Florida Water Resources Journal - April 2024

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Editor’s Office and Advertiser Information:

Florida Water Resources Journal

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Published by BUENA VISTA PUBLISHING for Florida Water Resources Journal, Inc.

President: Richard Anderson (FSAWWA)

Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority

Vice President: Joe Paterniti (FWEA)

Clay County Utility Authority

Treasurer: Rim Bishop (FWPCOA)

Seacoast Utility Authority

Secretary: Mish Clark Mish Agency


The Post Office will not forward your magazine. Do not count on getting the Journal unless you notify us directly of address changes by the 15th of the month preceding the month of issue. Please do not telephone address changes. Email changes to changes@fwrj.com or mail to Florida Water Resources Journal, 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711

Membership Questions

FSAWWA: Casey Cumiskey – 407-979-4806 or fsawwa.casey@gmail.com

FWEA: Karen Wallace, Executive Manager – 407-574-3318

FWPCOA: Darin Bishop – 561-840-0340

Training Questions

FSAWWA: Donna Metherall – 407-979-4805 or fsawwa.donna@gmail.com

FWPCOA: Shirley Reaves – 321-383-9690

For Other Information

DEP Operator Certification: Ron McCulley – 850-245-7500

FSAWWA: Peggy Guingona – 407-979-4820

Florida Water Resources Conference: 407-363-7751

FWPCOA Operators Helping Operators:

John Lang – 772-559-0722, e-mail – oho@fwpcoa.org

FWEA: Karen Wallace, Executive Manager – 407-574-3318


Florida Water Resources Journal: www.fwrj.com

FWPCOA: www.fwpcoa.org

FSAWWA: www.fsawwa.org

FWEA: www.fwea.org and www.fweauc.org

Florida Water Resources Conference: www.fwrc.org

Throughout this issue trademark names are used. Rather than place a trademark symbol in every occurrence of a trademarked name, we state we are using the names only in an editorial fashion, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. None of the material in this publication necessarily reflects the opinions of the sponsoring organizations. All correspondence received is the property of the Florida Water Resources Journal and is subject to editing. Names are withheld in published letters only for extraordinary reasons. Authors agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Florida Water Resources Journal Inc. (FWRJ), its officers, affiliates, directors, advisors, members, representatives, and agents from any and all losses, expenses, third-party claims, liability, damages and costs (including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees) arising from authors’ infringement of any intellectual property, copyright or trademark, or other right of any person, as applicable under the laws of the State of Florida.

Florida Water Resources Journal, USPS 069-770, ISSN 0896-1794, is published monthly by Florida Water Resources Journal, Inc., 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711, on behalf of the Florida Water & Pollution Control Operator’s Association, Inc.; Florida Section, American Water Works Association; and the Florida Water Environment Association. Members of all three associations receive the publication as a service of their association; $6 of membership dues support the Journal. Subscriptions are otherwise available within the U.S. for $24 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Clermont, FL and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Florida Water Resources Journal, 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711 News and Features 4 Water Conservation Starts With Irrigation, Report Finds—Tory Moore 6 Everglades Coalition Recognizes Environmental Leaders at 2024 Conference 14 Process Page: JEA Nassau Regional Water Reclamation Facility: Meeting 5:5:3:1 Limits Through Membrane Operation—Alexander Gex 36 Contractors Roundup: Contractors Council Fall Conference Recap: State of the Industry — Navigating Unprecedented Challenges—Matt Tracy 54 News Beat 55 In Memoriam: Bobby Jones—Samuel R. Willis Technical Articles 8 What Happens When You Can’t Get There From Here? Lessons Learned From Planning Interdependent and Consecutive Reclaimed Systems—Rich Meckes, Yvonne Picard, and Kim Machlus 24 Promoting Water Conservation: Where to From Here?—Magnus Moglia, Stephen Cook, and Sorada Tapsuwan 46 Starting a Potable Reuse Program: Expect the Unexpected—Ryan Popko Education and Training 19 CEU Challenge 33 FWPCOA Training Calendar 38 Florida Water Resources Conference 38 FSAWWA Fall Conference Call for Papers 39 FSAWWA Roy Likins Scholarship Fund 40 AWWA Membership 41 AWWA Water Operator Scholarship 52 AWWA ACE24 53 UF Treeo Center Columns 16 Speaking Out—Marjorie G. Craig 20 Reader Profile—Arpita Meher 22 C Factor—Athena Tipaldos 34 Let’s Talk Safety: Biohazards and Worker Safety 42 FWEA Focus—Suzanne Mechler 54 Test Yourself—Charles Lee Martin Jr. Departments 56 Classifieds 58 Display Advertiser Index ON THE COVER: The OASIS treatment plant at the City of Pompano Beach Utilities Department. The gray pipes are the influent pumps; there are also purple pipes in the background for the reuse distribution system. The 7.5 million-gallon-per-day (mgd) plant saves an average of 3.5 mgd of drinking water for irrigation. (photo: Randy Brown) Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 3 Volume 75 April 2024 Number 4

Water Conservation Starts With Irrigation, Report Finds

Florida is expected to grow by another 15 million people by the year 2070, according to the Florida 2070 project, resulting in a population of almost 34 million. This means more homes, more yards with permanent in-ground sprinkler systems, and a greater impact to the state’s water supply.

Florida 2070

Florida 2070 is a joint project of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the GeoPlan Center, and 1000 Friends of Florida. The partnership was formed to develop a series of geographic information system (GIS)based state and regional maps to explore the challenges presented by a growing state.

The study includes a series of statewide and regional maps for three scenarios: 2010 Baseline; 2070 Trend, emphasizing current development patterns; and 2070 Alternative, with a morecompact pattern of development and increased protected lands.

The scenarios are based on current data and data-based projections, drawn from a collection of academic and professional organizations, including the GeoPlan Center’s Florida Geographic Data Library. The resulting report and visualization of Florida 2070 uses map graphics to illustrate the impacts of population increase and associated development on land use and irrigation needs.

Florida 2070 is intended to foster a researchsupported discussion on how current public policy and local choices might impact the future. The project outcome shows the value of using scenario maps to illustrate a future to water industry professionals and the public.

Helping Florida Conserve Water

understand where there are opportunities to save water. A University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) program recently published data that provide a benchmark for understanding water use.

The goal of the program, H2OSAV, which is a UF/IFAS Extension program, is to help measurably save Florida water. The H2OSAV conducts research using metered water data to look for trends in water use and find opportunities to save water. The program shares its research to help utilities, extension agents, homeowners, and other stakeholders better understand how water is used in Florida.

The most recent research shared the basics of water use to highlight the best opportunity to save water: irrigation. “We really want homeowners to understand the impact their landscape maintenance has on their water use,” said Nick Taylor, UF/IFAS state specialized extension agent and leader of H2OSAV. “The highest water users are using about 72 percent of their water for irrigation. For many of these homes, they may be giving their lawn more water than it needs, which can attract pests and reduce drought tolerance.”

The program reports on counties around the state and started in Gainesville. The most recent reports covered Orange and Osceola counties.

In Orange County, the homes included in the study used an average of 299 gallons of water per day. To put that into perspective, that is like using 2,265 standard bottles of water every day.

Water use was divided into four groups:

S Low users

S Low-moderate users

S Moderate-high users

S High users

The high-users group used 668 gallons per day on average. This group has the biggest impact on residential water use, and it’s using more water than the other groups combined.

“These are the people that can make the biggest difference,” said Taylor. “If these high users cut back to the current average, it would save 20.5 million gallons of water a day in Orange County.”

After learning this, you may ask, “What are the highest water users using their water for and why the stark contrast?” The key difference is inground irrigation systems and how they are set to run. On a typical quarter-acre lot set to deliver a half-inch of water, an in-ground irrigation system uses 2,000 gallons each time the lawn is watered.

“When your customers water their lawns, the best way to lower their utility bills and save water is to reduce their irrigation,” said Taylor.

Some ways for customers to start saving water are to:

S Look for issues with the irrigation system. This includes leaks, vegetation blocking the sprinkler, and ensuring turf and landscape are irrigated in different zones.

S Only water the lawn when it needs it. There are AskIFAS resources that explain when to water the yard. Homeowners can also invest in technology that makes it easy for the lawn to get the water it needs. While it’s the law to have a working rain sensor device, there are also smart devices, such as evapotranspiration (ET) and soil moisture sensor (SMS) controllers that ensure the lawn gets the amount of water it needs without overwatering. As a utility provider you may even have rebates to help with the cost of purchasing these smart devices.

S Get an irrigation audit or inspection. Information from the local UF/IFAS Extension office can help identify ways to reduce water use by providing a free irrigation audit or inspection.


For more information on the H2OSAV research in Orange County, visit the full published findings on AskIFAS at edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Utilizing Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is another way to reduce water consumption; learn more about these principles and what makes a FloridaFriendly yard at www.ffl.ifas.ufl.edu.

4 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Everglades Coalition Recognizes Environmental Leaders at 2024 Conference

Over 400 conservation groups, leaders, scientists, students, and supporters attended the 39th Annual Everglades Coalition Conference, held January 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs. The three-day conference is the largest forum for discussing the restoration of the Everglades and featured several keynote speakers, educational sessions, and awards.

An Alliance for Everglades Protection

The Everglades Coalition is an alliance of nearly 60 local, state, and national conservation and environmental organizations dedicated to full restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem, from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes into Lake Okeechobee and to the estuaries, through the River of Grass, out to Florida Bay and the Keys. The organization strives to preserve and restore the diversity of ecosystems that comprise the greater Everglades and to provide a forum for those who depend on or care about those ecosystems. The group is committed to being inclusive and fostering a collaborative environment where all stakeholders feel valued, respected, and engaged— both in the work as an alliance of separate groups and as a model for engagement by its member organizations.

Each year, the coalition hosts its annual conference to educate attendees about the full restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. The 2024 conference, with the theme, “Everglades Restoration Rewards: Benefitting Ecosystems, Economies, and Communities,” featured panelists who presented topics on ecological health and economic success, environmental advocacy, art and culture concerning the Everglades, marine ecosystems, and the future of Florida’s conservation.


Since 1995, the coalition has presented awards at its annual conference to individuals who

have made outstanding contributions to protect and restore the Everglades and mirror the ideals and accomplishments of the award namesake.

Four honorees were recognized at the 2024 conference in the following categories, as were several students:

Conservationist Award

The Conservationist Award was given to Marisa Carrozzo, the senior coastal and wildlife program manager of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). As senior coastal and wildlife program manager, she continues her work of protecting land and water in areas like the Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Prior to joining NPCA, Marisa was the water policy manager with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida where she led campaigns to improve and protect water quality in the Everglades and beyond. A treasured member of the Everglades community, Marisa also served as coalition cochair for four years.

Public Service Award

Col. Charlette Roman, an at-large member of the South Florida Water Management District and chair of the Big Cypress Basin Board, received the Public Service Award. For over 20 years, Roman has worked to restore America’s Everglades, improve water quality, protect the region from flooding, and ensure an adequate water supply for South Floridians.

Hall of Fame

Terrence “Rock” Salt entered the Hall of Fame for his work in the effort toward congressional authorization and funding for the Kissimmee River Restoration Project and his help in setting the course for the start of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Salt is a current cochair of the Conservation Committee and board member for Tropical Audubon Society.

Voice of Conservation Award

The Voice of Conservation Award was granted to Mac Stone, a contributing photographer for National Geographic, a senior fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a National Geographic Society Explorer, to recognize his work elevating conservation issues through his photography and videography. Stone runs Naturaland Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to permanently protecting critical lands for the public.

Student Scholarships

In addition to honoring conservationists, the coalition, in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association, selected 20 students to receive full scholarships to attend the conference, which included student mentorship opportunities and a chance to be featured on the Future Leaders panel. Each year, the organization also waives conference registration fees for all teachers and students interested in attending, and a record number of students participated this year. The coalition also announced equity and community engagement speaker stipends to offset the costs of participation for speakers in need. By reducing barriers to entry, the coalition hopes to increase access each year to the conference.

Other Activities

The 2024 conference concluded just before the Tallahassee for Everglades Action Day on February 7, a day of action on behalf of America’s Everglades during the Florida Legislative session. For more information, visit www. evergladescoalition.org/evergladesactionday.

The 40th Annual Everglades Coalition will take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2025, at the Miccosukee Resort Casino in Miami. To learn more about the coalition and the 2025 conference, visit EvergladesCoalition.org/Conference. S

6 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal


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What Happens When You Can’t Get There From Here? Lessons Learned From Planning Interdependent and Consecutive Reclaimed Systems

Rich Meckes is operations manager for Indian River County Department of Utility Services in Vero Beach. Yvonne Picard, P.E., is senior project manager and lead process mechanical engineer at AtkinsRéalis in Orlando. Kim Machlus is president and principal technologist at KMAC Consulting in Orlando.

Master planning of interdependent and consecutive reclaimed systems can create challenges that are not typical of most master plans. The interdependence between facilities must be taken into account when creating the master plan, as recommended operational and/or capacity improvements can create challenges for the downstream facilities. In addition, a simple water balance of system supply and demand can be misleading in consecutive systems, as there may be hydraulic constraints between facilities and downstream storage issues that hinder transfer of water. To determine capital improvement projects, an evaluation of each facility must include both the needs, and the consequences of addressing those needs, on the upstream and downstream facilities.


In 2019, Indian River County Department of Utility Services (IRCDUS) contracted with Atkins NA to produce a Reclaimed Water Master Plan. The reclaimed water system consists of reclaimed water from three wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs) and a reuse storage and repump facility, as shown in Figure 1. The four IRCDUS facilities create a consecutive system that is interconnected as follows:

S South Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (South WWTF) to West Regional WWTF (West WWTF)

Continued on page 10

8 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Figure 1. Indian River County reclaimed water service area.
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S West WWTF via transmission piping downstream of the Central Regional WWTF (Central WWTF)

S Central WWTF and West WWTF to North Reuse Storage and Repump Facility (North Reuse Facility)

S North Reuse Facility to the Barrier Island customers

In addition, IRCDUS has two permitted wet weather and reject water disposal locations: rapid infiltration basins (RIBs), rated for 14 mil gal per day (mgd) located near the Central WWTF, and a 136-acre manmade wetland site adjacent to the West WWTF.

Unfortunately, due to the wetlands’ discharge to a protected watershed, the wetlands had recently been severely constrained and the original permitted discharge of 4 mgd had been reduced to less than 1 mgd, with a 2032 requirement of zero discharge, except under emergency conditions (discussed later).

The original intent of the Reclaimed Water Master Plan was to assist IRCDUS in identifying new reuse customers in the North Service Area and determine the reuse system improvements required to facilitate the addition of these new customers. The focus was on future customers in the North Service Area, as this is the only pressurized portion of the reclaimed system and a significant amount of development was anticipated in this area. This objective was based on a simplistic water balance comparing available reclaimed water from all three WWTFs to current and anticipated demands through 2040, with the belief that the transmission of reclaimed water to

the North Service Area was possible. This water balance showed a surplus of reclaimed water, as seen in Figure 2.

Early into the master planning activities, however, it became apparent that the supplyand-demand water balance did not match what operations staff was actually seeing in the field. There were concerns over the supply projections, pump operations, and regulatory requirements that needed to be incorporated into the water balance. To understand why there was such a difference in what was possible and what was actually occurring in the field required an expansion of the initial master plan objective to include an evaluation of current operational constraints. It quickly became apparent that these constraints were due to the interdependent nature of the IRCDUS reclaimed water facilities and infrastructure. This interdependence includes the following considerations:

S The South WWTF has one reuse customer and is otherwise dependent on the West WWTF for disposal of surplus reclaimed water.

S The West WWTF must have the ability at all times to dispose of or transfer the reclaimed water coming from both West and South WWTFs.

S The reclaimed water from both South and West WWTFs is needed to meet the reuse system demands in the Central and North Service Areas of the county, where 90 percent of the demand is located.

S Refilling the North Reuse Facility storage tank is hydraulically dependent on reuse demands in the Central Service Area.

Understanding the operational constraints

associated with each WWTF and how those limitations affect consecutive facilities became the key objective of the master plan that would form the basis of the recommendations for the IRCDUS reclaimed water capital improvement plan (CIP). To capture this information, analysis of each reclaimed water facility was conducted, starting with the South WWTF. The South WWTF is the first facility in the IRCDUS reclaimed water consecutive system; what happens at the South WWTF affects the West WWTF, which in turn affects the next two facilities (Central WWTF and North Reuse Facility), and ultimately, their respective customers.

South Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility

The South WWTF has a permitted capacity of 2 mgd annual average daily flow (AADF). The WWTF currently treats 0.71 mgd and has a peaking factor of 3.85. The anticipated flows in 2040 range from a low of 1.68 mgd to a high of 2.16 mgd. There is presently no onsite storage or equalization tank at the South WWTF.

