Florida Water Resources Journal - June 2024

Page 1

Editor’s Office and Advertiser Information:

Florida Water Resources Journal

1402 Emerald Lakes Drive

Clermont, FL 34711

Phone: 352-241-6006

Email: Editorial, editor@fwrj.com

Display and Classified Advertising, ads@fwrj.com

Business Office: 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711

Web: http://www.fwrj.com

General Manager: Michael Delaney

Editor: Rick Harmon

Graphic Design Manager: Patrick Delaney

Mailing Coordinator: Buena Vista Publishing

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

President: Richard Anderson (FSAWWA) Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority

Vice President: Joe Paterniti (FWEA) Clay County Utility Authority

Treasurer: Rim Bishop (FWPCOA) Seacoast Utility Authority

Secretary: Mish Clark Mish Agency


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

Membership Questions

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

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

FWPCOA: Darin Bishop – 561-840-0340

Training Questions

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

FWPCOA: Shirley Reaves – 321-383-9690

For Other Information

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

FSAWWA: Peggy Guingona – 407-979-4820

Florida Water Resources Conference: 407-363-7751

FWPCOA Operators Helping Operators: John Lang – 772-559-0722, e-mail – oho@fwpcoa.org

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


Florida Water Resources Journal: www.fwrj.com

FWPCOA: www.fwpcoa.org

FSAWWA: www.fsawwa.org

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

Florida Water Resources Conference: www.fwrc.org

News and Features

4 Introducing the Southeast Biosolids Association: Uniting for Sustainable Resource Management—Megan Ross and Alexander Kraemer

6 Hitting Paydirt: Supporting Children With Cancer

12 Joe Paterniti Takes Office as 2024-2025 FWEA President

13 2024-2025 FWEA Board of Directors

14 2024-2025 FWEA Officers, Chairs, and Advisors List

16 Prepare for August National Water Quality Month!

20 The “Iron Men” of the Water and Wastewater Industry—Marjorie Craig, Suzanne Mechler, and Athena Tipaldos

26 Risk Assessment of Pollutants in Biosolids: 2023-2024 Update—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

30 WQA Announces 2024 Leadership and Excellence Award Winners

42 Introducing Pearl: The City of Sanford’s Official Water Meter Replacement Project Mascot

44 Selecting a Construction Manager at Risk Early in the Process Benefits Your Project— Adam Corn

49 News Beat

ON THE COVER: The FKC screw press dewatering system at the new 30-milliongallon-per-day Hillsborough County Northwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). This plant has won the Florida Water Environment Association Earle B. Phelps Award the last few years as one of the top-performing WRFs in its category and size. This is the largest screw press biosolids dewatering system in Florida. There are four large screw presses, each 1250 millimeters (mm) in diameter and 7000 mm long, capable of dewatering 150 gallons per minute of waste activated sludge at 1 percent solids and producing 17 percent cake solids. The system start-up was in 2023.

(photo: Greg Chomic, Heyward Florida)

Technical Articles

8 Biosolids to Energy: Lessons Learned From the City of St. Petersburg—Ivy Drexler, Scott Keddy, Frank Niles, Diana Smillova, and Jason Venable

Education and Training

11 CEU Challenge

32 FSAWWA Fall Conference Registration

33 FSAWWA Fall Conference Highlights

34 FSAWWA Fall Conference Exhibitor Registration

35 FSAWWA Fall Conference Water Distribution System Awards

43 FWPCOA Training Calendar


18 FWEA Chapter Corner: Southeast Chapter Update: Broward Water Matters Day and New Chapter Leadership—Colin Devitt

22 Reader Profile— Mike George

24 FWEA Focus—Joe Paterniti

31 Test Yourself—Charles Lee Martin Jr.

36 Speaking Out—Marjorie Guillory Craig

40 C Factor—Athena Tipaldos


48 Classifieds

50 Display Advertiser Index

Throughout this issue trademark names are used. Rather than place a trademark symbol in every occurrence of a trademarked name, we state we are using the names only in an editorial fashion, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. None of the material in this publication necessarily reflects the opinions of the sponsoring organizations. All correspondence received is the property of the Florida Water Resources Journal and is subject to editing. Names are withheld in published letters only for extraordinary reasons. Authors agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Florida Water Resources Journal Inc. (FWRJ), its officers, affiliates, directors, advisors, members, representatives, and agents from any and all losses, expenses, third-party claims, liability, damages and costs (including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees) arising from authors’ infringement of any intellectual property, copyright or trademark, or other right of any person, as applicable under the laws of the State of Florida. Florida Water Resources Journal, USPS 069-770, ISSN 0896-1794, is published monthly by Florida Water Resources Journal, Inc., 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711, on behalf of the Florida Water & Pollution Control Operator’s Association, Inc.; Florida Section, American Water Works Association; and the Florida Water Environment Association. Members of all three associations receive the publication as a service of their association; $6 of membership dues support the Journal. Subscriptions are otherwise available within the U.S. for $24 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Clermont, FL and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Florida Water Resources Journal, 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 3 Volume 75 June 2024 Number 6

Introducing the Southeast Biosolids Association: Uniting for Sustainable Resource Management

The Southeast Biosolids Association (SEBA) emerges as a beacon of advocacy and education in biosolids management across the southeastern United States. Founded as a 501c(6) nonprofit organization, SEBA focuses on championing biosolids topics and fostering outreach and education in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alabama.

All wastewater professionals know that biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from wastewater treatment and play a vital role in sustainable resource management. Despite centuries of successful use and proven benefits, challenges persist in public perception and understanding, resulting in public policies that are short-sighted and can have unintended consequences. The SEBA steps forward to address these challenges, serving as an independent entity dedicated to educating policymakers and stakeholders about the critical role biosolids play in the operation of water resource recovery facilities.

