Entries for the 'Water Treatment' Category

13

This year’s annual conference of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators was held on October 23-22, 2014 in Albuquerque New Mexico. There were many interesting presentations on water emergencies, source water planning, and tools for operators as well as new ideas for the future of the drinking water industry. One presentation dug a little bit into the history of the drinking water industry and possibly one its greatest accomplishments, chlorinated disinfection.

Dr. Michael J. McGuire started off by presenting a history of the diseases and deaths that occurred due to contaminated water. He then goes to describe the dilemma of a contaminated water supply in Jersey City, New Jersey in the 1800s. The city contracted with a private water company so they could have a “…pure and wholesome” water supply. Driven by a court order, a Sanitary Advisor named Dr. John Rose Leal determined that some kind of disinfection needed to occur in order to achieve this goal. The disinfection he chose to use was chlorine, a chemical often used at the time in the laundry industry and to disinfect streets and homes after an infectious disease had passed through.

Before this time, using a chemical in water was unprecedented and frankly a little scary. Using the expertise of sanitary engineer George Warren Fuller, they designed a chlorination plant in 99 days. (The system set up as well as pictures of the actual plant can be found at the presentation link below.) The judge approved the design and the system was built. The use of the chemical by the city was a triumph and waterborne illness rates decreased.

The news of success in New Jersey soon spread across the country, and soon after, chlorine use as a disinfectant exploded in the United States. Deaths from typhoid and other diseases related to water contamination diminished to incredibly low levels.

This great accomplishment was a huge advancement for the drinking water industry and helped disinfection technology leap forward. Dr. John L. Leal died soon after his success in New Jersey and was barely recognized for his monumental discovery until 2013, when the New Jersey Section of AWWA and Dr. Michael J. McGuire organized efforts to create a monument in his name.

Dr. McGuire wrote a book on this discovery titled The Chlorine Revolution: Water Disinfection and the Fight to Save Lives. It can be found on Amazon. His conference presentation can be found at the link below as well as in our document database (Keyword: “chlorine revolution”)

 

09

RCAC, the western affiliate of the RCAP network, has partered with The California Endowment and the Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation to launch an Indiegogo campaign. Indiegogo is a crowdfunding platform, similar to Kickstarter, that allows the public to contribute towards an initiative. Unlike Kickstarter, the funding model is not "all or nothing".

The Health Happens Here #Agua4All campaign would enhance access to safe drinking water in the Eastern Coachella Valley of California by connecting an existing arsenic treatment system to a community building. The campaign's promotional video explains how the initiative would help this community's 14,000 residents.

With this funding, RCAC will provide the infrastructure "from pipes to permits". Pueblo Unido has been active in helping communities across this economically-disadvantaged rural area address levels of arsenic that excess USEPA's standard. The California Endowment is using this effort as a pilot project and hopes to expand it statewide.

06

AWWA's Cross Connection Control Committee recently finalized two public service videos to illustrate cross connection control procedures and backflow prevention. The videos represent a knowledgeable reference to educate utilities and water professionals about the importance of proper selection and installation of backflow preventer and cross connection control devices.

Thanks to AWWA's Technical & Education Council for sharing these resources with us!

05

This article was first published in the Summer 2012 issue of Spigot News, the Ohio EPA's drinking water program newsletter. Many thanks for allowing us to republish it!

Ohio EPA conducts sanitary surveys at least once every three years at community public water systems (PWS) and once every five years at non-community PWSs. The purpose of a sanitary survey is to evaluate and document the capability of a water system’s source, treatment, storage, distribution, operation and maintenance, and management. Each of these may favorably or adversely impact the ability of the system to reliably produce and distribute water that meets drinking water standards. 

This article is the second installment in a series of articles to help small water systems identify the most common problems found during a sanitary survey or other investigatory site visit conducted by Ohio EPA staff. The first article focused on source water (well) deficiencies. This article will focus on some of the more common treatment equipment deficiencies which are found during inspections of small water systems.  Future articles in this series will cover distribution deficiencies and other topics. 

Backwash discharge lines: If you have a softener or a pressure filter, you backwash your equipment to clean and replenish the media. The waste that is produced when you backwash discharges into a floor drain or another pipe, which carries the waste to where it will be treated.  If the pipe carrying the backwash wastewater from your treatment equipment is too close to, or even inserted into, the drain or pipe that carries the waste to treatment (see Figure 1), you could end up with back-siphonage.

This could occur if the pipe carrying the waste to treatment backs up and the wastewater is siphoned back into your drinking water treatment equipment, contaminating your treatment equipment with whatever waste the pipe is carrying. Solution: Ensure there is a sufficient air gap between the backwash waste pipe and the floor drain or the pipe conveying the waste to treatment to prevent backsiphonage (see Figure 2).

Softener tanks, cover, and salt: Softener brine tanks should be kept in sanitary condition. The brine solution should be kept free of dirt and insects. Solution: The best way to accomplish this is to completely cover the brine tanks with an appropriately fitting lid. The lid should not be over- or under-sized and should be kept in place on top of the tank. Also, the brine tank should not be overfilled such that the lid does not fit snug on the tank (see Figure 3). 

All substances, including salt, added to the drinking water in a public water system must conform to standards of the “American National Standards Institute/National Sanitation Foundation” (ANSI/NSF).  This is to ensure it is a quality product that will not introduce contaminants into the drinking water. Solution: Ensure the ANSI or NSF symbol can be located on the bags of salt you use or ensure your salt supplier can provide you with documentation from the salt manufacturer that it is ANSI or NSF certified. 

Cartridge filters: Over time, cartridge filters will become clogged with iron or other minerals from your source water. When clogged, the filters become a breeding ground for bacteria. Solution: Ensure filters are replaced in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications or even more often, depending on the quality of your source water.

General maintenance: Water treatment equipment should be accessible and cleaning solutions and other non-drinking water chemicals and materials should be kept away from the equipment. If treatment equipment is not accessible for Ohio EPA staff to inspect during a sanitary survey, it will not be accessible to the water treatment operator for routine maintenance or during an emergency. Likewise, non-drinking water chemicals stored in close proximity to treatment equipment can be an invitation for a mix-up or, even worse, intentional vandalism (see Figure 4). Solution: Keep clutter and non-drinking water chemicals and equipment away from drinking water treatment equipment. Preferably, these items should be stored in a different room.

 

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