There are three options for disposal and/or storage of the reclaimed water produced at the South WWTF:

S Provide reclaimed water to Indian River Golf Course (limited to available pond storage)

S Dispose of reclaimed water in onsite RIBs that are limited to 0.45 mil gal (MG)

S Transfer of reclaimed water to the West WWTF

Under all conditions, the majority, if not all, of reclaimed water from the south must be transferred to the West WWTF for disposal.

Although the existing reclaimed water pumps are each designed for 1,800 gal per minute (gpm), or 2.6 mgd, they are limited to a discharge flow to the West WWTF of 990 gpm (1.4 mgd) when one pump is running. Operations staff noted that there is very little capacity gained (+0.16 mgd) through the use of a second pump and this was validated through hydraulic modeling. This is due to the hydraulic limitation caused by the high head loss in a 10,000-lin-ft section of the transmission main where it reduces from 16-in.- to 8-in.-diameter piping.

With a peaking factor of 3.85 and effluent pumps hydraulically constrained, peak-hour flows and wet weather events are currently managed through the use of existing treatment capacity tank volume and the onsite RIBs. As flows to the plant increase over time, however, there will be insufficient onsite surplus tank volume to handle these events, reducing operational flexibility and increasing concerns for overflows.

Two capital improvement projects were recommended for the South WWTF. The

10 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
8.53 9.22 5.10 10.27 3.45 8.02 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 Flow Rate (MGD) Year Indian River County Reclaimed Water Overall System Supply and Demands Without Consideration of System Constraints RW System Low Supply RW System Medium Supply RW System High Supply RW System Demands
Figure 2. Indian River County simplistic reclaimed water balance.

first addressed the upgrades to the existing transmission piping to allow the use of the full capacity of the existing reuse pumps. The second recommendation was the addition of a new reclaimed water equalization tank to allow for storage of peak-hour flows and wet weather events until surplus pump capacity is available during low-flow periods of the day.

Although the proposed capital improvement projects will improve the ability to manage and transfer reclaimed water from the South WWTF, they will also increase the effluent flows that must be handled at the West WWTF.

West Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility

The West WWTF has a permitted capacity of 6 mgd annual average daily flow (AADF). The WWTF currently treats 2.22 mgd and has a peaking factor of 2.5. The anticipated flows in 2040 range from a low of 3.3 mgd to a high of 3.75 mgd.

In addition to managing the effluent from its own facility, the West WWTF receives reclaimed water from the South WWTF. Currently, the South WWTF utilizes the combined maximum pump capacity of the effluent pumps of 1,100 gpm (1.58 mgd) to transfer peak-hour flows to the West WWTF. Once the hydraulic constraints in the transmission main between the South WWTF and the West WWTF are corrected, the maximum pump capacity will increase to 2,700 gpm (3.9 mgd); therefore, the West WWTF must also anticipate managing this pump capacity from the South WWTF during peak-hour and wet weather events. Table 1 summarizes the daily disposal needs at the West WWTF.

Due to the quantity of water accumulated in a potential wet weather event and the addition of the flow from the South WWTF, it was recommended that a 2-MG reclaimed water equalization tank be constructed at the West WWTF as a priority project. This tank will provide a location to equalize flows prior to either transferring offsite or disposing onsite.

There are currently two disposal options at the West WWTF that can be utilized, either individually or in combination, to manage the daily volume of reclaimed water as defined in Table 2. These options are:

Disposal Option 1: Transfer reclaimed water to the Central WWTF Service Area and North Reuse Facility storage tank or to Bent Pine RIBs.

Over 90 percent of the county’s public access reuse (PAR) customers are located in the Central WWTF and North Service Areas. Meeting these demands is a priority when determining where to send reclaimed water from the West WWTF.

Although the existing reclaimed water pumps are each designed for 1,400 gpm (2 mgd), operations staff noted that there is very little capacity gained through the use of a second pump and this was validated through hydraulic modeling. This is due to the hydraulic limitation caused by the high head loss in the 42,000 lin ft (~8 mi) of the 12-in. transmission main.

The Bent Pine RIBs site is designed and permitted for 14 mgd and is the main disposal site for the Central WWTF. Reclaimed water in the transmission main from the West WWTF

can be directed to the RIBs site as an alternative to supplementing PAR to the Central and North Service Areas. Unfortunately, the available storage is limited by the transmission main capacity as discussed.

Disposal Option 2: Dispose of reclaimed water at the onsite wetlands.

When first created, the wetlands were designed for 6 mgd and permitted for 4 mgd. The discharge from the wetlands is a canal

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 11
2019 2025 2040 Volume from Wet Weather Event* at West WWTF 0.9 0.9 1.6 Flow from South WWTF (Maximum Pump Capacity) 1.6 1.6 3.9 West WWTF AAD Flows 2.2 2.2 3.7 Total Daily Volume (MG) 4.7 4.7 9.2 *Wet weather event = Peak hour flows * 4 hours
2019 2025 2040 Notes Central WWTF PAR 2 2 2 Limited by hydraulic constraints Wetlands at West WWTF 1.8 1.8 1.8 Restricted by discharge limits (see text for recently defined 2032 discharge requirements) Available Disposal 3.8 3.8 3.8 Disposal Required 4.7 4.7 9.2 From Table 1 Disposal Surplus/(Deficit) (0 9) (0 9) (5 4)
Table 1. Daily Transfer and Disposal Needs (Million Gallons) at West Wastewater Treatment Facility
Gallons) 2019 2025 2040 Notes 2019 2025 2040 Central WWTF Reclaimed Water1 2.2 2.4 3.5 Central Service Area Reuse Demand 2.2 4.2 5.2 Surplus/(Deficit) of Reuse Demand 0.0 (1.8) (1.7) West WWTF Supply to Central2 2 2 2 Surplus/(Deficit) of Reuse Demand 2 0.2 0.3 1 Based on anticipated low-flow rates into Central WWTF 2 Maximum pump capacity at West WWTF (due to hydraulic restrictions)
Table 2. West Wastewater Treatment Facility Reclaimed Water Daily Disposal Options (Million
Flow Rates (mgd) 2019 2025 2040 North Demand 0.2 0.4 1.4 Available from Central and West 2 0.2 0.3 Surplus/(Deficit) of Reuse Demand 1.80 (0.2) (1.1)
Table 3. Central Wastewater Treatment Facility Supply and Demand Balance
Flow Rates (mgd) 2019 2025 2040 Flow Rates (mgd) 2019 2025 2040 Continued on page 12 2019 2025 2040 Volume from Wet Weather Event* at West WWTF 0.9 0.9 1.6 Flow from South WWTF (Maximum Pump Capacity) 1.6 1.6 3.9 West WWTF AAD Flows 2.2 2.2 3.7 Total Daily Volume (MG) 4.7 4.7 9.2 *Wet weather event = Peak hour flows * 4 hours
Table 4. North Reuse Facility Supply and Demand Balance

Continued from page 11

that is considered part of the Indian River Lagoon Basin, which has been designated as a protection area; therefore, in 2010, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) modified the existing West WWTF permit and the permitted nutrient discharge concentrations now limit flows from the wetlands to a maintenance flow of 0.7 mgd as measured at the discharge to the canal. This discharge flow rate correlates to 1.8 mgd at

the head of the wetlands. An emergency wet weather event discharge of 2.1 mgd is still allowed. To address current disposal needs, the wetlands have been strategically managed to create storage areas and stored flows are slowly released over time.

In 2022, Senate Bill 64 was signed into law and required all discharges into the Indian River Lagoon to be discontinued by 2032. This reduces the amount of flow into the existing wetlands to 1.1 mgd with no discharge into the canal.

IRC Reclaimed Water Overall System Supply and Demands

Update System Evaluation


RW System Low Supply

RW System Medium Supply

RW System High Supply

RW System Demands

Create/Update Hydraulic Model

Incorporate Upstream and Downstream Operations in Each Facility Evaluation

Create Improvement Options for Existing and Future Reclaimed Water System

Develop Threshold Capacities (Timelines) for Improvements

Review system performance criteria based on existing components, anticipated supply and reuse demands, and current operational concerns. Make recommendations for revised or new criteria as required. Evaluate the existing reclaimed water distribution system's ability to meet updated evaluation criteria.

Create a hydraulic model that incorporates system assets with control settings that match field conditions. Verify the hydraulic model through comparison to observed actual conditions utilizing data derived from the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system and through observational knowledge provided by plant operators.

Review each reclaimed water facility on its own, then include the effects from upstream and on downstream facilities. Verify the results with operations staff to ensure that the understanding of existing operations is clear before looking to the future.

Create multiple improvement options for each facility that will enable the system to meet demands for the future. Verify that the options do not negatively affect the upstream and downstream facilities or customers. Discuss all options with engineering and operations staff to determine the most viable.

Incorporate upstream and downstream facilities when developing the threshold capacity for capital improvements. Coordinate with engineering and operations staff on anticipated project schedules and budgets based on the threshold capacities determined for each capital improvement project.

The constraints associated with the currently available disposal options resulted in a deficit of disposal volume, as shown in Table 2.

To address the deficit in disposal, eight disposal options were developed. The options included upsizing the transmission main for offsite transfer of the surplus reclaimed water and/or the creation of new onsite disposal. Due to potential regulatory restrictions for disposal of reclaimed water at golf course ponds and the construction schedule associated with 8 mi of transmission piping and the availability of green space at the West WWTF, onsite disposal was determined to be the best option. The IRCDUS is currently evaluating the geotechnical options for the 243-acre county-owned parcel adjacent to the West WWTF.

Central Wastewater Treatment Facility

The Central WWTF has a permitted capacity of 4 mgd annual average daily flow (AADF). The WWTF currently treats 2.17 mgd and has a peaking factor of 1.73. The anticipated flows in 2040 range from a low of 3.54 mgd to a high of 4.35 mgd.

There are currently three options for disposal of the reclaimed water produced at the Central WWTF:

S Storage of reclaimed water in onsite storage tanks

S Transfer reclaimed water to PAR customers and North Reuse Facility storage tank

S Transfer reclaimed water to Bent Pine RIBs site for disposal

The Central WWTF Service Area has the largest reuse demand due to the number of golf course customers. Table 3 shows the supply and demand balance, which highlights the importance of the reuse supply from the West WWTF. The surplus reuse from the Central WWTF Service Area is used to fill the storage tank at the North Reuse Facility.

Transferring flows to the North Reuse Facility storage tank has been an ongoing issue for operations staff. Due to system hydraulics, the North Reuse Facility storage tank cannot be filled when also supplying reuse water to Central WWTF PAR customers. This creates operational issues and results in manual operation when filling the North Reuse Facility storage tank. A 24-hour extended-period hydraulic model of the system was developed to determine the back pressure sustaining valve set points for each PAR customer in the Central WWTF Service Area. Installation of the back pressure sustaining valves would provide the ability to simultaneously fill the North Reuse Facility storage tank, while supplying PAR demands.

12 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
3.45 8.02 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 Flow Rate (MGD) Year
Figure 3. Indian River County actual reclaimed water balance. Table 5. Approach Outline for Master Planning Consecutive Systems

The recommended capital improvement projects for the Central WWTF included the repurposing of an abandoned onsite sludge tank to provide additional reclaimed water equalization and the addition of back pressure sustaining valves at the Central WWTF PAR sites to allow for simultaneous filling of the North Reuse Facility storage tank.

North Reuse Facility

In order to meet the North Service Area reclaimed water demands, including the Barrier Islands, the North Reuse Facility was created at the abandoned North Regional WWTF. Surplus reclaimed water from the West and Central WWTFs is transferred to the onsite storage tank and repumped to customers on the Barrier Islands. The reclaimed water system associated with the North Reuse Facility is the only segment of the IRCDUS reclaimed water system that is considered a pressurized system.

The North Reuse Facility contains a 3-MG storage tank; three pumps with variable frequency drives (VFDs), with each rated at 850 gpm at 195 ft of total dynamic head (TDH); and one jockey pump. The original design included

piping, structural, and electrical provisions to accommodate two future pumps, each rated at 1,700 gpm at 195 ft of TDH with VFD controls.

The North Reuse Facility is entirely dependent on the surplus flows from the Central and West WWTFs to meet the demands of its customers. Table 4 shows the supply and demand balance and the anticipated deficit in 2025.

The reclaimed water deficit shown in Table 4 can be met through the construction of the proposed Storm Grove Reuse Augmentation Facility included in the IRCDUS 2010 FDEP permit for the West WWTF. This facility could treat up to 5 mgd of stormwater pulled from Lateral A Canal for reuse water augmentation. As shown in Table 4, the Storm Grove Reuse Augmentation Facility may be needed as early as 2025, depending on planned development and the addition of new reuse customers within the Central WWTF and North Reuse Facility Service Areas.

How We Got There

The original intent of the Reclaimed Water Master Plan was to assist IRCDUS in identifying improvements required for expansion of the

reuse system to facilitate the addition of new customers; however, multiple evaluations and discussions with IRCDUS staff resulted in expansion of the initial objective to include evaluations of operational improvements for effluent management. In the end, these concerns were justified when the actual water balance showed an inability to meet reuse demands, as shown in Figure 3, which is a very different conclusion from the more-simplistic water balance shown in Figure 2.

In the end, the question of “Can we get there from here?” was answered and challenges were defined and addressed, although not always as anticipated. It turns out that, to get from here to there, options are available that can compensate for the existing limitations. An outline of the approaches that were employed in the creation of the IRCDUS reclaimed water master plan is provided in Table 5. This outline highlights a variety of critical lessons for planning interdependent sequential reclaimed water systems.

This study can be put into practice or expanded upon by other utilities that have a reuse system comprised of a series of facilities that are dependent on one another. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 13
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JEA Nassau Regional Water Reclamation Facility: Meeting 5:5:3:1

Limits Through Membrane Operation

Alexander Gex

The Nassau

Regional Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), with its process flow shown in Figure 1, was recognized in 2023 by Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) for honorable mention in the advanced wastewater treatment category of the Earle B. Phelps Award. This award is presented annually to wastewater treatment facilities that demonstrate excellent secondary treatment throughout the year and maintain the highest removal of major pollution-causing constituents.

Pre-Anoxic Zone

Raw wastewater with high influent biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) flows into the smallest basin in the series. With free oxygen depleted, bacteria in the wastewater reduce the next best terminal electron acceptor available: nitrate. Nitrate converts to nitrite and nitrogen gas in the process known as denitrification.

Aerobic Zone

Wastewater flows from the pre-anoxic zone to the largest basin in the process train, where free oxygen is provided via fine bubble diffusers. The oxygen acts as an electron acceptor for nitrifiers to oxidize free ammonia into nitrate in the process known as nitrification.

Second Anoxic Zone

Facility Overview

The WRF is a 2-million-gallon-per-day (mgd) average annual daily flow membrane bioreactor (MBR) domestic wastewater treatment facility with four flat-plate membrane basins split from two biological treatment trains. The four membranes consist of 22,400 separate cartridges. Influent passes through two 2-mm drum screens to an influent flow equalization tank before being pumped to the biological treatment train splitter box (Figure 2).

Wastewater flow is split to two separate four-stage Bardenpho treatment trains with membranes for process intensification.

The nitrate converted from ammonia in the previous basin undergoes denitrification. Since most of the readily biodegradable BOD was used in the pre-anoxic and aeration basins, carbon in the form of Micro-C is added as needed to facilitate denitrification. Aluminum sulfate (alum) is also added to chemically precipitate phosphorous prior to entering the membrane basins (Figure 3).

Postaeration/Membrane Basins

Air provided via coarse bubble diffusers produces a two-fold effect:

S Nitrogen gas produced from denitrification in the previous basins gets stripped out of the wastewater through the diffused air bubbles.

S Air bubbles brush across the surface of the membranes, dislodging material deposits and preventing membrane fouling in a process known as scouring.

The membranes filter suspended solids, precipitated phosphorus, and other contaminants, allowing permeate through that’s pumped to the disinfection process. A portion of the remaining concentrated mixed liquor in the basin is recirculated back via mixed liquor recycle pumps to the front of the biological process to retain a portion of mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS).

For conventional wastewater treatment plants, a limiting design criterion for solids retention is the solids loading rate of the secondary clarifiers. The MBRs allow operators to maintain significantly higher MLSS concentrations (at Nassau, it’s 14,000 to 18,000 mg/l in the MBR basins, and 8,000 to 12,000 mg/l in the aeration basins) than plants with secondary clarifiers because of their ability to separate solids without settling by gravity. Another portion of the mixed liquor is pumped to a sludge holding tank via waste activated sludge pumps (Figure 4). Biosolids from the tank are transported weekly to JEA’s Buckman facility for further processing.