Mission, Aim, and Goals

The mission of SEBA is to promote outreach and advocacy for biosolids management throughout the Southeast. This includes focusing on two key areas:

S Advocating for policies surrounding biosolids

S Creating a platform for outreach and education

With Merrell Brothers Inc. as a strategic founding member, actively contributing to SEBA’s mission and represented on the board by Blake Merrell from Tampa, SEBA seeks to harness the input of private stakeholders to help coalesce a broad spectrum of support. The aim of the organization is to grow membership comprised of public, private, agricultural, and community-based entities to ensure holistic stakeholder input from all of those involved in biosolids beneficial reuse, treatment, distribution, and marketing. This life cycle approach enables all partners

throughout the biosolids management process to have input into a regulatory and legislative framework that will shape the future of biosolids.

The establishment of SEBA is part of a broader trend across the U.S. Similar organizations, such as the Northeast Biosolids Association, Northwest Biosolids Association, Midwest Biosolids Association, and MidAtlantic Biosolids Association, have existed for years and SEBA joins this league of leading organizations, representing interests in the Southeast for sustainable biosolids management. It has already formed partnerships with these organizations in order to have a unified voice on challenges and policies impacting regions, such as the regulations surrounding the designation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances as a hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and the tremendous impacts this will have on enabling the sustainable use of biosolids.

One key reason for SEBA’s formation is the recognition that biosolids transport transcends state boundaries. A ban or limitation in one state directly impacts neighboring states; SEBA aims to bridge these gaps, fostering collaboration and knowledgesharing beyond utility owners.

Organization Leadership

The leadership of SEBA consists of public and private professional experts in biosolids who are guiding and championing the organization. It’s led by an interim executive director, Felicia Morrissette, who is director of pellet marketing for Synagro.

The board members for SEBA are:

President: Tyler Hewitt, vice president–national water market leader, AtkinsRéalis, Atlanta

Vice President: Alexander Kraemer, founder and chief executive officer, Harvest LLC, Waxhaw, N.C.

Secretary: Bernadette Drouhard, waste and

water process specialist, Black & Veatch, Atlanta

Treasurer: Ray Schauer, director–facility contract operations, Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County

Other members include:

S Blake Merrell, chief operations officer, Merrell Brothers Inc., Tampa

S Giovanna Forti Portiolli, biosolids and residuals program manager, Charlotte (N.C.) Water

S Glenn Dowling, southeast operations and sales support, Denali Water Solutions, Canton, Ga.

S Megan Ross, vice president, SediVision LLC, Clearwater

S Hollis Terry, public utilities director, Athens-Clarke County, Athens, Ga.

The emergence of the organization signifies a united effort toward sustainable biosolids management. As biosolids continue to play a vital role in resource recovery and environmental stewardship, SEBA’s advocacy and education efforts promise a broader and more-inclusive voice for the southeastern U.S. As Tyler Hewitt, president of SEBA, aptly states, “In the realm of wastewater management, biosolids represent not just a resource, but a responsibility.” He emphasizes SEBA’s pivotal role, noting that, “SEBA stands as a beacon, illuminating the path toward sustainable solutions and fostering a community dedicated to ensuring the vitality of our environment for generations to come.”

The SEBA is actively seeking board and committee members to further the mission of the organization. For more information, and to become a member or sponsor, visit www. sebiosolids.org. S

Megan Ross, P.E., MPA, ENV SP, is vice president with SediVision LLC in Clearwater, and Alexander Kraemer is founder and chief executive officer with Harvest LLC in Waxhaw, N.C.

4 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Hitting Paydirt: Supporting Children With Cancer

Digger Day transforms the simple act of playing in the dirt into a powerful gesture of hope and support for young cancer warriors. From bulldozers to mazes to giant sand piles, Digger Day gives a whole new meaning to getting your hands dirty, but for a wonderful cause.

The annual event centers on heightening awareness of child cancer, raising funds for the Child Cancer Fund (CCF), and giving children—from tots to teenagers—one special day to celebrate.

The second weekend in April, PetticoatSchmitt Civil Contractors and Beard Equipment partnered with 59 sponsors for

Digger Day 2024, raising over $66,000 for the children’s charity and hosting more than 180 children from participating organizations.

These resilient children, along with their families, hit the dirt playing in a giant sand pile, racing through a specially constructed maze, navigating a pipe crawl, creating sand art, ziplining, and jumping around a bounce house. Perhaps the biggest draw, however, was the chance to operate heavy machinery. After donning safety glasses, vests, and hard hats provided in goody bags—and first participating in a hands-on demonstration of proper bulldozing techniques—eager

kids climbed aboard a bulldozer and moved some dirt, all under the expert supervision of Petticoat-Schmitt volunteers.

“It was a day filled with laughter, joy, and, most importantly, love for the kids and families of the Child Cancer Fund. It’s moments like these that truly define us as a team and as a company,” said Lauren Atwell, president and chief operating officer of Petticoat-Schmitt.

The morning was dedicated to the children from CCF, and the afternoon was opened to the children—and children at heart—from Petticoat-Schmitt, Beard, and the supporting sponsors who made the event extraordinary.

“From our first year, we knew that we had to make this an annual event. It’s been a very rewarding experience to be part of Digger Day and work with the Child Cancer Fund,” said Brandi Manning, director of team development at Petticoat-Schmitt.

Since its inception in 2022, Digger Day has donated over $100,000 to CCF, assisting in its efforts to help local families in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia through the challenges of childhood cancer.

“The excitement of driving these largerthan-life machines and all the other activities gives the kids a chance to forget about cancer for a while and just enjoy being a kid,” said Carla Montgomery, executive director of CCF. “We hear from so many families about how it’s their favorite event, and that’s all because of the kindness, compassion, and faith in our mission shown by Petticoat-Schmitt and its partners.” S


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Biosolids to Energy: Lessons Learned From the City of St. Petersburg

The City of St Petersburg (city) operates three water reclamation facilities, permitted for a combined total design average annual daily flow of 56 mil gal per day (mgd) and serving approximately 316,000 customers. In 2011, the city began a feasibility study into an ambitious biosolids to energy project, which included rerouting all biosolids from the Northwest and Northeast Water Reclamation Facilities to the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility, where the biosolids would be digested to produce green energy. The project was designed from 2013 to 2015, construction finished in 2019, and the facility commissioned in 2020. The biosolids treatment train includes the following process units (Figure 1):

S Gravity belt thickeners

S Two-stage temperature-phased anaerobic digestion (TPAD) with intermediary batch tanks

S Two screw presses

S Biogas upgrade system

S Combined heat and power generator

S Biogas flares

S Biogas boilers

The city produces an average of 6,200 dry tons of biosolids per year and an average of 229 standard cu ft per minute (scfm) of raw biogas.

