution system investigative sampling. The new design reduces the number of necessary parts, thereby making for a smaller, lighter, and less expensive device. The new design keeps the flow control valve (20 gpm) to enable easy calculation of the appropriate flushing time prior to sample collection. The pressure gage also remains in the design. However, the sampling arm has been eliminated and the same part of the sampler is now used for both flushing and sampling. Cam and groove fittings, similar to what firefighters use to connect their hoses, are used to easily attach and detach the flushing hose for an easy transition from flushing to sampling. The gate valve is used to reduce the flow rate from the 20 gpm flushing rate to a lower flow rate for filling a sampling container. Eliminating the sampling arm of the hydrant sampler cuts down on overall size and weight, and makes it easier to thread the sampler onto the hydrant, especially if the hydrant port is close to the ground. The TSC optimization team piloted the new design and concluded that it works just as well as, if not better than, the original version. See below for more information, including an example parts list. Contact Matt Alexander (, 513-569-7380) or Tom Waters (, 513-569-7611) for further information.

Redesigned Hydrant Sampler

Pilot testing the new hydrant sampler design


Hydrant Sampler Parts List.png


Example parts list for redesigned hydrant sampler:

Section of Sampler Item Photo Letter Quantity Per Sampler Average Unit Price Total Cost
Main Brass hydrant reducer (2.5″ FNST inlet by 1″ MNPT outlet) A 1 $31.49 $31.49
Main 1″ MNPT red brass nipple, closed threaded E 3 $5.70 $17.10
Main 1″ FNPT red brass tee B 1 $21.40 $21.40
Main 1″ FNPT brass gate valve F 1 $16.35 $16.35
Main Dole flow control valve, 20.0 gpm, 1″ FNPT inlet/outlet G 1 $32.47 $32.47
Main 1″ MNPT x 1″ ID red brass hose adapter J 1 $20.90 $20.90
Main #16 hose clamp for 1″ ID hose K 1 $0.99 $0.99
Main Thread sealant tape, PTFE, 3/4″ x 520″ 1 $1.44 $1.44
Main 1″ ID hose (reinforced PVC), per ft L 4 $1.54 $6.16
Main 1″ cam and groove fitting, polypropylene coupler, coupling type D, female coupler x FNPT connection type I 1 $6.94 $6.94
Main 1″ cam and groove fitting, polypropylene adapter, coupling type A, male adapter x FNPT connection type H 1 $2.64 $2.64
Pressure Gauge 1″ MNPT x 1/4″ FNPT chrome plated brass reducing bushing C 1 $5.70 $31.30
Pressure Gauge Pressure gauge, filled, 2.5″, 300 psi, SS D 1 $54.50 $54.50
Total estimated cost (w/out PRV): $244


If the static pressure in the distribution system exceeds 150 psi at a particular sampling site, a pressure-reducing valve (PRV) is recommended, as many of the parts in the sampler are rated to 150 psi or less. Here is an example parts list for the PRV and associated fittings:

Section of Sampler Item Photo Letter Quantity Per Sampler Average Unit Price Total Cost
PRV adapter Brass hydrant reducer (2.5″ FNST inlet by 1″ MNPT outlet) A 1 $31.49 $62.98
PRV adapter 1″ FNPT brass, water pressure reducing valve (PRV) M 1 $134.50 $134.50
PRV adapter 1″ FNPT brass union N 1 $36.70 $36.70
Main 1″ MNPT red brass nipple, closed threaded E 2 $5.70 $11.40
Total estimated cost (with PRV): $458

Oregon HABs Workshop

On August 23rd, TSC participated in the Oregon Health Authority Permanent Cyanotoxin Regulation Workshop/Webinar. TSC presented information on the EPA drinking water method development process, technical details and overviews of EPA drinking water cyanotoxin methods, and explanations of the results of the discussed methods. Discussions also included how the EPA drinking water cyanotoxin methods were being applied to the UCMR 4 Program. The workshop was primarily attended by Oregon drinking water laboratories and public utilities in preparation for State regulatory decisions being made on cyanotoxins and HABs. (Will Adams, SRMD/ TSC)

EPA OW/ORD/Regions HABs Workgroup

On August 21st, TSC gave a presentation to the EPA OW/ORD/Regions HABs Workgroup. TSC provided a survey of the EPA drinking water cyanotoxin methods, including technical overviews of the various methods and a discussion on the meanings of Method 544 and Method 546 results. The workgroup consists of project managers, scientists, and engineers from OW, ORD, and the EPA Regions concerned with current HAB issues. (Will Adams, SRMD/ TSC)

Region 4 AWOP Planning Meeting and Corrosion Control Workshop

The TSC optimization team, in cooperation with EPA Region 4 and ASDWA, hosted a technical workshop and strategic planning meeting on July 17 & 18, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH. Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio. States presented their AWOP implementation reports, including a description of activities over the past quarter and resulting water quality impacts. The technical workshop, led by TSC and ORD staff, focused on corrosion control and how it might be incorporated into AWOP activities. EPA Region 5 and Ohio EPA participated in this meeting as guests/observers to assess future participation in the program. (Richard Lieberman, US EPA/ TSC).

