Region 10 AWOP Planning Meeting: June 19 – 20, 2012

The Region 10 AWOP group conducted a strategic planning meeting in June using Adobe Connect and conference call facilities.  Participants included representatives from Alaska, Oregon, Washington, EPA Region 10, ASDWA, TSC, and PAI.  State AWOP reports included a discussion by Alaska on applications for their completed water system Status Component Inspections. Completing the inspections at all of their surface water systems was a large undertaking given the size and geography of the state. Benefits of this effort include targeting appropriate plants for CPEs and training and use of the information by local funding agencies to prioritize system modifications.  Oregon reported on their development of a data integrity work group to investigate ways to incorporate data integrity into operator training and outreach.  Washington discussed the success of their optimization awards program.  Since its inception in 2009, they have awarded a total of 38 award certificates to 26 different systems.  This represents 41% of the total number of plants in the state.

The group identified and discussed several AWOP topics related to priorities and issues in the region.  Washington and EPA Region 10 discussed the results of their successful multi-state microbial CPE that was conducted in Ilwaco, WA in early June.  Washington plans to continue to build in-house capability to conduct future CPEs at their rapid rate filtration plants.  Progress continues to be made on developing optimization criteria for slow sand and membrane filtration systems.  Several national slow sand filtration experts have provided comments on the proposed goals.  Future membrane filtration system activities planned by the group include identifying membrane systems to work with one-on-one to gain a better understanding of key operating and performance parameters and a possible multi-day field event hosted by Oregon in 2013.  Washington discussed their successful application of optimization principles to a small ground water system treating for arsenic removal using oxidation, coagulation, and filtration processes.

The fall AWOP meeting is scheduled for October 23 – 25, 2012 and will be hosted by EPA Region 10 in Seattle.  A turbidity data integrity field event is being planned at a local treatment plant.

Ground Water Optimization Pilot in Texas

On June 6th, the Optimization Team, in partnership with the Region 6 AWOP Team and support from members of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, conducted the final session for an ongoing ground water optimization project. The effort focused on developing and transferring optimization tools and approaches to ground water system operators, starting with three small systems in the Dallas area, including the Argyle Water Supply Corporation, the City of Kennedale and the City of Whitesboro.  System operators were encouraged to implement a multiple barrier (source/well, treatment, and distribution system) approach to increase public health protection and were shown ways to ensure the integrity of the particular barriers through monitoring and data trending.  Feedback from the operators who participated indicates that the project was very beneficial, resulting in improved water quality in their systems and an increased level of water treatment understanding.  The operators plan to share their experiences at the 2012 Public Drinking Water Conference sponsored by the TCEQ; the goal is to increase interest (among their peers) in ground water optimization.   Future potential actions for the ground water optimization program include a pilot with additional water systems in partnership with TCEQ and EPA Region 6. (Alison Dugan, 513-569-7122)