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News and Features 4 11 12 13 13 16 25 34 42 51 52
EPA Announces $6.5 Billion in New Funding for Water Infrastructure Call for Technical Articles for FWRJ Cavalieri Takes Office as 2021-2022 FWEA President 2021-2022 FWEA Board of Directors 2021-2022 FWEA Officers, Chairs, and Advisors List Water Environment Federation: Biosolids National Convening WEF Post-Convening Summary—Patrick Dube and Maile Lono-Batura FWPCOA Awards FSAWWA Awards News Beat The State of Biosolids Regulations in the U.S. and Florida: Can You Have Your Cake and Dispose of It Too? –Nicole Cohen and Jody Barksdale
Technical Articles 6 Anaerobic Codigestion of Food Waste to Increase Methane Yields—Karamjit Panesar, Ian Atkins, and Sarina J. Ergas
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Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
EPA Announces $6.5 Billion in New Funding for Water Infrastructure Support for wide range of projects in large and small communities In an address made during Drinking Water Week, Michael S. Regan, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, announced that new funding is being made available under the agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program and state infrastructure financing authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. Monies will go toward critical water infrastructure projects in both large and small communities in the United States.
Investing in Infrastructure There are more than 2.2 million miles of underground pipes that make up America’s drinking water infrastructure system. As the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) points out, “the system is aging and underfunded. There is a water main break every two minutes, and an estimated 6 billion gallons of treated water are lost each day in the U.S., enough to fill over 9,000 swimming pools.” This is one of the many reasons water infrastructure earns a C- on the ASCE 2020 Report Card.
Water for drinking, washing clothes, flushing toilets, and bathing has long been taken for granted and the infrastructure that supports these and other uses needs the industry’s full attention. Funding for repairs and replacement has not kept pace with the growing need to address aging systems. The WIFIA and SWIFIA programs provide funds to accelerate investment in water infrastructure through innovative and flexible financing of long-term, low-cost supplemental loans. A recent EPA press release notes that the “WIFIA loan program has become one of the most effective tools used to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure. To date, EPA’s 49 WIFIA loans are providing over $9.3 billion in credit assistance to help finance nearly $20 billion for water infrastructure, while creating approximately 49,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $4 billion.” The new funds will support water infrastructure projects and prioritizes five areas: S Supporting economically stressed communities.
4 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
S P rotecting water infrastructure against the impacts of climate change. S Reducing exposure to lead and addressing emerging contaminants. S Updating aging infrastructure. S Implementing new or innovative approaches, including cybersecurity and green infrastructure.
Part of the Plan The “EPA’s $6.5 billion in water infrastructure funding will provide more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects, while creating more than 40,000 jobs,” Regan said during his announcement. He went on to explain that it “illustrates the multiple benefits of investing in water infrastructure—better public health, environmental protection, job creation, and economic development.” Funding will go to a wide range of projects, in addition to the existing active pipeline of WIFIA projects (76 projects in 25 states), including: S Drinking water treatment and distribution projects. S Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects. S Nonpoint source pollution management program. S Management, reduction, treatment, or recapture of stormwater. S National estuary program projects. S Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities. S Desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling projects. S Drought prevention, reduction, and mitigation projects. S
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F W R J
Anaerobic Codigestion of Food Waste to Increase Methane Yields Karamjit Panesar, Ian Atkins, and Sarina J. Ergas
p to 63 mil tons of food waste are produced in the United States each year (“USEPA Food Recovery Hierarchy,” 2016). Food waste significantly contributes to landfill methane emissions and high concentrations of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia in leachate (Trabold and Nair, 2018). Characteristics of food waste also pose challenges to other solid waste management options; for example, food waste is a poor incineration feedstock due to its high moisture content and low calorific value (Lee et al., 2020). Different states also have different policies in regard to organic waste. Florida previously enacted but fell short of the 75 percent recycling goal for 2020 and may require creative solutions to help reach future thresholds (Florida Senate and House of Representatives, 2019). A more-desirable option for treating food waste is through anaerobic digestion, which diverts the waste from landfills and incinerators, while producing biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide) and fertilizer as valuable byproducts (Hinds et al., 2017). Management of food waste through anaerobic codigestion is a well-established technology in Europe and has had an increase in popularity in the U.S. (Baere and Mattheeuws, 2015). A common attribute of these systems, however, is that they only accept preconsumer waste, such as the waste seen in Figure 1, due to the risk of contamination of postconsumer food waste with nonbiodegradable components, such as single-use plastic tableware and containers
(Zhu et al., 2010). Between 15 and 30 percent of postconsumer food is wasted, and 97 percent of this food waste ends up in landfills, which is the least desirable method for food-waste disposal (Trabold and Nair, 2018; “USEPA Food Recovery Hierarchy,” 2016). In addition, food waste is often not a desirable anaerobic digestion (AD) substrate on its own due to its low carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio, resulting in a high concentrations of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and free ammonia nitrogen (FAN) in the digester that inhibit methanogenesis (Dixon et al., 2019). Prior studies have shown that codigestion of food waste with high C/N feedstocks, such as yard waste and sewage sludge, results in increased methane yields compared with AD of food waste alone (Lee et al., 2019).
Background This study grew out of a partnership between the University of South Florida (USF) and TBD Café, a tea wholesaler in Riverview, Fla., which is near Tampa, seeking to form a partnership to divert postconsumer waste from incineration, improve biomethane production from food waste, and prevent contamination of the waste from cafeterias and restaurants normally caused by single-use plastics. The overall goal was to evaluate the effects of AD of food waste, with sugarcane-bagasse (SCB) compostable plates and/or tea leaves at varying mixing ratios. The SCB is a lignocellulosic-rich waste product of sugar and bioethanol production (Mustafa et al., 2018). For every ton of sugarcane used, between 250 and 280 kg of SCB is produced (Vats et al., 2019). Florida has over 440,000 acres of farmland dedicated to sugarcane growth (Baucum and Rice, 2009). The SCB can be molded into
Karamjit Panesar is an engineering associate with the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. Ian Atkins is a graduate research assistant and Dr. Sarina Ergas is a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of South Florida.
compostable tableware, minimizing bagasse waste and offsetting the use of single-use plastics (Loh et al., 2013). Prior studies have investigated AD of SCB after pretreatment to allow anaerobic microbes to penetrate the cell wall (Zheng et al., 2014). Vats et al. (2019) codigested acid-treated SCB with food waste at varying ratios. A 1:1 ratio of SCB to food waste resulted in the highest biogas yield of 1,404 ml biogas/g volatile solids (VS) added. Mustafa et al. (2018) reported a maximum methane yield of 220 ml CH4/g VS with alkaline pretreated at 180oC. The authors recommend a combination of heat and chemical pretreatment to maximize methane yield. Nosratpour et al. (2018) observed a maximum methane yield of 239 ml CH4/g VS with alkaline-pretreated SCB; however, little information is available about anaerobic codigestion of food waste with SCB-based compostable tableware. The world tea industry is valued at $55 billion; an estimated 30 to 36 bil liters of tea are consumed annually, representing a large volume of tea-leave waste product (Kumar and Deshmukh, 2020). Florida is also looking to tap into the growth of the tea market with tea wholesalers, as well as research the growing market (UF IFAS, n.d.); however, little is known about AD of tea leaves. Goel et al. (2001) investigated AD of tea leaves and did not observe significant methane production without nutrient Continued on page 8
Table 1. Biochemical Methane Potential Assay Compositions During Different Experimental Phases
Figure 1. An example of preconsumer waste from college dining halls.
Substrates Mixing Ratioa FW n/a Phase 1 FW+TL 1:1 FW+CP 1:1 FW+TL+CP 2:1:1 Phase 2 FW+TL+CP 1:1:1 a. Food waste (FW), tea leaves (TL), compostable plates (CP) b. Mixing ratio = FW total solids (TS): codigestion substrate TS
6 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
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Figure 2. a) Cumulative biogas volume and b) methane yields (normalized to g/volatile solids added) for Phase 1 biochemical methane potential assays.
Continued from page 6 addition. After nutrients were added, the authors achieved a methane yield of 146 ml CH4/g VS.
Materials and Methods Biochemical methane potential (BMP) assays were set up in the environmental engineering laboratories at USF with varying substrates, codigestion mixing ratios, and inoculum sources (Table 1). Materials The food waste was collected from the dining services at USF and processed in an InSinkErator Inc. (Mount Pleasant, Wis.) 350-horsepower garbage disposal. The waste composition varied in different phases due to the differences in waste produced by dining halls. Spent tea leaves were provided by TBD Café and used as received. The tea leaves were a mixture of green, black, and oolong teas, and included flavor additives, such as ginger. The SCB-based molded compostable plates were purchased from Monogram Cleaning Disposables Inc. (Rosemont, Ill.) and cut into ~ 1cm-sized strips using scissors. Phase 1 inoculum consisted of effluent from a mesophilic AD at a wastewater treatment facility in Clearwater. In order to reduce the lag period, Phase 2 inoculum consisted of 75 percent Clearwater AD effluent and 25 percent digestate from Phase 1 BMPs (referred to as “acclimated” inoculum in Table 1). Biochemical Methane Potential Assays The BMPs are described in detail in Panesar (2020). Briefly, BMPs were set up in 250-mL septum-sealed glass serum bottles at a TS content of 2.5 percent and a food-to-microorganisms (F/M) ratio of 1 based on VS BMPs was incubated in a constant temperature room under mesophilic (35ºC) conditions. Each digestion set included
Table 2: Final Chemical Analysis Results for Phase 1 Biochemical Methane Potential Assays
Digestion Set Inoculum FW FW+TL FW+CP
VS Reduction (%) 54.8±0.2 40.7±0.1 62.4±3.0 60.6±2.5
8.96±0.02 5.06±0.07 8.99±0.03 8.91±0.04
864±174 862±33 371±14 523±14
three sets of duplicates; inoculum-only controls were also set up in duplicate. Duplicate BMPs were sacrificed for chemical analysis on weeks 1 and 3 and at the end of the assay. Analytical Methods Standard Methods (APHA, 2018) was used to measure methane content (6211-C), TS, VS (2540), soluble COD (sCOD; 5200), VFA (5560D) and alkalinity (Alk:2320-B). Biogas volume was measured using a frictionless glass syringe. Ammonia concentrations were measured using a Timberline (Boulder, Colo.) TL-2800 Ammonia Analyzer. Samples for COD, VFA, pH, alkaline, and ammonia were first centrifuged at 9800 revolutions per minute (rpm) for 20 minutes, and then filtered through a 0.45 µm glass filter prior to testing. Statistical analysis was done using a twotailed t-test with a 95 percent confidence interval. Analysis of the covariance (ANCOVA) with a 95 percent confidence interval was also done on the methane yields over time to see if there was a difference in the methane yields of the BMPs.
Results and Discussion Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste Alone and Codigestion with Tea Leaves or Compostable Plates During Phase 1 a comparison was made of AD with food waste alone and with codigestion of
8 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Methane Quality (%) 0.015±0.009 51±27 2.12±0.10 39±8 0.017±0.001 63±15 0.035±0.003 57±15
CH4 Yield (ml CH4/g VS) 73±0.0 35±4.9 246±6.7 322±34.1
food waste with either tea leaves or compostable plates at a 1:1 mixing ratio over a 92-day period (Figure 2 and Table 2). Digesters with food waste alone achieved a 40 percent VS reduction, but a very low methane yield (35 mL CH4/g VS), which was lower than inoculum-only controls (73 mL CH4/g VS). The low final pH and VFA:Alk (Table 2) indicate that the rate of fermentation exceeded the rate of methanogenesis, resulting in almost complete inhibition of methanogenic activity. In contrast with food waste alone, significantly higher methane yields were achieved for food waste and tea leaves (246 mL CH4/gVS) and food waste and compostable plates (322 mL CH4/g VS). The food waste and tea leaves had a slightly higher, but not significantly different, methane quality than food waste and compostable plates (Table 2). The large standard deviations in methane quality can be attributed to the slow growth rate of the methanogens at the beginning of digestion (2017). Both Phase 1 codigestion sets achieved similar VS reduction (Table 1). The tea leave or compostable plate addition brought the pH, VFA:Alk, and ammonia concentrations to the healthy range for methanogens (2017). Note that long lag periods were observed prior to the onset of rapid biogas production for both food waste and tea leaves (21 days) and food waste and compostable plates (30 days), indicating that substrate pretreatment or inoculum acclimation has the potential to accelerate the onset of biogas production (2019). Continued on page 10
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Continued from page 8 In addition, biogas production for food waste and compostable plates did not stabilize over the 92day digestion period, indicating that more biogas production was possible. The results indicate that codigestion of food waste with high C/N substrates, tea leaves, or compostable plates can increase biomethane production. Similar results were reported in other studies of food-waste codigestion with yard waste or sewage sludge (2017). Goel et al (2001) were only able to achieve high methane yields from tea leaves when nutrients were added, indicating that food-waste addition provided nutrients for tealeave digestion.
In contrast to Phase 1, ammonia concentrations were similar in all digestion sets, most likely due to the varying composition of the food waste (2020). Methane quality for food waste:tea leaves:compostable plates 1:1:1 was between 60 and 70 percent, indicating good methanogenic activity. Although 25 percent of the inoculum used in Phase 2 was digestate produced in Phase 1 codigestion sets, a 20-day lag period was still observed prior to rapid onset of methane production (Figure 2), which was similar to food waste:tea leaves in Phase 1 (Figure 1). Further long-term continuous AD studies are needed to understand the effect of microbial acclimation on methane production with tea leaves and compostable plates.
Effect of Mixing Ratio on Codigestion of Food Waste, Tea Leaves, and Compostable Plates Phase 2 BMPs were carried out for 88 days with food waste:tea leaves:compostable plates at mixing ratios of 1:1:1 and 2:1:1 (Figure 2 and Table 3). The cumulative methane yield for food waste:tea leaves:compostable plates 1:1:1 (264 ml CH4/g VS) was significantly higher than for food waste:tea leaves:compostable plates 2:1:1 (45 ml CH4/g VS). Although both digestion sets achieved similar VS reduction, the lower food-waste content digestion set had a higher pH and a VFA:Alk ratio in the healthy range for methanogenesis (Table 3).
Conclusion Anaerobic codigestion of food waste with either compostable plates or tea leaves increased methane yields compared with AD of food waste on its own. Codigestion of high C/N substrate with food waste prevented inhibition by VFA and ammonia accumulation. Codigestion of food waste with both tea leaves and compostable plates resulted in high biomethane production when the ratio of food waste:tea leaves:compostable plates was maintained in the correct range.
Table 3. Final Chemical Analysis Results for Phase 2 Biochemical Methane Potential Assays
VS Reduction (%)
Methane Quality (%)
Inoculum FW:TL:CP 1:1:1 FW:TL:CP 2:1:1
8.06±0.02 32.46±9.72 0.0185±0.001 7.86±0.02 39.95±0.17 0.0786±0.0004
Methane Yield (ml CH4/g VS) 65.0 ±0.9 279±1 59.5±4.1
The results indicate that food waste, tea leaves, and SCB-based compostable tableware can be collected from restaurants and cafeterias as a single-waste stream, avoiding the need to separate these materials prior to AD. The project also demonstrates a successful collaboration between a university and nearby industry to divert organic waste from landfills and incineration and improve bioenergy production.
Acknowledgments Research reported in this article was supported by grant P200A180047 from the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program and the University of South Florida Student Green Energy Fund (SGEF). The authors would also like to thank the staff at the TBD Café, USF Dining Services, USF Facilities, and USF Athletics.
Data Availability Datasets related to this article can be found at https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/8274/.
References •A PHA, 2018. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Water Res. 16, 1495–1496. https://doi.org/10.1016/00431354(82)90249-4. • Baere, L. De, Mattheeuws, B., 2015. Anaerobic Digestion of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste in Europe. Status, Exp. Prospect. – 517–526. • Baucum, L.E., Rice, R.W., 2009. An Overview of Florida Sugarcane. North 1–8. • Dixon, P.J., Ergas, S.J., Mihelcic, J.R., Hobbs, S.R., 2019. Effect of Substrate to Inoculum Ratio
1600 Methane Yield (ml methane/ g VS added)
Bigoas volume (ml)
1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0
Days FW:TL:CP 2:1:1
250 200 150 100 50 0
Figure 3. a) Cumulative biogas volume and b) methane yields (normalized to g/volatile solids added) for Phase 2 biochemical methane potential assays.
10 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
on Bioenergy Recovery from Food Waste, Yard Waste, and Biosolids by High Solids Anaerobic Digestion. Environ. Eng. Sci. 36, 1459–1465. https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2019.0078. Florida Senate and House of Representatives, 2019. Florida and the 2020 75% Recycling Goal. Goel, B., Pant, D.C., Kishore, V.V.N., 2001. Twophase anaerobic digestion of spent tea leaves for biogas and manure generation. Bioresour. Technol. 80, 153–156. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S0960-8524(01)00083-9. Hinds, G.R., Lens, P.N.L., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J., 2017. Microbial Biomethane Production from Municipal Solid Waste Using High Solids Anaerobic Digestion. Microb. Fuels Technol. Appl. 153–188. https://doi. org/10.1201/9781351246101. Kumar, S., Deshmukh, R., 2020. Tea Market by Type [www document]. alliedmarketresearch. com. URL https://www.alliedmarketresearch. com/tea-market (accessed 7.10.20). Lee, E., Bittencourt, P., Casimir, L., Jimenez, E., Wang, M., Zhang, Q., Ergas, S.J., 2019. Biogas production from high solids anaerobic codigestion of food waste, yard waste, and waste activated sludge. Waste Manag. 95, 432–439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2019.06.033.
