Alabama’s September AWOP Newsletter

AWOP1_72dpi_2x2Alabama’s AWOP recently released its “Drawing the Graph” newsletter which informs their public water systems about important optimization issues and helps promote AWOP.  This edition highlighted two very important topics for the AWOP community – data integrity and corrosion control.  The newsletter also featured a piece about Mobile, AL chief operator Carl Hanke who shared his experience using AWOP’s tank spreadsheet tool at the AWOP National Meeting this summer.  See all the Alabama AWOP news in the attachment.

Drawing the Graph – September 2017 Issue

Alabama’s “Drawing the Graph” Newsletter

Alabama’s Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) has recently published Drawing the Graph – April 2016 Issue highlighting optimization activities in the state.  This newsletter includes information about the status of Alabama’s water systems compared to the optimization goals and a model news release to help the plants receiving awards publicize their success.  The newsletter also includes a listing of all the optimization goals for Alabama.  Check out this newsletter to see how your colleagues in Alabama are doing with AWOP.

Region 4 AWOP Planning Meeting Explores Involving Technical Assistance Providers in AWOP

EPA’s Technical Support Center optimization team, in partnership with Region 4 and ASDWA, led a training exercise and Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) strategic planning meeting March 29-31, 2016 in Charleston, SC.  Participants included state drinking water program representatives from Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. State staff members presented an overview of their AWOP activities and 2015 accomplishments, and utilized the forum to discuss a variety of relevant drinking water program implementation issues.


A special feature of the meeting was the presentation of a possible pilot program to involve third party technical assistance (TA) providers in implementation of AWOP, specifically distribution system optimization (DSO).  TA providers attended from the region’s Rural Water affiliates (Alabama Rural Water Association, Florida Rural Water Association, Tennessee Association of Utility Districts, South Carolina Rural Water Association, Kentucky Rural Water Association, North Carolina Rural Water Association), and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) organizations (Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Communities Unlimited).   All attendees participated in a day long workshop which focused on facilitation of technical approaches to achieve distribution system optimization at water systems.  The proposed approach divides the training and facilitation duties, with state staff providing the technical training for water systems.  The TA providers would then facilitate the activities with water system staff as they implement the technical tools in their own distribution systems.  After completing the workshop and becoming more familiar with the expectations for all parties, the TA providers and states all embraced this joint implementation approach. Several of the state and TA representatives agreed on action plans to implement this collaborative DSO training approach with water systems during the coming year.  The AWOP National Optimization Leadership Team will monitor the success of the Region 4 pilot and consider expanding the pilot to other regional AWOPs in the future.

Alabama Releases April “Drawing the Graph” Newsletter

Alabama’s optimization program has just released their latest newsletter – “Drawing the Graph”.  In this issue they report on the status of meeting their optimization goals in 2014, when 54% of the surface water plants met the goals.   Two interesting technical articles cover the need for good chlorine residual management all year long and storage tank water quality and mixing.  Please see the attached newsletter for all the details.

Does your state have a newsletter or optimization report you can share with others on the AWOP News blog?  Contact Darrell Osterhoudt at ASDWA ( for more information about contributing to the blog.

Drawing the Graph – April 2015 Issue

Alabama’s April Drawing the Graph Newsletter

Alabama’s Area Wide Optimization Program has recently released its newest “Drawing the Graph” newsletter.  This issue covers the status of the Alabama AWOP – 55% of their surface water treatment plants are optimized.  There is an article on the wrap up of the Cullman project, a Performance Based Training pilot for distribution systems.  Another article highlights the importance of data integrity.  The newsletter also includes the state’s optimization goals and a list of optimized plants.  The complete newsletter is attached to this post.

Drawing the Graph – April 2014 Issue


Alabama Publishes “Drawing the Graph” Newsletter

As a part of their state’s Optimization Program, Alabama periodically publishes a newsletter called “Drawing the Graph”.  This publication covers various activities in their AWOP as well as general optimization information for their surface water systems.  The newsletters include articles on their annual surface water meeting, the optimization awards program, technical information for new optimization areas like membranes and DBPs, plus real life experiences related by water system operators.

The two latest newsletters are attached for your review and as a source of ideas for your own AWOP.

Thanks to Alabama for sharing this excellent publication.