Permeate gets pumped to two ultraviolet disinfection chambers, each containing 27 eightlamp modules in three banks in series and flows to the effluent pump station (Figure 5). Treated effluent can be pumped to multiple reuse disposal options within a permitted flow:

S Retention ponds: public access reuse can be pumped to supplement the retention ponds at Amelia National (0.425 mgd) and North Hampton (0.325 mgd) golf courses for irrigation

S Wetland surface water discharge: 0.750 mgd

S Apricot wetland discharge: 0.325 mgd

Additionally, effluent can be sent to four onsite rapid infiltration basins at 0.350 mgd, or utilized for in-plant reuse via a nonpotable water pump station.

Table 1. summarizes the typical plant loadings and effluent quality from January to December 2022.

14 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal PROCESS PAGE
Greetings from the FWEA Wastewater Process Committee! This month’s column will highlight the JEA Nassau Regional Water Reclamation Facility, which won honorable mention for the 2023 Earle B. Phelps Award in the advanced wastewater treatment category. Figure 1. Nassau Regional Water Reclamation Facility process flow diagram. (courtesy of Hazen and Sawyer)

Membrane Bioreactors: Effective Treatment, Critical Maintenance

While membrane bioreactors are a reliable means to produce high-quality effluent in a small footprint, they are typically more expensive and require a vigilant operations team to properly maintain. Over time, membranes lose their ability to filter material due to an accumulation of solids along the surface of the membrane in a process known as fouling. Enough scour air must be provided to mitigate fouling, but too much air can significantly increase the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in the mixed liquor and can inhibit denitrification in the pre-anoxic zone with a high DO mixed liquor recycle stream.

To help prevent irreversible fouling, membrane cassettes occasionally must be lifted out of their basins and chemically cleaned on a regular maintenance schedule. Fouling is measured by the pressure required to move liquid across the membrane, also known as transmembrane pressure (TMP). Without proper maintenance, a membrane’s TMP will reach a critical point that indicates irreversible fouling and eventual membrane rupture.

The JEA operations team at Nassau has not only managed to maintain the system without any out-of-compliance occurrences, but also produced high-quality effluent at an average concentration less than half of the 5:5:3:1 plant effluent permit limits.

The team responsible for the treatment facility’s exceptional performance includes Randy Ellis as manager of Nassau Grid; Tony Fedderly as operations team leader; and Brett Marchant, Wesley Padgett, and Richard Harris as operators.

Congratulations to the Nassau operations team for winning honorable mention for the 2023 Earle B. Phelps Award!

Alexander Gex is a project engineer at Ardurra in Jacksonville. He is secretary of the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) Wastewater Process Committee and webmaster for the FWEA First Coast Chapter. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 15
Figure 2. Drum screen (November 2023). Figure 3. Membrane basin (November 2023). Figure 4. Permeate, waste activated sludge, and mixed liquor recycle pumps (right) with a removed membrane cassette (left) for chemical cleaning (November 2023).
cBOD (mg/L) TSS (mg/L) Nitrate (mg/L) Fecal (CFU) Turbidity (NTU) TN (mg/L) TP (mg/L) TKN (mg/L) NH3 (mg/L) Annual Average Influent 256 296.5 N/A N/A N/A 59.4 7.6 59.43 49.6 Annual Average Effluent 2.0 1.9 N/A 1 µ MPP/ 100ml 0.36 1.4 0.2 0.83 0.125 Number of Occurrences Out of Compliance 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Figure 5. Ultraviolet disinfection channels and effluent pump station (November 2023). Table 1. Typical Plant Loadings and Effluent Quality in 2022 Randy Ellis, manager. Tony Fedderly, operations team leader. Wesley Padgett, operator. Brett Marchant, operator. Richard Harris, operator.

The Value and Evolution of Water: Conservation and Reuse are More Important Than Ever

t seems like the older I get, the faster time flies. I know that cannot possibly be true, but it seems like in the blink of an eye my children grew up, and during that time so much has changed in our industry (and yet some is still much the same). Yet in the whirlwind of life, from watching my children grow to witnessing the transformations in our industry, one thing remains constant: the importance and value of water and the dedicated professionals working primarily behind the scenes.

By the time this column is published, it will already be April and time for the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC). I would like to share with you a little Florida Section and conference background.

A Glimpse Into the Florida Water Resources Conference and its Legacy

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) was formed in 1881, and the Florida Section of AWWA (FSAWWA) was formed in 1926. The earliest reference I could find of a joint Florida conference, a precursor to FWRC, was in 1942, marking this year’s event as the 82nd joint conference. What a grand tradition!

That was before my time, but in my research, I learned that, in the summer of 1941, one of the founders of the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (which, along with FSAWWA and the Florida Water Environment Association, is a sponsor of FWRC) was operator Bob Carnahan. I dug and found he was a relative of my graduate school major professor of the same name, adding a personal touch to our shared history. Such a small world, isn’t it?

The first official FWRC was held in 1990 in Orlando, with the idea to rotate the location around the state. For the first 10 years, a group of volunteers, primarily from where the conference was held, would form a local arrangements committee and put the details

of the conference together, including the technical program, with the registration duties contracted out.

By the time Malachi “Mike” Bennett came into my City of Tampa office and told me I’d been volunteered to be the local arrangements chair for the Tampa FWRC conference in 1998, it was only days before the 1997 conference in Tallahassee. I had no idea what I might be getting myself into, but after some years volunteering for FSAWWA as the teleconference chair and the Region IV deputy trustee (now called the regional vice-chair), I considered myself ready.

I’m sure my director, Dave Tippin, for whom I worked for many years (mostly as his deputy), was behind that “voluntold” assignment. If you knew him, you know that was likely true, as he was dedicated to FSAWWA. Someone gave me a paper list of instructions and some old notes, and I created a notebook for each component of the conference, which ended up being a giant notebook. This was before scanning was common, and there was a lot of paper in use (okay, I still have a lot of paper in use!).

The first thing I did was create a committee and assign a chair to each element of the

16 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Zephyr Hills won the 2023 “Best of the Best” Drinking Water Taste Test. Pictured (left to right) are Eric Martin, water treatment plant operator A; Marjie Craig; John Bostic III, utilities director; CJ Funnell, water superintendent; and Courtney Dantone, with Archer Western and Region IV taste test chair. Zephyr Hills Water Tower (photo credit: Eric Martin, Zephyr Hills) At the Region VI Water Taste Test are (left) Juniper Marini, with Carollo, who served as a judge, and Marjie Craig.

conference, and we had a great time putting the conference together, although it was hard work. I met lifelong professional colleagues and made many friends—including some of you.

We also revamped the logo in 1997, which was finally updated in 2022 (25 years is a good run!) to the current one. Somewhere there is a picture of me with a water otter, the mascot for the 1998 conference, which was on conference shirts, of which I think I still own at least one. In about 2000, the conference evolved into contracting out many of the details, and much of the current board of directors structure was put into place.

I can’t wait to see all of you at the conference this year!

The Value of Water

Surface water sources can really make a water supplier value every drop of water available. The reason I selected a water otter for the Tampa FWRC that year was because the primary water source for the Tampa service area is the Hillsborough River. When you have a shallow reservoir fed by a weather-impacted river, it is particularly important to plan for the dry season and droughts through resource diversification and optimization.

Tampa did diversify its resources, which, besides the river, included a wellfield, Sulphur Springs, and the Tampa Bypass Canal. The last two resources augmented the reservoir during dry times. Tampa was also a member of what is now called Tampa Bay Water. When Pat Lehman left as Tampa’s deputy director to go to the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, I had been working with him on Tampa’s aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project. The ASR is a method of storing water in an underground aquifer during the wet season for use during the dry season, which is another

way to optimize resources. We had just finished an ASR well at the water treatment plant, and we were beginning a project at Rome Avenue Park.

Two more important optimization methods, which are the focus of this month’s magazine, are water conservation and reuse. Over time, programs for both of those methods have expanded statewide, many of them with the support of state funding.

In 1990, Tampa was one of the first utilities—if not the first—to hire a water conservation manager. The level of the position was key because it was equal to the other management positions in operations, engineering, and finance, which spoke to the importance of water conservation to Mr. Tippin and Tampa. Her name was Wendy Nero, and she later became the first woman chair of FSAWWA, coincidentally in 1997-1998, the time I was the FWRC local arrangements chair.

Wendy is a dynamo. She brought energy and expertise to Tampa, grew our water conservation team, and made water conservation a priority and a “household word.” My children grew up with the Tampa water conservation program and can still remember the plays, calendar contests, and other tenets of the program aimed at educating younger generations on the importance of protecting water supplies, which Wendy brought into Tampa and its schools through her team.

Please understand that water conservation meant selling less water and therefore receiving less revenue; in our case, it was for both the utility and the city, which was contrary to Dave’s original outlook. He understood, however, the long-term benefits, including deferring capital for resources and facilities, and importantly, stewardship of the environment (and proper planning!).

Not long after that 1998 FWRC, Dave Tippin assigned me as the lead on Tampa’s

reuse (or reclaimed) water study, which began as a grassroots residential effort to bring irrigation water to south Tampa. Mayor Dick Greco insisted that the project only move forward if it was self-supporting, which has taken some years to accomplish. It is a difficult task to move a project like that forward when it is a retrofit project that was not implemented as a wastewater disposal mechanism. Tampa has long had a tertiary wastewater treatment plant that meets the 5:5:3:1 criteria. The study became a project and is now operational, further diversifying Tampa’s water resources. That takes vision.

Over the time I’ve been in the industry, water conservation and reuse have grown and evolved across the state, particularly with the population growth in Florida and our sensitive environment. Low-flow toilets and rebate programs, low-flow showers and other fixtures, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifications, and changes to building codes have all been implemented, and even accelerated in some areas.

Of the groundwater and surface water used for water supply in the United States, 40 percent is used for power, 40 percent by agriculture, and about 11 percent by water utilities. Florida’s growth is projected to continue, and it is imperative that we become ever more efficient in our water use. However, through these water use reductions, we can only get to a certain level of efficiency, perhaps 50 to 70 gallons per person per day for indoor use.

Navigating the Path Forward

There is no more cheap water, which we’ve been saying for a number of years. Over the last few years, the cost has continued to escalate

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 17
Staff and board members of the Bonita Springs Utilities, winner of the Division V Outstanding Distribution System Award for 2023, receiving the award at the February 2024 board of directors meeting. Entrants for the 2024 Model Water Tower Competition for Region IV.
Continued on page 18

Continued from page 17

due to the pandemic and worldwide economic conditions. The largest water-conserving action that can still be realized is through reducing and optimizing irrigation. Treated wastewater is a valuable resource, whether it is in reuse for irrigation or treated to potable levels, as opposed to losing it altogether through other methods. It can effectively enlarge the water pie, but it is very expensive. The ASR and other storage methods are still important methods for water use efficiency, but we will need to be even more efficient.

The future of conservation and reuse is not to become complacent or focus on it less, but to enhance it still more. It will require more innovative and possibly exotic ideas and methods. Long term it may or will include potable reuse; changes in irrigation practices, such as irrigation zones and categories and restricting irrigation time frames further; stormwater capture; plant restrictions or changes; soil amendments; automated systems; and more.

It will require a new, higher level of water ethic and a culture that understands the true value and importance of water. There are opportunities to develop ways to share the true value of water.

Let’s work together to help make that happen.

Grow Your Water Family: Don’t Miss These FSAWWA Events at FWRC

The FWRC has FSAWWA events among its conference activities and the highlights include:

S The FSAWWA/FWEA/FWPCOA showcase in the exhibit hall on Wednesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. Come to our booth and try your skill at Cornhole, where you can win a set with the FSAWWA logo! I won a set last year, and no, it wasn’t rigged. Tyler Davis did coach me on how to throw, which I promptly forgot before the Fall Conference.

S FSAWWA Water Utility Council and FWEA

Water Resources, Reuse, and Resiliency (WR3) Committee meeting on Thursday, April 4, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

S Young Professionals (YP) joint events starting on Friday, April 5. Come support our YPs!

Please join us in the exhibit hall during the conference and visit the booths for new technology, learn about training, and network with all attendees and volunteers, including manufacturers, consultants, utilities, contractors, students, and more—all vital to our industry and its future.

FSAWWA Calendar

The Manufacturers/Associates Council (MAC) has a series of training symposiums that can be found on the calendar of events at www.fsawwa.org. Check them out—they are organized by the dedicated MAC and are a chance to learn about new technology between conferences.

Reflecting on Past Events: Photos to Share

I have included a few photos from past section events, such as the last Region VI Drinking Water Taste Test and Region X and Region IV Model Water Tower Competition. I was also honored to visit two utilities to help present awards won at the 2023 FSAWWA Fall

Bonita Springs Utilities won the Division V Outstanding Distribution System Award for 2023. This is the 10th time it has won this award (the first time as a Division V utility). Zephyr Hills Utilities won the statewide 2023 Drinking Water Taste Test and will be competing at the AWWA Annual

18 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Entrants for the 2024 Model Water Tower Competition for Region IV. Students at the 2024 Model Water Tower Competition for Region IV. Entrants for the Region X Model Water Tower Competition held at Sarasota Middle School.

Operators: Take the CEU Challenge!

Members of the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (FWPCOA) may earn continuing education units through the CEU Challenge! Answer the questions published on this page, based on the technical articles in this month’s issue. Circle the letter of each correct answer. There is only one correct answer to each question! Answer 80 percent of the questions on any article correctly to earn 0.1 CEU for your license. Retests are available.

This month’s editorial theme is Conservation and Reuse. Look above each set of questions to see if it is for water operators (DW), distribution system operators (DS), or wastewater operators (WW). Mail the completed page (or a photocopy) to: Florida Environmental Professionals Training, P.O. Box 33119, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 33420-3119, or scan and email a copy to memfwpcoa@ gmail.com. Enclose $15 for each set of questions you choose to answer (make checks payable to FWPCOA). You MUST be an FWPCOA member before you can submit your answers!

1. Establishing the need for a potable reuse program often occurs with

a. a drought.

b. failure of the utility’s wastewater disposal system.

c. regulatory pressure.

d. integrated water resource planning.

2. Which of the following is first in sequence for a three-phase potable reuse program?

a. Pilot testing

b. Implementation

c. Staff training

d. Demonstration

3. Some utilities deal with the issue of potable reuse facility operator staffing by

a. offering higher pay.

b. requiring a bachelor’s degree.

c. developing specific competency testing.

d. creating in-house training programs.

4. Which of the following is not listed as a noncost factor in prioritizing water supply options?

a. Staffing

b. System complexity

c. Supply certainty

d. Community acceptance

5. When considering water supply options, capital, and operation and maintenance costs, they should be compared to

a. the same costs experienced by other potable reuse utilities.

b. guidelines published by industry trade organizations.

c. existing production costs.

d. environmental and public health opportunity costs.

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 19
SUBSCRIBER NAME (please print) Article 1 LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded Credit Card Number CVV Number Expiration Date EARN CEUS BY ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM PREVIOUS JOURNAL ISSUES! Contact FWPCOA at membership@fwpcoa.org or at 561-840-0340. Articles from past issues can be viewed on the Journal website, www.fwrj.com. Starting a Potable Reuse Program: Expect the Unexpected Ryan Popko (Article 1: CEU = 0.1 DW/DS/WW02015433)

Arpita Meher Arcadis U.S.

Work title and years of service.

I’ve been a water and wastewater engineer for six years.

What does your job entail?

As as water and wastewater engineer I evaluate, plan, design, permit, and support management of projects for water/wastewater/ stormwater treatment and conveyance (pipelines, treatment, and pumping facilities). I support professional engineering services during construction: construction observation, review of shop drawings, responses to requests for information, and permit closeouts. I assess,


develop, and support the management of sustainability and resilience projects, including vulnerability and mitigation assessments, and planning and design for utilities, municipalities, and cities, along with work on asset management projects performing data analytics, operational and organizational assessments, condition assessments, and overall performance evaluations of water/wastewater/stormwater facilities. My work includes writing reports, preparing presentations, and participating in and leading client meetings.

I ensure that any project I work on is in compliance with health and safety standards, and facilitate coordination for completion and submission of projects on time and within budget. I work independently and as part of a team, with the flexibility to accommodate collaboration with team members across the United States and internationally.

What education and training have you had?

I completed my undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Mumbai, India, and pursued a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of South Florida, Tampa.

What do you like best about your job?

My job involves solving complex challenges and finding innovative solutions to many problems. I love that I can see how my

designs are being built and have a direct or indirect impact on improving public health. I enjoy working with various disciplines of engineering while collaborating on a project.

What professional organizations do you belong to?

I am a young professional member of WEF and FWEA.

How have the organizations helped your career?

I started as the president of the Florida Section AWWA Student Chapter at the University of South Florida back in 2016 and currently serve as the vice-chair for the FWEA Public Communications and Outreach Committee. Involvement in such organizations helps to drive innovation, enhance the expertise of water professionals, and increase the awareness of the value of water. Beyond this, it allows young professionals like me to explore our passions, understand industry challenges, and discover emerging technologies, making us better-prepared to improve the quality of life on our projects.