•L ee, E., Oliveira, D.S.B.L., Oliveira, L.S.B.L., Jimenez, E., Kim, Y., Wang, M., Ergas, S.J., Zhang, Q., 2020. Comparative environmental and economic life cycle assessment of high solids anaerobic codigestion for biosolids and organic waste management. Water Res. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.watres.2019.115443. • Loh, Y.R., Sujan, D., Rahman, M.E., Das, C.A., 2013. Review Sugarcane bagasse - The future composite material: A literature review. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 75, 14–22. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.03.002. • Mustafa, A.M., Li, H., Radwan, A.A., Sheng, K., Chen, X., 2018. Effect of hydrothermal and Ca(OH)2 pretreatments on anaerobic digestion of sugarcane bagasse for biogas production. Bioresour. Technol. 259, 54–60. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.03.028. • Nosratpour, M.J., Karimi, K., Sadeghi, M., 2018. Improvement of ethanol and biogas production from sugarcane bagasse using sodium alkaline pretreatments. J. Environ. Manage. 226, 329–339. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.08.058. • Panesar, K., 2020. Implementation of large-scale anaerobic digestion at the University of South Florida. University of South Florida. • Trabold, T.A., Nair, V., 2018. Conventional
Food Waste Management Methods, Sustainable Food Waste-To-energy Systems. https://doi. org/10.1016/b978-0-12-811157-4.00003-6. UF IFAS, n.d. Establishing a Tea Industry in Florida [WWW Document]. URL https:// plantpath.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/tea/projects.html (accessed 4.18.21). USEPA Food Recovery Hierarchy [WWW Document], 2016. . USEPA. URL https://www. epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/foodrecovery-hierarchy (accessed 2.12.19). Vats, N., Khan, A.A., Ahmad, K., 2019. Observation of biogas production by sugarcane bagasse and food waste in different composition combinations. Energy 185, 1100–1105. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2019.07.080. Zheng, Y., Zhao, J., Xu, F., Li, Y., 2014. Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for enhanced biogas production. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 42, 35– 53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2014.01.001. Zhu, B., Zhang, R., Gikas, P., Rapport, J., Jenkins, B., Li, X., 2010. Biogas production from municipal solid wastes using an integrated rotary drum and anaerobic-phased solids digester system. Bioresour. Technol. 101, 6374–6380. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2010.03.075. S
Call for Technical Articles for FWRJ As I’m sure you know, the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC) wasn’t held this year (or in 2020!), canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. First and foremost, I hope you and yours are still doing well. The water and wastewater industry is vitally important to the well-being of the country and its citizens, and the work that you do ensures that we all have the safe, clean water we need, when we need it. The Florida Water Resources Journal is proud to play a part in furthering the strength of the industry in Florida. The magazine gets most of its technical articles from FWRC, with some coming from the FSAWWA Fall Conference and from readers and others in the industry. So that FWRJ has the articles that it needs, I’m asking that you consider writing one for the magazine. Being published, of course, can be a plus for your career. Please feel free to send me a technical article on any topic that would be of interest to those in the industry, or you can write an article that would fit one of the magazine’s monthly themes, which are as follows: SERVING FLORIDA’S WATER AND WASTEWATER INDUSTRY SINCE 1949
January Wastewater Treatment February Water Supply; Alternative Sources March Energy Efficiency; Environmental Stewardship April Conservation and Reuse May Operations and Utilities Management June Biosolids Management and Bioenergy Production 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 You can send your article to me at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time, or to be included as a themed article, it would be due 60 days before the issue month (for example, January 1 for the March issue). If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me by email or at 303.759.4966. S Rick Harmon Editor Florida Water Resources Journal
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Ronald R. Cavalieri Takes Office as 2021-2022 FWEA President
Ronald R. Cavalieri, P.E., BCEE, has begun his term as president of the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), following his election at the Association’s virtual annual meeting on April 27. Ron is an associate vice president for AECOM Technical Services Inc. and is the southwest Florida area leader located in the Fort Myers office. He has extensive experience in the planning, design, and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure for public utilities. His broad range of experience includes master planning, design and construction of water and wastewater treatment plant facilities, hydraulic modeling and design of water distribution and wastewater collection and conveyance systems, and hydraulic analysis and design of water and wastewater pumping stations. Ron is a board-certified environmental engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He has bachelor and master of science degrees in civil engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from Canisius College, also in Buffalo.
2021-2022 FWEA Board of Directors
Ronald R. Cavalieri President
Sondra W. Lee President-Elect
James J. Wallace Past President
Kristiana Dragash WEF Delegate
Tim Ware WEF Delegate (until October 2021)
Dustin Chisum Director at Large
Joan Fernandez Director at Large
Kristina Fries Director at Large
Ioannis (Yanni) Polematidis Director at Large
Lynn Spivey Director at Large
Rick Hutton Utility Council President
12 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
2021-2022 FWEA Officers, Chairs, and Advisors The following officers, directors, committee leaders, chapter leaders, and student chapter advisors began their terms at the beginning of the FWEA annual meeting in April.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Suzanne E. Mechler Vice President
Joseph Paterniti Secretary/Treasurer
PRESIDENT Ronald R. Cavalieri, P.E., BCEE AECOM Technical Services Inc. 239-278-7996 Ronald.email@example.com PRESIDENT ELECT Sondra Winter Lee, P.E. City of Tallahassee 850-891-6123 Sondra.Lee@talgov.com
Michael Sweeney WEF Delegate (after October 2021)
Jody Barksdale Director at Large
VICE PRESIDENT Suzanne E. Mechler, P.E. CDM Smith 561-571-3800 firstname.lastname@example.org SECRETARY/TREASURER Joseph Paterniti, P.E. Boynton Beach Utilities 561-742-6423 email@example.com PAST PRESIDENT James J. Wallace, P.E. Jacobs Engineering Group (904) 451-2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Hernandez Director at Large
Megan Nelson Director at Large
WEF DELEGATE Kristiana Dragash, P.E. Carollo Engineers Inc. 941-371-9832 email@example.com WEF DELEGATE Tim Ware, P.E., CRL Arcadis 813-353-5773 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradley P. Hayes Operations Council Representative
Kartik Vaith Executive Director of Operations
DIRECTOR AT LARGE Jody Barksdale, P.E., ENV SP Carollo Engineers Inc. 813-888-9572 email@example.com
DIRECTOR AT LARGE Dustin Chisum, P.E. AECOM 239-849-5093 firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR AT LARGE David Hernandez, P.E., ENV SP Hazen and Sawyer 305-951-2660 email@example.com DIRECTOR AT LARGE Joan Fernandez, P.E. Arcadis 954-882-9566 E: firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR AT LARGE Kristina Fries, P.E. City of Orlando Kristina.email@example.com DIRECTOR AT LARGE Ioannis (Yanni) Polematidis, P.E., BCEE CDM Smith 904-527-6722 firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR AT LARGE Lynn Spivey City of Plant City P: 813-757-9190 E: email@example.com DIRECTOR AT LARGE Megan Nelson Orange County Utilities P: (407) 254-9927 E: firstname.lastname@example.org UTILITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT Rick Hutton, P.E. Gainesville Regional Utilities 352-393-1218 email@example.com
Continued on page 14
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Continued from page 13 OPERATIONS COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE Bradley P. Hayes Woodard & Curran 325-516-4397 firstname.lastname@example.org EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Kartik Vaith, P.E. Constantine Engineering Inc. 904-562-2185 email@example.com
COMMITTEE LEADERS AIR QUALITY Robert Jeyaseelan Vapex Environmental 407-977-7250, x111 firstname.lastname@example.org AWARDS Damaris Noriega Orange County Utilities (407) 254-9538 email@example.com BIOSOLIDS Tony Pevec, P.E. Freese and Nichols (813) 344-4246 Tony.Pevec@freese.com COLLECTION SYSTEMS Keisha McKinnie, P.E. Reiss Engineering, A CHA Company (863) 268-5419 firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRACTORS Nathan Hillard Wharton-Smith Inc. (407) 402-0120 email@example.com MANUFACTURERS AND REPRESENTATIVES Chris Stewart Xylem Water Solutions USA Inc. (239) 322-3257 firstname.lastname@example.org MEMBER RELATIONS Melody Gonzalez, E.I. Black & Veatch (786) 347-1360 GonzalezM@bv.com
MEMBERSHIP Suzanne E. Mechler, P.E. CDM Smith 561-571-3800 email@example.com OPERATIONS CHALLENGE Chris Fasnacht Water Reclamation Division, OCU (407) 254-7724 Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH Shea Dunifon Pinellas County Utilities (727) 582-2898 email@example.com SAFETY TBD SEMINARS Tonya Sonier McKim & Creed Inc. (386) 274-2828 TSonier@mckimcreed.com STUDENTS AND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS George Dick Carollo Engineers Inc. (813) 437-8908 firstname.lastname@example.org TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION Kenny Blanton, P.E. Hazen and Sawyer (407) 362-1101 email@example.com UTILITY COUNCIL Rick Hutton, P.E. Gainesville Regional Utilities (352) 393-1218 firstname.lastname@example.org UTILITY MANAGEMENT Rick Nipper Toho Water Authority (407) 944-5071 email@example.com WASTEWATER PROCESS Bartt Booz, P.E. Wright-Pierce (407) 747-9935 firstname.lastname@example.org
14 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
WATER RESOURCES, REUSE, AND RESILIENCY (WR3) Kevin Carter Broward County (954) 831-0718 email@example.com
CHAPTER LEADERS BIG BEND TBD CENTRAL FLORIDA Megan Nelson Orange County Utilities (407) 254-9927 firstname.lastname@example.org FIRST COAST Manasi Parekh Ardurra (904) 318-9028 email@example.com MANASOTA Wendy Conn ERM (813) 357-3895 firstname.lastname@example.org SOUTH FLORIDA Layla L. Llewelyn CDM Smith (786) 437-2762 LlewelynLL@cdmsmith.com SOUTHEAST Eric Antmann Hazen and Sawyer (954) 865-9098 email@example.com SOUTHWEST Bryan Thaggard, P.E. Black & Veatch (239) 938-9605 Thaggardbb@bv.com TREASURE COAST Christine Miranda Holtz Consulting Engineers (561) 575-2005
WEST COAST Kris Samples McKim & Creed Inc. (904) 626-3206 KSamples@mckimcreed.com
STUDENT CHAPTER ADVISORS FAU STUDENT CHAPTER Florida Atlantic University Daniel Meeroff, Ph.D. 561-297-2658 firstname.lastname@example.org FIU STUDENT CHAPTER Florida International University Berrin Tansel, Ph.D., P.E. 305-348-2928 email@example.com UCF STUDENT CHAPTER University of Central Florida Anwar Sadmani, Ph.D., P.Eng. 407-823-2781 firstname.lastname@example.org UF STUDENT CHAPTER University of Florida John Sansalone, Ph.D, P.E. 352-373-0796 email@example.com UM STUDENT CHAPTER University of Miami James Englehardt, Ph.D. 305-284-5557 firstname.lastname@example.org UNF STUDENT CHAPTER University of North Florida Craig Hargis, Ph.D. 904-620-1350 Craig.email@example.com USF STUDENT CHAPTER University of South Florida Sarina J. Ergas, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE 813-974-1119 firstname.lastname@example.org FAMU/FSU STUDENT CHAPTER Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University/Florida State University Youneng Tang, Ph.D. 850-410-6119 email@example.com FGCU STUDENT CHAPTER Florida Gulf Coast University Ashley Danley-Thomson, Ph.D. 239-745-4390 firstname.lastname@example.org Florida Gulf Coast University Jong-Yeop Kim, Ph.D, P.E 239-590-1363 email@example.com
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Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Water Environment Federation: Biosolids National Convening Background Issues Memo and Discussion Document
a range of the input that was shared, without implying complete agreement across all sources.
Biosolids practitioners today face an array of pressures that are both challenging and potentially advantageous. While decades of studies have shown that biosolids can be safely used for the production of agricultural crops and in other uses, news headlines, some activist groups, and local and state government action signal a body of growing concern. How can biosolids practitioners prepare for the future, positioning their programs to address current and emerging challenges, while also preparing to leverage opportunities? To explore these areas, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) convened a gathering of biosolids practitioners and experts from across North America in November 2019 to contribute their knowledge to a strategic conversation. This background issues memo and discussion document was prepared to support this dialogue. To help convening participants as they prepare for participation in this conversation, WEF conducted 10 interviews and eight facilitated listening sessions with experts in the field around the United States and Canada and also conducted a background desk analysis of current issues facing biosolids management. This document reflects those conversations, as well as the discussions—ideas, concerns, and actions—that were raised during the November 2019 workshop. It’s organized into the following topic areas: S S ection 1: Gaps and Disinvestment in Oversight S S ection 2: Contaminants of Emerging Concern S S ection 3: Collaboration and Communication S S ection 4: Research Needs S S ection 5: Market Pressures and Trends S S ection 6: Workforce Pressures S S ection 7: Proposed Agenda for Action
Section 1: Gaps and Disinvestment in Oversight
This discussion document reflects insights and perspectives gathered from independent interviews and listening sessions, as well as convening attendees. Readers should be aware that these diverse individuals offered independent, and sometimes divergent, perspectives. This synthesis seeks to convey
In November 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report pointing to gaps in the implementation of its own Biosolids Rule. The report articulated concern about the resources that EPA allocated to the biosolids program. For example, in 2013, EPA consolidated its oversight of biosolids compliance monitoring and enforcement into the Biosolids Center of Excellence, located in EPA Region 7, which had only two staff members. Inspections for biosolids at wastewater treatment facilities were deemphasized in favor of other issues. The report suggested that this gap presented an important vulnerability for the biosolids program. Interview and listening session participants supported the idea that biosolids programs have experienced a trend of reduced staffing, and that these reductions comprise a vulnerability for the future of biosolids management. During the convening, EPA provided an update on current and planned activities, and shared that the agency plans to increase its resources dedicated to biosolids oversight, catch up on biannual reviews, work on a screening model for identifying pollutants that should go on for full risk assessment, improve engagement with EPA regions and stakeholders, work to make the website more accessible and transparent, and work on a process to address resource recovery. Many of these efforts will satisfy some topics raised by the OIG report. Need for Investment in Oversight Interview and listening session participants signaled that, to facilitate a secure future for biosolids utilization, including improved public perception, there is a need for increased investment in federal and state oversight, including inspections, compliance monitoring, and reporting. In general, interview and listening session participants emphasized that this gap should be addressed, with some variability of their perspectives on the degree and importance of the gap. S Convening participants discussed the need
16 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
to examine opportunities for Part 503 Rule updates based on a combination of new technological advances and enhanced science related to such parameters as vector attraction, pathogen reduction, nuisance conditions, and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Additionally, participants discussed the concept of creating a “Part 504” regulatory framework to provide greater clarity and certainty to the process of gaining approval for innovative products (alternative approval mechanism for innovative product validation) that currently fall under the “derived from sewage sludge” clause of the Part 503 regulation. S Meeting participants also signaled that one of the most-effective ways to maintain and enhance support for biosolids beneficial use is to ensure that both biosolids products and management programs are of the highest quality. In this context, participants discussed seeking to elevate the importance of well-run biosolids programs with the executive management of utilities, defining and promoting the elements of an effective and well-run biosolids program, providing guidance for effective municipal contracts with biosolids land application contractors, and ensuring that the full range of biosolids benefits are better characterized through research and more-effectively communicated through renewed public engagement initiatives. S Interview and listening session participants signaled concern that the biosolids oversight program has been “hollowed out” over time. They noted that biosolids oversight has changed, having once had fairly robust staffing across most states and EPA regions. By contrast, in the current situation, staffing and expertise in these entities are spotty. Even where staffing does remain sufficient, there remains vulnerability with upcoming staff retirements. Convening participants expressed that disinvestment had undermined both capacity (the number of individuals engaged in biosolids oversight and management) and capability (the depth of knowledge available to the sector). To address these conditions, participants discussed the following: • Establishing a nationwide system of training and mentoring designed to
leverage current biosolids professionals with deep knowledge to assist new recruits to advance their knowledge. • C reating standardized training templates (that can be tailored at the state level) to reduce the burden of providing training at the state level. • E nhancing investment in inspector training. • I mproving on (both accessibility and content) existing biosolids information clearinghouse capabilities. I nterview and listening session participants shared concern that EPA is conducting only very limited review of required reporting, and that there are very limited state and federal staff resources available to answer questions from practitioners and concerned citizens. S ome participants emphasized that disinvestment in oversight also creates an opening for critics of biosolids to promote negative claims. They noted that a lack of expertise in both state and federal agencies has created a “thin bench” to address complicated issues that may confuse the public; there is a need to give confidence to the public that there is sufficient oversight. Participants also expressed that having a strong foundation of oversight and enforcement is essential for a robust and well-accepted biosolids program. I nterviewees and listening session participants expressed concern at disinvestment in state coordinator positions. States have limited funding available for biosolids work. Some states only have one person, or even one part of one full-time equivalent, in charge of biosolids regulations. Some interview and listening session participants expressed that this results in a lack of opportunities to discuss and network within each state, reducing opportunities for knowledgesharing. The disinvestment has also left a gap in the support that utilities had previously been able to draw on to clarify with the public misperceptions about their programs and to reassure communities when concerns did emerge. For example, a biosolids practitioner participating in the interviews reflected on the fact that they previously relied on a local 503 designee for help when communities raised concerns about land application. That person has retired, and with no replacement, there is now no similar assistance available. S tates have limited resources for investigating newly emergent contaminants and must rely on the federal government for guidance. Federal investment in oversight
should include issuance of guidance documents in order to improve state- and local-level common understanding of best practices. This should help to reduce general perception of unknowns around biosolids among the public. S The EPA should adopt an approach of being proactive and responsive to newly emerging issues facing biosolids practitioners. For example, when another contaminant emerges into public concern, EPA might avoid the large gap between science and public concern, such as that which currently exists around some contaminants that have captured public attention. S Part of the disinvestment at the federal level has been in education and training, and that has led to a thinning out of the expertise available to implement programs. Education and training for biosolids coordinators is needed. Investment from the federal level should also include increased support for training to increase the number of skilled biosolids practitioners. S Three positive developments to address some of the above concerns are: 1) there is a state coordinator LISTSERV communication tool in place that allows state coordinators to pose questions of others in similar positions in order to gain understanding, 2) EPA has quadrupled its headquarters staff for the biosolids program in the past year, and 3) EPA is reconvening the national coordinator meeting that had been held annually from 1998 to 2008, which will bring together state and
federal biosolids regulators to add to their knowledge base. S Convening participants signaled the importance of maintaining (and enhancing) a forward-looking agenda that will propel biosolids management innovation. Several ideas were shared in support of maintaining emphasis on innovation: leveraging the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) program to find and catalogue emergent technologies and practices, as well as advocate for advance technology funding in such contexts as the State Revolving Fund (SRF), Farm Bill, Department of Energy (DOE), and private equity; considering formation of an urban utilities subgroup to focus on making connections between biosolids and community resiliency (including the relationship to green stormwater infrastructure [GSI], high-rate treatment, and remediation efforts); and making a connection between advanced biosolids management technologies and addressing climate concerns (e.g., energy and resource recovery).
Section 2: Contaminants of Emerging Concern The CECs are substances that have been newly discovered in the environment, or one substance that has been known for a long time but is generating increased interest in the scientific community due to new information Continued on page 18
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Continued from page 17 about its impacts on public health or the environment. These contaminants are often unregulated or are regulated at a level that may no longer be considered (at least by some) adequately protective of human and ecological health. Rising public concern and emergent science related to CECs in biosolids has increased pressure on biosolids programs and managers in certain parts of the country, signaling a need to better prepare for and respond to these pressures. Uncertainty Over the Risk of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Biosolids Although rebutted from within EPA and by external parties, the OIG report’s claims related to health risks from CECs in biosolids has contributed to rising public concerns about the safety of biosolids. S Th e OIG report stated that biosolids contain 352 contaminants (including 61 that are listed as acutely hazardous, hazardous, or priority pollutants in other EPA programs) for which the agency does not have complete risk assessment information, and therefore cannot state that biosolids pose no risk to the public through land application. S I n response to the report, EPA’s Office of Water (OW) and Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) disagreed with the science in the OIG report, arguing that the occurrence of pollutants in biosolids does not necessarily mean that there is a risk to human health and the environment. S S ome biosolids researchers and practitioners have rebutted the OIG report findings, pointing out that most CECs have low concentrations or persistence in biosolids and are low risk; and that most of the 61 hazardous chemicals listed in the
report have been previously assessed in some way by EPA. 1 S Microplastics are another emerging concern; while most public focus is on their presence in the ocean, it’s known that microplastics are present in soils. Interviews suggested that research is needed into their effects on human health and the environment, including impacts on soil microbial communities. Need for Guidance at the Federal Level Biosolids have made headlines around the country as public concern spikes in some places around the presence of CECs after they have been applied to agricultural land and other areas. Interviewees and listening session participants shared that guidance at the federal level could help states effectively and consistently assess and address the presence of CECs in biosolids. S Interview and listening session participants emphasized the need for federal guidance and regulation around CECs, especially per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Some states and localities have issued bans and moratoria on the application of biosolids in light of concerns about CECs; federal guidance could help bring more consistency to the assessment of and response to CECs in biosolids. In this context, convening participants signaled support for: • Enhanced CECs research and development of risk assessment methods; the formation of a CECs Technical Review Committee that could provide a rapid response capability when new CECs emerge (review available literature, coordinate review, formulate a response, disseminate to states, etc.).
