EPA Region 6 AWOP Planning Meeting and Training Event: May 8 – 10, 2012 Dallas, Texas

A Region 6 AWOP planning meeting and field training event was hosted in May by the Region at their Dallas office. Participants included AWOP partners from Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, EPA Region 6, TSC, and PAI. The 1-day training event included an overview of turbidity data integrity activities that have occurred in the AWOP network since the fall field event in Austin. Presenters were also invited to the session to discuss recent instrumentation developments with turbidity measurement and integration with SCADA systems. Representatives from Hach Company presented information on low level turbidity measurement including features of their laser turbidimeter and a calibration demonstration. A representative from Schneider Electric presented information on SCADA system design and applications for water treatment. The training event also provided opportunities to discuss common turbidity data integrity issues that the network has identified in plants and possible solutions. One example is the capping of data from IFE and CFE turbidimeters. Options for modifying existing analog signal outputs as well as upgrading to digital signal outputs were discussed by the speakers.

The planning meeting included discussion on priority topics such as developing a DBP Status Component based on Stage 2 data, approaches for internal development of AWOP teams, and limits for algae (cyanobacteria) in filtered water. The next meeting and training event is planned for July 31 – August 2, 2012 in Baton Rouge. The training event will include a field demonstration of the Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash (ETSW) method that can be used to potentially lower filter backwash recovery turbidity and reduce the volume of water required for filter-to-waste.

Mike Sadar with Hach Company demonstrates the features of a laser turbidimeter and associated bubble trap to the group.

Julie LeBlanc with Louisiana AWOP displays the cookie baking skills of Jose Rodriquez with EPA Region 6. Jose was very popular at the meeting!

Distribution System Performance Based Training in Alabama

On April 17, 2012, the Optimization Team, in partnership with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), conducted Session 4 of a Performance Based Training (PBT) project focused on distribution system optimization. Six water systems (the parent system and five consecutive systems) are participating in this project. Each system has made considerable progress through this PBT, and reported on their efforts since Session 3 to identify areas with poor water quality and expected higher water age in their distribution systems. Additionally, each system reported on results from a special study they developed and implemented to address an area of poor water quality in their system. During Session 4 the special study concept was revisited and focused on assessing the impact of tank operations on water quality. Participants were tasked with developing and implementing a special study related to a storage tank in their system in preparation for Session 5.  (US EPA TSC Matthew Alexander & Alison Dugan)