Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) is the premier magazine for the water quality field. WE&T provides information on what professionals demand: cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, operations and maintenance, regulatory and legislative impacts, and professional development.
And now for something completely different
WEFTEC sprinkles new opportunities among its mainstays
Change is good, and for that reason, WEFTEC® 2012 in New Orleans will feature many new events, as well as a new spin on some returning sessions. For example, the Clean Water policy update will highlight new directives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such as the revised framework for its integrated municipal stormwater and wastewater approach. Also, for the first time, WEFTEC will include a spot specifically to network with colleagues and WEF’s experts outside of technical sessions.
Warming up to winter
Trickling filter technology has a long history as a reliable form of wastewater treatment and has been used since the 1800s. This longevity can be attributed to the trickling filter’s simple design, low cost, and, most importantly, good results for biological treatment — assuming, of course, it is designed and operated properly.
For ammonia removal, trickling filters do well in warm weather, but cold temperatures lead to poorer performance. But a Pennsylvania treatment plant has uncovered a design innovation that enables nitrification even during extremely cold months.
Numerical ratios appear everywhere. New hybrid cars consume fuel at a rate of 19 km/L (44 mi/gal), a ratio. Olympic athletes can run 1.6 km (1 mi) in 3.75 minutes (an impressive ratio). Police officers pay close attention to how many miles per hour cars are traveling (a potentially expensive ratio). When considering loans, banks calculate applicants’ debt-to-equity ratios, a standard that compares how much money a person owes to his or her net worth.
The question becomes, What ratios should wastewater treatment plants be calculating and comparing to other treatment plants? The answer will vary with each plant’s individual goals, interests, and needs. But there exist some basics in ratio analysis that are relatively universal.
Funding shortfalls, aging infrastructure pose top challenges for industry, survey says
A recent report summarizing a survey of U.S. water-sector participants paints a picture of an industry progressing on such issues as sustainability and asset management while having a harder time devising solutions to anticipated funding shortfalls.
Released in mid-June, the report — 2012 Strategic Directions in the U.S. Water Utility Industry — details the results of a survey of water and wastewater utilities conducted by Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.). By documenting the main challenges for water utilities, the report helps define “what we need to do in the industry and what we need support for politically to be able to make the investment to maintain the security of our water system,” said Cindy Wallis-Lage, president of Black & Veatch’s global water business.
Coming in the next issue:
Hitting the sweet spot
Tight nutrient limits are easy to hit given unlimited energy for aeration and chemicals. And minimizing energy and chemical use is easy as long as meeting tight nutrient limits isn’t required. But doing both at the same time takes research, skills, the right equipment, and painstaking attention to detail.
Learn a straightforward method for estimating maximum specific nitrifier growth rates, which can enable operators to optimize performance. This method involves a series of simple, short tests using common laboratory equipment.
Also, read about hybrid aeration systems that mix mechanical and diffuser technologies to improve overall aeration efficiency. The authors call this technique “the key to energy efficiency for medium-sized wastewater treatment plants” and report that it can result in energy savings of up to 50%.
Also in this issue
- Reflecting on 40 years of the Clean Water Act
- Tightening security at wastewater treatment plants
- Managing fats, oils, and grease along the Potomac River
- Building local economies on water research, resources, and best practices
- Equipping treatment plants to help ease power outages