• E stablishing the capability to monitor developments on a state-by-state basis. • Preparation of a water sector policy statement in support of extended producer responsibility regarding persistent compounds. S P articipants signaled that a lack of risk assessment tools related to finding and assessing CECs, especially PFAS, in biosolids has led to a need to find ways to conduct those tests. The OIG report described this lack of tools to perform risk assessments on pollutants found in biosolids, indicating that it prevents EPA from completing assessments on pollutants and determining whether they pose an acceptable or unacceptable level of risk. To meet the need for such tools, some states have created new testing methods or adapted methods that were created for other purposes (e.g., drinking water). This has resulted in a patchwork of methods across jurisdictions that lead to variations in testing results. The EPA’s response to the OIG report concurred with the recommendation that the agency should develop a probabilistic risk assessment tool and screening tool for biosolids land application, and noted that it's already working to complete a biosolids screening tool that will perform risk assessments on pollutants—identifying pollutants, pathways, and receptors of greatest interest, and informing decisions about the need to perform additional risk assessments. S S mall states in particular have very limited resources for investigating CECs and rely on the federal government for guidance. The more that can be done to reduce unknowns in biosolids, the better, in order to speak effectively to public concern. Uncertainty Around the Future of Stateand Local-Level Regulation S D ue to emerging concerns about the presence of PFAS in biosolids, some states and localities are taking regulatory action that goes beyond the existing 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 503 rule, which has established requirements for use and disposal of biosolids since 1993. These new actions are limited in geographic scope, but cause waves of concern to biosolids practitioners due to the uncertainty of how other states and localities might follow. S S ome state- and local-level actions around CECs and biosolids include: • The city of Marinette, Wis., stopped distributing biosolids to farms after noting PFAS readings. Continued on page 20
18 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Continued from page 18 • In Maine, a dairy farm was forced to shut down after its milk subsequently tested positive for the presence of PFAS, despite the fact that the PFAS levels could have been caused by paper mill sludge and not biosolids. The state considered a total ban on biosolids land application, and subsequently passed a requirement that all biosolids must be tested for PFAS before application. • Michigan ordered several wastewater treatment facilities to stop distributing biosolids to farms, and officials have begun systematically testing biosolids at wastewater facilities throughout the state. • In Vermont, there is pressure and movement toward declaring a moratorium on biosolids application; some state legislators have called for a moratorium. 2 • Community groups in Onalaska, Wash., are protesting biosolids land application permits due to concern about potential health risks. • California has adopted notification levels for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the single-digit parts per trillion level. • The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) has released a PFAS fact sheet to put use and management in perspective.
Section 3: Collaboration and Communication Interview and listening session participants expressed that there is a need for significantly
improved collaboration and communication across all actors, including among federal and state agencies, academia, the public, and others. This improved communication can serve to reduce pressures and improve the outlook for biosolids management into the future. Communication with the Public S The biosolids marketplace is very vulnerable to erosion in public confidence; decline in public trust can suppress demand for biosolids products. At the same time, managing biosolids is critical to public health. Therefore, some interviewees said that outreach to the public must be consistent and compelling. S Meeting participants signaled support for research into the “social science” around biosolids (i.e., communications and public relations research into effective communications strategies). Focus groups could help determine the best way to tell the story of biosolids. S Much of the wave of sentiment against biosolids that results from fears around PFAS could be curbed by better communication about the environmental benefits of biosolids. Social media has raised the ability for the public to rapidly receive information, and in the case of CECs, that information may incorrectly convey the level of risk. There is a need to formulate an effective approach around communicating risk to the public in ways that helps people identify the facts that are based on credible science. Meeting attendees noted a need to improve the understanding among the
20 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
media, the general public, and elected officials of the relative risk of CECs compared to background levels and in different exposure pathways. Some people also shared ideas for how utility systems, especially small ones, might best be supported in their need to better communicate about biosolids application. Those ideas included: • Establishing a national-level champion to promote the benefits of biosolids and be available for communication when needs arise. • Establishing regional and state organizations (such as the Northeast Biosolids Association) where they don’t already exist to provide regionally tailored communications support. • Establishing a technical expert in each region who can be deployed to communicate with the public and elected officials. • Cultivating knowledge among all staff at a utility system to speak about the benefits of biosolids. There are gaps in public understanding about the benefits of biosolids. Interviewees shared the idea that one piece of the approach to address this issue should be to position biosolids at the center of an overall resource recovery strategy for communities. Such a communications strategy could include an articulation of the multiple benefits of biosolids, including those related to climate mitigation: carbon sequestration, renewable energy, etc. The foundation of creating and maintaining public trust and confidence in biosolids is that utilities should run strong, unassailable programs, so that communications to the public can be built from that strength. Clearly communicating the environmental benefits of biosolids to the public will enhance the credibility of biosolids programs and provide a buffer to criticism. These benefits include socioeconomic benefits, climate change mitigation, soil health benefits, increased crop production, reduced need for irrigation, and necessary management of organic waste material for municipalities. Effective public communication requires setting the narrative to pursue the positive message about the benefits of biosolids. This could constitute an important step toward shifting opposition. S Meeting participants expressed a sense that the water sector has missed a substantial opportunity to convey the role that biosolids beneficial reuse plays in community sustainability and circular/ green economy initiatives. To address this need, meeting participants suggested a WEF-led advocacy strategy designed
to elevate public and decision-maker appreciation of the full range of biosolids benefits. This strategy could help establish a foundation of trust with the public to spread a positive story about the role biosolids can play as a pillar of sustainability in a green economy. Actions should include building a beneficial relationship with the media, communicating with the public about the urgency of doing something with biosolids and the benefits of land application, and conducting demonstration projects. There was interest expressed to link this strategy to other organizations that may share common cause (such as the Soil Health Institute) and reach out to other key partners in the agricultural community and nongovernmental organization (NGO) environmental and ecosystem health/ sustainability communities. S In light of public concern about biosolids, particularly related to CECs, farmers and fertilizer companies are left wondering what to do and fearful of consumer backlash. Interview participants said that there is a need for proactive communication to help farmers and fertilizer companies to address this issue. Farmers and agricultural groups, sustainability and green solution advocates, and environmental advocates are all potential partners for biosolids practitioners. While some within these groups have recently expressed concerns about biosolids, there is potential to share key information related to the full range of sustainability benefits provided by biosolids. This information can position biosolids within these key advocacy communities as a pillar of, and critical to, achieving sustainability and circular economy aspirations. S Some members of the public express concern when one state has stricter standards than another on regulating biosolids. In this context, it’s challenging to communicate effectively with the public in a way that can assure them that one state’s standards are as safe and protective as another state’s standards. S Interviews flagged a concern that some vendors promote their products or services in part by pointing out the negative aspects or drawbacks of competing products or services. This may serve individual vendors well in terms of sales, but it can also create an overall negative impression of biosolids management in the sector. Collaboration Between Academia and Industry S Interview and listening session participants noted that academic research institutions
and biosolids practitioners should improve on existing channels of communication, communicating about the state of research, as well as needs for future research. There should be a two-way exchange that elevates everyone’s understanding of the ways biosolids travel in the environment and the relative risk they pose to human health. Communication Between Federal and State Agencies S There is a need for improved relationships and better communication across agency silos, and from the federal level to the states. Meeting participants suggested that there should be more meetings and webinars where EPA and states can communicate and coordinate about what actions should be taken. S Interview and listening session participants signaled support for EPA’s efforts to improve coordination and communication among headquarters, regional offices, and state agencies. The EPA has begun efforts to convene meetings with the states and federally recognized tribes. S Resources for education, training, communications, and networking around biosolids information would be highly beneficial. Biosolids Coordination Opportunities Across Practitioners S A platform for biosolids coordination could be extremely valuable. This could serve practitioners across industry; academia; federal, state, and local regulators; and others. S Such a platform could help boost coordination and communication in the face of reduced federal investment in oversight. S The platform could feature a compilation of resources for education, training, communication, and networking of biosolids information, such as new biosolids treatments, engineering technologies, and any related issues. S Where some organizations have had the capacity to conduct their own risk assessments, it would be valuable to share that information more widely. For example, King County in Washington produced public-facing material characterizing, for example, ibuprofen levels in biosolids. More similar-risk assessments and improved widespread sharing of these communication materials would be helpful. S There is an opportunity for biosolids practitioners in wastewater treatment to collaborate with solid- and yard-waste haulers, who must spend money to find
disposal options for large quantities of waste. There is potential for connecting wastewater treatment plant managers with waste haulers to look for opportunities to combine wet and dry wastes (e.g., construction debris and yard waste) to take mutual advantage of economic opportunities, such as composting and thermal treatment.
Section 4: Research Needs To the extent that land application programs have achieved success today, interviews and listening sessions attributed this success, at least in part, to the body of research that was done to support the original 503 program by generating needed data, as well as effective pretreatment programs that improved the quality of biosolids. New research, therefore, might offer the same benefit for improving the landscape for biosolids into the future. A 2002 report from the National Research Council stated the following: “There is no documented scientific evidence that the [Biosolids Rule] has failed to protect public health; however, additional scientific work is needed to reduce persistent uncertainty about the potential for adverse human health effects from exposure to biosolids.”3 Some interview and listening session participants signaled that additional research could indeed be of substantial help to biosolids practitioners, as it could create a more-sound scientific basis for effectively characterizing risk associated with biosolids and act to counter advocacy initiatives and related public perceptions based on less substantial, or at times mischaracterized, evidence. The Water Research Foundation (WRF) convened in early 2020 to discuss research needs related to biosolids. The November 2019 WEF convening served as a fertile source of ideas and suggestions for the WRF conference. The W4170 Multi-State Research Committee has for decades led research efforts on biosolids land application and is a body with whom the biosolids sector should be better engaged. Many topics raised by interviewees have or can be addressed by the committee. Need for Information to Examine Impacts of Biosolids S The OIG report indicated that EPA needs more information to fully examine the health effects and ecological impacts of biosolids applied to land. Some interview and listening session participants shared this sentiment, signaling that more scientific research is needed to reduce Continued on page 22
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Continued from page 21 uncertainty about the potential for adverse health effects. They indicated that the lack of information about CECs interactions, long-term buildup in soils, leaching into waterways, and uptake into crops and the food system leave a gap in the sector’s ability to respond to concerns related to CECs. Meeting participants signaled their support for research on PFAS-focused questions, including toxicity, fate and exposure, and relative risk in biosolids. They expressed that there is a need for development of a standard research and assessment process for CECs that can be used both now and in the future for other chemicals that emerge into the public’s attention. Questions in need of scientific exploration include the plant uptake rate of CECs from biosolids, effects of longterm storage, accumulation in cattle that graze on biosolids-applied land, and the composition of incinerator stack emissions from combustion of biosolids. S L istening session and interview participants signaled an interest in better understanding the impact of land application practices on groundwater. To help fill that information gap, one state requires groundwater monitoring wells for all biosolids land application sites. These data help determine if groundwater has been impacted by application and they support making adjustments in permittee’s biosolids land application programs as needed. S R esearch is needed on nutrient impacts of land application. In Florida, excessive phosphorus concentrations in surface water after a biosolids land application nearby caused substantial concern. Given the acknowledged interest in the potential for land application of biosolids to contribute to nutrient enrichment conditions in waterbodies, further research that better characterizes the link between application practices and nutrient runoff into waterbodies would be helpful. Meeting participants discussed research questions around nutrients, including identifying the comparative contribution of different nutrient sources of algal blooms, the role biosolids may play in sustainable phosphorus conversion, and the micronutrient makeup of biosolids. S I mportant research has already been done into indicator viruses that could potentially be used to assess sewage contamination, including phage and peppermild mottle virus; more research is needed into these potentially useful indicators. S Research into biosolids product odor,
including new and innovative processes that might generate a lower odor product, are needed. Meeting participants expressed a need for more research into biosolids odors. Specific areas of inquiry include how to reduce odors, determining odors from new technologies and better understanding odors from existing technologies, and determining the effect of odor-reducing products on biosolids efficacy and quality. S Research is also needed into the fate of PFAS within thermal processes; whether it’s destroyed or volatilized is an important question. Participants signaled an interest in more research into the benefits of hydrothermal liquefaction, a morecomplete understanding of pyrolysis and gasification technologies, and the benefits of phosphorus extraction. Participants expressed support for a process that would bring new technologies to market more quickly, suggesting there might be a way for WEF or others to identify new markets and help foster their development. S In some cases research has been done, but not effectively communicated, with practitioners, so better communication and outreach is necessary. There is a need for better support for collaboration among regional biosolids organizations and wastewater treatment organizations to promote valuable research initiatives; for example, a regionally based organization funds research into how to best use biosolids. There should be ways to make that research accessible to more utilities. Convening attendees said that there is a need for research into the benefits of biosolids. Specific areas of inquiry include the amount of carbon sequestration that biosolids provide, comparison of the carbon footprint of biosolids versus commercial fertilizers, crop yield benefits from biosolids-treated land, whether biosolidsgrown crops show increased drought resistance, and benefits of biosolids on an ecosystem scale.
Section 5: Market Pressures and Trends The interview and listening session participants signaled concern about several driving forces in the market that are creating a squeeze across biosolids management options—landfill, incineration, and land application—that limits management options or raises costs in some geographic areas. At the same time, new uses for biosolids are opening opportunities for utilities.
22 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Landfill capacity, in general, is under pressure, and some communities are banning organic wastes from landfills, including biosolids. Land application is under pressure from reduced availability of proximate farmland. Incineration is also under new pressure, as sewage sludge incinerators have come under more-strict regulations. For some utilities, these pressures combine to create a three-way squeeze that, in particular, is leading to greatly increasing costs for solids management. Landfill Pressures Landfill capacity is under pressure from several driving forces. In some places, communities are banning organic wastes from landfills, including biosolids. This contributes to a trend in which some utilities are paying much higher prices to landfill their solids, either because local fees are higher or because they have to transport the solids long distances to locales that still accept organic waste. Organic waste bans also divert food waste, some of which goes to wastewater treatment plants. These utilities can, in some instances, use the food waste to produce renewable energy, but this also results in greater production of biosolids. S Particularly on the coasts of the U.S., landfills are an increasingly cost-prohibitive option for biosolids disposal. In some localities, tip fees have doubled or tripled over recent years. S New polices and regulations are limiting the disposal of organic waste in landfills. A new law in California will severely restrict the landfilling of organic waste by 2025. In Pennsylvania and Virginia, odors from landfills that have received biosolids are an area of emerging concern. In some states, landfills are already refusing biosolids due to concerns about odor, capacity limitations, or even PFAS concerns. Other jurisdictions, such as Seattle and Austin, Texas, have diversion requirements for organic materials in landfills. The combined effect of these pressures will mean that residential organic material is in need of an alternative place to go. Restrictions/limitations have also emerged related to changes in practices/requirements for alternative daily cover, as well as some events related to landfill structural failures associated with biosolids use. S Lack of available landfill space results in a need for more storage options, more land for application, and more trucking to carry biosolids farther away—either to different landfills, or to areas where they can be applied to that land. These are all restricting factors. Incineration Pressures Sewage sludge incinerators recently came under more-strict regulations, as EPA issued a
final rule in 2019 that more-tightly restricts the pollution that they can emit. These regulations have increased pressure that has moved utilities away from using incineration as a management option. Incineration has been declining, but still represents 15 to 20 percent of biosolids management in the U.S. Now that pressures on landfill and land application are mounting, as both of those options are becoming increasingly expensive, there is an emergence of reconsidering incineration as a management option. Land Application Pressures Due to the pressures described on landfilling and incineration, land application is becoming a more-attractive option, even more so than in the past. Despite this trend, land application is vulnerable to several pressing trends, including concern about CECs and other potential health impacts. S Pressure on landfill capacity impacts increasing prices for landfilling, and wastewater utilities are getting priced out of the market. Some listening session and interview participants shared a concern that landfills will follow California’s example one day and stop accepting biosolids. This puts pressure on alternatives, such as land application. S Urbanization and suburbanization (i.e., sprawl) have reduced the amount of farmland in production that is within close driving distance of major centers of population. This leaves fewer easily accessible land application sites for some utilities. S Population growth, especially in urban areas, exacerbates this issue as more waste is created and overwhelms available rural land application sites, necessitating more depositing into landfills. S California is considering new regulations to make it illegal to ban local land application. In combination with the landfill ban on organic material, this could mean that much more organic food waste will be digested and more biosolids will be land-applied. In other states and localities, however, there is movement toward banning land application of biosolids. S Odors from land application of biosolids remain a persistent pressure, as some localities have enacted regulations to address public concerns about odors resulting from land application. S Lack of storage options for biosolids presents another pressure on land application. There are times of the year when land application is not practical or possible, such as in the winter when the
ground is frozen and storage capacity is a necessity. S Land application acceptance follows regional trends. New England as a region is displaying momentum toward restricting land application of biosolids, whereas in other parts of the country, acceptance of land application is still the norm. In California, land application is stable or improving after a long period of vulnerability, as the conversation pivots to multibenefits, like improving soils and mitigating climate change. This can also be seen to an extent in Washington and Oregon. S Some listening session and interview participants noted concern about potential impacts from land application on nutrient runoff and pollution in waterbodies as a current trend. In Florida, some localities have banned land application of biosolids due to concerns about nutrient pollution. Some states are adopting phosphorus indices that can limit land application. S Agricultural land that has been treated with biosolids is currently ineligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification. Similarly, the international good agricultural practices (GAP) standard prohibits the use of biosolids, precluding the export of any crops grown with the use of biosolids to any nation subscribed to the standard. These bans present significant challenges to the acceptance of biosolids. Emerging Markets S In order to address the combined pressures against landfilling, land application, and
incineration of biosolids, there is a need for bold forward-thinking innovation to discover new opportunities. Whether through new technologies, new markets, or other pathways, there must be creative approaches to address the issue of what will be done with biosolids long into the future. Opportunities are present in emergent and new marketplaces. The use of biosolids in reclaimed land, on lands damaged by wildfires, and other potential new projects can help demonstrate and document the benefits of biosolids use. Markets are diversifying, as biosolids are applied to horticulture, landscaping, turf, topsoil, and site reclamation projects. Codigestion of biosolids is a promising trend, as new, emerging partnerships between solid waste and wastewater sectors promise to divert organic waste to wastewater digesters and create renewable energy. This trend represents an effort to connect the landfill sector, regulators, and the wastewater sector to divert organic material to treatment plants. The renewable energy that is generated from codigestion can be used to produce heat, electricity, transportation fuel, and the export of electricity and/or renewable natural gas. E merging technologies, such as gasification and pyrolysis, are quickly evolving. These treatment processes hold the potential to generate renewable energy, while reducing the volume of biosolids; however, the economic viability of these processes can vary across geographic regions. Interviews indicated Continued on page 24
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Continued from page 23 that further research is warranted on internal treatment options, including thermal treatment. These options should be considered as management options as experience grows, when appropriate. S Composting is an approach with potential, especially in regions where rainy seasons limit the opportunity for land application. A composted product is dryer and can be more appealing to farmers, especially in areas where no-till farming is taking place.
