Municipal Water/Wastewater Blog

Municipal Water and Wastewater

Strategies for Reducing Disinfection Byproducts

Posted by WesTech Engineering on May 7, 2020 7:14:32 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) to create a safeguard for public drinking water. While this rule requires plants to treat surface waters with disinfectants, the disinfectants they use can react with natural organic matter (NOM) in their source waters to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs) that may be carcinogens. As a result, the EPA has implemented DBP rules that regulate DBP compounds such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs).

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Category: Water Treatment

Establishing an Effective PFAS Treatment Plan

Posted by WesTech Engineering on Sep 23, 2019 11:24:40 AM

A group of chemicals known as PFAS – perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances – has been generating a lot of attention. With PFAS in drinking water, public health may be at risk of adverse health effects such as high cholesterol, low birth weight infants, immune-system problems, cancer, and thyroid disease.

Media attention about the topic has grown, and municipal water plants are facing pressure to evaluate PFAS treatment and how to best approach this emerging contaminant in their own water sources.

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Category: Water Treatment

Thirty Years of Spiral Rakes in Clarifiers – What Have We Learned?

Posted by Russell C. Wright, MS, PE on May 22, 2019 3:07:49 PM

The year 2019 marks thirty years since WesTech’s first installation of spiral blade clarifiers at the 23rd Avenue Treatment Plant for the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The then-new clarifier design included many innovations, including (but not limited to) deep, continuous spiral rake blades, an energy dissipating inlet (EDI), and a Stamford baffle below the effluent weir. It was christened the COP™, which stood for Clarifier Optimization Package.

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Category: Water Treatment

Removing Radionuclides from Drinking Water

Posted by WesTech Engineering on May 2, 2019 4:23:26 PM

All radionuclides emit radiation as they decay. However, not all radionuclides occur in surface water and groundwater in measurable amounts.

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Category: Water Treatment

Nitrogen Pollution From Agriculture Is a Growing Issue for Drinking Water

Posted by WesTech Engineering on Aug 9, 2018 7:21:51 PM

Growing enough food to feed an expanding population places complex demands on the environment, most significantly from agricultural run-off. Nitrate pollution from excess fertilizer application challenges the quality of water sources and can require a nitrate removal solution to make water safe to drink.

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Category: Water Treatment

Clarifier Upgrade Challenged by Municipal Water Treatment Plant’s Setting

Posted by WesTech Engineering on May 24, 2018 10:25:21 PM

Hester Park overlooks the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It is a picturesque space dotted with Works Projects Administration-era stone bridges and walking trails. Hidden underneath the grass fields and play areas of the park is the municipal water treatment plant, which was built into the hillside in the 1950s. Its size is deceptive -- only a third of the facility is visible to the park visitors. People who come to the park enjoy their activities without realizing that the municipal water treatment equipment, such as clarifiers, filtration, and chemical treatment, is situated directly beneath them.

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Category: Water Treatment

Reduce Energy Costs Using Dissolved Air Flotation for Waste Activated Sludge Thickening

Posted by Michael Vanderhooft on May 21, 2018 4:22:01 PM

From 1973 to 1976, the EPA and the state of California sponsored a pilot study in Carson, California. The final technical report was completed in 1980 and is available on the EPA’s website, entitled Waste Activated Sludge Processing, document EPA-600/2-80-147.

Several technologies were tested for the handling of waste activated sludge, but the process endorsed by the report was “that dissolved air flotation be adopted for thickening of waste activated sludge.”

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Category: Wastewater Treatment

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