The original intent of the biosolids system was to centralize the processing of biosolids, upgrade the quality to Class AA biosolids, and optimize biogas production, such that the biogas produced in the TPAD treatment process could be utilized to offset grid power usage at the facility and/or sold to the local gas utility and receive renewable identification numbers (RINs) credits. These are environmental credits that trade in the open market and are the mechanism by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitors compliance with the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Lessons Learned

City staff members have experienced many lessons learned with the operation and maintenance of the biosolids and biogas processes, working to optimize the system since its commissioning. Challenges and opportunities include odor mitigation, design and construction improvements, and operational adjustments that have resulted in a more-consistent operation of the system.

The Southwest Water Reclamation Facility is located in a highly residential area with a private college sharing a property line. The commissioning, operation, and optimization

Ivy Drexler is senior manager, water resources department; Scott Keddy is civil engineer III, engineering and capital improvements department; Frank Niles is water reclamation facilities manager, water resources department; Diana Smillov is engineering design manager, engineering and capital improvements department; and Jason Venable is plant maintenance supervisor, water resources department, with City of St. Petersburg.

of this project taught city staff how to develop relationships with the immediate neighbors and proactively communicate with them. The city has developed standard operating procedures to guide staff in immediate odor response protocols, including conducting thorough walkthroughs, and checking monitoring equipment and areas with high potential for fugitive odors. The city staff also proactively alerts the community to planned maintenance activities that have the potential to create odors. It has also mirrored this framework to other odor-prone areas of the system, cultivating rapid response and building trust with neighbors and regulators.

The original design included a gas equalization tank to maintain pressure at the feed of the biogas upgrade system (Figure 2). The material in the bladder of the tank appeared to be absorbing the gas, allowing odors to escape; additionally, the condensate of the raw gas created significant odor. The odors from the TPAD system were particularly strong, and this equalization tank was eventually taken out of service. The raw biogas is now piped directly to the biogas upgrade system. Air release valves were installed at the top of each digester, as well as the batch tanks. These air release valves would intermittently “burp,” causing odorous gases to escape. City staff installed P-traps (Figure 3) on each of the air release valves to prevent the “burping,” which has made a tremendous difference in fugitive gases from these process units.

To ensure adequate hold time at temperature, heated sludge from the thermophilic digester is transferred to intermediate batch tanks before moving to the mesophilic digester. When initially bringing the batch cells online, city staff realized

8 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
FWRJ Continued on page 10
Figure 1. Process units of the biosolids treatment train.

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that it takes about 48 hours to get a cell up to temperature, due to the heat storage capacity of the concrete walls of the batch tank. At startup, staff was concerned additional heaters would be needed to maintain temperature in the batch tanks, but once the concrete walls were storing heat, the sludge stayed at temperature without additional heaters.

Sensors and probes were designed to be inserted in the pipe at an angle, to discourage rags from collecting on the probe; however, all sensors were installed vertically (Figure 4), which caused clogging and ragging within the pipes.

Maintenance staff has been slowly replacing them at the designed angle to prevent ragging.

Ferric chloride is dosed prior to the thermophilic digester to encourage precipitation of phosphorous to prevent struvite formation (Figure 5). The initial installation of the injector was just inside the pipe, which caused corrosion to occur at the injection site as the chemical traveled down the edge of the pipe. The injection point was retrofitted with a quill that allowed the chemical to be dosed at the middle of the pipe diameter; this allowed for better mixing and lowered corrosion on the pipe walls.

The original design of the combined heat and

power system included two smaller generators, which were modified to one large generator during design. The resulting large generator cannot run on biogas alone, resulting in a reliance on utility natural gas when in operation. The unit selected has had significant downtime, with difficulty sourcing parts and finding qualified labor to service it. Adhering to the original design with two generators, where one could operate solely on renewable natural gas, would likely have had more operational benefit and simplified the operation.

Being in the energy generation business is complex and requires a skillset complementary to, though different from, what typical plant operations and maintenance staff have acquired. The biogas upgrade system has proven difficult to operate, with multiple tweaks, operational changes, and optimization of quality and quantity that has required a nearly full-time position to dial it in and keep it operating.

Next Steps

The city is currently exploring alternative arrangements for the operation and maintenance of the biogas upgrade system and use of quality biogas, including injecting the treated gas to the utility natural gas grid and pursuing RIN credits.

The city is exploring the economic and operational incentives for various scenarios, which include baseline operations, contributing renewable natural gas to the grid, continuing to operate the combined heat and power system, or engaging in a public-private partnership that would delegate the biogas treatment to a third party.

The city is in a unique position where the biogas upgrade infrastructure is operational and fairly young, producing very-high-quality biogas, and the local gas utility is interested in accepting the renewable natural gas into the utility pipeline. The city is exploring which scenario best fits its continued commitment to environmental and financial stewardship.


Throughout the commissioning of the biosolids to energy project, city staff has learned lessons regarding design, construction, and operational optimization, as well as building positive public relationships. Public communication is critical when commissioning new projects, particularly when there may be odors or other community impacts. Being on the forefront of technology can be challenging, particularly when relying on model assumptions, where uncertainty is difficult to measure. It truly takes a village to make infrastructure run, from the designers to the constructors to the end users and neighbors, and it’s important to continue to learn and improve together. S

10 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Figure 2. A gas equalization tank maintains pressure at the feed of the biogas upgrade system. Figure 3. A P-trap on an air release valve. Figure 4. A vertically installed sensor.
Continued from page 8
Figure 5. Ferric chloride is dosed prior to the thermophilic digester to encourage precipitation of phosphorous to prevent struvite formation.

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. 33420-3119, or scan and email a copy to memfwpcoa@gmail.com. Enclose $15 for each set of questions you choose to answer (make checks payable to FWPCOA). You MUST be an FWPCOA member before you can submit your answers!