Section 6: Workforce Pressures Contractors who are skilled in applying biosolids to the land are retiring and are not being replaced at an adequate pace. There is a need to recruit, attract, and train a new generation of biosolids operators. Interviews also suggested that developing certification requirements could help biosolids programs identify quality land application contractors. Need for Workforce Improvements S People who were trained when biosolids programs formed in response to the 503 regulations are now retiring. There is a need to replace them by training younger individuals, both as skilled contractors and also in the oversight and monitoring realm. S Education opportunities for biosolids coordinators are needed. Some states only have one person in charge of biosolids regulations, which eliminates the possibility of discussion and networking within each state. A consequence of disinvestment in oversight has been the loss of skill and knowledge around biosolids. S Some interview and listening session participants signaled the need for a certification that would provide a thirdparty stamp of approval for contractors. Similarly, a set of best performance practices to demonstrate that they are meeting standards would be beneficial for wastewater utilities to more easily seek out qualified companies. S The lack of truck drivers for transporting biosolids is an increasing issue.
Section 7: Proposed Agenda for Action Attendees at the November 2019 biosolids convening emphasized several key cross-cutting areas for proposed action going forward. The listed items summarize
those discussions and the collective vision for advancing the future of biosolids. 1. E stablishing a High-Profile Biosolids Champion Capability Participants saw the need for strong, focused, high-profile, and ongoing advocacy for biosolids that could take the form of some combination of a single, designated individual and an empowered steering committee charged to establish and carry out a biosolids advocacy agenda. Also in this context, participants discussed enhancing collaboration among existing biosolidsrelated groups to better leverage knowledge and expand influence. 2. C reating a Research Plan for CECs Participants viewed CECs as a substantial vulnerability to biosolids management options and signaled a need for a research agenda focused on risk assessment protocols, the ability to speak to the comparative risk aspects of CECs in biosolids, and treatment process options. 3. D eveloping CECs Communication Materials As a direct corollary to the research plan for CECs, participants saw an urgent need for CECs communication materials focused on improved risk communication (including comparative risk), as well as indicating the current and anticipated progress on CECs research. 4. E nhancing Benefits of Biosolids Communications Participants believed that conducting additional research on the full range of biosolids benefits, and then communicating them in the context of community sustainability and the circular/green economy, can substantially elevate public and decision-maker appreciation of the value of biosolids. This area of discussion included the interest in engaging in social science research to better understand how best to reach and communicate with a full range of community interests. 5. Building Broader Partnerships Expanding on the need for greater and more-effective biosolids advocacy efforts, participants signaled a need for building new or stronger partnerships with key constituencies, including community sustainability/green economy advocates, agricultural leaders (e.g., American Farm Bureau), soil health proponents, and environmental NGOs.
24 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
6. R einvigorating the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) Biosolids Operator Land Application Certification Initiative With the importance of well-run biosolids programs recognized by participants as a cornerstone of public credibility and acceptance, interest was expressed in drawing on past efforts by ABC to provide a basis for operator certification. 7. E ngaging LIFT to Move a NextGeneration Agenda Forward In response to interest in maintaining a focus on biosolids management process and technology innovation, participants saw a role for the LIFT program to coordinate with other established biosolids groups to prepare and advance an innovation agenda. 8. Defining a Sustainable Program Participants believed an opportunity exists in leverage existing materials (such as those created for the National Biosolids Partnership) to define and communicate what the elements are of an effective and sustainable biosolids program. 9. P reparing an Advocacy Letter for Submission to EPA Meeting participants saw a need for the preparation of a letter to EPA to: 1) support its enhanced biosolids program efforts, 2) advocate for increased funding for training and coordination efforts with the states, and 3) further emphasize the need for risk assessment tools and guidance relating to CECs.
Conclusion Biosolids management today is at a pivotal moment. The interviews, listening sessions, desk research, and national convening signal a range of issues and ideas about the current state and future path of biosolids management. Challenges and pressures are cause for legitimate concern about the future of land application of biosolids, and various market, public perception, and regulatory pressures across all aspects of biosolids management present a complex decision context for utility managers. At the same time, there are important reasons for substantial optimism as the sector looks to opportunities in the future. Many people are concerned about a need for greater investment in oversight of biosolids management at the federal and state levels, in support of effective implementation of EPA’s Biosolids Rule. There is growing concern about the issue of CECs, particularly PFAS, as localities and states move toward regulating
biosolids based on contamination concerns. Federal guidance on CECs and biosolids is needed to better speak to increasing public concerns and to assist scientists and states by reducing unknowns. Resources for collaboration and communication across all actors in the biosolids community, including the public, industry, academics, regulators, and contractors, would improve awareness and understanding and open opportunities for knowledge-sharing. Further research is needed on the impacts of biosolids to address concerns about health and ecological impacts. Market pressures, such as reduced landfill capacity and population growth, are an increasing challenge for biosolids management. The availability of a skilled workforce for biosolids application and oversight is a looming issue as older practitioners begin to retire. Moving forward, a strategic plan for action can be instrumental in supporting a positive trend into the future for biosolids. This action agenda could include: S E stablishing a highly visible biosolids champion on the national level. S D eveloping and executing a research plan to learn much more about CECs. S I mproving communications with the public about the benefits of biosolids. S B uilding partnerships with new constituencies. S E xploring operator land application certification. S E ngaging LIFT to coordinate with other established groups to prepare and advance a new agenda for biosolids. S D efining and communicating the elements of an effective program. S P reparing a letter to EPA to support and advocate for biosolids efforts.
References epper, I., Kester, G., Basta, N., Zearley, A., & P Batjika, R. (2019). Allegations Against Land Application: Fact vs. Fiction [PowerPoint slides]. 2 Gribkoff, Elizabeth. “Senator worries sludge spreading could worsen PFAS contamination.” VT Digger, April 15, 2019. 3 Schillachi, William. “EPA Urged by OIG to Assess Unregulated Pollutants in Biosolids.” EHS Daily Advisor. January 25, 2019. 1
Reprinted with permission from the Water Environment Federation, Copyright ©2021 Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, Va. All rights reserved. S
WEF Post-Convening Summary Patrick Dube and Maile Lono-Batura One of the main outcomes of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Biosolids National Convening meeting on Nov. 20-21, 2019, was the creation of a synthesis report that captured the key elements for action. Attendees wanted a clear action plan for WEF to focus on following the discussion at the meeting and a nine-point action plan was developed. The nine items are: 1. E stablish an empowered steering committee and biosolids champion. 2. C reate a research plan for contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). 3. D evelop CECs communication materials. 4. E nhance benefits of biosolids communications. 5. B uild broader partnerships. 6. Reinvigorate the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) Biosolids Operator Land Application Certification initiative. 7. Engage the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) program to move the next generation forward. 8. D efine a sustainable program. 9. P repare an advocacy letter for submission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the almost two years since the meeting, WEF has been able to make strides in most of these areas. Action Item 1, 5, 8 WEF recently hired Maile Lono-Batura (former executive director of Northwest Biosolids) as the new director of sustainable biosolids programs to fulfill the first item. The focus of this WEF role will directly impact efforts related to building broader partnerships and identifying the resources necessary to support sustainable biosolids programs. 2 The research-related findings from the convening were shared with the Water Research Foundation, which hosted its own Biosolids Research Summit and developed a plan that addresses item 2. 3, 4 WEF developed a biosolids communication plan that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and other content. WEF also developed a biosolids communication toolkit, which serves as a resource for communication about biosolids in ways that are factual, science-based, and easily understandable by those who might be hearing about biosolids for the first time. The toolkit includes a recorded training video, templates for bill inserts, fact sheets, and rack cards, as well as social media graphics available for free for the sector. 7 WEF continues to advance the LIFT program, incorporating many of the issues revolving around biosolids, and revamp the National Biosolids Partnership into a more widely accessible program, directly impacting the spirit of number 7. 8 Immediately following the convening, WEF joined with other national and regional biosolids associations to send a letter to EPA with recommendations for its first states meeting. The national convening was a much-needed gathering for the biosolids community and was an incredible opportunity to engage an invigorated sector from across North America. Biosolids will continue to be a WEF priority, and it looks forward to aligning efforts and resources to advance the action plan and strengthen biosolids as a valuable resource for the United States. Patrick Dube is senior program manager and Maile Lono-Batura is director of sustainable biosolids S programs at the Water Environment Federation.
Water Environment Federation ®
the water quality people
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Abstract Submittal Abstracts will be accepted in WORD ONLY via email to:
Call for Papers
Abstracts must be submitted by: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 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 to submit abstracts on a variety of sustainability topics, including:
Potential Session Categories 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
Potable Reuse Alternative Water Supply Options Utility Finances in Challenging Times Strategies to Communicate Your Message in the Changed World Increasing Optimization of Utility Systems (Pipes, SCADA, Sewer Systems) Asset Management PFAS, PFOS, Lead and Copper, and Other Regulatory Strategies What’s New with Covid-19? And How Does it Affect our Workplace? The New Workplace Normal – Zoom, Remote, Home and Office Challenges for Utilities Water Conservation
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Frederick Bloetscher, Ph.D., P.E., Technical Program Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org Please attach a cover page to the abstract which includes the following information: a) Suggested Session Category b) Paper Title c) Names of Authors d) Name of Presenter(s) e) Main contact including name, title, affiliation, address, phone, fax, and email
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Exhibit Schedule Monday, November 29 Set-up: 7:00am - 3:00pm Meet and Greet: 4:00 - 6:00pm
Tuesday, November 30
Accepting Exhibitor Registrations on or after June 1, 2021
Hall Open: 8:00 - 11:30am | 1:30 - 6:00pm Meet and Greet: 4:00 - 6:00pm
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Standard Booth @ $800 Includes:
• 8-foot X 10-foot booth space • One (1) six-foot draped table • Backdrop • Side drapery • Two (2) chairs
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The Roy Likins Scholarship Fund
The FSAWWA Fall Conference brings together utilities, consultants, manufacturers, regulators, and students. Register and learn from the industry’s best through technical session, workshops, and exhibits. Network with water industry professionals. Over 160 exhibitors will give you first-hand information on the latest developments to help your utility take actions to implement Florida’s future.
Exhibitor Registration: Registration opens June 1, 2021 www.fsawwa.org/2021exhibits
• Potable Reuse • Alternative Water Supply Options • Utility Finances in Challenging Times • Strategies to Communicate Your Message in the Changed World
• Increasing Optimization of Utility
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Host hotel is Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress CHEER for Meter Madness!
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Join the Tapping FUN!
Systems (Pipes, SCADA, Sewer Systems) Asset Management PFAS, PFOS, Lead and Copper, and Other Regulatory Strategies What’s New with Covid-19? And How Does it Affect our Workplace? The New Workplace Normal – Zoom, Remote, Home and Office Challenges for Utilities Water Conservation
• BBQ Challenge &
Incoming Chair’s Reception
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Looking forward to seeing you at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress on November 28 to December 2, 2021.
Poker Tournament Monday, November 29, 2021 Starts at 9:00 pm Golf Tournament Thursday, December 2, 2021 8:00 am Shotgun start
The Roy Likins Scholarship Fund
Poker Night & Happy Hour
Monday, November 29, 2021 9:00 pm to midnight Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Thursday, December 2, 2021 8:00 am Shotgun start Grand Cypress Golf Club
Registration will open August 2
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15% discount for bundled Eagle Golf and Royal Flush Poker Sponsorships: $765 Looking forward to seeing you at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress on November 28 to December 2, 2021.
Registration will open August 2
It is not necessary to participate in the tournament in order to be a sponsor. Please send Chase Freeman at Cfreeman@spiritgroupinc.com a pdf or jpeg version of your company logo for all sponsorships.
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Divisions based on the Number of Water Services
2021 Water Distribution System Awards
Division 1 = 1 - 5,999 Division 2 = 6,000 - 12,999 Division 3 = 13,000 - 19,999
The FSAWWA Water Distribution System Awards are presented to utilities whose outstanding performance during the preceding year deserves special recognition by the section.
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Water Quality Operational Records Maintenance Professionalism Safety Emergency Prepardness Cross Connection Control Program Must be an AWWA member (Organizational or Individual) Actively supports the activities of the FSAWWA Demonstrates high standards and integrity The selection committee is under the Manufacturers/Associates Council.
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Scholarships valued up to $5,000 will be awarded in both undergraduate and graduate categories by the Florida Section American Water Works Association.
• Must be a student enrolled (not online) in a Florida university and living in Florida Must be a full-time student or part-time student enrolled and completing a • minimum of 6 credits Must be a student within 60 credits of graduation with a bachelor’s degree. • Note: Seniors who are pursuing a graduate degree may apply and use the scholarship for their graduate studies, but must provide proof of acceptance to their graduate degree program
Maintain good standing in academic status with a GPA of 3.0 or higher based • on a 4.0 system be pursuing a career in the water/wastewater field with a plan to remain • inMust Florida to pursue their career Or enrolled in one of the CIP educational codes (for a list visit fsawwa.org/2021Likins) • and have indicated an interest in pursuing a career in the water/wastewater field
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Serving a Noble Cause Ronald R. Cavalieri, P.E., BCEE President, FWEA
t this year’s FWEA Leadership Development Workshop, the theme was “Serving a Noble Cause” and included presentations titled “Communicating the Value of Water” and “Getting Our Message Across.” We know that water professionals have made a great contribution to the quality of life in the United States and around the world, yet utility infrastructure in our country is in poor condition and in need of repair and replacement. In many cases, the value of water is taken for granted and not appreciated by the public at large. Almost everything we do is dependent on clean water to meet our everyday needs. The economy, the environment we live in, our health and welfare, all require clean and sustainable water supply and resources. We use water for agriculture, public water supply, irrigation, recreation, commercial and industrial uses, and power generation.
The rich quality of life that we enjoy in Florida and across the nation is dependent on ensuring that sufficient clean water is available for all reasonable and beneficial uses within our community, while protecting natural systems and the environment. Reliable access to clean, safe water is essential to our way of life.
Safe and Clean Water is Key to Public Health and Protecting Environmental Gains Compared to medical advances and other new innovative technologies, water and wastewater treatment may not seem as important, but clean water and sanitation alone have saved millions—perhaps billions—of lives since these services were widely implemented in the 19th and 20th centuries. Water is one of the most essential elements to human health and is so important that our bodies have a builtin drought management system to prevent dehydration that helps to ensure our survival. Advances in water and wastewater treatment are responsible for some of the greatest improvements in public health, including: S The virtual elimination of typhoid fever and cholera.
32 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
S A 74 percent reduction of the infant mortality rate in the U.S. Since the enactment and implementation of the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA) the number of fishable and swimmable waterways in the U.S. has nearly doubled, largely due to investments in clean water infrastructure. Prior to 1972, much of the wastewater in America that was released into our waterways lacked proper treatment, and water quality was declining. Today, cities enjoy a remarkable resurgence, driven in part by revitalized waterfronts that support new businesses, residences, and recreational activities. Congress and the federal government have been partners with states and localities in leading America’s clean water success.
Investing in Clean Water Grows the U.S. Economy and Creates Job Water utilities are looking beyond the CWA to build on water quality gains, maximize ratepayer return on investment, and spur economic growth. Utilities are investing in innovation and smarter approaches to clean water management to address today’s water quality and public health challenges.
In a recent survey of Americans and their opinions on the value of investing in our water resources, 84 percent of respondents agreed that water supply and water quality are on par with strengthening the economy and eliminating COVID-19 as national priorities. Among a variety of issues polled, the highest single federal priority for voters was ensuring a reliable water supply. Americans are also growing more uncertain about the nation’s water infrastructure. Over the last six years, fewer Americans have rated the national water infrastructure as good, while the number of Americans who are uncertain about the state of water infrastructure has grown. According to a report prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure,” key facts worth noting are as follows: S I n 2019, total capital spending on water infrastructure fell $81 billion short of the capital need. If funding needs and infrastructure investment trends continue, the annual gap will grow to $136 billion by 2039. S Th e federal share of capital investment fell from 31 percent in 1977 to 4 percent in 2017. S Th ere is no industry that does not need water. If we fail to invest in water infrastructure, the businesses that are most reliant on water will spend $250 billion in 2039 on water service disruptions. S A s water infrastructure deteriorates, street flooding, water service disruptions, and damage from storms will increase. Costs incurred by American households due to water and wastewater failures would be seven times higher in 20 years than they are today. S I f the nation closes the water infrastructure investment gap, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by $4.5 trillion in 20 years. This investment would create 800,000 new jobs and disposable income would rise by more than $2,000 per household. S I f significant investment is not made, and as production volumes decline, workers would see reductions in wages and disposable income. By 2039, 636,000 jobs would be lost annually.
The U.S. Clean Water Infrastructure is Failing America’s clean water infrastructure is massive. There are over 800,000 miles of water pipes and 700,000 miles of wastewater pipes.
The total length of the water and wastewater pipes is 30 times the length of the nation’s interstate highway system. Wastewater utilities serve about 75 percent of the population, and about 32 billion gallons of water are treated and recovered every day by over 15,000 wastewater treatment facilities. Water traveling down the Mississippi River is consumed, treated, and reused roughly 25 times before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico. About 85 percent of U.S. residents get their potable water from public water treatment facilities. There are approximately 52,000 water utility systems that deliver potable water to homes and businesses and daily distribute 42 billion gallons of clean water. Many of our nation’s clean water systems have been in operation for a century or more. The average age of a pipe is between 60 and 130 years old. As pipes, pumps, and plants reach the end of their expected life span, water infrastructure capital needs are growing rapidly; however, investment in infrastructure is not keeping pace. The ASCE created the Infrastructure Report Card to assign grades for the nation’s infrastructure based on condition, safety, capacity, and other factors. The most recent report card assigned drinking water and wastewater infrastructure the grades of C- and D+, respectively. Current local, state, and federal capital spending on water infrastructure only funds about one-third of our national needs. In 2019, the total capital spending on water infrastructure at the local, state, and federal levels was approximately $48 billion, while investment needs totaled $129 billion, creating an $81 billion gap. The U.S. is drastically underinvesting in critical water infrastructure—only meeting 37 percent of the nation’s total water infrastructure capital needs in 2019. Water infrastructure is fundamental to our nation’s economic health and competitiveness.