What do you like best about the industry?

I take immense pleasure in working in the water/wastewater industry, as we are ultimately working toward building sustainable communities.

What do you do when you’re not working?

When I am not working you can find me in my backyard reading a book. I also enjoy long walks, bike rides, kayaking, and weight training. I like to bullet journal to map my brain in a single book. I have been bullet journaling consecutively for the past five years. S

Arpita representing the FWEA Public Communications and Outreach Committee at the Leadership Development Workshop in February 2023. Arpita (bottom row, second from left) attends the 2023 Florida Water Resources Conference with colleagues from Arcadis.
20 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Arpita (far right) moderates a panel of young professionals at a session at the 2023 Florida Water Resources Conference.
Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 21

Educating the Public: How the City of Orlando Education Center and Grease Fighter Mascot Were Born

ducation has always been a passion of mine.

Several years ago I was asked by my oldest daughter, who was then in fifth grade, to come to her school to speak at a Career Day for parents. At the time, my job as an environment specialist for the City of Orlando was to expand its oil and grease management program. My daughter said to me, “Some of my friends’ parents have cool jobs, like police officers, fire fighters, and doctors. Mom, please make poop spills sound cool.” I knew I had to get help—I needed a superhero!

This is how the City of Orlando’s Grease Fighter mascot was born. Grease Fighter joined me that day to teach the students how they could help win the war on sanitary sewer overflows caused by grease. Several years went by, with more requests for public outreach. Our city communications team helped design logos and

branding for Grease Fighter, and he was a big success over the next several years.

As the need for public outreach increased, the idea of expanding our public education, which would include plant tours, was discussed. Working together with my management staff, we soon got to work converting a vacant space that

was once used for a laboratory into the City of Orlando Water Reclamation Education Center.

On Feb. 13, 2015, the first open house was held, and next year, in 2025, the center will celebrate 10 years of tours and educational outreach.

I recently interviewed Kimberlie Schionning, public outreach coordinator for the center, to talk about how it has grown over the years.

In 2019, the education center was a busy place. Frequent tours were happening in the center, as well as offsite programs in local classrooms, afterschool programs, festivals, and conferences. When we entered the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, our reality took a drastic turn. It became a time of working remotely, for the most part, with no guests allowed at the plant. We had to adjust our focus and adapt.

Initially, we thought we would be closed for only two weeks. So, we took that time to make some improvements to the education center. We did some display painting, organized materials, planned for our 500-square-foot garden, and began construction on a little house display inside the center. It would feature education on cleanout caps, food waste, rain harvesting, solar energy, only flushing the three P’s (pee, poop, and paper), and our grease recycling program. It would also give younger visitors a place to play, while older siblings participated in hands-on science activities

22 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

and parents could learn about the problems that are associated with garbage disposals.

It quickly became apparent that we would still be without guests at the center for an uncertain amount of time, so we began to strategize about how we were going to adapt to continue our mission to educate residents. We began to teach virtually to local schools, Girl Scout troops, homeowner association meetings, and even presented a virtual conference.

It was challenging because we were doing things we had never done before, but it eventually got easier. We got even more creative, and our audience was no longer just local. We had Girl Scouts attending presentations from all over the United States and virtually presented at a conference in Australia.

Thankfully, in 2021 we began to adjust to having guests back in the education center again. Groups were much smaller, masks were required, and field trips were not as frequent, but we never

I’m so thankful to be back to a time where the education center is full of life. We are continuing to use it the way it was intended, with a few new ways of doing things.

If you’ve never visited the center in person or virtually, we would love to show you what we do and the difference it makes. Visit our website at www.Orlando.gov/watereducation to schedule

a tour. As a preview, I’ve included several photos here from the center.

I ‘m excited to see how our public outreach has grown over the years. I also look forward to expanding our training courses with the FWPCOA region directors to help bring a better learning experience to our operators and other water industry professionals. S

Promoting Water Conservation: Where to From Here?

This article reports on a review of international water conservation efforts. The aim is to take stock of the current understanding of water conservation, in particular:

S What influences people’s decision to conserve water

S What influences whether people persist with water conservation behavior

S What contributes to awareness and familiarity of water conservation behaviors

Also explored is how all these factors can jointly achieve water savings over time, and the efficacy of past efforts to save water. Subsequently, this is used to identify where leading practices for managing water conservation are heading, which can be argued is the application of recent developments in behavioral science and advances in smart metering to personalize water conservation programs.

To support individualized water conservation efforts, there is need for more longitudinal studies of water conservation behavior and a greater focus on behavioral science, as well as the development of modelling tools that embed insights and lessons of this research into decision support capability. This can help to develop the capacity to better-implement water conservation programs that respond to shortterm water scarcity crises, such as droughts, while also providing persistent reductions in per capita water demand that can help meet strategic water planning needs, such as deferring or downsizing capital investment in supply infrastructure to accommodate demands associated with population growth.

Response to Recent Droughts

Over the last decade, several global regions have experienced severe droughts that have impacted regional water supply security. Furthermore, it’s expected that anthropogenic climate change will increase drought risk in many areas around the world. Water-stressed regions have included California, where a severe drought limited the water available to

support its large population. In Cape Town, South Africa, an extended drought caused dwindling reservoirs and the possibility of a “day zero” when potable water supplies run out for a modern city of 3.7 million people clearly caused by a combination of drought and mismanagement.

The water security of cities is often negatively influenced by population growth, competition with other demands (e.g., agriculture and environment), droughts, overextraction, and pollution of fresh water sources. Typically, however, it’s when a drought strikes that underlying vulnerabilities become apparent, sometimes not allowing planners the time to respond. For example, it’s been argued that the potable water supply crisis in Cape Town was mostly a product of poor management and planning, where decisions were made based on political popularity rather than a scientific assessment of drought risks; therefore, potable water demand-side interventions, i.e., water conservation, is an essential climate adaptation priority.

In particular, potable water conservation measures can be rapidly implemented in response to a drought event, while interventions to augment supply have a much longer lead time to reduce potable water security stress. With the benefit of hindsight, few would now argue it was not prudent to implement potable water conservation measures.

In Australia, the Millennium Drought was an extended period (1996-2010) of belowaverage rainfall that meant water storages for Australia’s most populous cities reached critically low levels. The response to the drought transformed how cities in Australia both source their water and how they use it. In fact, due to the length of the drought, many would argue that it changed the culture of water management in the country.

Generally, the responses to potable water supply deficits are of three types:

S Conserve water

S Substitute potable water with alternatives sources

S Augment existing supplies

Using the second (substitute supply) and third (augment supply) types usually comes

Magnus Moglia, Stephen Cook, and Sorada Tapsuwan are with CSIRO Land and Water in Clayton, Australia.

at considerable costs and requires time to implement. Conversely, water conservation efforts support more-responsive governance and can be implemented quickly and are not associated with large infrastructure investment costs. Pressures, therefore, on potable water supply security highlight the importance of demand-side measures, where the focus of water services is not only on meeting growing demand through augmentation of supply infrastructure, but also on shaping future demand to ensure that water services are reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable. Reduced potable water use is also associated with reduced energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Another important advantage of water conservation, similar to supply augmentation, is that it has the potential to protect environmental water flows, especially at times of drought, and can, if using stormwater as a supply source, even reduce environmental damage caused by urban runoff. As such, potable water conservation is often considered to be an important tool to support sustainable urban water management.

This article also reviews water conservation experiences over the last couple of decades to identify any key lessons, and subsequently provides a discussion about where the key opportunities are for water conservation going forward. As such, it’s framed around a theoretical understanding of how water conservation is implemented through promoting awareness and understanding, and with the addition of a decision trigger, such as drought, can initiate behavioral changes that conserve water.

The primary driver for water conservation is the adoption of water-efficient practices by households. In particular, the discussion here is around how to promote water conservation based on the notion of the “consumer decision journey” translated into the context of water conservation behavior:

24 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

S Awareness and familiarity. How can you make people familiar with water conservation practices? To what extent does this translate into consideration of water conservation behaviors? The consideration here is the active choice whether to undertake a particular behavior.

S Adoption. Once water conservation practices are “on the radar,” what makes people consider and adopt them?

S Persisting. Once people have adopted water conservation practices, to what extent will they persist with this behavior?

Finally, with this in mind, the prime question is: What approaches are available for planners to initiate water conservation behavior in response to future water security challenges?

Scope and Method

As already noted, this article focuses on reviewing experiences to conserve potable water in urban areas, with most of the references from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain. The scope does not cover water governance, but the findings can help inform better decisions (i.e., who can use this information). The article also doesn’t cover nonresidential urban water conservation, or water demand from exurban uses, such as agriculture.

The literature review was undertaken using the Scopus abstract and citation database, which covers more than 36,000 titles and 69 million records. Particular keywords were searched, used singularly or in groups, including but not limited to:

S Water conservation and urban

S Rainwater harvesting and water saving

S Irrigation, water saving, and urban

S Smart meter, feedback, and water saving

S Tariff, metering, urban, and water

S Media, water, conservation, urban, and awareness

S Water, conservation, urban, and public awareness

S Water conservation and psychology

S Awareness, water conservation, and urban

S Awareness, water demand management, and urban

Based on the search results, the focus primarily was on those that fulfilled two criteria:

S Being one of the top-20 most highly cited or were published in the last two years.

S Had abstracts and/or titles that indicated relevance to the topic.

Once key articles were identified and reviewed, the reference lists were followed for what was perceived to be particularly pertinent information. Generally, conference papers were avoided, except in cases when they seemed particularly relevant. This approach was complemented with further “snowballing,” where citations in papers found through the original search were used to develop a more-comprehensive review of relevant papers.

Awareness and Familiarity With Water Conservation Behaviors

There is a reason many of the conservation programs aiming to reduce potable water demand focus on raising awareness, rather than focusing on providing financial incentives or restrictions. In China, where water shortages are becoming increasingly common, water pricing and raising awareness have been proposed as key strategies to reducing demand, while pricing reforms are perceived as difficult to get right. In fact, there is huge potential in voluntary water conservation. This is because the first step toward a household deciding to conserve water is that the members understand the importance of water conservation and they know what to do to reduce water demand.

In India, it was found that uptake of particular water conservation efforts, such as rainwater harvesting, was hampered due to lack of familiarity. Water conservation methods were reviewed, and it was found that, while information campaigns are considered important for creating a more-informed and rational water user, media broadcasts tend to reduce water demand by 2 to 5 percent. The effectiveness of awareness campaigns, however, is unclear and in the range of 0 to 8 percent.

In a more-recent study in California, regular media attention around drought and the need for water conservation has been associated with an 11 to 18 percent reduction in water use. In the context of Namibia, with near-permanent water stress, it has also been argued that information and awareness campaigns need to have a long-term focus.

In one of the most encouraging results, a study in Australia found that providing households with procedural information about how to reduce their water demand achieved a 16 percent reduction, indicating the power of individualized recommendations. Based on experiences of water conservation awareness media campaigns in Barcelona, a report survey indicated that campaigns over several years can achieve a near-complete awareness

(92 percent in the case of Barcelona) of the impacts of severe drought and the associated need for water conservation. Furthermore, nearly two thirds of the population reported to adopting measures to reduce their water consumption, although the majority of actions were behavioral, such as having shorter showers (74 percent), turning off the tap while brushing the teeth (67 percent), and only using the washing machine when full (49 percent).

There were concerns about how the media campaigns were implemented, in the sense that there needs to be a greater focus on how to reduce water demand and providing targeted information suitable to particular household segments. For example, it was noted there was a need for a greater focus on those households with outdoor water use, and what they could do to reduce water demand. This echoes research from the 1980s that found that, while the awareness of the need for water conservation could be generated given underlying circumstances, the increased understanding of specifics of water conservation actions are harder to achieve.

There also needs to be a rigorous and quantitative approach to evaluating the effectiveness of awareness campaigns over the long term, and a better understanding of how the design of awareness campaigns influences water conservation outcomes in different contexts. Particular focus needs to be given to the influence of the credibility of the information source, the narrative style of the message, the information channel, and how the message is targeted to the individual. A more-recent review has argued that awareness campaigns tend to benefit from having a particular behavior change in focus and it’s important to target behavior changes that have a greater impact across a population, such as the innovative use of household smart meter data to provide direct and individualized information feedback on water use patterns, which influenced changed behavior.

Influences on the Choice to Conserve Water

The choice to conserve water depends on contextual factors, such as the price of water, household characteristics, levels of inconvenience, practicality of practices, and the attitudes and social norms of the household. A seminal paper on the subject found evidence in an Australian study that water conservation adoption was driven by a process of environmental awareness, personal

Continued on page 26

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 25

Continued from page 25

involvement, habit formation, and contextual factors, such as income.

Contextual Factors

There are contextual factors that influence both water demand and the potential to conserve water. For example, in Sydney, Australia, it has been shown that changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, and evaporation have a moderate impact on water demand. It’s also known that the urban design, soil type, and urban greenery have an impact on urban heat, as well as on water demand. It has also been observed in California—not surprisingly—that the potential for water savings is greatest during the summer months.

Price and Restrictions

The elasticity of water demand to the price of water has been the topic of many studies and is a typical approach by economists. One study explored an econometric model derived of the form Qd = f(P,Z), which relates water consumption to some measure of price (P) and other factors (Z), such as income, household type, or household composition. There is, however, no consensus on the methodology to analyze water demand. Variables affecting demand include price, household income, weather, housing characteristics (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garden size, and metering), the frequency of billing and tariff design, and indoor versus outdoor use (seasonal demand and peak-load pricing). Furthermore, water companies and/ or governments often put in place water restrictions at times of drought, and this clearly helps to reduce demand.

Restriction of urban water use, especially for outdoor irrigation, tends to come at a cost in terms of externalities put on the community and ecosystem services and it will, in many instances, be more efficient and desirable for planners and to implement alternative approaches.

Household Characteristics

Household characteristics influence water demand and the potential for water conservation, such as:

S Higher income is generally found to be associated with a higher water demand.

S Larger household sizes use more water.

S An older household tends to use more water.

In a study in India, social norms, income, age, and self-efficacy (the perception that one’s actions are able to make a difference) had an

influence on water conservation behaviors. The influence of demographic factors on water conservation behavior is used to test the validity of existing standard approaches to modelling household water use within the water industry. Current approaches to household segmentation, for example, categorize “households of water users” based on sociodemographic or other household characteristics. These approaches assume that these household level variables can “predict” the water-using behavior of particular types of households, as well as other environmental behaviors.

Another important goal of market segmentation is finding out which groups could best be targeted to achieve water savings. Studies have suggested that water conservation be promoted within low-income groups because of the high relative savings, as well as the social benefits to these groups. It has also been argued that there is no “average water user” because there are so many contextspecific factors associated with different sites and different homes (number of kitchen sinks, showers, toilets, outdoor taps, etc.) that vary so greatly that prediction becomes almost impossible. In fact, it has been shown that, even with segmentation based on attitudes, values, and sociogeodemographic variables, current approaches provide relatively poor predictions of individual water use.

A study in South Australia explored the way that the temporal dynamics of metered household water consumption could be explained by individual household characteristics. It was found that household size and personal motivations were important factors, and the level of social comparison predicts temporal changes over time. Based on interviews with water professionals in the country, there is a need to focus more on the application of social, political, and cultural theory in designing water conservation programs. Theoretical insights from these fields can provide for better consideration of gender, intrinsic motivations, cultural considerations, and ethics.

Inconvenience and Impracticality

Empirical data were collected through an Australian survey of 1495 people about attitudes toward water conservation and their stated water conservation behaviors. The results from this survey indicate that Australians generally had, at the time of the study, very positive attitudes toward water conservation and water-saving appliances; however, these positive attitudes did not consistently translate into reported water conservation behavior.

In India, a large survey of urban households

found that water conservation that requires some level of effort, but no financial cost, was significantly less popular than water conservation that did not require behavioral change. It’s believed that important barriers to adoption of water conservation behaviors are the perception of inconvenience and impracticality, as well as costs associated with water-saving appliances. Costs in this instance are not just the financial cost of the appliance, but it includes the perceived time and effort it takes to acquire the appliance, i.e., the opportunity cost of time and the perceived amount of space the appliance will require as well.

Attitudes and Social Norms

Studies have aimed to identify the key determinants of household water use, with a view to identifying those factors that could be targeted in water demand management campaigns. Objective water use data and surveys were collected from 1008 households in four local government areas of southeast Queensland, Australia. Results showed that demographic, psychosocial, behavioral, and infrastructure variables all have a role to play in determining household water use.