EARN CEUS BY ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM PREVIOUS JOURNAL ISSUES! Contact FWPCOA at membership@fwpcoa.org or at 561-840-0340. Articles from past issues can be viewed on the Journal website, www.fwrj.com.

Risk Assessment of Pollutants in Biosolids: 2024 Update

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Article 1: CEU = 0.1 WW02015436)

1. What are the two primary factors considered in risk assessment?

a. Exposure and toxicity

b. Contaminant and biosolids

c. Ecological receptors and pollutants

d. Chemicals and environmental media

2. What does the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mean by risk?

a. The likelihood of harmful effects from exposure to environmental stressors

b. The chance of adverse responses to radiation

c. The magnitude of health risks to ecological receptors

d. The nature of chemical contaminants in biosolids

3. What is the first step in conducting a risk assessment?

a. Identifying conceptual exposure pathways

b. Analyzing and characterizing risk

c. Engaging with states and tribes

d. Problem formulation

4. What is the purpose of EPA’s per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) strategic roadmap?

a. To identify pollutants in biosolids

b. To assess the potential risk posed by PFAS compounds

c. To streamline biosolids management practices

d. To develop guidelines for wastewater treatment facilities

5. What is the purpose of the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5)?

a. To improve EPA’s understanding of PFAS frequency in drinking water systems

b. To conduct comprehensive monitoring for PFAS at large and midsize public water systems

c. To collect data on PFAS levels in small water systems

d. To address new uses of PFAS


to Energy:

Lessons Learned From the City of St Petersburg

Ivy Drexler, Scott Keddy, Frank Niles, Diana Smillova, and Jason Venable (Article 2: CEU = 0.1 WW02015437)

1. What is the purpose of the biosolids system described in the text?

a. To centralize the processing of biosolids

b. To produce green energy from biosolids

c. To upgrade the quality of biogas

d. To serve approximately 316,000 customers

2. Why was the gas equalization tank eventually taken out of service in the original design?

a. It absorbed the gas

b. It caused significant odor

c. It malfunctioned during operation

d. It interfered with the temperature-phased anaerobic digestion (TPAD) system

3. What did city staff install on the air release valves to prevent intermittent “burping” and reduce fugitive gases from the process units?

a. P-traps b. Additional heaters

c. Sensors and probes d. Concrete walls

4. Why did city staff initially consider adding additional heaters to the batch tanks during start-up?

a. To maintain temperature in the mesophilic digester

b. To prevent clogging and ragging within the pipes

c. To discourage rags from collecting on the probe

d. To compensate for slow heat storage capacity of the concrete walls

5. What modification was made to the ferric chloride injection point to prevent corrosion in the system?

a. The injector was moved outside the pipe

b. A quill was retrofitted to allow dosing at the middle of the pipe diameter

c. The chemical was changed from ferric chloride to ferric sulfate

d. The injection point was removed entirely

SUBSCRIBER NAME (please print) Article 1 LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded Article 2 LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded Credit Card Number CVV Number Expiration Date

Joe Paterniti Takes Office as 2024-2025 FWEA President

I characterize my water story as an adventure with a lot of twists and turns that started over 40 years ago.

I began my professional career as a twoyear-degree draftsperson when drafting was conducted on drafting boards. I worked for a small engineering firm in Ocala that did work for land developers. I liked the work that the engineers were doing, and I decided to go back to school for my civil engineering degree.

I will have to give credit to one of the engineers I worked with who told me I could never become an engineer. Never tell a firstgeneration Italian American male he cannot do something! That statement galvanized my determination to finish my degree and obtain my professional engineering registration.

I attended the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida while working my way through school and received my bachelor of science degree in engineering in 1984. While at the university, I married a neonatal nurse who worked at Shands Hospital, and we had a little girl.

After graduation, I went back to work to support the family. We moved to southwest Florida, where I was offered an engineering position with a small engineering and survey firm in Englewood. I worked there for two years designing and permitting commercial site plans and obtained my Florida professional engineering license (38777).

I then decided to start my own engineering business with a local surveyor. We were going to start the company with the design of a large golf

course development project. Predevelopment lot sales did not materialize, so the project was canceled. We struggled through by doing residential lot surveys and septic system designs. After a year of that struggle, it was time to make a change.

I started a new position as a project engineer with James M. Montgomery (JMM). One of my first projects was the construction management of an upgrade to a reverse osmosis water treatment facility. While with JMM in Port Charlotte, I assisted in establishing and served as the inaugural vice president of the Peace River Engineering Society. After eight years with JMM as a project manager, I had an opportunity with a central Florida firm to open and manage its southeast Florida office. Within a year we had five employees and a few solid clients. The company decided to replace me with a more-senior engineer I hired, and the office closed a year later.

In 2000 I was fortunate to join Brown and Caldwell (B&C) as a supervising engineer in its Doral Florida office. I became B&C’s client service manager of its Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD) account. I had the opportunity to oversee and manage several interesting MDWASD projects with B&C.

During my time with B&C, I had the opportunity to attend many FWEA events. I also volunteered to serve as the chair of the FWEA Air Quality Committee in 2002. I had the pleasure of working with a dedicated group of professionals and I forged many friendships while planning and delivering top-quality technical workshops. You may recognize some of the faces in the committee photo.

After seven years at B&C, it was time for my next adventure. I moved to Raleigh, N.C., accepting a position as an infrastructure group manager for a national engineering consulting firm. I volunteered as the legislative chair of the North Carolina chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

After going through two acquisitions and mergers, it was time to reevaluate the remainder of my career. I determined that working for a public utility was where I could find a stable position. I interviewed and accepted a position with a utility department of a city in southeast Florida as its operations manager. After two years the utility director position opened, and I was able to serve in that position. During that time, I had the privilege of chairing the Air Quality Committee for another two years. In 2020 I was given the opportunity to serve as an FWEA director at large. That year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Water Resources Conference was canceled. It was also canceled in 2021 and FWEA conducted its own virtual event, called FWEA Connect.