By keeping water infrastructure in a state of good repair, we strengthen our economy. Local, state, and federal action to increase investment in our water infrastructure today will lead to a resilient, efficient, and reliable water future and protect the public health for generations to come. As water professionals we are proud to serve this noble cause.
References The data presented was taken from the following references: S The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure: How a Failure to Act Would Affect the U.S. Economic Recovery - Fact Sheet, ASCE and Value of Water Campaign, 2020. S American Support for Investments in Water Infrastructure: Key Findings from a National Voter Survey, Value of Water Campaign, March 2021. S 2021 Value of Water Index, Value of Water Campaign, March 2021. S The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure: How a Failure to Act Would Affect the U.S. Economic Recovery – Full Report, ASCE and Value of Water Campaign, 2020.
Resources The following links are provided as resources on the value of water: S Value of Water Campaign website: http:// thevalueofwater.org/resources S Imagine a Day without Water: http:// imagineadaywithoutwater.org S Water Week 2021: https://www.waterweek. us/ S World Water Day: http://www.unwater.org/ campaigns/world-water-day/en/ S
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
2020 FWPCOA AWARDS
Awardees Honored for Excellence in Water and Wastewater The Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (FWPCOA) recognized several outstanding water/wastewater professionals, utilities, and facilities during the state board membership meetings held in January and March of this year. These awards represent outstanding achievements during 2019 and 2020, but the presentations were postponed because of event cancellations in 2020 in light of COVID-19 concerns.
David B. Lee Award (2019) (Outstanding operator and plant)
Pat Flanagan Award (2019)
(Outstanding associate member who assists operators and the association) Don Whiting HACH Regional Sales Manager
Nathaniel Mastroeni (Wastewater) Town and Country Utilities
David Steven (Reclaim) Accepted by Steve Saffels. City of Plant City
Tim McAleer (Water) Palm Beach Water Treatment Plant
Robert Heilman Award (2020)
Richard P. Vogh Award (2019) (Most-progressive region)
(Industrial pretreatment) Kevin Shropshire City of Rockledge
Deborah Wallace (Region 7)
Katherine Kinloch (Region 10)
Joseph V. Towry Award (2020)
(Reclaim water award) Jon H. Meyer Town and Country Utilities
34 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Raymond Bordner Award (2020)
(Outstanding operator with more than 10 years of service) James Hall (Wastewater Operator - Region 10) Polk County Accepted by Edward Clark.
2020 FWPCOA AWARDS Emory Dawkins Award
Dr. A.P. Black Award (2020)
(Outstanding regional newsletter)
(Outstanding operator in utilities who demonstrates outstanding personal performance)
Steve Schwab (Water) Water Conserv II
John Sowka (Wastewater) Water Conserv II
Brent Laudicina (Reclaim) Manatee County
Region 10 (Edward Clark - editor)
Region 7 (Deborah Wallace editor)
Thomas Mueller Richard (Rim) Bishop
William Allman (left) and Robert McColgan.
Walt Smyser Website Award
Honorary Life Member
City of Holly Hill
Utilities Maintenance Award (2020) (Outstanding utility maintenance mechanic) Lou Gallant Waer Conserv II
Darin Bishop (Membership Committee chair)
Robert Case (Utilities Maintenance Committee chair)
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
FWRJ READER PROFILE
Pinellas County Utilities, Largo Work title and years of service. I have been a water research project manager for six years. What does your job entail? I manage utility participation in drinking water, wastewater, reclaimed water, and cooling tower research studies conducted by universities, federal agencies, and engineering firms and funded by grants from the Water Research Foundation (WRF), National Science Foundation (NSF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I serve on technical/project advisory committees and grant application review panels for research funded by these organizations. I also manage the innovation program for my utility.
What education and training have you had? I have a doctoral degree in biology from the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. I worked at USF as a postdoctoral scholar for six years managing microbial source tracking and environmental microbiology projects studying microbial populations in landfill leachate and antibiotic resistant bacteria in surface and waste waters. I have also worked in the field of proteomics researching cancer and Alzheimer’s proteins. While at USF, I taught several undergraduateand graduate-level biology courses. What do you like best about your job? I enjoy working with our external research partners in academia, regulatory and public health agencies, commercial laboratories, and engineering firms in the United States and around the world. Through these research projects, I am constantly learning about the latest technologies, advances, inventions, and approaches to water/ wastewater treatment and distribution. It’s an exciting and constantly evolving field and my job provides me the opportunity to share my knowledge and improve my understanding of the challenges facing the water industry. Within my utility, I am also thankful for the opportunity to work with an amazing team and learn from my colleagues with diverse experiences and backgrounds—from operators and distribution system/water quality/ maintenance technicians to customer service representatives and engineers.
Taking care of business.
36 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
What professional organizations do you belong to? I volunteer as chair of the FSAWWA Technical and Education Council and as chair of the AWWA Organisms in Water Committee. I’m a member of AWWA, FWEA, WRF, Water Environment Federation, and the WateReuse Association. How have the organizations helped your career? My involvement in these organizations has provided excellent networking opportunities with water industry professionals, as well as the chance to organize, moderate, and present at local and national conferences. They have contributed to my professional growth and helped me connect with like-minded individuals. What do you like best about the industry? Being part of the water industry feels like being part of a family where challenges and opportunities are shared and achievements are celebrated. My water industry family circle is local, national, and global and I am proud to be a small but significant part of it. Working in the water industry is very fulfilling because of the opportunity to be of service to the community. What do you do when you’re not working? In my free time, I enjoy reading, taking long walks, and traveling. I recently discovered the joy of national parks and plan to visit as many as possible during my lifetime. I also make myself available to college undergrads for career mapping and advice. S
I’m but a speck of dust in this vast universe.
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Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
FSAWWA SPEAKING OUT
Rebuilding Our Infrastructure: It’s Well Past Time! Fred Bloetscher, P.E., Ph.D. Chair, FSAWWA
very four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) compiles a report card for the infrastructure in the United States. The organization looks at all of the nation’s infrastructure—from dams and airports to water and sewer.
2021 Report Card The newest report card was released March 2021. Table 1 shows a comparison over the past 20 years. The grades are bad; so bad that I would be dismissing you from Florida Atlantic University, where I teach. The new report shows slight improvements in water and sewer, but a C- and D+ are not very good grades. This points to the significant need for infrastructure renewal and replacement in our industry, as well as the accompanying fields for power, roads, drainage, and more. It also suggests
that, as utilities have invested over the past four years, we can move the grades upward; it’s just that much more needs to be done. Our representatives in Washington have been talking about this problem for many years, but little has come from them. We got some money in 2009, but since then, very little, other than Water Infrastructure and Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funds. Now, it’s President Biden’s chance to do something—and our chance, too.
Federal Investment in Water Infrastructure The reality is that our infrastructure condition probably peaked in the 1950s or early 1960s. The major roadway, water and sewer piping, and treatment expansions were well underway or nearing completion. Rural areas had running water and sewers, something that did not exist before the Great Depression, especially in the South. The construction of infrastructure has always been critical for economic development; look no further than China to demonstrate this. The Biden Plan starts with $2.3 trillion dollars, about 15 percent of the total economy per year, which is less than the value of private property in south Florida (which doesn’t make
Table 1. American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Grades
Infrastructure Category Aviation Bridges Dams Drinking Water Energy (National Power Grid) Hazardous Waste Inland Navigable Waterways Levees Ports Public Parks & Recreation Rail Roads Schools Solid Waste Transit Wastewater Overall
2001 Grade D C D D
2005 Grade D+ C D D-
2009 Grade D C D D-
2013 Grade D C+ D D
D+ D+ D+ DC+ CD D+
D DCCD D C+ D+ DD
D DDCCDD C+ D DD
D DDC CC+ D D BD D D+
38 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
2017 Grade D C+ D D D+
2021 Grade D+ C D CC-
D DDC CC+ D D BD D D+
D+ D+ D BD+ B D D+ C+ DD+ D+
Biden’s plan sound quite as expensive as it initially seems). The package would include investments for the following: S Fixing 10,000 bridges (there are over 600,000 bridges and nearly 50,000 that are inadequate). S Repairing 20,000 miles of roads (there are 4.2 million miles of roads in the U.S.). S $120 billion for water and sewer (AWWA says the need exceeds $1 trillion in the next 20 years). S $150 billion for transit and rail. S $100 billion for broadband so rural and underprivileged areas have better access to the internet. There are also funds for the electrical grid, which is woefully inadequate in many places. Oh, and billions to address unplugged wells. The funds would be spent over eight years. The payback is expected to exceed 2:1 in privatesector economic activity, which is what economists show on the low end. Most of the funds would be directed by governments to the private sector for design and construction (the Engineer and Contractor Employment Act), which translates to millions of jobs. People can easily see how this benefits them by increasing employment, and it likely increases wages due to tightening job markets. In fact, every job we create in the water sector adds another 3.68 jobs to the national economy.1 As a result, there is a lot of support for this in much of the country, and long overdue. There are contrarians in Congress who argue that the proposal costs too much, or oppose it for other reasons. But look at the statistics—one could easily argue that the proposed expenditures are 10 percent of what is really needed, so the bill does not go nearly far enough. If this is only a start to returning American infrastructure to its glory days, the economy appears to have taken notice. Bloomberg forecasts the economy will increase 5.5 percent this year, while Goldman Sachs thinks that’s conservative. The more federal dollars that move to the private sector, the more fuel there is in the economy. Several countries have experimented with this idea and it seems to work. Getting unemployment in the construction industry down from the current 9.6 percent is part of that plan. The Federal Reserve is keeping inflation in check, but it needs to ensure that secular stagnation does not appear (a stalled economy). Continued
investments by both the public and private sector can prevent this. Hopefully, growth will overcome those pesky deficits.
Industry and Private Investment in Water Infrastructure Returning the infrastructure to the conditions in the 1950s is not going to be enough in the 21st century. The systems are far more complex and extensive, and more people need to be served than ever before. We should not expect the federal government to foot the entire bill; think of this as seed money. Local communities will need to invest significantly more, as will the states and the private sector. The U.S. has permitted its infrastructure to decline because people have figured that if it works fine, we don’t need to worry about it—until it fails. Then, there is a big discussion to assign blame. The blame should go back to many people many years ago when actions could have been taken; but we all know that’s not how it works. Instead we end up doing reactive maintenance, which is the expensive kind. Proactive replacement is easier to plan and develop and less costly, but does not defer rate increases. As noted in an elected officials course at the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE) a few years back, there are no statues to politicians who deferred tax and rate increases. While we know that we have an infrastructure problem, what we need to acknowledge is that there is an argument that our lack of attention to
infrastructure has weakened our economy. Again, look no further than China. We invested heavily in automation in the 1990s and early 2000s to increase our productivity (through robotics, which created massive job losses for factory workers, but also created a set of jobs to fix robots). Displacement of labor is a major concern to address as the economy changes, something we have not done. There is an argument that part of the Rust Belt’s problems is antiquated infrastructure (think of the recent water crisis in Flint, Mich.). There is an argument that rural dissatisfaction in the U.S., especially toward government, is directly related to the fact that little investment in infrastructure has taken place in rural communities, causing the economy to pass them by. Fewer jobs, lower pay, higher unemployment, poorer healthcare, and less access to quality education are common rural complaints. These complaints are not without merit because we know that relying on the private sector to construct the energy, cable, and telephone grids means that it will invest where the payback is highest, which is larger populated areas. That is why these differences between rural and urban areas exist and continue to widen (hence the broadband cost in the Biden proposal). The situation is no different than the rural electrification efforts that started in the 1930s with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) construction of rural water and wastewater systems.
The ASCE estimates that delays to infrastructure upgrades may cost U.S. households $3400 per year, increasing with time. This includes water and sewer utilities. A study conducted two years ago indicated that only about 20 percent of Florida utilities were spending the needed amount on infrastructure. Some of those that did relied on larger periodic bond issues that come with rate increases to accomplish their upgrades. Pay as you go can be demonstrated to be cheaper, but it too is subject to trimming for political reasons. The question is how to get elected and appointed officials to buy into the long-term upgrade plans so we can make that C- and D+ into at least a B, but note that A grades in big cities will not help F grades in rural communities—both need to be raised. That way, perhaps we can move toward a solution where all segments of the population can participate in the economic growth. That, however, is a topic for another column. In the meantime, let’s get to work. Let’s get some federal infrastructure funding out there. Let’s rebuild our existing systems, and build new ones. Let’s leverage federal funds to help states and local communities invest more in their systems. And let’s encourage the private sector to join us. Good, functioning infrastructure benefits us all. S 1
h ttp://www.thevalueofwater.org/the-facts/ waters-value; The Value of Water Campaign.
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Test Yourself What Do You Know About the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Stormwater Program? Donna Kaluzniak
1. Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program website, the NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and a. commercial buildings. b. industrial activities. c. residential developments. d. rural and farm operations. 2. Per the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) NPDES stormwater program website, stormwater runoff picks up pollutants, like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment, that can harm rivers, streams, and lakes. To protect these resources, municipalities, construction and other activities, and others use stormwater controls known as a. best management practices (BMPs). b. multisector generic permits (MSGPs). c. no-exposure exclusions (NEXs). d. notices of intent (NOIs). 3. Per FDEP’s NPDES stormwater program construction activity website, a construction general permit (CGP) is required for construction activities that discharge stormwater to waters of the state and disturb how many acres of land (or less if they are part of a common plan of development or sale)? a. One acre b. Three acres c. Five acres d. 10 acres 4. Per FDEP’s NPDES stormwater program construction activity website, a CGP required for construction activities is obtained by submitting an NOI form either online or with a paper copy. In addition to the NOI, what must be developed and implemented to be in compliance with the permit? a. Environmental resource plan (ERP) b. Site waste management plan (SWMP) c. Stormwater management plan (SWMP) d. Stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) 5. Per Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 62-624, MS4s must be permitted under this chapter. The
MS4 permits are effective for a fixed term not to exceed how many years? a. One year b. Three years c. Five years d. 10 years
6. Per FDEP’s NPDES stormwater program industrial activity website, a general permit authorizes the state to implement the NPDES program. What type of general stormwater permit is issued for industrial activities with stormwater discharges to surface waters of the state or to MS4s? a. Construction general permit (CGP) b. Industrial activity stormwater permit (IASP) c. Multisector general permit (MSGP) d. NPDES permit 7. Per FAC 62-620, Wastewater Facilities Activity and Permitting, a conditional exclusion for “no exposure” of activities and materials to stormwater (NEX) can be issued if there is no exposure of these items to precipitation and runoff. “No exposure” means that a. all stormwater runoff is held in a sedimentation pond for at least 48 hours prior to discharge to surface waters. b. all industrial materials and activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter. c. outdoor industrial activity is halted during rainstorms. d. stormwater runoff is analyzed after every rainstorm to prove no contaminants were present. 8. Per EPA’s “Developing Your Stormwater Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites,” best management practices (BMPs) can be divided into which two categories? a. Manmade and natural b. Major and minor c. Permit-required and nonpermit-required d. Structural and nonstructural 9. Per EPA’s “Developing Your Stormwater Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites,” the primary means of preventing stormwater pollution at construction sites is keeping the sediment in place, otherwise known as a. erosion control. b. perimeter control. c. sediment control. d. silt fencing. 10. Per “Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination; A Guidance Manual for Program Development and Technical Assessments,” a storm drain that has
40 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
measurable flow during dry weather containing pollutants and/or pathogens is the definition of a(n) a. cross connection. b. intermittent discharge. c. illicit discharge. d. stormwater discharge. Answers on page 66
References used for this quiz: • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program website: https://www.epa.gov/ npdes/npdes-stormwater-program • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Developing Your Stormwater Prevention Plan A Guide for Construction Sites: https://www.epa.gov/sites/ production/files/2015-10/documents/sw_swppp_ guide.pdf • Florida Department of Environmental Protection NPDES Stormwater Program Website: https:// floridadep.gov/water/stormwater • Florida Department of Environmental Protection NPDES Stormwater Program – Construction Activity Website: https://floridadep.gov/water/stormwater/ content/construction-activity-cgp • Florida Department of Environmental Protection NPDES Stormwater Program – Industrial Activities Website: https://floridadep.gov/water/stormwater/ content/industrial-activity-msgp-nex • Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 62-620 Wastewater Facilities Activity and Permitting: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome. asp?Chapter=62-620 • Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 62-624 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems: https://www.flrules. org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=62-624 • Center for Watershed Protection and Robert Pitt, University of Alabama, Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination A Guidance Manual for Program Development and Technical Assessments: (Available on EPA’s website) https://www.epa.gov/ sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/idde_ manualwithappendices_0.pdf
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Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) held a virtual Fall Conference in December of last year, and award plaques could not be personally presented to the awardees. The FSAWWA’s outstanding individuals and organizations in the state’s water industry were honored with plaques that were either mailed to their home or their work address. The 2020 section awards are featured on the following pages with photos of the awardees.
REGIONS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD This award honors individuals who contributed their time and talent to the success of their region.
Mary Meima Region V
Caryle Capuyan Region II
Kara Mills Region VI
Benjamin Yoakum Region III
Catalina Lopez-Velandia Region VII
Nicole Thomas Region IV
Bart Jones Region X
COUNCIL CHAIR AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE This award honors distinguished service by a council or committee chair that has made the most significant contribution to the council.
Mike Alexakis Manufacturers/ Associates Council
Larry K. Miller Jr. Member Engagement and Development Council
42 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Rick Johnson Public Affairs Council
Donna Metherall Technical and Education Council
Lisa Wilson-Davis Water Utility Council
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards AWWA GEORGE WARREN FULLER AWARD The Fuller Award is an association award that is given at the section level and is conferred on an individual for distinguished service in the water supply field in commemoration of the sound engineering skill, brilliant diplomatic talent, and constructive leadership that characterized the life of George Warren Fuller. It’s a long-standing tradition in the Florida Section AWWA to honor the George W. Fuller awardee in a special and unique way at the annual Fall Conference business and awards luncheon. The awardee’s identity is revealed after a past Fuller awardee or visiting AWWA officer delivers the “tribute roast.” The roast focuses on the individual’s accomplishments and some fun tidbits that are unknown to most attendees. After the reveal, past Fuller awardees and other well-wishers surround and personally congratulate the Fuller recipient. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the FSAWWA’s tradition did not happen in 2020. The Fuller awardee is also honored in June at every AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE).