Consistent with past research, household occupancy was the most important predictor of water use. Households in regions recently exposed to drought conditions and higherlevel restrictions also used less water than those who had less experience with drought. The effect of water-efficient technology was mixed: some water-efficient appliances were associated with less water use, while others were associated with more water use. Results also demonstrated the importance of considering water use as a collective behavior that is influenced by household dynamics.

Households that reported a stronger culture of water conservation used less water. These findings, along with evidence that good water-saving habits are linked to water conservation, highlight the value of policies that support long-term cultural shifts in the way people think about and use water. Along similar lines, among Indian households, water conservation behavior was most likely in households that considered it a community expectation, and that also had the view that government is not necessarily responsible for providing water security during a drought.

Persisting With Water Conservation Behaviors

Ideally, households persist with water conservation behaviors at the end of water conservation campaigns. Indeed, in many

Continued on page 28

26 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Continued from page 26

countries around the world, the per capita water use is in decline:

S In the U.S. and Canada, there is a decline in per capita water use across many cities.

S Per capita residential water use in Australian cities declined during the Millennium Drought 5 percent in Perth, 11 percent in Sydney, 26 percent in Melbourne, and 48 percent in Brisbane over the period of 2004–2009.

S Per capita potable water use in Chinese cities is currently in decline.

S In cities in Botswana and South Africa, reduced per capita potable water use has been reported.

The reasons for declining per capita potable water use may vary, which in Australian cities is likely to include a combination of adoption of more-waterefficient appliances, shifts to reducing outdoor water use, and greater awareness of the need to conserve scarce water resources, particularly during droughts.

In many instances, targeted water conservation efforts have helped to reduce per capita water use. One such example, as mentioned previously, is the Millennium Drought in Australia, during which per capita water use declined. Figure 1 shows that when the drought broke in Melbourne (circa 2012) there was a rebound in water demand, but most of the reduction in water demand achieved during the drought persisted. Similar results were observed in California, which revealed that in the first year of a campaign to reduce water demand there was

a 19 percent reduction in residential water demand, but only a 9 percent reduction after two years. This indicates that water demand bounced back after the initial efforts. The challenge for water planners is to betterunderstand how programs to increase water conservation behavior during droughts can result in persistent change.

So what types of water conservation behaviors are more “sticky” and which are likely to bounce back over time? Studies on this are limited, which in part is due to the difficulty in untangling the influence of behavioral change on water demand from more-efficient appliance stock and increased substitution with alternative water sources (e.g., household rainwater tanks). The analysis of water conservation behavior surveys from both during and after a drought can, in combination with demand data, provide some useful insights. For this purpose, data from Sydney are shown in Table 1. While there is not enough data to draw too many conclusions, a few implications can be made:

S There is a close correlation between stated intention in 2005 and the selfreported behavior in 2017, beyond what would be expected. This means that stated intentions take time to be realized due to limits on resources—time, effort, knowledge, and capacity, etc. Over time, if motivational drivers remain, the stated intentions will largely be translated into behavior through a process of diffusion.

S The two types of behavior where there appears to have been a bounce-back effect are using washing machines when they are full, and turning the tap off while brushing

teeth. This can mean that when opting out is easy, and when there is an effort and/ or cost involved with persisting with the behavior, some of the households will opt out over time.

S The appliance stock has changed significantly over the period, with frontloading washing machines (previously considered a proxy for water-efficient appliances in Australia) increasing their proportion of the stock from 16 to 37 percent. This uptake of more-waterefficient appliance stock will definitely lead to reduced water demand.

The data in Table 1 are quite consistent with the per capita water demand over time. Most households will persist with most of the water conservation behaviors, even after motivational drivers are removed, except in cases when the effort and/or cost triggers households to regress to prior water conservation behavior. This shows that further longitudinal research is required to explore the persistence of water conserving behaviors, as well as understand the contribution of behavior change relative to changes in appliance stocks in reducing water demand.

What Worked in the Past?

A recent study provided a review of types of water conservation programs. They note a range of residential urban water demand and then focus on an array of policy instruments by which reduced residential water demand can be achieved noting five categories of interventions: technological, financial, legislative, operation and maintenance, and educational. To what extent do the respective programs achieve water savings? This question is explored in Table 2.

Public awareness and media campaigns have been shown to be quite effective, although the exact mechanisms of triggering water use behavior, particularly outside of a drought, are largely unexplored. Public awareness campaigns promoting water conservation practices are a response to a drought episode, and once that drought threat recedes, public awareness efforts are often wound back.

While public awareness campaigns have been effective in reducing water demand, there can be considerable variability. It would be worthwhile to explore how the effectiveness can be maximized both during drought crises and outside of drought.

Moving from fixed pricing to volumetric pricing has a very considerable potential for impact in terms of water savings. This opportunity, however, has already been

28 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Figure 1. Residential water use in Melbourne, 2000-2016. X-axis: years; Y-axis: per capita residential water use in liters per person per day. (source: Melbourne Water)

realized in most cities that have implemented water metering and volumetric pricing schedules. Another option may be to introduce more-complex cost-reflective tariff structures based on reducing demand at peak times that determines many of the supply side costs, or to use increasing block tariffs, whereby consumers that use larger volumes pay a higher price. This this has been noted as problematic from a fairness perspective, given that the cost of meeting basic individual needs will depend substantially on the size of the household, and larger household size is generally correlated with lower socioeconomic status.

Promoting water-saving devices is another high-impact option, but it does typically require some rebates or investments. For example, rainwater tanks may help reduce water demand by up to 80 percent, based on studies in Australia, and which in Indonesia can provide 100 percent volumetric reliability in the right circumstances; however, rainwater harvesting comes at a significant investment cost and requires ongoing maintenance and cooperation by households. A key benefit of these investments in alternative water supply infrastructure is that, to a greater extent, the water demand does not bounce back after a drought.

Systemwide adoption of smart metering technology seems to be an easily obtained gain for managing water demand, where the cost of the metering equipment is, to a large extent, offset if successfully achieving the average reductions in water use of approximately 6 percent. The key advantages of smart meters, however, may not be the immediate savings, but the increased understanding of water use, the potential for leakage, and the possibility to provide targeted messaging to households, which has yet to be fully explored.

What May Work in the Future?

Previous experiences can be used to determine the potential to improve water conservation practices in the future, with a focus on personalized messages to specific sectors and customer cohorts, smart metering, and nudging, and what this means in terms of research needs. Figure 2 depicts the types of actions that might be applied for interventions on a spectrum from broadbased approaches that seek to shape water demand for all customers, to more-targeted approaches at specific sectors or cohorts that have been identified as receptive to water conservation, and finally, actions at the level of an individual customer.

In reality, there will be crossover and interdependencies between these levels of

water conversation interventions. For example, smart meters across a sample of customers can be used to inform interventions targeted at specific cohorts, and also then inform likely responses to broad-level interventions, such as behavioral nudges where customer water consumption relative to a benchmark is displayed prominently on a bill to create a decision trigger for changed behavior or adoption of more-water-efficient appliances.

Water utilities designing conservation programs face a tension between individualizing programs to specific customer types versus broad-level programs that build awareness and create triggers for the adoption

of water conservation across all customers. While individualized water conservation programs may provide the most appropriate interventions for specific customers, they also come at increased cost and effort if programs are to be scaled up for broader adoption. For this reason, a hybrid approach may be most suitable based on the Pareto Principle, which develops individualized water conservation interventions for the 20 percent of customers who can potentially provide 80 percent of the water savings, while remaining customers are targeted through broad approaches.

Continued on page 30

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 29
Self-Reported Behavior 2005 Stated Intention 2005 Self-Reported Behavior 2017 Use half flush button on the toilet 13% 62% 62% Use the washing machine only when full 21% 86% 56% Take shorter showers 29% 58% 57% Reduce garden watering 13% 44% 50% Turn the tap off while brushing teeth 18% 92% 72% Front-loading washing machine (a proxy for waterefficient appliance) 16% N/A 37%
Table 1. Rates of Self-Reported Water Conservation Behaviors in Sydney: 2005 and 2017 Figure 2. Water conservation drivers and levels of intervention.

Continued from page 29

Smart Metering as a Tool for Individualized Behavior Change Prompts

There needs to be further research on how to use smart meters as a catalyst for greater water conservation, including through the types of creative uses already identified by researchers:

S Understanding individual end-use profiles, including the potential for water savings in changed behavior, changed appliances, and fixing leaks. This has the potential to be the basis for individual messages to households, providing advice that is specific to circumstances.

S Using smart meters to enable more-nuanced pricing structures, although this has already been explored by various agencies. There is a need for further exploration on how price structures, individual commitments to water conservation, and information feedback can increase the effectiveness of policies in a fair manner.

Targeted Messaging for Specific Customer Cohorts

In a 2004 report it was suggest that “personalized communication can enhance the water-saving potential of implementation and decrease the effect of offsetting behavior.” This points to the importance of targeted communication to specific customer cohorts, which is quite feasible with current information technology and recent potential changes in how customers interact with their water suppliers, such as through social media.

Personalized messages can be based on contextual factors (demographics, age, type of dwelling, location, climate zone, etc.), on surveys that indicate individual preferences and practical limitations, or on real-time monitoring of water use through smart meters. There is also the opportunity now to provide individualized practical information to households on what types of water conservation actions that they can carry out.

Nudging for Encouraging Broad Customer Change

The behavioral science perspective is still developing in the research papers on water and resource conservation. There is a potential to use behavioral science; for example, by understanding the choice architecture of water conservation to pay attention to:

S How the decision to conserve water is being presented to community members.

S The cognitive effort of making choices, i.e., making them easier to understand.

S The consumer funnel, which dictates that you may only make a decision if you are

aware of a choice and if you are triggered into action by some event.

S Focusing on defaults, i.e., people are more likely to choose a preselected option.

S Understanding the broader set of attributes that people may consider when deciding to conserve water, especially in relation to certain factors, such as effort and social norms.

S Rebound effects, i.e., what makes people choose to opt out of water conservation behaviors. In consumer and marketing theory, this loyalty aspect of consumer purchases is critically important, and it should also be important for water conservation theory.

Modelling tools may also provide a better understanding of how all these effects interact to provide desirable outcomes. These tools can help visualize and communicate complex feedback from water conservation interventions in a consistent manner to a broad audience that might have different levels of experience and training backgrounds.

Research Needs

There are three key areas of research that are not yet well-understood:

S There is a need for longitudinal studies of water conservation behaviors to betterunderstand the impacts of enablers (such as awareness and motivational drivers) and barriers (effort and costs). Welldesigned longitudinal studies will finally allow researchers to distinguish causality from correlation. This also needs to be done with a control sample to understand relative savings because absolute savings in any one year will not prove useful as they do not account for other contextual factors, such as climate or imposed restrictions, which can vary significantly.

S The research around how to best promote water conservation is still not well-developed, including on which communication tools to use, how to frame and target messages, and how the success is influenced by trust in the information source. These issues and questions were raised in 2000, but some aspects in how information is best communicated appear to still require further research.

S To enable the capacity for making significant changes in water conservation behavior through identifying strategic interventions and triggers, there is a need for further understanding of state-of-theart behavioral science in the planning and evaluation of water conservation programs.


Decades of research on water conservation behavior provide significant insights into the decision triggers and antecedent environmental factors that can influence household water demand. This has helped to improve the prediction of behavioral responses to intervention programs, such as water restrictions and price increases.

There is still a long way to go to accurately predict water use response to water conservation education and awareness programs, which takes into consideration individual customer values and motivations. Given the high likelihood that cities in the future will experience drought events at least as severe as historical droughts, coupled with increasing water demand driven by population growth, water planners and policy makers are faced with the dilemma of ensuring future water security, while also ensuring a least-cost approach to providing water services.

Further supply augmentation is likely to have a significant cost; in most cases, suitable natural water supply sources are already fully allocated, which means there would need to be further investment in desalination plants that are capital- and energy-intensive. For this reason, the use of water conservation programs to reduce demand should be fully used as a first-line response to droughts.

There is a need for an accurate and reliable water use model that could help water planners in developing both responsive and strategic water conservation programs to meet both short- and long-term water security outcomes. There are still many gaps in the understanding of water conservation behavior, particularly around how to make water conservation behavior stick when the threat of water scarcity is no longer preeminent in people’s minds; the importance of longitudinal studies as the key research method can be used to develop this further.

Only by using longitudinal observations can there be a clear understanding of key causalities of water conservation behavior and test the key influencing factors that will cause water conservation behavior to persist in the long term. In addition to better modelling, the use of new techniques can be employed in the behavioral sciences to “nudge” people toward better water use behavior through strategic and targeted interventions.


This research was funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living Ltd. and supported

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30 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
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Continued from page 30

by the Cooperative Research Centres program, an Australian Government initiative. It is also cofunded by CSIRO and Sydney Water.

found that people, in fact, used 16% more water than before, presumably because of being better able to control not going into a higher block


Implementing a dynamic tariP system and using smart meters in Valencia, Spain, has provided considerable water savings

We acknowledge those in CSIRO and Sydney Water who have contributed to this research. This includes Stephen White and Luke Reedman of CSIRO, and from Sydney Water: Marcia Dawson, Bronwyn


Cameron, Jonathan Dixon, and Andre Boerema.

Up to 18%

Licensee MDPI; Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. S

Metering residential water use and charging on a per-unit basis in several cases in the U S , excluding limited metering

Metering residential water use and moving from a flat rate to volumetric pricing


and media campaign

Providing simple procedural information to households on how to achieve water conservation in a small study in



Smart metering feedback of information to households (3-20%)

feedback on water use via meters

In Dubuque, Iowa, a study of the water conservation ePects of an online water portal providing near real-time feedback to households based on smart metering information, there were

water savings

Public goal-setting combined with

A review of the evidence for the ePectiveness of awareness campaigns reports results of 5-20% reduction but notes that the contextual factors and design of the awareness campaign are of critical importance

A review of the evidence for the ePectiveness of awareness campaigns reports results of 5-20% reduction but notes that the contextual factors and design of the awareness campaign are of critical importance


of the evidence for the ePectiveness of awareness campaigns reports results of 5-20% reduction but notes that the contextual factors and design of the awareness campaign are of critical importance

Metering linked with pricing mechanism (16-56%)

Metering linked with pricing mechanism (16-56%)

A review found that the amount of water savings based on providing feedback on water consumption to households varies considerably (3-54%) with

Metering linked with pricing mechanism (16-56%)

In an eight-year study in Aurora, Colo., metering linked with a block-based tariP found that people, in fact, used 16% more water than before, presumably because of being better able to control not going into a higher block

In an eight-year study in Aurora, Colo., metering linked with a block-based tariP found that people, in fact, used 16% more water than before, presumably because of being better able to control not going into a higher block −16%

Implementing a dynamic tariP system and using smart meters in Valencia, Spain, has provided considerable water savings

Implementing a dynamic tariP system and using smart meters in Valencia, Spain, has provided considerable water savings Up

Metering residential water use and charging on a per-unit basis in several cases in the U.S., excluding limited metering

Metering residential water use and charging on a per-unit basis in several cases in the U S , excluding limited metering 10–56%

Metering residential water use and moving from a flat rate to volumetric pricing

Metering residential water use and moving from a flat rate to volumetric pricing



Smart metering feedback of information to households (3-20%)



promoted using smart water meters in Copenhagen

In an eight-year study in Aurora, Colo., metering linked with a block-based tariP found that people, in fact, used 16% more water than before, presumably because of being better able to control not going into a higher block

Water-saving/ePicient devices (12-80% depending on type)

Residential retrofit program in Sydney

Implementing a dynamic tariP system and using smart meters in Valencia, Spain, has provided considerable water savings

Metering residential water use and charging on a per-unit basis in several cases in the U S , excluding limited metering

Water- ePicient washing machines were found in a metering study to provide significant