Subsequently, I was offered a position as the FWEA secretary-treasurer. My involvement with FWEA has offered me the opportunity to serve this great organization and allowed me to make lifelong friendships.

I am currently serving as an assistant chief engineer at Clay County Utility Authority. It is a great utility serving unincorporated Clay County in northeast Florida. I enjoy working with a talented group of professionals.

Thank you for letting me share my water story. As I serve as your president I am looking forward to hearing your stories, too.

This year, FWEA will focus on fully implementing our mentorship program, expanding the public relations campaign to promote our industry and FWEA, and continuing to provide value to our members. I will provide progress updates on these and other initiatives throughout the year in my monthly columns.

S 2004 FWEA
Committee members.
Air Quality

2024-2025 FWEA Board of Directors

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 13
Joseph Paterniti President Michael Sweeney WEF Delegate Suzanne E. Mechler Past President Nicole Cohen Director at Large Dustin Chisum Director at Large Kevin Carter Utility Council President Ioannis (Yanni) Polematidis Director at Large Megan Nelson Secretary/Treasurer A. Randolph Brown Director at Large Manasi Parekh Director at Large David Hernandez Vice President Joan Fernandez President-Elect Jody Barksdale Director at Large James Wallace WEF Delegate Kristina Fries Director at Large Michael Demko Director at Large Kartik Vaith Executive Director of Operations Bradley P. Hayes Operations Council Representative

2024-2025 FWEA Officers, Chairs, and Advisors

The following officers, directors, committee leaders, chapter leaders, and student chapter advisors will serve through April 30, 2025.



Joseph Paterniti, P.E. Clay County Utility Authority 904-424-1280 jpaterniti@clayutility.com


Joan Fernandez, P.E. CDM Smith 954-882-9566 fernandezji@cdmsmith.com


David Hernandez, P.E., ENV SP Hazen and Sawyer 305-443-4001 dhernandez@hazenandsawyer.com


Megan Nelson, P.E. Orange County Utilities (407) 254-9927 megan.nelson@ocfl.net


Suzanne E. Mechler, P.E. CDM Smith 561-571-3800 mechlerse@cdmsmith.com


James J. Wallace, P.E. Tetra Tech 904-451-2013 jamey.wallace@tetratech.com


Michael Sweeney, Ph.D. Toho Water Authority 407-944-5129 msweeney@tohowater.com (Term ends Oct. 2024)


Jody Barksdale, P.E., ENV SP Carollo Engineers Inc. 813-888-9572 jbarksdale@carollo.com


A. Randolph Brown City of Pompano Beach Utilities 954-242-3088 randolph.brown@copbfl.com


Dustin Chisum, P.E. Ardurra Group 239-849-5093 dchisum@ardurra.com


Nicole Cohen, P.E., ENV SP Carollo Engineers 941-893-6482 ncohen@carollo.com


Michael Demko, P.E. Wade Trim mdemko@wadetrim.com


Kristina Fries, P.E. City of Orlando Kristina.fries@cityoforlando.net


Manasi Parekh, P.E. Ardurra (904) 318-9028 mparekh@ardurra.com


Ioannis (Yanni) Polematidis, P.E., BCEE CDM Smith 904-527-6722 polematidisim@cdmsmith.com


Kevin Carter Broward County Water and Sewer 954-856-3879 kcarter@broward.org


Bradley P. Hayes Woodard & Curran 325-516-4397 bhayes@woodardcurran.com


Kartik Vaith, P.E. Ardurra 904-562-2185 kvaith@ardurra.com



David Hunniford V&A Consulting Engineers Inc. (941) 928-3421 dhunniford@vaengineering.com


Katie Templeton, P.E. JEA (321) 591-0509 tempkl@jea.com


Manuel Moncholi, Ph.D., P.E. Stantec (832) 880-6263 Manuel.Moncholi@stantec.com


Samantha Hanzel, P.E. Jacobs (405) 639-9774 Samantha.hanzel@jacobs.com


Josh Burns Wharton-Smith Inc. (407) 402-7528 jburns@whartonsmith.com



Melody Gonzalez, E.I. Black & Veatch (786) 226-3960 GonzalezM@bv.com


David Hernandez, P.E., ENV SP Hazen and Sawyer 305-443-4001 dhernandez@hazenandsawyer.com

14 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal


Chris Fasnacht Orange County Utilities (407) 254-7724 Chris.fasnacht@ocfl.net


Arpita Meher, ENV SP Arcadis (407) 659-5552 arpita.meher@arcadis.com


Steve Johnson HDR (813) 365-9089 steven.johnson@hdrinc.com


Jissell Muir, E.I. Arcadis (305) 586-3411 jissell.muir@arcadis.com


Kenny Blanton, P.E. Hazen and Sawyer (407) 362-1101 kblanton@hazenandsawyer.com


Elizabeth Keddy, P.E. Hazen and Sawyer (813) 653-6163 ekeddy@hazenandsawyer.com


Manasi Parekh, P.E. Ardurra (904) 318-9028 mparekh@ardurra.com


Madeline Kender, P.E. Kimley-Horn (813) 943-1940




Felicity Appel, P.E. Kimley-Horn (850) 553-3537 felicity.appel@kimley-horn.com


Meera McKie, P.E.

Carollo Engineers (407) 455-3798 mjoshi@carollo.com


Brian Gaines JEA (904) 654-9207 gainba@jea.com


Ryan Messer, P.E., ENV SP HDR (813) 361-6241 ryan.messer@hdrinc.com


Abnery Picon Jacobs (786) 858-1872 abnery.picon@jacobs.com


Colin Devitt, P.E. Stantec (708) 204-1262 colin.devitt@stantec.com


Tom Meyers

FJ Nugent & Associates Inc. (239) 224-8422 tmeyers@nugentco.com


Jill Grimaldi Kimley-Horn (772) 519-0660 Jill.grimaldi@kimley-horn.com


Pamela Kerns

CHA Consulting Inc. (813) 549-0919 pkerns@chacompanies.com



Florida Atlantic University

Daniel Meeroff, Ph.D. 561-297-2658 dmeeroff@fau.edu


Florida International University

Berrin Tansel, Ph.D., P.E. 305-348-2928 tanselb@fiu.edu


University of Central Florida Anwar Sadmani, Ph.D., P.Eng. 407-823-2781 sadmani@ucf.edu


University of Florida

John Sansalone, Ph.D., P.E. 352-373-0796 jsansal@ufl.edu


University of Miami

David A. Chin, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE 305-284-3508 dchin@miami.edu


University of North Florida Cigdem Akan, Ph.D. 904-620-5536 cigdem.akan@unf.edu


University of South Florida

Sarina J. Ergas, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE 813-974-1119 sergas@usf.edu


Florida A&M University/Florida State University Youneng Tang, Ph.D. 850-410-6119 ytang2@fsu.edu


Florida Gulf Coast University Jong-Yeop Kim, Ph.D., P.E. 239-590-1363 jkim@fgcu.edu

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 15

Prepare for August National Water Quality Month!