2020 George Warren Fuller Awardee “Tribute Roast” This year’s Fuller Award recipient embodies the principles of the George Warren Fuller Award, especially demonstrating constructive leadership, research, and organizational skills in promoting the water profession. This recipient has been an active Florida Section volunteer since joining AWWA in 1990 and has truly advanced the mission and goals of AWWA and the Florida Section. This person of interest grew up in Miami, where the recipient became a Miami Dolphins cheerleader at the age of 13 and cheered the team on to what turned out to be the National Football League’s only perfect season. Hoping that this experience would not turn out to be her best work, she attended the University of Florida and then the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned degrees in agricultural and natural resource economics. After a highly successful college experience, this person of interest joined an economics consulting firm in California and began work
as an economist. After the Loma Prieta earthquake struck California in 1989, she transferred her talents to a civil engineering firm in south Florida. She chose to work for a civil engineering firm because of this industry’s role in protecting the natural environment by developing sustainable water, stormwater, and wastewater systems. Through her work she demonstrated that protecting Florida’s natural waterbased environment has tremendous value to the state’s economy and its
residents. This recipient developed, implemented, and/or made significant contributions to many section programs, including as chair of the Water For People Committee for many years, ultimately receiving the Kenneth R. Miller Founder’s Award. Ken Miller continues to be an inspiration for self-sacrificing volunteer service to create a world where everyone has lasting access to safe and reliable water and sanitation services. As treasurer, this recipient managed the section’s finances to better operate as a business. Procedures were instituted and accounts created
to better track and report the financial status and success of the section’s many initiatives and events. When this recipient became the FSAWWA chair-elect, this recipient began the tradition of presenting the incoming chair with a tiara, which she presented to Kim Kunihiro in December 2015. When she received hers the next year, she proudly wore it that day proclaiming, “I am the boss now!” The tiara and crown tradition continues to this day. In short, the Fuller Award recipient has been a valued water industry professional and AWWA member. She is honest, hard-working, talented, smart, and forever young. She is Dr. Grace Johns.
ALLEN B. ROBERTS JR. AWARD This award is named in honor of Allen B. Roberts Jr., who worked diligently as the Florida Section’s executive director to improve the status of the section by providing valuable leadership. Peggy Guingona received this year’s award for her outstanding service and leadership of the Florida Section AWWA. She is a strong staff and volunteer advocate and contributor for the Florida Section and the American Water Works Association. She made the transition from the live Fall Conference to a virtual conference seem effortless. The section recognizes her for her commitment to FSAWWA’s success. Her mantra, as instilled in her by a past chair, is “Keep the train on the tracks.” Peggy is in her 14th year serving the section and its volunteers.
A surprise award presentation with (from left to right) Jenny Arguello, Kim Kowalski, Peggy Guingona, Donna Metherall, Rick Ratcliffe, and Bill Young (in back).
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards
From left to right are Richard Anderson, Terri Holcomb, and Pat Lehman.
DR. EDWARD SINGLEY AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
The 2020 Dr. Edward Singley Award of Excellence was presented to Terri Holcomb. This award is given by the FSAWWA Executive Committee (EC) to a board member for dedicating their time and talent to a program or initiative that far and away exceeds their duties and obligations in their service to the FSAWWA board of governors. The 2020 awardee is a volunteer advocate and contributor for the Florida Section and the American Water Works Association. The FSAWWA EC especially recognizes the awardee’s efforts in spearheading the ACE2020 Local Host Committee. Unfortunately, AWWA’s Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE) scheduled in Orlando in June 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the FSAWWA EC recognizes Ms. Holcomb’s exceptional leadership skills and dedication in preparation of AWWA’s ACE. The awardee is a true servant leader who makes a difference!
YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR To recognize and honor a young professional member of AWWA who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Florida Section through leadership and engagement in student and young professionals programs. Michael Stanley was named this year’s recipient of the award.
The following four awards are given by the Manufacturers/Associates Council (MAC).
ROBERT L. CLAUDY AWARD This award is named in honor of Robert L. Claudy, who was a past chair of FSAWWA and is a big supporter of the section. Juan Aceituno, a past FSAWWA Region VII chair, outgoing FSAWWA trustee, and outgoing Water For People Committee chair is the recipient of this MAC award for his efforts in promoting water quality in the industry, community, section, and association; his continued support to the success of the FSAWWA Fall Conference; and as a tireless advocate of the Water For Juan Aceituno People mission.
CHARLES HOGUE AWARD
MAC COMPANY OF THE YEAR AWARD
Hassan Cruz was honored by the MAC with this award as its individual member of the year. He is recognized for his efforts at reaching out to current and potential exhibitors.
Data Flow System received this award for its continued support of the New Technology and Training Showcase (NTTS) program and the annual Fall Conference Utility Systems Symposium.
MAC DADDY This award honors the MAC member who has contributed the most to the success of the MAC. The honor goes to Mark McDowell for his dedication to the success of the Virtual New Technology and Training Showcase (NTTS) webinars and for serving as the MAC secretary.
44 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Tom Hogeland, representing Data Flow System.
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards BEST PAPER AWARDS
FSAWWA SERVICE AWARDS The following were honored for their service to the Florida Section.
“Identification of Microbial Communities Colonizing a Granular Activated Carbon Biofilter Treating Upper Floridan Groundwater”
Dr. Steven J. Duranceau and Jessica Cormier
Jessica Cormier, M.S., and Dr. Steven J. Duranceau, P.E.
Angela Bryan Region II Chair 2018-2020
Alicia Keeter Region IX Chair 2018-2020
Juan Aceituno Trustee 2016-2020
Tyler Tedcastle Trustee 2019-2020
Steve Soltau Likins Scholarship Committee Chair 2017-2020
Juan Aceituno Water For People Committee Chair 2016-2020
“Potable Reuse Implementation in Northeast Florida” Ryan Popko, P.E. Ryan Popko
“A Roadmap to Modeling a Source Water System”
Nicole Cohen, Jennifer Nyfennegger, Ph.D., P.E., and Charlie He, P.E., Carollo Engineers; Charlie Duverge, Hank Barroso, and Tyler Weinand, Lee County Utilities
Lee County Utilities staff (from left to right) are Tyler Weinand, Charlie Duverge, and Hank Barroso.
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards LANDMARK AWARDS
University of Central Florida Elevated Water Storage Tower Dedicated: 1967
The FSAWWA gives this award to various facilities or structures serving as components of water systems that have historical significance and, as such, may be candidates as an American Water Works Association Water Landmark or a Florida Section Water Landmark. The facility or structure should have been in service and operational for 50 or more years to qualify for this important recognition. Wells, pumps, and piping may qualify if deemed to be of important significance.
Left to right are Curtis Wade, University of Central Florida (UCF) Utilities and Energy Services (UES) Department, senior director; Dale Lance, UCF UES power division manager; Greg Taylor, FSAWWA vice chair; Kim Kowalski, FSAWWA past chair; Dr. Steve Duranceau, UCF Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Institute professor; and Peggy Guingona, FSAWWA executive director.
Englewood Water District Lime Softening Plant Dedicated: 1963 Englewood Water District’s board of directors receives its AWWA Landmark Award. Holding the award is Dewey Futch, operations manager.
WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM AWARDS This award is given to a utility with outstanding performance during the preceding year that deserves special recognition by the section. The criteria for these awards shall be based on, but not limited to, the following:
• M ust be a member of AWWA (organization or individual) • Actively supports the activities of the Florida Section • Has completed the questionnaire • Demonstrates high standards and integrity
The following utilities earned the firstplace award in their respective divisions (there were no submissions for Division 5 and Division 7). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FSAWWA did not do an award presentation at each utility’s council meeting; however, at the request of Village of Wellington, the award was presented at its March council meeting. • Division 1 – Ozello Water Association Inc. • Division 2 – Destin Water Users Inc. • Division 3 – City of Tamarac • Division 4 – Village of Wellington • Division 6 – Charlotte County Utilities • Division 8 – Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department Division 4 – Village of Wellington Dr. Fred Bloetscher (far left) and Shannon R. LaRocque, P.E., Village of Wellington director of utilities, holding the plaque.
46 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards ROY W. LIKINS SCHOLARSHIP The scholarships are awarded each year by the section to outstanding graduate or undergraduate college students enrolled in an accredited Florida institution who are pursuing a degree related to the drinking water industry. Roy Likins was a life-long member of AWWA. He served as president of Palm Coast Utility Corporation for six years and served the utility in various capacities for 16 years. He was a leader in the water industry, serving as chair of the FWPCOA Region IX and on various state committees with the primary focus on education and training. In 1972, he hosted the Florida Water Resources Conference and later served as secretary/treasurer and chair of the Florida Section. In 1982, he received the prestigious AWWA George Warren Fuller award. Roy was also a strong and active member of his community, serving in the Jaycees, Flagler County Shrine Club, as a member and chair of the local school board, and as treasurer and chair of the United Way. In 2020, scholarships valued to $45,000 were awarded in both undergraduate and graduate categories by the Florida Section. The scholarships provide reimbursement of tuition, books, and fees through the college/university financial aid department.
Trista Brophy, UF
Adaline Buerck, USF
Paula Campesino, UCF
Erica Dasi, USF
Audrey Goeckner, UF
MIchelle Henderson, USF
2020 Roy W. Likins Recipients Trista Brophy Adaline Buerck Paula Campesino Erica Dasi Audrey Goeckner MIchelle Henderson Jinsheng Huan Elayne Nash Zachary Protas Sharmily Rahman Kyle Rezek Patrick Zheng
University of Florida University of South Florida University of Central Florida University of South Florida University of Florida University of South Florida University of Florida University of Florida University of Central Florida Florida Atlantic University University of Florida University of Florida
Jinsheng Huan, UF
Zachary Protas, UCF
Sharmily Rahman, FAU
Kyle Rezek, UF
Elayne Nash, UF
Patrick Zheng, UF
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards WATER CONSERVATION AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE This annual awards program of the FSAWWA Water Use Efficiency Division (WUED) recognizes innovative and outstanding achievements in water efficiency throughout Florida. BEST IN CLASS – Large Utility City of Lakeland Water Utilities Category: Public Education “City of Lakeland Water Utilities” From left to right are David Bayhan, Stephanie Fetz, Michael Borg, Kirk Boulerice, Tom Mattiacci, Rick Ruede, Sarah Malone, Ruffin Gray (holding the plaque), Bill Anderson, Julie Vogel, and Raymond Hoppenworth.
SHOW OF EXCELLENCE – Mega Utility FGUA Pasco Utilities Category: Public Education “11th Annual Water Awareness Poster Contest” From left to right are Emily Keen (Pasco County Utilities), Caytee Hollingsworth (Florida Governmental Utility Authority), Matthew Rihs (Florida Governmental Utility Authority), Patti Clark (Florida Governmental Utility Authority), and Vanesa Shook (Pasco County Utilities).
MERITORIOUS – Regional Water Supply Authority Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority Category: Public Education “Community Awareness Campaign”
MERITORIOUS – Large Utility Seminole County Category: Demand Management “Irrigation Evaluation/Audits through CATO Environmental”
MERITORIOUS – Large Utility St. Johns County Utilities Category: Comprehensive Program “St. Johns County Utilities Department Water Conservation Efforts” William G. Young, director of utilities.
From left to right are Mike Coates, Marisol Garcia, Jessica Benson, Terri Holcomb, and Richard Anderson.
From left to right are Abraham (Abe) Vasconez, water conservation coordinator; Elisa Williams, interim utilities operations division manager/water operations manager; and Terrence McCue, Ph.D., P.E., director (all from Seminole County Environmental Services).
HONORABLE MENTION – Mega Utility Orange County Utilities Water Division Category: Public Education Efficient Irrigation Poster Design Display HONORABLE MENTION – Large Utility Charlotte County Utilities Category: Public Education Charlotte County Year-Round Water Conservation Education HONORABLE MENTION – Medium Utility City of Winter Haven Category: Demand Education Irrigation Timer Education Program
48 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
2020 Annual FSAWWA Awards AWWA TENURE AWARDS These awards honor significant membership tenure. The recognition received builds with a member’s years with the association. AWWA LIFE MEMBER STATUS AWARDS • Recipients were honored for 30 cumulative years of membership and being at least 65 years of age. • Plaque and pin provided and sent to recipient by AWWA. Lifetime Members • T homas A. Biggs •G lenn E. Forrest • T homas W. Freeman •W illiam E. Johnson, Jr. • J oseph A. Kowalski • T im Madhanagopal •S tephen M. McGrew •N ancy O. Metzger • T homas F. Moore •R onald E. Parker • J oseph Simbolick •S amuel S. Stone, III •C harles J. Voss •W illiam R. Whidden
SILVER WATER DROP AWARDS • Recipients were honored for 25 cumulative years of AWWA membership. • Certificate and pin provided and sent to recipient by AWWA. Silver Drop Members • Edward A. Bettinger • George B. Cassady • Cristina GarciaMarquez • Raymond E. Hanson • John D. Hermann • Terri S. Holcomb • Harald Jacobsen • Kevin Jones • Gary L. Koen • Charles F. Lowell, III
• Emilie A. Moore • Christine A. Owen • William J. Riebe • Christine Marie Russell • J. Andres Salcedo • Christopher James Stewart • Alfred F. Waitt, III • Jennifer L. Woodall Lyons
2021 FSAWWA Fall Conference The Florida Section will continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as it looks forward to hosting the annual Fall Conference at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in December 2021. Exhibits and sponsors registration will open on June 1 and the attendee registration will open on August 2.
Peggy Guingona, FSAWWA Executive Director
watertc.com Serving the Southeast since 1976
Gas Feed Systems Dry Chemical Feed Systems Peristaltic Pumps Fiberglass Enclosures
Metering Pump Skids Tablet Feeders Analyzers Scale Systems
Factory Trained Technicians - Emergency Repair Services - PM Service/Plans Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
FALL CONFERENCE Sponsors and Exhibitors
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A special thank you and recognition to the exhibitors for their generous support of the FSAWWA Virtual Conference. A.Y. McDonald Manufacturing Co. Altra Medical AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Co. and AMERICAN Flow Control Badger Meter Bingham & Taylor Carollo Engineers Consolidated Pipe & Supply Data Flow Systems
Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association F.J. Nugent & Associates Inc. Ford Meter Box HOR Hydromax USA Jacobs McWane Ductile Reiss Engineering, Inc. Rieberlok
50 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Sensus Specified Sales Associates SWAN Analytical USA, Inc. Test Gauge Inc. Thames & Associates Wager Company of Florida, Inc. Water Werks, Inc. Wright-Pierce
NEWS BEAT The board of directors of McKim & Creed Inc., a 600-person engineering and geomatics firm with offices throughout the United States—including 10 locations in Florida—is pleased to announce that Steven W. Smith, P.E., has been appointed the company’s next chief executive officer, effective May 1. John T. Lucey Jr., P.E., McKim & Creed’s CEO since 2014, will continue to serve in the role of chairman of the board. McKim & Creed provides services in Florida from offices in Tampa, Clearwater, Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach, DeLand, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, and Sarasota. “Steve is a people-oriented leader and understands our business and what it takes to be successful. He is a civil engineer who worked his way up through the ranks of his first professional employer to become president of his firm. His background includes a strong understanding of McKim & Creed’s core engineering and geomatics services, combined with the experience of leading and growing an employee-owned professional
services firm. Steve’s passion will help McKim & Creed continue its growth trajectory, while driving important initiatives. such as diversity and inclusion, safety, and career professional development. I’m happy to welcome Steve to McKim & Creed and look forward to working with him,” said Lucey in making the announcement. “McKim & Creed is an extremely well-run business with a wonderful culture and tremendous opportunities for growth. I’m happy to return to my roots in an employee-owned business, working in a people-oriented culture with a strong focus on technical excellence and client satisfaction. I am ready for new challenges and am excited about being able to positively influence the future of McKim & Creed,” stated Smith. He began his career in the engineering industry in 1985 with Chas. H. Sells Inc., a New York-based transportation and geomatics firm. From 1999 to 2007 he served as president/CEO of the company and orchestrated its growth into seven states. In late 2007 the business was purchased by WSP and Smith became president of WSP USA’s transportation business. In 2015, he relocated to the United Kingdom and joined WSP UK’s 7,500-person business as
head of highways and bridges. In this role, he led the integration of WSP UK and the newly acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff business into one cohesive unit. In 2017, Smith was promoted to managing director of WSP UK’s transport and infrastructure business and its 3,000 employees. During his sixyear tenure, Smith also served as the WSP UK Executive Committee sponsor, leading safety, diversity, and inclusion across the business. Smith has an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $35 billion bill to upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure, signaling that it’s possible for senators to reach a bipartisan consensus, even as they remain divided over President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal. The legislation, passed by a vote of 89 to 2, now goes to the House. The legislation was spearheaded by Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, and Sen. Shelley Continued on page 65
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Jody Cline Regional Distribution Sales Manager JOCL@kamstrup.com 850-557-0145 Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
The State of Biosolids Regulations in the U.S. and Florida: Can You Have Your Cake and Dispose of It Too? Nicole Cohen and Jody Barksdale Our understanding and handling (i.e., treatment and disposal) of biosolids are constantly evolving, as are the regulations that seek to safeguard public health and environmental well-being against potential risks posed by the nutrient content and other constituents found in biosolids. This article offers an in-depth review and explanation of recent biosolids developments by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as recent and upcoming biosolids laws and regulations specific to the state of Florida.
Environmental Protection Agency Biosolids Developments As defined by EPA, biosolids are “nutrientrich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment facility. . .that can be recycled and applied as fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth.” Amendments to EPA’s 1987 Clean Water Act (CWA) set the precedent for biosolids regulations, which were subsequently formalized and adopted in 1993 by the 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 503 (503 Rule), Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge.
Last updated in 2015, the 503 Rule federally regulates biosolids disposal and land application by establishing standards for general treatment, handling, and disposal requirements; pollutant limits; management practices; and operational standards. The regulation also sets forth requirements to reduce pathogen and vector attraction in biosolids that are land-applied or placed on a surface disposal site. Although Florida is not delegated under the 503 Rule, any regulatory changes at the federal level must also be met to be in compliance with the 503 Rule. In June 2017, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) reviewed the effectiveness of the 503 Rule, which falls under the domain of EPA’s Office of Water (OW), in protecting human health and the environment, given the nation’s current biosolids treatment and disposal activities. Published on Nov. 15, 2018, the OIG’s report, “EPA Unable to Assess the Impact of Hundreds of Unregulated Pollutants in LandApplied Biosolids on Human Health and the Environment,” contained 13 recommendations to improve and further enforce the OW’s rules. The OW and the OIG resolved many of the report’s recommendations; however, five remained outstanding for some time, primarily because, as the OIG noted, “the EPA’s controls
Table 1. Office of Inspector General Recommendations and Target Completion Dates
over the land application of sewage sludge (biosolids) were incomplete or had weaknesses and may not fully protect human health and the environment,” and “[EPA] lacked the data or risk assessment tools needed to make a determination on the safety of 352 pollutants found in biosolids.” As such, the report ultimately recommended that the OW declare the following: S E PA cannot determine the safety of biosolids. S Current statements on EPA’s website that imply a level of safety must be revised until this determination can be made. On May 30, 2019, the OW sent a memorandum to the OIG with revisions and final resolutions for the remaining recommendations, which the OW accepted, but nevertheless made a point to indicate that the OIG’s report is “biased and raises alarm due to the use of narrowly selected studies and examples, and information that is taken out of context or that is not relevant.” On July 25, 2019, the OIG sent a second memorandum to the OW confirming that all recommendations were now resolved and that the resulting corrective actions would be tracked. The latest completion date for the recommendations is Dec. 31, 2022. Table 1 briefly describes all 13 of the OIG’s recommendations, along with their estimated completion dates. Following the publication of the OIG report, many organizations voiced their support for the OW’s biosolids program. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies issued a statement on Aug. 14, 2019, announcing that it was “pleased to see the Office of Water’s strong response letter defending the program.” Subsequently, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) organized a national biosolids meeting in November 2019 to bring a variety of stakeholders together to discuss biosolids and urge EPA to reinvest in its biosolids program, while increasing regulatory oversight and compliance activities with respect to the Part 503 rule. Finally, on July 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture Research Committee W4170 rebutted the OIG’s stance regarding EPA’s data and risk assessment tools, stating that, “Overall, sufficient data and research are available to conclude biosolids regulations are protective of human health and the environment.” Continued on page 54
52 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
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Continued from page 52
Biosolids Land Application in Florida Over the past 20 years, public concern for the potential health and environmental consequences of land-applied biosolids has encouraged an increasing number of Florida counties to implement more-stringent restrictions and requirements. Under EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) enforces the state rules to comply with 503 Rule in Florida. The state’s first regulations related to biosolids were adopted in 1984 as part of a solid waste rule. Then, in the early 1990s, the state adopted Florida Administrative Code Chapter 62-640 (62-640, F.A.C.) to update the regulations to be more in line with the CWA amendments. Following the adoption of the 503 Rule, 62-640, F.A.C., it was revised in 1998 and once more in 2010. The latter revision enhanced state regulations that address biosolids, focusing particularly on site accountability and nutrient management. More specifically, the revised 62-640, F.A.C., mandated any entity land-applying biosolids to complete the following tasks: S Obtain site permits specific to biosolids starting Jan. 1, 2013. S O bey new, more-stringent phosphorus limitations and site-management requirements.