Metering residential water use and moving from a flat rate to volumetric pricing

32 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Table 2. Estimates of Water Savings From Different Types of Water Conservation Programs
Type of Program The Estimated Range of Savings Public awareness/media campaigns (2-20%) Public awareness campaigns, e.g., media broadcasts 2–5%
awareness and media campaign during a drought in Barcelona 21%
to households on how to achieve
conservation in a small study
Queensland, Australia 16% Media attention during drought, i.e., ~100 articles bimonthly 11–18% Information and media campaign during drought 11% Implementation of water-use restrictions and reductions in the household and network leakage in the U.K. 14%
Providing simple
Up to
feedback of information to households (3-20%) Real-time feedback on water use via meters 3% Public awareness promoted using smart water meters in Copenhagen 20% Type of Program The Estimated Range of Savings Public awareness/media campaigns (2-20%) Public awareness campaigns, e.g., media broadcasts 2–5%
awareness and media campaign during a drought in Barcelona 21% Providing simple procedural information to households on how to achieve water conservation in a small study in Queensland, Australia 16% Media attention during drought, i.e., ~100 articles bimonthly 11–18% Information and media campaign during drought 11% Implementation of water-use restrictions and reductions in the household and network leakage in the U.K. 14%
Smart metering
to 18%
Real-time feedback on water use via meters 3%
3% Public awareness promoted using smart water meters in Copenhagen 20%
installation of smart meters to
feedback to households in Zaragoza, Spain 5% Smart metering intervention providing detailed feedback on household water use in Australia 8% Smart metering feedback of information to households 7% Synthesis of a range of smart metering feedback studies 6%
20% 20%
water savings of
provided considerable population level savings
meet a large proportion of household demand in Melbourne, Australia 40%
Adoption of rainwater harvesting in Australia
to 80% Use of
found to be able to
Retrofitting water- ePicient devices
water savings to individual households in the Gold Coast, Australia 15% Water- ePicient shower heads were found in a metering study to provide high levels of water savings to individual households in the Gold Coast, Australia 19% Type of Program The Estimated Range of Savings
awareness/media campaigns (2-20%)
awareness campaigns, e.g., media broadcasts 2–5%
during a drought
in Barcelona
Australia 16%
attention during
articles bimonthly 11–18% Information and media campaign during drought 11% Implementation of water-use restrictions and reductions in the household and network leakage in the U.K. 14%
drought, i.e., ~100
Up to 18%
metering feedback
(3-20%) Real-time feedback on water use via meters 3%
of information to households
awareness promoted using smart water meters in Copenhagen 20%
April 1-3 Backflow Repair Gulfport $355.00 3 ................ Backflow recert ......................................................................................................... Gulfport .............................. $115.00 9-12 Water Distribution 2 Deltona $375.00 15-18 ................ Backflow Tester ......................................................................................................... Deltona ............................... $425.00 18 Backflow Tester recert Deltona $115.00 15-19 ................ Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector .................................................................. Winter Garden................... $425.00 22-25 Backflow Tester Gulfport $425.00 25 ................ Backflow recert ......................................................................................................... Gulfport .............................. $115.00 May 7-10 ................ Water Distribution 3 ................................................................................................ Deltona ............................... $375.00 13-16 Wastewater Collection C Deltona 375.00 20-22 ................ Backflow Repair ....................................................................................................... Deltona ............................... $355.00 22 Backflow recerts Deltona $115.00 June 4-7 Water Distribution 2 Deltona $375.00 10-13 ................ Backflow Tester ......................................................................................................... Deltona ............................... $425.00 13 Backflow recerts Deltona $115.00 17-21 ................ Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector .................................................................. Deltona ............................... $425.00 17-21 Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector Winter Garden $425.00


Biohazards and Worker Safety

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the potentially devastating global impact of uncontrolled biological hazards. Other diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A (H1N1), and Ebola fever, have also been sources of international concern.

Exposure to the viruses that cause contagious diseases is just one of numerous biological hazards workers may be exposed to.

What are Biological Hazards?

Biological hazards are any substances that threaten the health of living organisms. They are sometimes shortened to “biohazards” for convenience. Simply put, they are biological agents and/or conditions that pose a risk to human health, such as:

S Animal feces from dogs, rodents, and birds

S Bloodborne pathogens

S Human waste

S Drug paraphernalia

All of these are also considered biohazards and can pose a significant health threat.

The five sources of biohazard risk to human health are:

S Bacteria (e.g., E. coli and Salmonella)

S Fungi (e.g., mold and yeast)

S Viruses (e.g., hepatitis, HIV)

S Pathogens (e.g., Giardia and Cryptosporidium)

S Endotoxins (from decaying debris)

The four ways in which the human body can be affected by a biohazard are:

S Ingestion (eating, swallowing)

S Inhalation (breathing or smelling)

S Contact (through broken skin or mucous membrane)

S Injection (stuck with a sharp object such as a needle)

Biohazard Risk Management: Five-Step Method

There are two essential elements required for working around biohazardous material in the workplace: regular biohazard risk assessments and a well-established risk management culture. Risk assessments are meant to identify elements of a process that may harm employees. On the other hand, risk management practices relating to biohazardous material exist to make sure any unavoidable hazards are properly controlled.

Hazard identification and risk assessment completion are the first steps in creating an effective biohazard risk management program. Getting started with a risk assessment can be daunting, but the fivestep method is simple, easy to understand, and inclusive to biohazard contamination prevention objectives.

The five steps are:

Identifying all Existing Hazards and Risks in the Workplace

Be on the lookout for any biological hazards that pose a health risk to employees. Look through past accident and illness records and nonroutine operations, and

remember to look for long-term hazards to employee health.

Identifying Who is at Risk

Determining who will be in a particular work area, at what time, and for how long, will help with implementing mitigation measures for any existing biological hazards.

Evaluate the Biohazard Risks and Determine the Necessary Controls

Evaluating the risks that biohazardous waste poses to employees and others who come into contact with it is essential for determining the necessary prevention tactics.

Document all Findings

Record all the significant information, such as what hazards exist, who is most likely to be harmed, and how the facility will be attempting to fix it. Organizations that have five or more employees are required to have this type of documentation in writing.

Review the Risk Assessment

Are there more biohazards that were found? Should new control measures be introduced? Is there a new process that needs to be examined? These are some of the questions that need to be asked when reviewing a risk assessment.

Workplace Preparedness

If your work typically brings you into close proximity to biohazardous materials, you likely already know the potential safety and environmental risks and the safe

Let’s Talk Safety is available from AWWA; visit www.awwa.org or call 800.926.7337. Get 40 percent off the list price or 10 percent off the member price by using promo code SAFETY20. The code is good for the Let’s Talk Safety book, dual disc set, and book + CD set.

34 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
and will appear monthly in the magazine. The Journal
readers in the “Spotlight on Safety”
column addresses safety issues of interest to water and wastewater personnel,
is also interested in receiving any articles on the subject of safety that it can share with

handling procedures that are necessary. It’s essential that everyone in the area knows what to do in a biohazard emergency, both during the emergency and afterward, and during cleanup.

A properly outfitted work area contains a safety shower, an eye wash station, and a hand-washing sink as permanent fixtures. There should also be at least one well-stocked biohazard spill kit containing:

S Goggles

S Gloves

S Shoe covers

S Breathing masks

S Biohazard waste bags

S Disinfectants

S Sharp-instrument containers

S Instruments for picking up sharp tools or objects (broken glass, needles, etc.)

The kit should also contain absorbent material designed specifically for handling common biohazards, such as blood. Be sure everyone is familiar with the biohazard safety procedures, the contents of the spill kit, the instructions for using the kit, and any safety data sheets that may be included.

Recognizing the Threat

Most people don’t know what type of condition is considered a biohazard and are unprepared to safely deal with it. Imagine that a coworker receives a serious cut while on the job; exposure to the blood from that cut could be a problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the general population:

S One in 300 people is HIV positive

S One in 20 has hepatitis

S One in five has herpes

S One in three has some type of bloodborne disease

What’s more, the CDC says that the hepatitis B virus can survive for at least one week in dried blood and may survive on environmental surfaces, contaminated needles, and/or instruments.

Diseases from airborne and bloodborne pathogens or feces are spread most often to humans during cleanup because of improper safety equipment. For example, Hantavirus is transmitted by infected rodents, and individuals can become infected with this virus by breathing aerosolized urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials. A specialized respiratory mask (one that filters viruses) should be used when cleaning suspected nesting areas and rodent feces.

Proper Cleanup Procedures

It’s especially important to adhere closely to the biohazard cleanup laws, which are imposed by multiple agencies to protect worker health and safety. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is one of the agencies that sets standards in biohazard cleanup laws. According to OSHA, “Personnel associated with biological cleanup must be trained, immunized, and properly equipped to do so.”

Biohazard restoration includes cleaning not only the visible, but also the invisible. The standard for cleaning and restoration

of biohazards is set by the American Bio Recovery Association. As a general rule, for any blood or fluids, all visible areas should be cleaned, including all materials surrounding the affected area. When it comes to porous material, such as drywall, sometimes it’s necessary to replace the drywall in that area. Cleaning of biohazard areas should include all surfaces—walls, ceilings, carpets, flooring, fixtures, switches, railings, and trim—using chemicals produced specifically to kill microorganisms.

Disposing of biohazard materials after cleanup is regulated by OSHA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and state and local governments. All of the guidelines and regulations are written with the specific intent of lowering infectious risks and keeping workers from contracting or spreading disease.

Overall, biohazard safety is a combined effort in gathering knowledge, applying safety precautions, and constantly reassessing the workplace for new areas of improvement.


For more information, go to the OSHA website on biological agents at www.osha.gov/ SLTC/biologicalagents, or the CDC website on biosafety at www.cdc.gov/biosafety. See also the American Water Works Association book, Environmental Compliance Guidebook: Beyond U.S. Water Quality Regulations at www.awwa.org. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 35

Contractors Council Fall Conference Recap: State of the Industry – Navigating Unprecedented Challenges

Matt Tracy

At the 2023 Florida Section AWWA Fall Conference held in Orlando, the Contractors Council had the opportunity to hold a panel discussion entitled, “State of the Industry –Navigating Unprecedented Challenges.” The panelists included:

S Bob Bruner, Archer Western

S Todd Palmatier, PCL Construction

S Sean White, Wharton-Smith

I moderated the session, which covered a variety of perspectives and experiences within the water industry across the state of Florida.

The discussion focused on the main topics that continue to impact our stakeholders: clients, designers, suppliers, subcontractors, end users, and ultimately, the public. The panelists reviewed strategies that have been implemented to collaboratively mitigate these challenges.

Lead Times

The questions everyone asks are:

S How long is the project going to take?

S Are the supply chain schedule delays improving from the last few years?

S How is this going to impact my project schedule?

Fortunately, we are beyond the stage when material quotes were good for 24 hours! Quoted lead times on the majority of typical water and wastewater piping and equipment manufacturing and fabrication are becoming more reliable. Electrical equipment is still experiencing longer schedules for delivery, with minimums on switchgear and variable frequency drives being a year. This can greatly impact project completions and continue to put all other aspects of a project on hold until electrical equipment is delivered. Strategies, such as early procurement, expedited reviews, and early planning, have been implemented by contractors and owners to mitigate some of the lead time challenges. While collaborative delivery methods generate the greatest leverage to address these challenges, contractors and owners have been successful in implementing creative procurement methods of long lead items across the spectrum of project delivery through early engagement and open dialogue.


While the breakneck speed of inflationary pricing increases has slowed, it is unlikely that prices will revert back to pre-COVID times. The water market in Florida continues to grow at a strong pace, which continues to place pressure on the demand for labor, in particular where companies are paying higher wages to keep projects staffed. As supply chain issues at a macroeconomic level have eased, material and equipment availability has stabilized, resulting in easing escalation rates for these resources compared to the height of the escalation period. The risk for escalation, however, is still present, which requires contractors to carry contingencies where it’s not shared among all stakeholders.

Successful strategies to minimize and share escalation risk on a project, such as direct purchase of materials by an owner and early procurement contracts, have been implemented by owners across the state. These can significantly reduce the risk borne by the contractor, and therefore, the cost implications of not having materials and equipment available when the schedule dictates.

36 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal


With a busy market, the demand for resources increases. Companies have backlogs that can keep them going for years without taking on more work. At the same time, it can be challenging to keep strong employees if they are chasing a higher paycheck from one company to the next. This can affect your project schedule greatly if you are losing qualified workers and having to build back crews from scratch. Craft workers are looking for stability and honest pay, so when companies communicate anticipated work, employees are less likely to jump to another organization when they know there’s another project position available to them.

Similarly, specialty subcontractors, such as drillers and electricians, continue to be in high demand across the state. This type of work can easily become the critical path in a project schedule if deadlines and material lead times are not appropriately communicated.

The session panelists noted that the greatest success in mitigating these challenges is through early engagement.

By engaging the contracting community early, contractors have the ability to line up resources to effectively meet the demands of upcoming projects in the marketplace. This strategy helps contractors control costs and ensure timely delivery.

Funding Sources

There are many options for funding available on a state and federal level, but they often come with conditions. One of these options is the Build America, Buy America (BABA) Act, which is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the availability of materials that comply with the requirements. When evaluating funding options for various projects, an important aspect to consider is what the additional conditions are concerning the financing and how they will affect your project. It could be that the additional cost to procure American-made materials (and in double the time frame) could make getting the funding not worth it. Having early discussions with the contracting community can help answer some of these questions when exploring

funding options, typically when projects are only in a conceptual phase.

Regardless of the type of project, project delivery method, and funding source, early outreach to the industry can be hugely beneficial to the client. Contractors want to partner and collaborate with clients, even on hard bid projects, and creating open lines of communication benefits all parties.

If you are interested in learning more about the Contractors Council or would like to request support, please visit the FSAWWA website at www.fsawwa.org.

Matt Tracy is the preconstruction director for Archer Western’s Florida Water Division based in Tampa. S www.fwrj.com

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 37

Call for Papers


beginning March 15, 2024

Abstracts must be submitted by: Friday, June 21, 2024

To participate in an FSAWWA conference, the first step is submitting an abstract to be considered for a presentation at the conference. There is no guarantee that the paper you submit will be chosen, but if your paper is well thought-out and pertinent to the subject matter of the conference, then your chances of being selected go up. FSAWWA wishes to invite authors and experts in the field


Abstracts will be accepted in WORD ONLY via email to:

Bloetscher, Ph.D., P.E., Technical Program Chair at h2o_man@bellsouth.net

Please attach a cover page to the abstract which includes the following information:






Photo Credit: Vecteezy.com
submit abstracts
Session Categories 01 Lead/Copper Implementation to Ensure Water Quality 02 Solutions for Your PFAS Problem 03 Maintaining Water Quality in the Pipes 04 Ensuring Quality in the Sewer System 05 Potable Reuse in Our Future 06 Quality Leadership/Management/Communications 07 Maintaining Quality Staff 08 Improving Water Treatment for Future Water Quality Needs 09 Water Source Protection
0 Water Conservation
on a
of sustainability topics, including:
Session Category
Names of Authors
"Best Paper" Competition
year awards are presented to the best papers during the Fall Conference Business Luncheon. Questions? Call 239-250-2423
contact including name, title, affiliation, address, phone, fax, and email
Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 39


A Better World Through Better Water

Providing solutions to effectively manage water, the world's most important resource

Won’t You Join Us?

AWWA Creates Water Community

AWWA membership provides access through multiple platforms, connecting you to your community dedicated to a better world through better water.

› Connections

Almost 50% of our 50,000+ members state the opportunity to connect and collaborate with others in the water community is their primary reason for joining!

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Member-exclusive rates at all AWWA and AWWA-partnered events. Online and in-person.

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AWWA membership provides 24/7/365 access to trusted resources, ensuring continuity of service in time of turbulence or calm.

› Publications

Subscriptions and access to current and archived editions of Journal AWWA, Opflow and AWWA Water Science.

› Peer2Peer Access

Connect with your peer network on best practices for your day-to-day challenges.

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AWWA Powers

AWWA Protects

Public Health

AWWA supports professional growth with member-exclusive opportunities.

› Training, Education Certification

Save up to 30% on manuals and educational products to help with CEUs, licensures renewals or get starting in a new career direction -with many on-line applications to assist with your needs.

› Career Center

Whether looking for new talent or opportunity, our web-based Career Center provides a platform for both sides with job postings, resume uploads, and so much more. Advancement

AWWA safeguards public health and welfare by uniting the full spectrum of the entire water industry.

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~ 89% of your peers cite this as THE #1 member benefit and with the anticipated roll-out of a digital format - access will be easier than ever!

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› Supporting the Industry

A primary reason why 50% of our members belong to AWWA.

40 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
visit awwa.org/membership for more information

Why is a Water Operator Important?

Who are we?

We’re so glad you asked! We’re a diverse group of professionals focused on improving, testing, and providing clean water to everyone. Do you like chemistry, physics, engineering, or really care about clean water for all? Do you want a career that gets you outside and moving? Then learn more about the water workforce!

What do we do?

Scan the QR code to watch videos from the EPA to learn more about the scope of positions, possibilities, and more about the water effort.

Want more information?

One AWWA Operator Scholarship:

The One AWWA Operator Scholarship offers water and wastewater operators funding for continuing education, certification, training, and conference attendance through AWWA’s Water Equation’s partnership with local AWWA Sections. Scholarships are available throughout the year and payable to the education institute.

Investing in the Water Workforce Water Equation Learn about the water operator career Apply for a water operator scholarship Learn about available materials

DHow Do You Leave a Legacy?

o any of us really know the answer to this question? I have met with many groups of people in the industry throughout my amazing year as president and I can tell you, everyone leave’s a legacy:

S The thoughtful moment where you ask the next question in the conversation (when you are really late for a conference call).