Water is used every day in a variety of ways: for drinking, household use, recreation, irrigation, transportation, and in industry, agriculture, and manufacturing, to name a few. Just try to imagine what life would be like for your utility customers without easy access to clean and plentiful water. There would be no fountains to quench their thirst when out on a hot day. No more swimming pools, and no lakes and rivers clean enough for recreational activities. No more long showers at home, or any running water for their businesses.

National Water Quality Month reminds us to take a moment to consider how important water sources are to humans and all of the other inhabitants of the ecosystem. By thinking about the little things that your customers do on a daily basis that could have a negative impact on water quality, and getting them to change their habits, you’ll be a step closer to improving water quality—for everyone.

The History of National Water Quality Month

The United Nations declared 2005-2015 as the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” in order to emphasize the importance of water quality as it relates to sanitation,

human rights, geography, urbanization, and sustainability.

Emphasizing how interlinked water systems are, the Audubon Society points to the dangers of runoff from agriculture, forestry, construction, and people’s personal yards:

“Each individual household or business may not produce enough pollution to force a beach closing or cause a fish kill, but the combined output of all the homes and businesses in a community can be severe, considering that about half of the United States population lives within 50 miles of a coastline where runoff flows quickly to the ocean. This is why watershed protection, with attention not only to the body of water, but the area that drains into it, is important.”

What is Water Quality?

August is designated as National Water Quality Month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but how is the quality of water in the U.S. determined?

Water quality is based on a set of standards and criteria that describe the desired conditions or level of protection and how the required conditions will be established in waters of the U.S. in the future. These standards and criteria

are provisions of state, territorial, authorized tribal, or federal law approved by EPA. Although the majority of water is regulated and safe to drink, you and your customers should still be cautious about what could potentially be in pipes, faucets, and local waterways contaminating the water. According to the National Resources Defense Council, contaminated water could have higher concentrations of lead, atrazine, pathogens, chlorine, arsenic, nitrates, radioactive material, vinyl chloride, perchlorate, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and pharmaceuticals.

Standards of Water Quality

Water quality standards must include the following items:

Designated Uses of the Water Body

This requires states, territories, and authorized tribes to specify the goals and objectives about how each water body will be used, including fishing, recreating, drinking, agricultural irrigation, industrial uses, and navigation.

Criteria for Protection of Designated Uses

States, territories, and authorized tribes

16 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

must adopt criteria that protect the designated uses. These criteria can be numeric or narrative. Most entities typically adopt both types.

Antidegradation Requirements

These provide the framework of water quality protection by maintaining the current uses of the water and protecting the quality that has already been achieved.

General Policies for Implementation

Based on EPA approval, all states, territories, and authorized tribes are allowed to adopt policies and provisions for implementation of water quality standards.

Water quality standards are developed using federal guidelines of the Clean Water Act (CWA). All entities adopt their own legal and administrative procedures for adoption of their standards. Generally, they use the following steps:

S Work groups or informal public meetings are held to develop the standards, which are then put out for public comment.

S Public hearings are scheduled to gather input from the public.

S Water quality criteria must be included to provide sufficient coverage and be stringent enough to protect the designated uses.

The water quality standards for each entity must be approved by EPA prior to implementation. If the standards are approved, they become applicable. After approval, entities must do a review of their standards at least once every three years. If all or part of an entity’s standards are not approved based on the requirement in the CWA, then EPA will outline necessary changes to meet the requirements.

How to Celebrate

National Water Quality Month reminds us to take a long, hard look at what households, businesses, farmers, and communities are doing to protect sources of fresh water, which is important to everyone in myriad ways. Research done by the American Chemical Society, for instance, demonstrates that showering leads to greater exposure to toxic chemicals in tap water than drinking the water does. A person can absorb up to eight glasses of water through the skin during a quick 10-minute shower. Due to this fact, it’s imperative that all of the water that enters homes and businesses is safe and free from contaminants.

What can your utility recommend that individuals, families, and businesses do to prevent water pollution from entering their homes, stores, and offices, especially during National Water Quality Month? Here’s a short list of things that can be done to help:

S Not using antibacterial soaps or cleaning products. Regular soap and water will do the trick. Much of the antibacterial soaps contain a registered pesticide that is known to harm marine life.

S Not flushing unwanted or out-of-date medications down the toilet or putting them down the drain.

S Not putting anything but water down storm drains because they carry water to local waterways.

S Fixing leaks that drop from cars, vans, and trucks and putting liners in driveways and garages to collect oil and other materials.

S Avoid using pesticides or chemical fertilizers, which can run off the soil and contaminate the waterways that feed drinking water supplies.

S Choose nontoxic cleaning products when possible.

S Pick up after pets as stormwater could wash the animal waste into waterways and contaminate the water.

S Don’t pave properties.

S Use a car wash. Washing a car at home can flush chemicals down the storm drains that flow into lakes and streams. Professional car washes are required to drain into sewer systems so that wastewater plants can treat the water before it’s reused.

S Have a private well tested and cleaned

regularly. There can be bacteria buildup in wells.

S Encourage customers to read your water quality reports so that they know what the water quality is in their area.