S D evelop and deliver nutrient management plans (NMPs) for land application. Perhaps because of these stringent demands, from 2012 to 2013, the number of permitted land application sites in Florida dropped from 180 to 87 (FDEP, 2014). According to FDEP’s geographic information systems (GIS), this number increased to 119 as of July 21, 2020, which may be due to the fact that, in 2016, the land application of septage was banned under the Department of Health (DOH)-related statutes, and DOH facilities sought permitting under FDEP under the biosolids regulations. Meanwhile, the quality of biosolids produced and land-applied is ever-scrutinized. In 2007, the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program (NEEPP) passed a statute restricting the land application of biosolids in Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie River, and Caloosahatchee River watersheds. By 2013, this legislation effectively stopped Class B biosolids from being land-applied in the northern Everglades watersheds unless an FDEP-approved nutrient balance could be produced. In fact, the regulations and nutrient restrictions discussed in this section only apply to Class A and Class B biosolids and do not apply to Class AA biosolids, which are distributed and marketed as fertilizers that, when compared to their lesser counterparts, require a higher level of treatment to stabilize and reduce pathogens.
Figure 1. Map of Florida’s permitted land application sites, Class AA facility locations, and northern Everglades and estuaries protection program boundary.
54 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Florida currently has 39 operating Class AA facilities. Figure 1 shows Florida’s permitted land application sites and Class AA facility locations, in addition to the NEEPP boundary. In 2018, blue-green cyanobacteria blooms, observed along with the red tide along Florida’s coast, resulted in detrimental environmental and economic consequences. Though the exact causes of the algal blooms are still unknown, their origins can be attributed to high nutrient loads. Since then, the state has become further interested in understanding the nutrient impacts that landapplied biosolids have on the environment. To combat and remain ahead of algal blooms, Florida’s regulatory authorities developed different courses of action pertaining to the high nutrient potential of biosolids. More specifically, FDEP created a technical advisory committee (TAC) to evaluate biosolids management, while Florida’s governor enacted a Blue-Green Algae Task Force within FDEP. Over the course of four meetings, from September 2018 to January 2019, FDEP’s TAC published a list of recommendations and, accordingly, FDEP issued a notice of rule development for proposed amendments to 62-640, F.A.C., on Oct. 29, 2019; however, on March 20, 2020, the amendments were withdrawn because, effective as of July 1, 2020, the recently approved House Bill 712 was passed and FDEP wanted to ensure that the biosolids provisions between 62640, F.A.C., and House Bill 712 were in agreement. Furthermore, House Bill 712 requires that “Rules [for biosolids management] adopted by [FEDP] pursuant to this section may not take effect until ratified by the Legislature.” In other words, FDEP is required to adopt new rules for biosolids management. In Florida, it’s typical that the laws passed by the Legislature, known as “statutes,” which often outline general guidelines, be subsequently defined and enforced by the respective executive branch agencies (e.g., FDEP) with laws created by these agencies that are called “regulations.” Both statutes and regulations have the force of law. Thus, FDEP is required to propose regulatory changes to 62-640, F.A.C., that will include and provide specifics on the process and enforcement of items outlined in House Bill 712. House Bill 712, also known as the Clean Waterways Act, first began with the Blue-Green Algae Task Force; its five members met six times to review nutrient runoff into waterbodies and find ways to reduce nutrient pollution that exacerbates algal blooms. On Oct. 11, 2019, the task force issued a list of recommendations, some of which were incorporated into House Bill 712. Overall, House Bill 712 enacted the following biosolids regulations:
S B y July 1, 2020, all land application site permits shall: • Require permittees of biosolids land application sites to enroll in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services best management practices. • Require a minimum unsaturated depth of 2 feet between the biosolids placements depth and the water table for Class A and Class B land application. • Prohibit the application of Class A and Class B biosolids on soils that have seasonal high water tables of less than 6 inches from the soil surface or within 6 inches of the intended depth of biosolids placement, unless an NMP and water quality monitoring plan provide appropriate assurances that the application will not cause or contribute to water quality violations. S L ocal governments are allowed to maintain Class A or Class B biosolids ordinances if adopted before Nov. 1, 2019. S Th e FDEP is required to enact rules for biosolids management that will not take effect until ratified by the Florida Legislature. The statute is now in the process of being incorporated into regulation as amendments to 62-640, F.A.C. These proposed amendments were introduced by a Notice of Rule Development that FDEP issued on April 14, 2020. In addition to bolstering the Clean Waterways Act, these proposed amendments seek to revise monitoring and permitting criteria for land application and management of biosolids. On Sept. 18, 2020, FDEP held a public workshop to discuss the draft amendments to Chapter 62-640, F.A.C. The following key revisions were proposed: S E stablishment of a compliance period for existing facilities and land application sites. • New or renewed facility or biosolids land application site permits issued after July 1, 2020, shall meet the new requirements no later than within one year of the new rule’s effective date. • All permits for facilities and biosolids land application sites shall meet the new requirements within two years of the new rule’s effective date. S C onsideration of biosolids permit applications as projects of heightened public interest. S C hanges to existing definitions and capacity index: • “Percent water-extractable phosphorus (PWEP)” is now defined as the percentage of phosphorus that is water-extractable in a biosolids sample. • Addition of a capacity index as a measure of a disposal site’s ability to store phosphorous. S M odifications to NMP requirements:
• E stablish specific rates of biosolids application according to nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as procedures to land-apply biosolids. • Reduce the minimum frequency of soil fertility testing from every five years to annually. • Require rates of application to be set according to both nitrogen and phosphorus, i.e., application shall not exceed either rate. • Require the soil phosphorus storage “capacity index” and soil phosphorus results for each application zone. The final application rate for phosphorus depends on the combination of PWEP and capacity index, which is based on Mehlich 3 extractions for phosphorus, iron, and aluminum. Modifications to land application and the addition of groundwater and surface water provisions: • Adopt House Bill 712. rohibit land application on soils with a • P seasonal high water table within 6 inches of the soil surface or depth of biosolids placement unless a department-approved NMP and water quality monitoring plan provide reasonable assurances that the landapplied biosolids at the site will not cause or contribute to a violation of the state’s surface water quality or groundwater standards. • Require a minimum unsaturated soil depth of 2 feet between the depth of Class A or Class B biosolids placement and water table level at the time biosolids are applied to the soil. • Updated the methodology used to determine the seasonal high water table. • Establish minor requirements regarding measures to prevent leaching of nutrients for storage longer than seven days at the land application site.
A statement of estimated regulatory costs (SERC) is required for the amended Chapter 62640, F.A.C., since it will have an adverse impact on small business, or is likely to directly or indirectly increase regulatory costs in excess of $200,000 in the aggregate in the state within one year after implementation. Furthermore, if the SERC shows that the adverse impact or regulatory cost exceeds $1 million in the aggregate within five years after implementation, the proposed rule must be submitted to the Florida Legislature for ratification. According to the SERC developed by FDEP and published on Dec. 3, 2020, the proposed amendments will likely increase regulatory costs in excess of $1 million in the aggregate within five years after implementation of the rule. Because the revised rule may reduce land application rates by an estimated 75 percent, a larger portion of Class B biosolids is now anticipated to be disposed of in landfills or converted to Class
AA biosolids. As stated in the Florida House of Representative’s staff analysis on March 15, 2021, the amended Chapter 62-640, F.A.C., “will have a negative fiscal impact on local governments and the private sector that provide wastewater and biosolids treatment, as well as locally and privately owned utilities.” The most-recent Chapter 62-640, F.A.C., amendments, of which the Notice of Proposed Rule was published on Dec. 3, 2020, was submitted to the Legislature for ratification on Jan. 29, 2021. On April 1, 2021, the proposed rule passed the Florida House and, on April 21, 2021, the Florida Senate passed it with amendments. At the time of this article’s publication, the amendments have not yet been ratified into a bill; however, all signs point to it being signed by the governor and ratified, especially since FDEP scheduled a webinar on May 27, 2021, to present proposed changes to Chapter 62-640, F.A.C., to the public.
Conclusion The world of biosolids regulations and effective management will continue to evolve. Federally, most of the OIG’s recommendations on EPA’s biosolids program have been addressed. The remaining recommendations will implement methods for conducting probabilistic risk assessments for land application scenarios and safety determinations for pollutants found in biosolids. The results from this work may further limit land application and/or result in changes to handling and processing requirements (e.g., pollutant limits). On a state level, there is certain change coming to the land application of biosolids. It will require those who have historically been disposing Class B biosolids to seek out other management strategies and alternatives, such as landfill disposal or conversion of their systems to produce Class AA biosolids. Indirectly, those utilities and entities that have been producing Class AA biosolids might face more competition and a change in their market due to the likely increase in the availability of more Class AA biosolids. There are other specific and current issues that this article does not discuss that will affect future regulations. Emerging contaminants, such as microplastics per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are seeing an increase in public concern, as well as additional research. It’s recommended that all interested biosolids stakeholders continue to monitor the regulatory agencies, as more change is likely to come. Nicole Cohen is a project engineer with Carollo Engineers in Sarasota. Jody Barksdale, P.E., ENV SP, is a vice president with Carollo Engineers in Tampa. S
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
Level 1 and Level 2 Assessments: Are You Vulnerable? Kenneth Enlow
reetings everyone. I hope your year is going well so far. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, like when your utility gets sited for a condition that triggers a Level 1 or Level 2 assessment. Unfortunately, this situation does happen, and when it does, you have the requirement of trying to determine where things went wrong.
What are the Triggers for a Level 1 or Level 2 Assessment? The triggers for Level 1 and Level 2 assessments are defined by Florida Administrative Code FAC 62-550 for Public Water Systems (PWS). They originate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Revised Total Coliform Rule. Level 1 Assessments These are triggered by: S A PWS collecting less than 40 samples per month that have two or more total coliform (TC) positive routine/repeat samples in the same month. S A PWS collecting at least 40 samples per month that have greater than 5 percent TC positive routine/repeat samples in the same month. S A PWS that fails to collect every repeat sample after a single TC positive sample. A Level 1 assessment is performed by the owner or operator of a system and must be submitted within 30 days or by the time agreed to by the utility and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Level 2 Assessments These are triggered by: S A PWS that incurs an E. coli maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation.
S A PWS that has a second Level 1 assessment within a rolling 12-month period. S A PWS on state-approved annual monitoring that has a Level 1 assessment in two consecutive years. A Level 2 assessment is performed by the state or someone it designates. The PWS is responsible for making sure that the assessment is performed by the state and must be submitted within 30 days, or by the time agreed to by the utility and FDEP. One method to conduct a Level 1 or Level 2 assessment is by performing an AreaWide Optimization Program (AWOP).
What is an Area-Wide Optimization Program? Initially developed for wastewater treatment plant compliance issues, the framework began in the 1970s with the comprehensive correction program (CCP). In the 1980s, the framework was applied for optimizing drinking water plant performance for microbial (turbidity) optimization to determine the cause of microbial issues at surface water systems. The program continued to develop with the creation of protocols and the CCP handbook in the 1990s. Program developments eventually lead to the creation of AWOP for all drinking water systems. The program has expanded to include approaches to control disinfection byproducts and other contaminants, while maintaining distribution system water quality in surface and groundwater systems. This is a voluntary multistate program in which states work together to develop and implement individual state methods to support PWS with the optimization of their treatment processes and distribution systems. The AWOP is designed to assist water systems with optimizing their physical and organizational infrastructures to enhance public health protectio, without encountering major improvement expenses. The FDEP is a supporting member of the AWOP initiative.
56 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
How to Apply the Principles of Area-Wide Optimization Programs When Performing Level 1 and Level 2 Assessments The principles of the AWOP process are to look at each individual segment of a system to determine if they are working properly as defined by the basis of design. The approach is to start at the source. If you are a groundwater system, start with going back to the basics, like reviewing your wellhead protection program. S H ave there been any changes in the topography around you well head? S A re there changes in elevation, for instance, due to settling of the well pad or buildup of soil from flooding? S Are there any access covers missing from the well that could allow contamination? S I s there a possibility of any influence of surface water getting in the well? S W hat is the condition of the well and when was it last cleaned? S H ave there been an unusual number of events of bacteriological failures on a particular well, or one that is particularly stubborn to get clearance on when performing a bacteriological survey? If your source water is from surface water, look at your raw water quality. S H ave there been any changes in the source water, like increased turbidity? S A re there any changes in other raw water constituents, like phosphorus or algae? The next step is to look at your treatment process. S I s your treatment process working properly? S I f you are a conventional lime softening plant, or you have aerators on your storage tanks or forced draft scrubbers, is your aeration system working properly? S W hen were your aerators last cleaned? S I f you have a treatment processes, like surface water coagulation/flocculation treatment, conventional lime softening, forced draft aeration, or membranes,
what is the condition of your effluent leaving the treatment process? S Has there been an increase in treated water turbidity? S Could carryover of floc be causing an unusual demand on disinfection? S Are you operating the treatment process within design parameters? The next step is to look at your filtration process. S If using conventional filtration, check you filters for dead spots that can contribute to channeling. S Are you having periods of turbidity spikes on filters during the filter run? S What is the condition of your filter media? S When was the last time you checked your filter media for proper size and depth? S When was the last time you changed the filter media? S Are you getting proper bed expansion when backwashing the filter? S Is the filter loading rate within the design? The next step is to examine how well your disinfection process is working. S Is your chlorination equipment working properly? S If you are using chloramination for disinfection, are your chlorine-toammonia ratios proper?
S A re you seeing high levels of free ammonia in your system? S A re you getting adequate contact time for your disinfection? S Are you getting proper mixing in your contactors or storage tanks? S W hat is the condition of your disinfection contactors or finished water storage tanks? S W hen was the last time they were cleaned? S A re vent screens in place? The next step is to look at your distribution system. S W hat is your total residence time in the distribution system? S D o you have areas with dead ends, or areas where it’s hard to maintain a disinfection residual? S D o you have a managed flushing program? S I s your cross connection control program in place? S W hen was the last time you reviewed your cross connection control program? S H ave there been changes in an area, like new construction or new businesses? S I s there an area where you have more bacteriological positives than others? In summary, these are all processes used when conducting an AWOP. By utilizing these methods, you are satisfying the intent of a Level 1 or Level 2 assessment. The main point is to complete a systematic
examination of your system to determine where a problem may exist and then coming up with solutions for how the remedy them.
FWPCOA Training Update The training office is in need of proctors for online courses in all regions. If you are available to be a proctor, please contact the training office at 321-383-9690. In the meantime, and as always, our Online Training Institute is up and running. You can access our online training by going to the FWPCOA website at www. fwpcoa.org and selecting the “Online Institute” button at the upper right-hand area of the home page to open the login page. You then scroll down to the bottom of this screen and click on “View Catalog” to open the catalog of the many training programs offered. Select your preferred training program and register online to take the course. For more information, contact the Online Institute program manager at OnlineTraining@fwpcoa.org or the FWPCOA training office at training@ fwpcoa.org. That’s all I have for this C Factor. Everyone take care and, as usual, keep up the good work! S
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
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 Biosolids and Bioenergy Management. 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. 334203119. 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!
EARN CEUS BY ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM PREVIOUS JOURNAL ISSUES!
Karamjit Panesar, Ian Atkins, and Sarina J. Ergas (Article 1: CEU = 0.1 WW02015387)
Which of the following assays produced the highest methane yields? a. Food waste alone b. Food waste plus tea leaves c. F ood waste plus compostable plates d. Inoculum
2. I n Phase 1, the low final pH and volatile fatty acids (VFA)/alkalinity ratio indicated that the rate of _______________ exceeded the rate of methanogenesis. a. decomposition b. fermentation c. a cidification d. cell wall degradation 3. Th is research showed that the codigestion of food waste with both tea leaves and compostable plates resulted in high biomethane production when _____________ is maintained in the correct range. a. the ratio of these materials b. pH c. temperature d. alkalinity 4. A common attribute of existing anaerobic food waste codigestion systems is that a. operating costs are unsustainable. b. they only accept preconsumer waste. c. they are ineffective. d. they are unsafe. 5. W hich of the following is among the listed problems created by disposing of food waste in landfills? a. Consumes landfill volume b. Creates high leachate ammonia concentration c. Contributes to landfill methane emissions d. Creates high leachate chemical oxygen demand (COD)
58 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
SUBSCRIBER NAME (please print)
Article 1 ____________________________________ LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded
Article 2 ____________________________________ LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded
If paying by credit card, fax to (561) 625-4858 providing the following information: ___________________________________ (Credit Card Number)
Contact FWPCOA at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 561-840-0340. Articles from past issues can be viewed on the Journal website, www.fwrj.com.
Anaerobic Codigestion of Food Waste to Increase Methane Yields
___________________________________ (Expiration Date)
The State of Biosolids in the U.S. and Florida: Can You Have Your Cake and Dispose of it Too? Nicole Cohen and Jody Barksdale
(Article 2: CEU = 0.1 WW02015388) 1. A mendments to the _____________ set the precedent for biosolids regulations codified in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 503. a. S afe Drinking Water Act b. Clean Water Act c. A merican Water Infrastructure Act d. F lorida Pollution Control Act 2. B y 2013, the Florida Legislature effectively stopped Class B biosolids from being applied _____________ unless a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)-approved nutrient balance could be produced. a. s tatewide b. in northern Everglades watersheds c. w ithing 300 yards of any Class 3 water d. i n coastal areas 3. E xecutive agencies, such as FDEP, enact ________________ to implement laws passed by the Florida Legislature. a. s tatutes b. guidelines c. b est management practices d. r egulations 4. P roposed amendments to chapter 62-640, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), may reduce land application of biosolids by an estimated ___percent. a. 1 0 b. 25 c. 5 0 d. 7 5 5. Th e regulations and nutrient restrictions discussed in this article apply to Class ___ biosolids. a. A A b. A c. B B d. B
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L ET’ S TA LK S A FE TY This column addresses safety issues of interest to water and wastewater personnel, and will appear monthly in the magazine. The Journal is also interested in receiving any articles on the subject of safety that it can share with readers in the “Spotlight on Safety” column.