Drawing the Graph – May 2013 Issue

Drawing the Graph – September 2013 Issue

OAS Web Course Now Live in PA’s eLearning Center

Pennsylvania is  announcing a new on line training course for operators covering important aspects of OAS.

The web course called Interpreting the Treatment Barrier Performance Summary Sheet for AWOP Participants is now live on the Operator eLearning Center at Based on the beta testing, the course was assigned one contact hour for certified drinking water operators at a cost of $25. The course is designed to help surface water treatment plants that use the OAS software interpret and apply information from the annual performance summary sheet.

Special thanks goes to Enid Chiu from EPA and Michael Hawranick from WV for Beta testing the course and providing comments.

For additional information contact:

Kurt Smith

Water Program Specialist

PA Dept of Environmental Protection



AWOP Projects Featured in EPA Webinar and ASDWA Conference

Many of the important lessons learned from implementing the Area Wide Optimization Program can impact the effectiveness of the entire drinking water effort.  A recent EPA webinar contained some good examples.  On October 10, EPA hosted a webinar for states and EPA Regions called “Review of Inactivation by Disinfection”.  A number of state presenters shared projects related to disinfection that originated in their state’s optimization program.

Surface water and GWUDI systems must provide treatment of Giardia, Cryptosporidium and virus to meet their rule requirements.  States need to assure that the water systems are meeting the appropriate removal/inactivation, but work in the AWOP states has identified challenges that all states need to consider.  Vanessa Wike of Alaska described their “status component inspection” project.  Alaska conducted focused inspections of all their surface water systems to confirm the treatment that is operating at each facility and document the inactivation or removal credit for that treatment.  Alaska’s extensive CPE work had pointed out that completely understanding the treatment process at each facility was critical for accurately documenting compliance.  Jennifer Bunton of Iowa shared the work that they have done to improve the calculation of CT by water systems.  Here again, CPE’s had identified common problems.  The calculation of CT is a problem at water systems because the original basis for CT determination was unknown, treatment plants and processes had changed, or operators do not understand how to do the calculations correctly.  Iowa is using a combination of site visits and training to address these issues.   Craig Corder of Arkansas presented information on similar challenges with CT.  Taking it a step further, Arkansas uses data audits, meter calibration checks, and other data integrity related activities to make sure the data used to make decisions are accurate.  For AWOP “drawing the graph” is a critical element.  Without good data, how do we know the graph represents the true condition of the water system?

We are glad that EPA recognized the importance of this work and asked states to share in the webinar presentation.  You can view the webinar slides on ASDWA’s Regulatory web page.

AWOP efforts were also featured at the ASDWA Annual Conference held in October in Little Rock, AR.  Three presentations highlighted AWOP activities around the country.  Craig Corder gave an expanded description of their data integrity work.  JD Douglas of West Virginia shared how his state has made the Performance Based Training of AWOP a part of their drinking water operator certification and training program.  Finally, Noble Johnson of Texas reported on the ground water optimization pilot and its impact on the Texas water systems that participated.  The PowerPoint slides from all three of these presentations are available on the ASDWA 2012 Annual Conference web page.

Alabama’s Latest “Draw The Graph” Newsletter

Alabama’s Area Wide Optimization Program has just released its April 2012 issue of Drawing the Graph, the newsletter that highlights optimization news and activities of the program.  This issue includes articles specific to Alabama like their revised DBP optimization goals and a listing of water systems meeting optimization goals with an example press release for these systems to share their success with the public.  There are many other topics of interest to other AWOP states.  These include a pilot project on the development of Performance Based Training (PBT) for distribution systems that includes a focus on consecutive system participation and a discussion of data integrity.  There is also a very informative article on the practice of Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash (ETSW) focusing on the methods as well as the benefits in water and cost savings of this approach to backwashing filters.

Enjoy the Alabama news letter:  Drawing the Graph – April 2012 Issue

Alabama’s Latest Issue of “Drawing the Graph”

Here is the newest issue of “Drawing the Graph”, the Alabama Area-Wide Optimization Program’s newsletter on optimization activities.   This edition includes articles on the upcoming 14th Annual Surface Water Treatment Meeting, the Tuscaloosa Comprehensive Technical Project, the relationship between parent and consecutive systems, and results of a special study on Extended Terminal Subfluidization Wash.

Drawing the Graph – September 2011 Issue

Let ASDWA know if you have a newsletter to share.