Another option for your employees and customers could be for them to gather a group of family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors and volunteer to clean streets, beaches, rivers, and wetlands. They could bring a picnic and hold a contest to see who can clean up the most trash and debris, offering a prize to the winning team. It’s a great way to get everyone in a community together and enjoy an outdoor day full of fun doing something that’s good for the environment. Have someone take photos or videos of the event and share them on social media.

Be Aware Every Day!

Water that enters household, storm, and other drains goes into our waterways before the treatment plants. Practicing these little changes year-round in our communities can make a big difference.

Together we can all make a large impact. Spread the word to your customers, the media, and the public that August is National Water Quality Month! S

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 17


Welcome to the FWEA Chapter Corner! The Member Relations Committee of the Florida Water EnvironmentvAssociation hosts this article to celebrate the success of recent association chapter activities and inform members of upcoming events. To have information included for your chapter, send details to Melody Gonzalez at gonzalezm@bv.com.

Southeast Chapter Update: Broward Water Matters Day and New Chapter Leadership

Chapter educates on water conservation at annual event

On March 9, 2024, the FWEA Southeast Chapter had the pleasure of participating in the 22nd Annual Broward Water Matters Day. The event included educational exhibits and booths to help residents and visitors learn about water conservation techniques, smart irrigation, native landscaping, and the role they play in protecting and conserving our water supplies.

VI, the chapter set up a display with a water conservation theme to highlight the significance of having access to clean drinking water. The station

was designed to be both engaging and instructive, with attendees encouraged to walk with buckets of water to experience what millions of people do each day to gather water. Along the water walk there were also signs educating participants about the history of water and water conservation.

Isabel Botero, former chapter chair, and Emeliz Torres led the charge in organizing the event and were assisted by me, as the new chapter chair, and the other new members.

Chapter Transitions to New Leadership

Like many chapters, the start of the new calendar year represents a transition to new officers. This year I became the new FWEA Southeast Chapter chair. I previously worked in the public sector in Chicago for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Prior to working at Stantec, I spent most of my career managing projects at the largest wastewater treatment plant in the country, the Stickney Water Reclamation Facility. Since becoming chair I’ve received a warm reception and a great deal of support from the FWEA community, including past chairs Botero and Alex Kraemer. The chapter is eager to start a new year and is enthusiastically looking forward to a productive one. Keep an eye out for upcoming events forthcoming from the Southeast Chapter! If you’re interested in assisting the chapter, we’re seeking volunteers to round out our team. To help your local chapter and serve as a resource for bringing members together and creating events for them to bond and achieve its mission, please message me at colin.devitt@stantec.com. S

18 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Melody Gonzalez Isabel Botero, past chapter chair (second from left); Colin Devitt, the new chair (third from left); and fellow FWEA members at Broward Water Matters Day. FWEA Southeast Chapter and FSAWWA Region VI members engage with attendees at the booth. Attendees perform a water walk, carrying buckets of water while learning about water conservation.

The “Iron Men” of the Water and Wastewater Industry

Marjorie Craig, Suzanne Mechler, and Athena Tipaldos

This year, we were incredibly fortunate to have all three of the Florida Water Resources Journal (FWRJ) member organizations—Florida Section of the American Water Works Association, Florida Water Environment Association, and

Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association—with a woman at the top!

We wanted to celebrate with a short note from the women leading the three organizations.


Marjorie Guillory Craig, P.E., Utilities Director, Village of Tequesta

Throughout my career and FSAWWA journey, I’ve never really considered myself a “woman engineer,” but rather, first and foremost, an engineer driven by a passion for utilities and public service. Whether leading teams, participating in strategic planning, or striving to affect positive change, my focus has always been on making a meaningful impact.

This perspective I attribute to the encouragement and belief instilled in me by my

parents, particularly my father, who consistently affirmed my capabilities and encouraged me to pursue my goals. With a grandfather who was an engineer and inventor, I suppose it’s fair to say that engineering runs in my blood.

This year, it’s been a delightful bonus to connect with the leaders of our sister FWRJ and Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC) organizations, FWEA and FWPCOA. Athena Tipaldos and Suzanne Mechler are incredible professionals, and we are, coincidentally, all women. They continue to inspire me with their expertise, dedication, and unwavering commitment and I feel truly blessed to have served along with them during the first months of my tenure.

I’m honored to serve as the 2023-2024 chair of FSAWWA, a volunteer family with 2,771 members, including 130 utility members, who collectively supply drinking water to over 80 percent of the state’s population. I’m continually awestruck by the breadth of our initiatives and the remarkable achievements we’ve attained over the years.

What truly stands out to me is the unwavering support and camaraderie within our “volunteer family,” a support system that has become invaluable to me personally. Leading FSAWWA really is made possible by exceptional individuals who form our section team, including the dedicated staff at headquarters, led by Peggy Guingona, executive director, and Kim Kowalski, deputy executive director, to the steadfast support of the Executive Committee and the entire board of governors.

FWEA Past President

I never really felt weird about being a woman in this industry. My mother is a very strong-willed and successful woman and everything I’ve wanted to accomplish has always seemed achievable to me. Looking back and talking with her, I see more of the struggles she faced being a specialist in the air quality field during the 1980s.

I sometimes think it is to my advantage. It has helped open doors—whether I could keep them open once I am in was the struggle. I think being a woman in this field is like any diversity (language, location, ethnicity, etc.) as there is significant value to a diverse perspective, but there is also a recognized caution to look at something from another point of view.

20 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
From left are Suzanne Mechler, Marjorie Craig, and Athena Tipaldos.

For my year as president of FWEA, I also felt supported and blessed; not as a woman, but as a representative of over 1,500 members who entrusted me (maybe unknowingly) with the honor and weight of the industry’s priorities. I have seen the value of a diverse group of leaders working together and utilizing their individual skills to move forward.

Overall, I am constantly in awe of the women in this industry that I meet every day. We have some powerhouses, for sure, and I am thrilled that we are an industry more focused on working together than identifying ourselves and separating ourselves. With that, I am proud to be a successful woman who has followed in my mother’s footsteps—with just slightly taller heels.

FWPCOA President

Being a woman in this industry that has been previously male-dominated has been a great opportunity to change some of the stereotypes and pave the way for a more-diverse workplace.

