National Capacity Development and Operator Certification Workshop

TSC’s Optimization Team participated in the 2013 National Capacity Development and Operator Certification Workshop in Atlanta, GA on November 19-21. A presentation was given during an Operator Certification session discussing the AWOP program and how optimization findings have shaped operator training. Several members of the AWOP “network” (representatives from Region 4 and Iowa) gave a presentation highlighting how the program directly supports the implementation of Capacity Development in IA. AWOP is recognized by many as a proactive approach for providing technical assistance to water systems, with particular interest in the AWOP status component as an approach for prioritizing systems in need of assistance. Additional opportunities for using AWOP to support the implementation of these programs will continue to be explored. (Alison Dugan, US EPA TSC)

Region 4 AWOP Strategic Planning Meeting

The TSC Optimization Team, in partnership with Region 4 and ASDWA, conducted a strategic planning meeting via web conferencing on November 19-20, 2013.  Participants included representatives from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Each participant provided an AWOP implementation update and some included examples of area-wide and individual water system impacts. Increases in population served by optimized treatment plants, reductions in disinfection by-products at individual water systems and water savings due to filter backwash optimization were reported. Discussion topics included the development of operator training approaches, relationships between parent and consecutive water systems and their implications on meeting regulations such as the Stage 2 DBPR, and approaches to improving data integrity through AWOP implementation. (Thomas Waters, US EPA TSC)

Region 6 AWOP Training and Strategic Planning Meeting

The TSC Optimization Team, in partnership with Region 6 and ASDWA, conducted a technical training event and meeting on November 13-15, 2013 in Oklahoma City, OK. Participants included representatives from Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The technical training included a workshop that provided participants an approach to identify and correct areas of high water age (e.g., low chlorine residual, high TTHMs) in a distribution system. During the planning meeting, states discussed utilizing Area-Wide Optimization Programs (AWOPs) to support State Capacity Development and Operator Certification programs and using AWOP tools for RTCR compliance. This was the first AWOP training and planning meeting that Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MODNR) and New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) were able to attend. MODNR is in the process of developing an AWOP in their state, while NMED is resurrecting their program after suspending all AWOP activities for the past few years. (Matthew Alexander, US EPA TSC)