S The detailed explanation of why you, as an operator, do this one thing in the manual because the computer just doesn’t yet know what you know.

S The time when you bring the junior engineer out to a site that you have seen many times and their eyes are as wide as can be.

This is us. This is what we do.

Walk Lightly: Nurturing a Culture of Environmental Responsibility

“We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.”

—Barbara Ward (1914-1981), Only One Earth, 1972

Many of us are drawn to this industry

the environment and our love for the great outdoors. Whether it’s indulging in hobbies, like boating, hiking, or scuba diving, or embarking on grand adventures in backcountry camping, our engagement with nature is undeniable. Amid our enjoyment, however, it’s crucial to head a call to action, no matter how big or small. My call to action is simple: let’s not only revel in our love for nature, but also embrace a commitment to stewardship, reducing our impact on the Earth and becoming advocates for the places we cherish.

Learning From the Next Generation

One of the most inspiring experiences for me is participating in Environment Day, an event I cochair alongside Trevor Rosecrans from RCS Engineers, Hannah Campbell from Loggerhead Marinelife Center, and Poonam Kalkat from City of Boynton Beach. This event is part of the Leadership Palm Beach County GROW program, which is designed to empower high school juniors to understand the critical issues facing Palm Beach County, while encouraging them to expand their leadership roles and build a foundation of involvement in their community. It’s just one day among many for them, but we strive to make it impactful and memorable!

During this program, we guide students to explore the remarkable environmental areas that have often been overlooked in their daily lives. What strikes me the most is the enthusiasm these high schoolers bring to every activity. Whether it’s climbing a

lighthouse to get a view of the waterway, dissecting a squid to see what microplastics are making it into our food chain, or trudging through a slough that is a local water source, they are fully invested—these high schoolers are always in!

Witnessing their genuine appreciation for the environment reinforces my belief in the power of education and hands-on experiences.

Reflection and a Call to Action

As we engage with these young minds, it’s essential to reflect on our own relationship with nature. Have we explored all the natural wonders in our own communities? Do we prioritize travel to distant places over discovering the hidden gems in our own backyards? And most importantly, do we actively engage our friends, neighbors, and children to connect with the environment?

Incorporating stewardship into our daily lives is not just a responsibility—it’s a privilege. It means adopting sustainable practices, minimizing our ecological footprint, and advocating for policies that protect our planet. It means teaching future generations the importance of preserving and respecting nature—and specifically for Florida—to appreciate the water around us.

The Florida Water Environment Federation (FWEA) has many opportunities to engage through our Public Communications and Outreach Committee (PCOC) and its projects and programs, such as the Water Festival and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

If you are interested in engaging with

Continued on page 44

Do you know we have an internship program?

The Student and Young Professionals Committee developed and spearheaded this successful campaign over

42 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Sondra Lee, P.E., FWEA immediate past president, ready for the Operations Challenge at the Florida Water Resources Conference. The Florida Governmental Utility Authority receives the Public Education Award from FWEA, recognizing integration of public education as a core element. the last two years.

Continued from page 42

this amazing committee, please reach out to Arpita Meher, PCOC chair, at Arpita. Meher@arcadis.com, or myself at Mechlerse@ cdmsmith.com.

Let’s heed the wisdom of Barbara Ward and learn to walk lightly on the earth, as good guests should. Let’s be stewards of the precious gifts of our environment for generations to come.

Appreciation of What Works and Striving for What Can Be

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

I don’t know about you, but every time I talk with an operator or an electrician or a maintenance mechanic at a plant, I learn something new. I think through how that knowledge and expertise of 20, 30, or even 40 years can be captured with perspective and understanding. Sometimes I succumb to the thought that it can’t be captured; not because it’s not accurate or that it can’t be translated to a spreadsheet, but because it’s all experiences, lessons learned, and water-cooler problemsolving.

As we face the retirement of the historians of this knowledge, I tell you they are just as willing—now as ever—to share their history. Take time to listen. Take time to identify people who they can mentor. Take time to acknowledge that the value they provide is more than just numbers on a spreadsheet.

As we move to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digital twins, let’s ensure that the work done to capture data is not lost, but incorporated. It’s on us to make the next generation the best generation.

The Family That I Never Knew I Wanted

More than anything, I am proud to be just one of the volunteers of this amazing FWEA organization. Our chapters and committees do amazing work—on a daily basis! I leave you with a collage of photos of the work this group of people has done to continue the legacy.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Florida Water Resources Conference in April! S

April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Another successful event by the FWEA South Chapter. The Manasota Chapter has an incredible steering committee that is energetic and talented. The 2023 FWEA Wastewater Process Seminar in full swing. Some of the members of the FWEA Public Communications and Outreach Committee attending the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC).
Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 45

Starting a Potable Reuse Program: Expect the Unexpected

As more utilities consider potable reuse, it’s vitally important to do

Developing a Potable Reuse Program

resource planning can be more than just population and demand projections and identifying water supplies. It should consider all current and future water options and uses, including potable, industrial, commercial, and irrigation, as well as stormwater and treated sewage management, such as reclaimed water, rapid infiltration basins, wetland hydration, and effluent disposal. The plan should consider existing and future allocations, source water protection, regional water supply drivers, and environmental considerations, as well as existing and future regulations.

Do the demand projections use historical per capita demands, or do they consider future conservation and the use of reclaimed water, which will decrease the per capita demand? Many of these factors can change over time, so considering the sensitivity of these changes will result in a robust plan with more-accurate projections.

When considering and prioritizing alternative water supply options (Figure 2), both capital and operation and maintenance costs should be compared to existing production costs. If the utility has conservation and/or reclaimed water systems, the costs of those programs must be compared to other options that are available.

If there is both a water supply need and excess available reclaimed water or effluent, is potable reuse an option? If the utility is already collecting and treating sewage, a benefit of potable reuse is maximizing the use of water resources and not needing to develop infrastructure to acquire a different alternative water supply, such as brackish or surface water. If potable reuse is an option, is indirect or direct reuse a better fit? Based on the source water quality, management of waste products, and end use of the purified water, which type of multibarrier purification process provides the greatest benefit?

Water supply options must also consider noncost factors, such as supply

Ryan Popko, P.E., is engineering manager at JEA in Jacksonville. Figure 1. Integrated water resource planning components. Figure 2. Water supply option prioritization.

certainty, cost-effectiveness, environmental stewardship, community acceptance, system complexity, and operational flexibility. Does potable reuse offer other advantages, such as addressing a regulatory need for managing effluent and reducing surface water discharge? Preplanning is important when drafting an integrated water resource plan to help answer many of the questions that may be asked later, such as “Can we conserve our way out of this problem?” or “How will it impact rates?” Planning with the goal in mind will allow for anticipating these future questions and providing answers to them in the plan.

Developing a Plan

Now that the need has been established, and potable reuse is a potential solution, it’s time to take the next step to develop a plan. This step involves doing extensive research and building on the lessons learned from others. Research how specific projects struggled, whether from false information, distrust, lack of transparency, or political issues. When researching what’s been a success, there are common themes that emerge, including multiphase and multidecade programs, significant outreach, transparency, program branding, involvement of advisory panels, research, and a visitor education center with tours and water tastings.

When contacting industry-leading utilities, most, if not all, are willing to share knowledge and provide insight. There are numerous potential topics to discuss, ranging from technical to communications to regional partnerships and staffing. Organize and prioritize topics based on the utility contacts to make the best use of their time. Since every project is unique and drivers vary throughout the world, there is always something new to learn.

When developing a program, it’s often beneficial to create three separate phases (Figure 3):

S Pilot testing

S Demonstration

S Implementation

Using each one of these separately can allow the time to develop the necessary components of the program, such as research, optimization, recruitment and training, communication, outreach, and stakeholder involvement. Calculated implementation has the added value of the local community learning about the program over an extended period of time as it develops. The downside is that doing so will require the program to be

can help avoid issues of rushing through the process, making mistakes, and causing the community to raise concerns of lack of transparency and forcing something on the public.

Expect the Unexpected

Now that ideas for developing a potable reuse program have been discussed and established, the next step is to gather the necessary tools to implement the program. These tools will allow the utility to take what once could have been unexpected issues and convert them to expected issues that can be properly addressed ahead of time. There still may be issues that are unexpected, but the utility will be able to be proactive instead of reactive.

Program Schedule

A common response when doing research on developing a program is:

“Whatever you think your schedule is, double it.” It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable and efficient employees are, there is always something unexpected that will impact the schedule. As the program advances, the initial schedule will expand and become much more detailed. With a complex program, such as potable reuse,

As much as staff members try to move things along, there are continually items out of their control that impact the program schedule. One example is the time frame of transitioning from Phase I, pilot testing of the program (Figure 4), to Phase II, demonstration.

Back in 2019, just as Phase I was being completed, the contract for Phase II was advertised and awarded to a design-build team. In the following three years, a plethora of unexpected events happened. The schedule was impacted first by internal utility management changes, which included the dismissal of top leadership and resignation en masse by the board of directors. An interim chief executive officer then paused major projects until the installation of a new officer, management leadership, and board. These events caused a real estate purchase and external funding for the program to be canceled.

All of this took quite a bit of time and required new leadership to be brought up to speed on the needs of the program. Due to the delays, the utility, contractor, consultant, and subcontractors had staff turnover that resulted in new construction and engineering managers, among others. In 2020 and 2022, additional unexpected

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 47
Figure 4. Phase I potable reuse pilot testing at JEA in Jacksonville.
on page 48

Continued from page 47

events occurred, including COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, which caused supply chain issues, cost escalation, and the limited availability of resources. There were also issues with permitting, including wetland mitigation and delays in receiving permits, as well as the complexity of designing a potable reuse system while new potable reuse rules were concurrently being drafted.

These hurdles were eventually overcome, and the Phase II contract was authorized to restart the design-build project. That threeyear time frame exemplifies why, no matter how prepared a utility is, there can always be completely unexpected events that impact a program’s schedule.

Developing a Team

With a program of this magnitude, it likely impacts nearly every aspect of the organization. It’s not a normal project that involves research, planning, engineering, piloting, project management, construction, and operation. Operations alone will include water reclamation staff that provides the source water for the program, potable reuse operations to purify the water, water operations staff that may use that purified

protect the source supply or expanding laboratory capabilities to support the program.

The communications department will be responsible for developing, maintaining, and executing the communications plan. That plan may include program branding, messaging and terminology, media and press relations, rapid response plans, guided tours, event relations, websites, advertisements, social media, bill inserts and annual reports, key accounts, and customer surveys.

Other responsibilities of the team include government relations (local, state, and federal), program partnerships and endorsements, lobbying, legislation, funding, legal, procurement, new contracts, water conservation programs, rates, economic development, real estate, and security.

A potable reuse program will likely require recruitment, education, and training of staff positions that may or may not already exist. Does the utility currently employ each of these positions? If not, is the utility capable of creating, recruiting, and retaining these positions, or are consultant contracts needed to augment staff? For operations, a potable reuse facility will require knowledge of multibarrier advanced purification

programs beyond those that are available from other organizations.

Keep in mind that the needs of the program and lines of communication may break the mold of the existing organizational chart (Figure 5) and how the utility typically does things. With so many staff and departments involved in a potable reuse program, it’s important to identify a program champion, who must be a leader and effective communicator. The program champion should be the primary interface among departments. The utility will also need to consider how the program champion interacts with staff up and down the organizational chart. Depending on the utility, more than one program champion may be needed. For example, can one person be identified who can serve as the program manager, public spokesperson, and technical expert, or should there be multiple individuals?

When working with multiple departments and staff members where this program likely is not their primary job function, the needs of the program must be prioritized, or tasks will not be completed on time. This may identify strengths and weaknesses of the utility. Is there a department that clearly understands the needs and has delivered ahead of time? Is there a department that needs clear direction and supervision to accomplish its goals? Is there a department that, even with direction and supervision, still struggles to meet the needs of the program? Just like managing employees with different capabilities, the program champion may need to modify their management style to get the most out of each group. This may require uncomfortable conversations with some departments.

Continued on page 50

Figure 5. Potable reuse program utility organizational chart.

Continued from page 48

Again, depending on the utility organization, if all of the responsibilities are not covered, the utility may need to hire external staff to support those tasks and responsibilities. Other external team partners that will likely be required for a potable reuse program include:

S Engineering consultants

S Contractors

S Specialized consultants

S Communications specialists

S Visitor center or tour designers

S Advisory panels (industry, utility, health, communications, etc.)

S Other partners, such as funding, lobbying, etc.

In discussing external team members, it’s also important to identify the outreach and education audience. Typically, that starts with internal staff, but then expands to other groups, including:

S Local and state government officials

S Regulatory agencies

S Environmental groups

S Public health experts

S Media (local, state, industry, etc.)

S Community leaders and groups

S Customers and business owners

S Schools and universities (teachers and students)

The outreach and stakeholder audience can easily include well over a hundred individuals and/or groups. Make sure resources are planned to prioritize and engage

each audience as the message may need to vary slightly based on the audience’s knowledge of the program or involvement in it.

Developing a Comprehensive Scope

A potable reuse program will likely include several different scopes of work. The utility may elect to perform phases of the project as individual large projects or separate them by specialized disciplines. Either way, the scope must be comprehensive and list all the needs of the program.

For the potable reuse process, consider more than just the treatment process in the scope of work; there’s also the piping and pumping to and from the site for all water, including reclaimed, potable, purified, waste, concentrate, sewer, etc. Offsite modifications may be necessary before potable reuse is implemented, such as improvements to the water reclamation facility, source water monitoring, or pretreatment. The scope of work may also include pilot testing, research, operational assistance, and/or integration and communications with other facilities.

Additional design components that could be considered in the scope include the following:

S Operational flexibility

S Process configuration

S Redundancy

S Reliability

S Real time monitoring

S Challenge testing

S System spiking

S Performance optimization

S Industrial pretreatment

S Source water quality variability

S Post-treatment based on use

S Aquifer replenishment or other beneficial use

S Disinfection byproduct formation potential

S Waste minimization

S Waste neutralization, stabilization, and management

S Energy recovery and/or optimization

Scope considerations of the overall program may include:

S Communications plan

S Education program

S Operator training

S Start-up and operational assistance

S Operating protocols

S Water quality sampling plan and schedule

S Technical assistance writing new contracts (chemicals, laboratory services, service contracts, etc.)

S Aquifer testing

S Groundwater modeling

S Pilot test plans

S Noise study

S Traffic study

S Signage and/or wayfinding

S Federal, state, or other funding assistance

S Lobbying

Other components of the program or project scope of work may include:

S Leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED)/Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) certification

S Architectural features/requirements

S Public access areas

S Educational exhibits

S Tasting area

S Training rooms

S Offices

S Restrooms

S Laboratory

S Sample shipping and receiving

S Maintenance shop and storage

S Stormwater

S Wetlands

S Landscaping

S Parking

S Renewable power supply, such as solar

S Backup power

S Security

Taking the time to thoroughly think through the needs of the program and projects cannot be overstated. These different aspects must be considered prior to advertising the program. Including a complete list of each component will encourage those submitting proposals for the project to consider all the

50 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Figure 6. Potable reuse communication materials.

needs. If a consultant does not have these capabilities in-house, the list will hopefully help them to identify the need for specific subconsultants. The subconsultant needs may end up being the deciding factor on which team is ultimately selected. This proactive approach will avoid missing components and keep the utility from being reactive, which can result in schedule delays and costly change orders.

Effective Communication

In doing research with industry-leading utilities, the importance of effective and consistent communication throughout the program will be apparent. With such a highly complex topic as potable reuse, it must be simplified so that the audience can understand and remember it. It helps to establish the basics and to provide simple answers to the “who, what, why, how, and when” of the program. Over the course of the program the foundational answers to those questions should remain relatively consistent, with each phase of the program further justifying the answers and building layers to further support them. Circling back to the integrated water resource planning is why answering the “Why not this?” and “What about that?” early on is crucial because those questions will continue to be asked—and defensible answers are essential.

Before starting a potable reuse program, or at the onset of the program, a communications plan should be developed that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Start with a survey to establish a baseline from which the effectiveness of the plan can be measured over time. If the survey is done later, the baseline response won’t be known and it will be hard for the utility to gauge its progress. The communications plan should be a “living” document that is continually updated and enhanced as the program advances. If the survey results and key performance indicators are not favorable, the communications plan should be adjusted accordingly. The communications plan should also consider a rapid response plan so that the utility can act quickly to respond to media stories, misinformation, or other requests. The communication plan may also require creating fact sheets, infographics, talking points and presentations, frequently asked questions, and informational videos (Figure 6).

A tool to keeping the communications consistent is to develop a glossary of terms, which will guide the entire team toward using the same terms in the same way. The

audience needs to hear consistent messaging, and that is where branding provides recognizable terms, logos, etc. The brand and communication should be unique to the program, community, and audience (Figure 7).