The Safe Use of
Compressed Air W
hen we think of pressure, we think of power. And with the use of power, inherent dangers are often present. Such is the case when we work with one of the most useful tools of the workplace—compressed air. We use compressed air at work around the clock, performing countless jobs, from filling tires, lubricating trucks, and operating lifts, to the breaking, jacking, auguring, and tamping of earth and rock on construction projects. Compressed air helps us complete our jobs better and faster. Misuse of compressed air, however, can be very dangerous.
Compressed-Air Hazards The majority of injuries from compressed air are caused by either carelessness or lack of training. Using a compressed-air hose as a toy is particularly hazardous, especially if the airstream is brought into close or direct contact with any portion of a worker’s body or clothing. If this occurs and there is a break in the skin, air may be forced into the bloodstream, often with fatal results. Using compressed air to clean clothing,
tools, or workbenches can result in foreign bodies entering a worker’s eyes, nose, or throat. Using compressed air for cleaning is not only an unsafe practice, but more of a hindrance than a help because it spreads dust and debris around, which eventually results in a larger cleanup area. Unfastened safety chains on air-hose lines account for more injuries than any other type of compressed-air accident. Hose couplings can be handled pretty roughly on construction jobs— dragged over the ground or streets—and can lead to the disconnection of couplings. That’s why a safety chain must be connected from one hose to the other at each connection. Once an unchained hose is accidentally disconnected, escaping high-pressure air can whip the hose around with terrific force, causing the hose to strike anything in its path.
Safety Tips for Using Compressed Air Learn and heed these safety tips in the workplace: S Wear eye protection (googles or face shields) whenever using compressed air. S Check the hose carefully to see that it’s in good shape, and free from cuts and abrasions, before you open a valve leading to an air hose. S All pipes, hoses, and fittings must have a rating of the maximum pressure of the compressor. Compressed-air pipelines should be identified by pounds per square inch (psi) as to the maximum working pressure. Continued on page 62 The 2020 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 2020 Let’s Talk Safety book, dual disc set, and book + CD set.
60 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
FWPCOA TRAINING CALENDAR SCHEDULE YOUR CLASS TODAY! Please go to the FWPCOA website
for the latest updates on classes
June 7-11.....Water Distribution Level III........................Deltona.............. $325 14-16....Backflow Repair*........................................Deltona.............. $275/305 28-30....Backflow Repair*........................................St. Petersburg.... $275/305
July 5-8.....Backflow Tester*........................................St. Petersburg.... $375/405 12-16....Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector......Deltona.............. $350/380 19-23....Wastewater Collection B...........................Deltona.............. $325
Course registration forms are available at http://www.fwpcoa.org/forms.asp. For additional information on these courses or other training programs offered by the FWPCOA, pleasecontact the FW&PCOA Training Office at (321) 383-9690 or firstname.lastname@example.org. * Backflow recertification is also available the last day of Backflow Tester or Backflow Repair Classes with the exception of Deltona ** Evening classes *** any retest given also
You are required to have your own calculator at state short schools and most other courses.
Continued from page 60 S M ake sure the trigger or operating valve on the tool is closed. Air supply shutoff valves should be located (as near as possible) at the point of operation. S A ir hoses should be kept free of grease and oil to reduce the possibility of deterioration. S C heck the run of the line to see that it’s
protected from possible damage and is not a tripping hazard. When possible, air supply hoses should be suspended overhead, or otherwise located to afford efficient access and protection against damage. S Be sure the valve is closed on the supply side of the coupling before changing the tool at the end of a compressed-air line. No
matter where the valve is—close it. Never simply kink the hose. S After closing the valve, pull the trigger or open the operating valve to release the line pressure; then you can make the required tool change. S Before the tool is disconnected (unless it has quick disconnect plugs), the air supply must be turned off at the control valve and the tool bled of air. S Static electricity can be generated through the use of these tools. This type of equipment must be grounded or bonded if it’s used where fuel, flammable vapors, or explosive atmospheres are present. All components of compressed-air systems should be inspected regularly by qualified and trained employees. Maintenance superintendents should check with state and/ or insurance companies to determine if they require their own inspection of this equipment. Practice these safety measures when working with compressed air. Remember, there is power in pressure—and power means extra S precaution.
62 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Florida Water & Pollution Control Operators Association
FWPCOA STATE SHORT SCHOOL August 9 - 13, 2021
Indian River State College - Main Campus – FORT PIERCE –
Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester ..........................$375/$405
Stormwater Management C, B & A...............................$325/$325
Backflow Prevention Assembly Repairer ......................$275/$305
Utility Customer Relations I, II & III................................$325/$325 Utilities Maintenance III & II ..........................................$325/$325
Backflow Tester Recertification ......................................$85/$115 Wastewater Collection System Operator C, B & A ......$325/$325 Basic Electrical and Instrumentation ............................$225/$255 Water Distribution System Operator Level 3, 2 & 1............$325/$325 Facility Management Module I......................................$275/$305 Wastewater Process Control ........................................$225/$255 Reclaimed Water Distribution C, B & A ........................$325/$325 (Abbreviated Course) ................................................$125/$155
Wastewater Troubleshooting ........................................$225/$255
For further information on the school, including course registration forms and hotels, visit: http://www.fwpcoa.org
SCHEDULE CHECK-IN: August 9, 2021 8:00 a.m. CLASSES: Monday – Thursday........8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday........8:00 a.m. to noon
FREE AWARDS LUNCHEON Wednesday, August 11, 11:30 a.m.
For more information call the
FWPCOA Training Office 321-383-9690 Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES - Classified ads are $20 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. email@example.com
Reiss Engineering delivers highly technical water and wastewater planning, design, and construction management services for public agencies throughout Florida. Reiss Engineering is seeking top-notch talent to join our team!
Available Positions Include:
Client Services Manager Water Process Discipline Leader Senior Water/Wastewater Project Manager Wastewater Process Senior Engineer Project Engineer (Multiple Openings) To view position details and submit your resume: www.reisseng.com
CITY OF WINTER GARDEN – POSITIONS AVAILABLE The City of Winter Garden is currently accepting applications for the following positions: EXPERIENCED & TRAINEES/LABORERS - Collection Field Tech – I, II, & III - Distribution Field Tech – I, II, & III - Public Service Worker II – Stormwater - Superintendent – Collections, Wastewater, & Stormwater - Wastewater Plant Operator – Class C Please visit our website at www.cwgdn.com for complete job descriptions and to apply. Applications may be submitted online, in person or faxed to 407-877-2795.
Water Plant Position Available
The City of Flagler Beach is currently accepting applications for a Water Plant Operator or Trainee. Please visit our website at www.cityofflaglerbeach.com for position details and how to apply. Position open until filled. EOE DFWP
64 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
The Utility Water Plant Operator will be under general supervision, the purpose of the position is to operate and regulate water flow and water pressure equipment in the City’s Public Works/Utility Department. Employees in this classification function at journey level, and are responsible for conducting routine and moderately complex inspection and maintenance duties, ensuring efficient and effective operation of water facilities and equipment. The objective is to provide safe and clean drinking water is provided to the City. Position is distinguished from that of the Water Plant Operator II, by the level of independence the employee functions in, and the advanced laboring knowledge acquired through training and work experience. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: High School diploma or GED; supplemented by one (1) year experience in utilities and/or other public pump-mechanical operations or closely related experience. Must possess and maintain a Florida Driver’s License. Must possess and maintain Florida Class C Drinking Water License. Employee shall obtain the National Incident Management System ICS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System and IS-700 National Incident Management System, An Introduction within six (6) months of employment. The following courses are designed to provide a baseline, as they introduce basic NIMS and ICS concepts and provide the foundation for higherlevel Emergency Operations Center (EOC), MACS, and ICS related training. Note: Applicants who apply for and exceed the minimum qualifications of the Water Plant Operator I position will be considered for the Water Plant Operator II or III position. TO APPLY AND REVIEW THE FULL JOB DESCRIPTION: Visit our website at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/sanford BENEFITS Medical Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Health Reimbursement Account, FRS Retirement Plan, Paid Time Off, Bereavement Leave, Paid Military Leave, Employee Assistance Program, Short Term Disability Insurance, Paid Employee Life Insurance (1 x annual salary), Paid Holidays, Paid Jury Duty, Protective Safety Equipment, Fitness Center, Wellness Center for members of City’s Health Insurance program, Wellness Incentive Program, Bi-Weekly Pay Checks, Direct Deposit, Employee Recognition Events, Free Flu Shot, Free Parking, Bi-Lingual Pay, Safety Incentive program and Supplemental Benefits.
City of Titusville - Multiple Positions Available
Water Quality Coordinator, Industrial Electrician, Maintenance Mechanic, Equipment Operator, Treatment Plant Operator, Meter Services Supervisor. Apply at www.titusville.com
Laboratory Manager $68,809 - $96,822/yr. Utilities Electrician $56,038 - $78,851/yr. Utilities Compliance Coordinator $51,346 - $72,250/yr. Utilities Treatment Plant Operator or Trainee $48,408 - $68,114 or $43,907 - $61,782/yr. Utilities Mechanical Specialist $43,907 - $61,782/yr.
Are you a Water Plant Operator Rockstar?
Then come join our incredibly awesome team at one of the fastest growing areas in Central Florida. Must hold at least a Class “C” license and a valid driver’s license. Starting Pay Range: $37,000 $39,000yr – 10% more if you have a dual license or a Class A or B. Applications online www.wildwood-fl.gov or City Hall, 100 N. Main St, Wildwood, FL 34785 Attn: Marc Correnti. EEO/AA/V/H/ MF/DFWP.
Apply Online At: http://pompanobeachfl.gov Open until filled.
LOOKING FOR A JOB?
The FWPCOA Job Placement Committee Can Help!
Seminole County Water Positions Multiple Positions Available
Contact Joan E. Stokes at 407-293-9465 or fax 407-293-9943 for more information.
Continued from page 51 Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia and the chair and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill would improve the nation’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure, support programs to provide safe drinking water, and set aside grant funding for poor, rural, and tribal communities that have struggled with poor water quality. In a statement applauding the passage of the bill, Carper said that the legislation “gets to the heart of President Biden’s message to our nation,” referring to the president’s recent address to a joint session of Congress, when he urged lawmakers to come together to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package. “We need to work across the aisle to find lasting, bipartisan solutions to the issues facing the American people, and by doing so, build a better future for all. I’m proud that our committee has led the charge in that effort by today’s Senate passage of the first infrastructure bill of this Congress,” Carper said. Biden’s proposal would allocate billions to upgrade water infrastructure, but Republicans argue that too many of its provisions are unrelated to traditional concepts of infrastructure. The president is also trying to couple his plan with a proposal focused on health care, child care, and education—upwards of $4 trillion in investments.
Capito led an effort by Republicans to offer a counterproposal to Biden’s infrastructure plan, introducing their own $538 billion framework, but some Democrats felt the offer doesn’t go far enough. In his speech to Congress, Biden said that he was willing to work with Republicans, but that inaction isn’t an option. In the meantime, the passage of the water infrastructure bill is a small victory for bipartisanship in an evenly divided Senate. In a statement of support for the legislation last week, the Office of Management Budget (OMB) said that the bill was a “good start.” “This legislation aligns with the administration’s goals to upgrade and modernize aging infrastructure, improve the health of children and small and disadvantaged communities, develop new technologies, and help address cybersecurity threats and mitigate dangers from climate change,” the OMB statement said.
The U.S. Interior Department has taken steps to recommit to scientific integrity and empower the agency’s scientific and technical experts to use the best available science. Secretarial Order (SO) 3397 was signed on the Interior’s 172nd birthday and the 142nd birthday of the U.S. Geological Survey. “Science is at the heart of the Interior’s mission—from protecting endangered species to conducting environmental assessments for energy
projects,” said Tanya Trujillo, principal deputy assistant secretary for water and science. “Today’s order puts the evaluation and decision-making authority regarding scientific information back where it should be: in the hands of the scientists. It’s an important step toward restoring trust in government and strengthening scientific integrity at the department.” The order initiates a review of all agency activities taken pursuant to SO 3369 and provides direction to the department to comply with President Biden’s memorandum to advance scientific integrity. The 2018 SO was issued without due consideration and review by the department’s career scientists and officials, or by the broader scientific community. Among the serious concerns with the order’s directives are that it hindered the department’s ability to enter into contracts for cutting-edge research, precluded the department from utilizing sensitive information (e.g., regarding sacred sites or rare and threatened species), and didn’t inform complex policy decisions. The order by Scott de la Vega, the Interior’s acting secretary until mid-March of this year, directs that scientific merit, not political interference, will guide the agency’s decision making; prevents the suppression or distortion of scientific or technological findings, data, information, conclusions, or technical results; and supports scientists and researchers of all genders, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. S
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2021
SERVING FLORIDA’S WATER AND WASTEWATER INDUSTRY SINCE 1949
Test Yourself Answer Key From page 40
January.............. Wastewater Treatment February............ Water Supply; Alternative Sources March................. Energy Efficiency; Environmental Stewardship April................... Conservation and Reuse May .................... Operations and Utilities Management June................... Biosolids Management and Bioenergy Production 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.
Display Advertiser Index Blue Planet Environmental Systems ��������������������������������������������������������������� 67 Carollo ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 53 CEU Challenge ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 58 Data Flow ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 62 FSAWWA Fall Conference Call for Papers ������������������������������������������������������ 26 FSAWWA Fall Conference Exhibit Registration ���������������������������������������������� 27 FSAWWA Fall Conference Overview ���������������������������������������������������������������� 28 FSAWWA Fall Conference Poker Night and Happy Hour/Golf Tournament ���� 29 FSAWWA Fall Conference 2021 Water Distribution System Awards ������������ 30 FSAWWA Roy Likins Scholarship Fund ���������������������������������������������������������� 31 FWPCOA State Short School ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� 63 FWPCOA Training ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 61 Heyward ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 2 Hudson Pump ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 41 Hydro International ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Gerber ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Kamstrup ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 51 Lakeside Construction Equipment �������������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Smith & Loveless ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 19 UF TREEO Center ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 37 Vaughan/FJ Nugent ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 59 Vogelsang ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15 Water Treatment Controls ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 49 Xylem ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 68
66 June 2021 • Florida Water Resources Journal
1. B) industrial activities.
Per EPA’s NPDES stormwater program website, “The NPDES stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources: municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), construction activities, and industrial activities. Operators of these sources might be required to obtain an NPDES permit before they can discharge stormwater. This permitting mechanism is designed to prevent stormwater runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local surface waters.”
2. A ) best management practices (BMPs).
Per FDEP’s NPDES stormwater program website, “Stormwater runoff is generated from rain events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops, and does not soak into the ground. The runoff picks up pollutants, like trash, chemicals, oils, and dirt/sediment, that can harm our rivers, streams, and lakes. To protect these resources, municipalities, construction and industries activities, and others use stormwater controls, known as best management practices (BMPs), to manage their runoff. The implementation of these practices, which include BMP design, performance, and adaptive management requirements, prevent pollution by controlling it at its source.”
6. C ) Multisector general permit (MSGP)
Per FDEP’s stormwater program industrial activities website, “A generic permit is a general permit issued by FDEP under the authority of Section 403.0885, Florida Statutes (F.S.), which is the provision authorizing the state to implement the NPDES program. In October 2000, Florida adopted under Rule 62-621.300(5)(a), F.A.C., the federal stormwater multisector general permit for industrial activities. . . and operates the permit as the state of Florida multisector generic permit for stormwater discharge associated with industrial activity (MSGP).”
7. B ) all industrial materials and activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter. Per FAC 62-620.100(2)(o), Scope/Applicabiliity/ References, “Conditional exclusion for “no exposure” of industrial activities and materials to stormwater. Discharges composed entirely of stormwater are not stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity if there is “no exposure” of industrial materials and activities to precipitation and/or runoff, and the discharger satisfies the conditions in subparagraphs (o)1. through (o)3., of this rule. “No exposure” means that all industrial materials and activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter to prevent exposure to precipitation and/or runoff.”
3. A) One acre
8. D) Structural and nonstructural
4. D ) Stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP)
9. A) erosion control.
Per FDEP’s NPDES stormwater program construction activities website, “Coverage under the construction generic permit (CGP) is required for discharges from construction activities that: • Disturb at least one or more acres of land or disturb less than one acre of land but are part of a common plan of development or sale; and • Discharge stormwater to surface waters of the state or to surface waters of the state through a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4).”
Per FDEP’s NPDES stormwater program construction activities website, “A generic permit is a general permit issued by FDEP under the authority of Section 403.0885, Florida Statutes (F.S.), which is the provision authorizing the state to implement the NPDES program. • A CGP notice of intent (NOI) (FDEP Form 62621.300(4)(b)) must be submitted online using interactive notice of intent (iNOI) or by paper copy to the NPDES Stormwater Notices Center to obtain permit coverage. • A stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) must be developed and implemented to be in compliance with the permit. See the CGP, as well as SWPPP guidance, for details.”
5. C ) Five years
Per FAC 62-624.420(1), Reapplication Procedures for Individual MS4 Permits, “MS4 permits shall be effective for a fixed term not to exceed five years. If the permittee wishes to continue an activity regulated by an MS4 permit after the expiration date of the permit, the permittee must apply for and obtain a new permit. Permittees are encouraged to consult with the department before the reapplication process begins so that a mutually acceptable municipal stormwater program is developed prior to reapplication.”
Per EPA’s “Developing Your Stormwater Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites,” Chapter 1, Section C. How Can Construction Site Operators Prevent Stormwater Pollution? “BMPs can be divided into two categories: structural and nonstructural BMPs. Structural BMPs include silt fences, sedimentation ponds, erosion control blankets, and temporary or permanent seeding, while nonstructural BMPs include picking up trash and debris, sweeping up nearby sidewalks and streets, maintaining equipment, and training site staff on erosion and sediment control practices.”
Per EPA’s “Developing Your Stormwater Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites,” Chapter 4: SWPPP Development – Selecting Erosion and Sediment Control BMPs, “Erosion and sediment controls are the structural and nonstructural practices used during the construction process to keep sediment in place (erosion control) and to capture any sediment that is moved by stormwater before it leaves the site (sediment control). Erosion controls—keeping soil where it is—are the heart of any effective SWPPP. Your SWPPP should rely on erosion controls as the primary means of preventing stormwater pollution. Sediment controls provide a necessary second line of defense to properly designed and installed erosion controls.”
10. C) illicit discharge.
Per “Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination A Guidance Manual for Program Development and Technical Assessments,” Chapter 1 The Basics of Illicit Discharges, “Illicit discharges are defined as a storm drain that has measurable flow during dry weather containing pollutants and/or pathogens. A storm drain with measurable flow but containing no pollutants is simply considered a discharge.”
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