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.
Taming the Wild West
The varied approaches currently used by manufacturers for the design of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems for wastewater applications have resulted in an environment not unlike the “Wild West.” Techniques used for sizing and operating UV reactors range from mathematically derived intensity and flow distribution models to biodosimetry- based validation testing in accordance with a variety of standardized and nonstandardized protocols. Therefore, comparing and evaluating UV system designs by various manufacturers can be a difficult process marred by uncertainty.
A Rocky Problem
The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (PVSC; Newark, N.J.) faced a rocky problem: A host of design, operation, and maintenance challenges plagued the 37-year-old headworks at its wastewater treatment facility. One challenge — pumping grit from closely spaced grit channels — proved particularly resistant to solutions used in the wastewater field, despite some innovative approaches. Unwilling to give up on the project, PVSC looked for help in the mining industry.
Restoring Lifelines in Haiti
It was late one March afternoon, and Dennis Warner had just left a tense meeting with the Haitian leaders of a 2300-person refugee camp that had been built on a 16-ha (40-ac) garbage dump following the devastating 7.0 earthquake 2 months earlier.
Catholic Relief Services (Baltimore), the agency Warner represents, had agreed to pay locals $5 a day to dig latrines and shower drains at the camp. The committee responsible for coordinating the workers was now also demanding payment.
With about $7 million to spend on humanitarian relief to help the people of Haiti get through the initial trauma of the earthquake, the relief agency balked. “Our policy is that only the persons doing actual labor get paid,” Warner said.
The committee leaders’ request was denied.
It was just another difficult moment in Warner’s long day as Catholic Relief Services’ senior technical advisor for water and sanitation.
“Restoring water and sanitation following a major disaster is never easy,” Warner said later. “But in Haiti, the challenges are all magnified by the great poverty and the poor quality of the public works before the earthquake.”
Coming in the next issue:
Clearing the Air
Odor and emissions control is a critical element of wastewater treatment. It can make or break your relationship with the community. And successfully capturing odors requires scrutiny of just about every process in a plant. In the July issue, we feature the odor control systems at an award-winning, state-of-the-art biological nutrient removal plant. You’ll get an inside look at the design, commission, and troubleshooting of a biofiltration system that has operated for nearly 2 years with no odor complaints. The Certification Quiz will give you a chance to brush up on where odors come from and how to best prevent and handle them.
Also in this issue:
- Microconstituents: A California plant examines how well its treatment processes remove compounds from wastewater and biosolids.
- Stormwater: A park renovation project shows that stream restoration and stormwater management can go hand in hand.
- Process optimization: An operator’s view on getting the most from your environmental management system investment. Plus, how a Montana plant’s minor changes resulted in major improvements in its nutrient removal performance.
- Industrial treatment: A winery uses a microbial-electrolysis-cell reactor and wastewater to generate hydrogen.
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