As many utilities are considering or embarking on a potable reuse program, the experience and lessons learned here are intended to assist others to be better positioned for success. Developing a program starts by establishing the need,

doing extensive industry research, and developing a plan. Using this information, the utility can then identify key components of a potable reuse program, including those that can often be overlooked.

Lessons learned from this experience include schedule drivers, team development that encompasses all aspects of the program, the importance of identifying a comprehensive list of needs prior to scoping, and effective communications, both internally and externally, to be better prepared to deal with the unexpected when it arises. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 51
Figure 7. Program communication one-pager.

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What Do You Know About Activated Sludge? Test Yourself

1. The activated sludge process was discovered in 1914 in

a. France.

b. Germany.

c. the United States.

d. England.

2. The activated sludge process was discovered by

a. Arden and W.T. Lockett.

b. Francis and James Hoover.

c. Barry and Greg Porges.

d. None of the above.

3. The activated sludge process reduces the time to remove organic contaminants to include achieving nitrification from days to

a. minutes.

b. seconds.

c. hours.

d. all the above.

4. The activated sludge process consists of an aeration tank, a settling tank (clarifier), solids return, and a

a. gas return line.

b. sludge wasting line.

c. ammonia removal line.

d. lime addition line.

5. The aeration tank of an activated sludge process contains suspended microbial aggregates of microorganisms called

a. protozoa.

b. rotifers.

c. worms.

d. flocs.

6. The activated sludge process effectiveness is greatly dependent on the microorganism’s ability to oxidize

a. total organic carbon (TOC).

b. total oxidized nitrogen (TON).

c. total suspended solids (TSS).

d. biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

7. The periodical wasting of microorganisms from the activated sludge process is done to control the

a. hydraulic retention time (HRT).

b. sludge retention time (SRT).

c. ammonia retention time (ART).

d. none of the above.

8. The activated sludge process efficiency is greatly dependent on the

a. rain.

b. aerator height.

c. blower manufacturer.

d. food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratio.

9. The microorganisms responsible for the treatment within the activated sludge process are usually mixed with the influent wastewater and thus are

a. suspended.

b. settled.

c. removed.

d. none of the above.

10. A 0.250-million-gallon-per-day (mgd) activated sludge treatment plant was brought into operation by the Manchester Corp. in

a. 1917. b. 1914.

c. 1930. d. 1940.

Answers on page 58

References used for this quiz: Environmental Biotechnology: Principles and Applications, Rittmann and McCarty

exercise (with the solution) by email to: charmartin@msn.com

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has issued an order vacating U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of the state of Florida’s application to assume permitting authority from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) within the state. The plaintiffs alleged that the federal defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq., and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq., in the transfer of permitting authority to Florida in the final days of the last administration.

The ESA prohibits unpermitted “take” of endangered species. “Take” is broadly defined to include any action that may “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect” a species. It also includes habitat modification that kills or injures wildlife. Under the ESA’s implementing regulations, an “action agency” is required to “review” its actions “at the earliest possible time to determine whether any action may affect listed species or critical habitat.” If the action agency determines that an “action may affect a listed species or critical habitat,” the agency must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to ensure that its contemplated action “is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species.” That process, referred to as “Section 7 consultation,” results in the preparation of a Biological Opinion (BiOp), which is used to determine “how the agency action [at issue] affects the species or its critical habitat” and to determine whether the proposed action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species. If the agency action will “take” a species, the resulting “incidental take statement” issued with the BiOp “specifies the impact of such incidental taking on the species” and “sets forth the terms and conditions … that must be complied with by the [action] agency or applicant (if any), or both,” in order to “minimize such impact.”

Typically, a 404 permit issued by the Corps would be subject to the Section 7 process; however, when the 404 program was assumed by the state, there was no longer an “action agency” for the FWS to consult. To overcome this, FWS and EPA undertook a Section 7 consultation on EPA approval of Florida’s assumption application. This resulted in the issuance of a “programmatic” BiOp finding no jeopardy, followed by a “programmatic” incidental take statement (ITS) that would protect all future state Section 404 permittees from ESA liability. Specific permits would be subject to “technical assistance” review by FWS. Under this process, FWS is provided the “opportunity” to specify take limits, and the state is required to include those limits, if supplied, in its state-issued permits.

The plaintiffs challenged the ESA process for the assumption under the theory that it was procedurally deficient and did not provide adequate protection for species. The federal defendants pointed to precedent for this approach and stressed the fact that the process

54 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Us Your Questions
are welcome to submit questions or exercises on water or wastewater treatment plant operations for publication in Test Yourself. Send your question (with the answer) or your

results in a similar level of species protection as individual Section 7 consultations. In effect, they argued that “whatever ESA requirements may have been omitted from the programmatic BiOp and programmatic ITS will be sufficiently addressed at the individual permit level through consultation with the FWS via the ‘technical assistance process.’”

The court held that the “programmatic BiOp and ITS fail to satisfy the requirements of the ESA, and the court is unpersuaded that the nonstatutory technical assistance process is a lawful substitute for the procedures and remedies that Congress enacted in the ESA and that the Services established in the implementing regulations.” The court was particularly concerned that the programmatic BiOp and ITS that fails to undertake any species-specific analysis also fails to set any numerical take limits or to employ surrogates to set a clear standard for determining when the level of anticipate take has been exceeded. The court suggested that there may be no simple fix to these alleged flaws.

After weighing the consequences of remedy, the court concluded that “the appropriate remedy is to vacate EPA approval of Florida’s assumption application.” The court, however, “will permit defendants to seek a limited stay of that vacatur within ten days of this decision.” Any such request “should exempt all pending and future permit applications that ‘may affect’ any listed species under the jurisdiction of the FWS or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and should propose a mechanism for determining which permit applications ‘may affect’ listed species.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved more than $6.7 million in grant funding to reimburse Fort Myers and Punta Gorda for debris removal expenses after Hurricane Ian. The storm left extensive debris, resulting in a threat to the water supply and public health and safety. Federal funding of $4,212,798 will go to the city of Fort Myers and $2,550,889 to the city of Punta Gorda.

The FEMA public assistance program provides grants to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies.

Applicants work with FEMA to develop projects and scopes of work, and it obligates funding for projects to the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) after final approval. Once a project is obligated, FDEM works closely with applicants to complete the grant process and begin making payments. The FDEM has procedures in place designed to ensure that grant funding is provided to local communities as quickly as possible. S


Bobby Jones 1933 – 2024

Samuel R. Willis

The water industry started 2024 with the loss of a great friend. On January 5, Bobby Jones of Saint Augustine, aged 90, passed away.

A native of Lundale, W.Va., Bobby was born on April 20, 1933, to parents Sherman and Sylvia Jones. He joined the Navy during the Korean War and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Palan. In 1956, Bobby moved his young family to Saint Augustine, where he embarked on a career that would span a lifetime. During his 20 years with the City of Saint Augustine Bobby worked his way up from laborer to director of public works.

After two decades, he retired from the city, answering the call to work for Saint Johns County Utility, laying the groundwork for what would become a large well-run utility organization. Retiring after 20 years with the county, Bobby just couldn’t get it (the sludge) out of his system and kept on perfecting his craft, becoming a contract operator for small systems around the Saint Augustine area.

Early in his career Bobby participated in the voluntary certification program. This program was originally overseen by the Florida State Board of Health. Operator certification was spun off to the then newly formed Department of Environmental Regulation, now known as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Bobby obtained his first license in the drinking water sector in February 1965, rising to the level of a Class B operator. His license number was 110. He went on to obtain dual certification, receiving his Class A wastewater license in May 1967. His license number was 90.

Bobby was inducted into the Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers as a member of the Class of 1979.

A long and faithful member of

Region II of the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (FWPCOA), Bobby played many different roles: student, teacher, host, and advisor. He held all officer positions while a member of this august group and was made a life member of FWPCOA in 2000.

Those who are old enough to remember fondly recall the chowder parties held at the #2 Wastewater Treatment Plant on Anastasia Island. Later, Bobby became known for hosting an annual fish fry at the St. Johns County Water Plant; he could beer-batter and fry just about anything. He also made the best clam chowder and fried turkey ever, but could have improved on his perloo.

Bobby’s favorite pastimes were fishing, going to the beach, and watching Florida Gator football. More than anything, he loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them.

Bobby is survived by his companion of 17 years, Sandy Williams, and her sons, Chip and Dean; a daughter, Terrie Sims, of Saint Augustine; sons Thomas “Tommy” Jones (Kelly) of Saint Augustine and Bobby L. Jones Jr. (Ruthann) of Key Largo; grandchildren Chester Sims (Farron), Jennifer Sims, Jamie Sims (Portia), Matt Sims (Brook Karabinchak), Brian Jones (Jessie), and Natasha McGee (Patrick); and great grandchildren Emily Putnam, Trenton Sims, Charlotte Sims, Hughston Sims, Chase Sims, Jacob Jones (Ava), AJ Jones, Hunter Skinner, Michael McGee, and Christian McGee.

A celebration of life, like the many parties that Bobby threw in his life, was held on February 17 at his home. He will be greatly missed.

Samuel R. Willis, now retired, was utility supervisor at Putnam County Public Works in East Palatka. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 55



Wastewater Manager

The City of Largo (a Top Workplace winner) is in search of a Wastewater Manager that serves a technical and supervisory role in operating and maintaining an advanced wastewater reclamation facility. The Manager oversees the daily maintenance, operation, and process control of the Wastewater Reclamation Facility. to apply go to: www.largo.com/jobs

Senior Maintenance Technician

Key West Wastewater Utility seeks reliable, hardworking, adaptable person w experience in - utilities/underground/electrical/plumbing/ industrial equip (blowers/motors/generators/pumps) Water/wastewater background and previous electrical experience is preferred. Requirements: DL, on-call duty, 40# lifting capability, live within 20-miles of service area. Full Benefit package pension /PTO/health/ dental/vision/holidays. 40-hour M-F 7AM- 3:30PM Annual Salary: $75K-$85K. On-line application/contact info at www.kwru.com

Water Plant Operator

Peoples Water Service Company of Florida, Inc., located in southwest Escambia County Florida is a great place to build your career and enjoy the wonderful area. We currently have an opening for a Water Plant Operator. Applicants must have a valid Class C or higher Drinking Water license. Position requirements include knowledge of methods, tools and materials used in the controlling, servicing, and minor repairs of all water treatment facilities machinery and equipment. Requires a valid Florida Drivers License, and must pass a pre-employment drug screen test. Trainees who have passed the state exam and only need actual hours worked to obtain the license may be considered. Competitive pay and excellent benefits which include health, life, disability, dental, and 401K. Please send resume to Careers@PeoplesWaterService.com

Water Reclamation Facility Operator III

This is skilled technical work, with supervisory responsibilities, in the inspection and operation of a water reclamation plant. The person in this position fills the role as the shift leader. Work involves responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of a water reclamation facility, routine adjustments to equipment and machinery operating controls, inspection of equipment inside and outside the plant site. An employee in this class exercises considerable independent judgment in adjusting machinery, equipment, and related control apparatus in accordance with established procedures and standards to produce a high-quality reclaimed water product. An employee in this class must be able to report to work outside of normally scheduled work hours at the discretion of management.

Required Qualifications:

♦ Possess a valid high school diploma or GED equivalency.

♦ Possess and maintain a valid Driver License.

♦ Possess and maintain a State of Florida Wastewater Operator “B” License.

♦ Must be able to perform shift work.

♦ Acknowledge this position is designated as Emergency Critical (EC) and if hired into the position, you must be immediately available to the department before, during, and after a declared emergency and/ or disaster.

Salary: $31.02 - $41.30 hourly


City of Flagler Beach

Are you ready to join our team? The City of Flagler Beach has two vacancies to be filled at either the Operator B, Operator C, or Operator Trainee level.

To view the complete job posting, salary ranges, and instructions for applying for this position, please visit our website at:


56 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES - Classified ads are $22 per line for a 60 character line (including spaces and punctuation), $60 minimum. The price includes publication in both the magazine and our Web site. Short positions wanted ads are run one time for no charge and are subject to editing. ads@fwrj.com

Citrus County BOCC - Water Resources Vacancies

Utility Planning & Engineering Division Director - Performs professional administrative and managerial work assisting the Water Resources Director in the implementation and successful delivery, startup, and commissioning of Capital Improvement Projects for Citrus County Utilities. Must meet the following minimum requirements: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering; Six (6) years’ experience of a highly responsible nature in Civil Engineering dealing directly with design, construction, and operation of water, wastewater, and reclaimed utilities.; Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of Florida.

Engineer I - Performs routine professional and technical engineering work reviewing and evaluating plans for the design of new water/ wastewater infrastructure and provides general professional engineering services for departmental capital improvement projects. Must be a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of Florida.

To learn more about the positions and to apply please visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/citrusfl

Treatment Plant Operator (Water)

The Broward County Water and Wastewater Services – Operations Division (WWOD) is seeking highly qualified candidates for:

SALARY: $24.5733 - $39.2189 / $51,112.46 - $81,575.31

LOCATION: Pompano Beach, FL and Lauderdale Lakes, FL

DEPARTMENT: Public Works

To view and apply for this position, please visit:


Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply AuthorityJob Opportunities

The Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority (Authority) is a regional public water supplier that currently provides 30 million gallons of wholesale drinking water per day to approximately 1,000,000 people in a rapidly growing region of southwest Florida. We have the following openings:

Water Treatment Plant Operator A, B or C Project Manager - Water Resources & Planning Project Manager - Land Management & Water Resources

To learn more details about these positions or to apply, visit regionalwater.org/careers.


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Florida Water Resources Journal • April 2024 57
A M E R I C A N - U S A . C O M 1 - 2 0 5 - 3 2 5 - 7 7 0 1

Continued from page 54

Editorial Calendar

January .......


March ...........

April .............

May Operations and Utilities Management

June .............


July .............. Stormwater Management; Emerging Technologies

August ......... Disinfection; Water Quality

September... Emerging Issues; Water Resources Management

October ....... New Facilities, Expansions, and Upgrades

November.... Water Treatment

December .... Distribution and Collection

Technical articles are usually scheduled several months in advance and are due 60 days before the issue month (for example, January 1 for the March issue).

The closing date for display ad and directory card reservations, notices, announcements, upcoming events, and everything else including classified ads, is 30 days before the issue month (for example, September 1 for the October issue).

For further information on submittal requirements, guidelines for writers, advertising rates and conditions, and ad dimensions, as well as the most recent notices, announcements, and classified advertisements, go to www.fwrj.com or call 352-241-6006.

1 D) England.

The activated sludge process was discovered in 1914 in England

2 A) Arden and W.T. Lockett.

The activated sludge process was discovered by Arden and W T Lockett

3 C) hours.

The activated sludge process reduces the time to remove organic contaminants to include achieving nitrification from days to hours

4 B) sludge wasting line.

The activated sludge process consists of an aeration tank, a settling tank (clarifier), solids return, and a sludge wasting line.

5 D) flocs.

The aeration tank of an activated sludge process contains suspended microbial aggregates of microorganisms called flocs.

6 D) biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

The activated sludge process effectiveness is greatly dependent on the microorganism’s ability to oxidize biochemical oxygen demand

7 B) sludge retention time (SRT).

The periodical wasting of microorganisms from the activated sludge process is done to control the sludge retention time

8 D) food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratio.

The activated sludge process efficiency is greatly dependent on the food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratio.

9 A) suspended.

The microorganisms responsible for the treatment within the activated sludge process are usually mixed with the influent wastewater and thus are suspended

10 A) 1917.

A 0.250-million-gallon-per-day (mgd) activated sludge treatment plant was brought into operation by the Manchester Corp in 1917

58 April 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal American 57 AWWA ACE24 52 AWWA Membership 40 AWWA Water Operator Scholarship 41 Baxter Woodman 27 Blue Planet Environmental Systems 59 CEU Challenge 19 Data Flow Systems 37 Engineered Pump 21 FJ Nugent 49 FSAWWA 38-39 FWPCOA Trainiing Calendar 33 Gerber Pumps  9 Heyward 2 Hudson Pump & Equipment 43 Hydro Internatioinal 5 Lakeside Equipment Corporation 7 PolyProcessing 56 Smith & Loveless 45 UF TREEO Center  53 US Submergent 31 Water Treatment & Controls Technology 13 Xylem 60 American Pipeline Solutions 6-7 Custom Pump Controls  31 Heyward Insovar 25 Liberty Pumps 29 Moss Kelley – Arxtera 39 Moss Kelley – cleanwater1 40 Moss Kelley – Huber Technology 41 Moss Kelley – Hydro International 42 Moss Kelley – Kubota  43 Vaughen 27 Wascon 44 Water Treatment & Controls Technology 37 Display Advertiser Index
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Biosolids Management and Bioenergy
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