AWOP Planning Meeting Update – Region 4 December 2010

One of the key components of the area-wide optimization program (AWOP) is the routine planning meetings held between participating state program personnel, EPA, ASDWA, and the contractor, Process Applications, Inc.  These meetings are part of the strategic implementation process used to sustain the AWOP partnerships and activities (e.g., the network).  The meetings accomplish multiple objectives including:  sharing ideas, agreeing on direction and priorities, providing multi-state support and encouragement to improve program performance, sharing techni­cal and management information and approaches and overall sustaining the AWOP human infrastructure.

Region 4 Planning Meeting – Rock Hill, South Carolina – December 9 – 11, 2010

Region 4 AWOP planning group consisting of Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Region 4, and EPA/PAI met in Rock Hill, South Carolina in December 2010.  Additional participants from Alabama and EPA TSC participated via teleconference.  Georgia and Florida were not able to attend the meeting and due to financial and workload challenges.   A field training event was conducted in conjunction with the Rock Hill Utilities staff.  The training event included a distribution system overview presented by the water system, identification of critical sampling locations by reviewing system maps, and field sampling for chlorine residual, pH, and temperature using the new hydrant sampling devices.  Each of the three sampling teams included one plant operator and one person from the distribution system staff.  Approximately fifteen locations were sampled in different areas of Rock Hill’s distribution system.  The training exercise generated useful information for the water utility who participated in the workshop associated with the field training event and discussions of the findings.  The training event also showcased the first day of the National Leadership Team’s distribution system field development events.  It was explained that the training activities were a component of the distribution optimization system protocol that is currently being developed.    All of the participants provided positive feedback on the support provided by the water utility and the value of getting first-hand experience collecting samples using the dedicated sampling devices.  A major discussion at the planning meeting was methods to initiate distribution system optimization by the state programs.  All of the states are planning on demonstrating the representative sampling procedure in some venue or another.  The next Region 4 planning meeting is scheduled to be held in Decatur, Georgia on March 22 – 23, 2011.

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