Optimization Program ­­– EPA Small Systems Webinar

On June 5th, Tom Waters (of TSC’s Optimization Team), co-presented with Nick Dugan (of ORD/NRMRL) in the ORD/OW Small Systems Webinar Series. Their presentation, entitled Conventional Treatment Options for Harmful Algal Blooms, focused on surface waters impacted by harmful algal blooms (HABs). Topics included cyanobacterial cell and cyanotoxin removals through coagulation, sedimentation and filtration; propagation of cyanotoxins and indicator parameters of cyanobacterial biomass through a surface water treatment facility; removal of cyanobacterial toxins by powdered activated carbon (PAC); the impact of permanganate oxidation on cyanobacterial cell integrity, toxin release, and toxin degradation; and toxin degradation by free chlorine. A considerable amount of information shared during this presentation was attained through the Optimization Team’s pilot project with Ohio EPA to develop a HAB-focused water treatment plant “comprehensive performance evaluation” (CPE) tool.  Almost 1,400 attendees participated, representing all 50 states, 10 EPA Regions, 10 Tribal Nations, 1 territory, and 14 countries (Tom Waters, US EPA/ TSC).

Region 6/7 AWOP Planning Meeting and Workshop 

 TSC’s Optimization Team, in collaboration with EPA Regions 6 and 7, led a technical workshop and strategic planning meeting from May 22-24, 2018, in Lawrence, KS.  Representatives from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, and Oklahoma attended the meeting and workshop.  States provided updates on their drinking water optimization programs, including program impacts and case studies.  The technical workshop, hosted by the City of Lawrence Clinton Reservoir Water Treatment Plant, introduced the states to a jar test procedure that may be used to evaluate disinfectant byproduct (DBP) precursor removal.  States may use this procedure to assist drinking water systems that are challenged with DBP compliance issues.  (Matthew Alexander, US EPA/ Technical Support Center).

Region 3 AWOP Implementation Meeting 

The TSC optimization team, in partnership with the EPA Region 3 AWOP team, led a program implementation meeting on May 8-9, 2018, in Baltimore, MD. Meeting participants included state drinking water staff from Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as EPA staff from Region 1, Region 5 and OGWDW’s Drinking Water Protection Division. State participants reported on their recent AWOP activities, including program impacts and case studies. Meeting topics included: incorporation of data-integrity and optimization-awareness activities into their respective sanitary survey efforts; disinfection byproduct compliance challenges and strategies; approaches for calculating CT (disinfection) at water plants; state approaches to addressing harmful algal blooms, and strategies to characterize and optimize corrosion control treatment at water systems. After the meeting, several participants also attended the Legionella 2018 Conference, also held in Baltimore that week. (Alison Dugan, Matthew Alexander; US EPA/ TSC)

Region 10/8 AWOP Planning Meeting and Workshop

The Optimization Team, in collaboration with EPA Region 10, led a technical workshop and strategic planning meeting during May 15 – 17, 2018, in Spokane, WA.  Representatives from Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington attended the meeting and workshop.  Remote participants included representatives from Colorado, Montana and EPA Region 8. The states provided updates on their optimization efforts and impacts of their programs on public health protection.  The technical workshop, hosted by the Vera Water & Power utility located in Spokane Valley, WA focused on tools to evaluate distribution system data integrity. The workshop demonstrated that the approach is directly applicable to a ground water system utilizing multiple wells as the water source.  Representatives of two Tribal utilities and the Indian Health Service also participated in the workshop.  (Richard Lieberman,  Tom Waters,  Alison Dugan  and Matthew Alexander; US EPA/ TSC).

Optimization Program – Region 5 PWSS Directors Meeting

On April 24, 2018, the TSC Optimization team delivered a presentation and participated remotely in a discussion with the EPA Region 5 and their state PWSS Directors about the implementation of the Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP). Amy Klei and Eric Oswald, representing the Ohio EPA and the Michigan DEQ, respectively, also shared recent experiences with optimization projects and AWOP. Ohio EPA emphasized the positive response from water system staff and how much state staff members were energized through involvement in the project to apply treatment optimization tools to HAB issues. The Michigan DEQ considers the current investment in staff time to be worth the expected long-term benefits from AWOP participation. The state directors were provided with this information to assist as they consider future participation in AWOP.  (Richard Lieberman, Alison Dugan and Matthew Alexander; US EPA Tecnical Support Center)

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