Entries for the 'Water Treatment' Category

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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.

 

12

In any new water project, the structure and management of the project are important factors of success. You need to know how things will be done and whom will do them. These details are often required when applying for loan or grant funding in the form of a Quality Assurance Project Plan or QAPP. 

The U.S. EPA has a number of resources related to Quality Assurance Project Plans. Generally the EPA requires a Quality Assurance Project Plan when projects are directly conducted by the EPA, or when they are funded by a grant, contract, or other agreement from the EPA.

The QAPP lays out the procedures and other technical information related to data collection, modeling, and other items needs to gather a clear picture of the scope of a project before it is undertaken.
 
The EPA’s website offers a great deal of information on QAPPs, from explaining them to developing them. For instance, they developed a guide for Alaska Tribal QAPP which can serve as an introduction and template for other tribal operators developing similar documents.
 
Additionally, they have a Quality Assurance Project Plan Development Tool, which is a series of documents and guides to help in the step-by-step development of your unique plan. And they have published a self-guided course online which consists of both Powerpoint and Word documents that offer an introduction to plan development. There are also a number of examples and additional online resources available.
 
The QAPP can be viewed as a blueprint for collecting the relevant data to ensure a successful project. A Quality Assurance Project Plan is required in addition to a Quality Management Plan, as the two documents provide unique information needed for any project.  
 
The links above provide a good introduction to Quality Assurance Project Plans, and the EPA’s website has additional material to assist in understanding and developing a plan. 
26

Resources for Tribal operators are spread out all over the web, and it can often be difficult to find the information needed. While a great deal of material is based on the websites of Federal agencies like the U.S. EPA, it can take quite some time to locate specific information related to regulations, training, and the like.

Northern Arizona University, and specifically their Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, works with Federal agencies to develop programs related to the specific needs of Tribal waste management, emergency response, and similar environmental needs.
 
Their Resource Information Center (PDF brochure) contains hundreds of documents on a range of environmental subjects including solid waste and water management, among others. You can search the Resource Information Center by category as well. The information available includes lesson plans, technical documents and guides, and more.
 
For the latest information, they also publish a newsletter that includes news on grant opportunities, courses and training, and conferences.
 
While there is not yet a central resource providing all of the information that tribal operators and environmental professionals need, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals is a valuable site that can help navigate more easily to the specific information you need. Contact them with questions or to find out if they have or offer what you’re looking for. 
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