I think a woman’s view brings fresh ideas

in an industry where positions are hard to fill. Overall, being a woman in the water industry and leading an organization means that you can improve the opportunities to make a significant

From left to right are Suzanne Mechler, 20232024 president, FWEA; Marjorie Craig, 20232024 chair, FSAWWA; Athena Tipaldos, 2024 president, FWPCOA: and Tim Madhanagopal, 2023-2024 president of the Florida Water Resources Conference.

impact; not just within your organization, but on a broader range by networking in the industry to help bring a positive change and build a more

We are proud to have been part of this moment, but more than anything, we are proud to have had each other. Our organizations have a similar focus and goals to move our industry into the future. We may have different ways of getting there, but we are in agreement that we should continue to support each other.

Thanks for supporting us. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 21

Mike George

R&M Service Solutions LLC

Work title and years of service.

I am currently the general manager and part owner of R&M Service Solution LLC, starting in 2013 as business development manager. Since 1984 I have held supervisory positions with City of West Palm Beach, Village of Wellington, HD/Hugh Supply, MasTec of North America, and City of Homestead.

What does your job entail?

Developing the company to its full potential to what it is today. I manage all sets of skill levels in obtaining a strong personnel base to operate R&M at its peak efficiency. I genuinely believe in team efforts to make R&M successful.

I’ve developed management skills through experience working with local government entities, manufacturers, and construction companies throughout the state of Florida. I use heavy networking to find, qualify, and secure future business. I create research and develop plans to provide new clients with product and service information tailored to their specific requirements. I work with and respond to complex, large-entity requests for


growth strategy and wider business plan, reviewing the delivery of results against set objectives.

What education and training have you had?

I’m a Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association Class A wastewater collection technician and have been a Level 1 water distribution technician for 25 years. I’ve been certified for 12 years as a Level 1 stormwater operator by the Florida Stormwater Association. I also have several professional certifications in project management.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the opportunities to develop a strong operating team and encourage technicians to advance in their field to promote themselves to a higher position. My philosophy is “No deposit, no return,” which means giving daily to the operation and running of the company, and therefore reaping the benefits of hard work.

What professional organizations do you belong to?

I belong to FSAWWA, where I’m a member of its Manufacturers/Associate Council (MAC) and the Distribution Awards Committee chair. I also belong to AWWA, FWPCOA, and Florida Rural Water Association, and am involved with the planning of the Florida Water Resources Conference.

How have these organizations helped your career?

When introduced to FSAWWA and the MAC in the late 1990s, I saw the power of networking and building relationships. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with great mentors and a host of others throughout the years. It has taught me the true meaning of a family within this organization. The relationships and the connections that have been forged throughout the years have been priceless. My commitment is to “pay it forward” with my experience in training and helping other operators advance in their careers. I am truly looking forward to future contributions within this organization.

What do you like best about the industry?

I enjoy the challenges that arise daily in this field, making new acquaintances, and working with amazing engineers, water and wastewater operators, directors, manufacturer representatives, and field staff to ensure the utilities operate at peak efficiency. I also like the ever-changing environment with new products and technology in the water and wastewater industry.

What do you do when you are not working?

In the last three years I have participated in the BBQ contests throughout the state of Florida and Georgia obtaining high placements in each category. I also enjoy the occasional football, baseball, and hockey game at both the college and professional levels. S

Mike and friends at the BBQ Challenge at the 2023 FSWWA Fall Conference. Mike in the newspaper.
22 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Mike with wildlife at work.

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Biosolids: Where It All Started and Where We Are Now

ow blessed are we to work in an industry vital to our economy and public health?

I would like to briefly touch on the history of biosolids and how far the industry has come. This may be a review for most of you, but it may help some to understand how this industry evolved.

When It Started

Waste disposal is a fact of life. Even the Bible includes instructions for disposing of our excrement (Deuteronomy 23:13). Man has continued to improve this process through the ages.

The Evolution of Treatment Options1

The earliest well-documented system was a sewage farm in Edinburg, Scotland, that began in 1650. Most of the early developments in land treatment occurred in Britain during the period from 1840 to 1890. Almost all wastewater treatment processes were developed and tested between 1850 and 1890, which included chemical precipitation, activated carbon absorption, trickling filters, biological contact beds, and intermittent filtration.

An understanding of the disease-causing agents in water and wastewater was also developed during this period, allowing engineers to develop

filtration methods, and with the introduction of chlorine in 1910, major epidemics of typhoid and cholera were virtually eliminated.

For years big cities in the United States took wastewater and dumped it directly (sans treatment) into whatever big body of water was nearby. In San Diego, for example, up until 1943 raw sewage went straight to the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. Not good for swimming, that’s for sure.

The first major legislation in the U.S., called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, was passed in 1956. The act attempted to classify surface waters and the quantity of their ability to assimilate wastewater discharges.

In 1972 Congress passed the Clean Water Act, with major revisions in 1977, 1981, and 1987. The last revisions, in 1987, resulted in amendments directing the U.S. Environemtnal Protection Agency (EPA) to research and promulgate the land applications of sewage sludge. A year later, in 1988, Congress passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act, thus eliminating ocean disposal methods of sludge and medical waste.

The act went into effect in 1992, which was also the year when the public relations firm of Powell Tate was hired by the industry to devise a plan for gaining public acceptance of sewage sludge land disposal. And so, the terms “biosolids,” “industrial residuals,” “natural fertilizer,” and “organic nutrients” were invented.

The EPA quietly removed sewage sludge from the list of hazardous materials (HAZMAT), and in 1993, sewage sludge federal regulations were published in the Federal Register as the Part 503 Rule, promulgated under the authority of the Clean Water Act, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 503.

Before the Clean Water Act of 1972, there was no comprehensive program for managing sewage sludge from wastewater treatment processes. Subsequent amendments in 1977 and 1987 laid the groundwork for the development of what would become the Part 503 regulations. The original regulatory proposal in 1989 was controversial and widely challenged, so EPA withdrew it and went back to work on the science, eventually producing a set of regulations that have stood the test of time.

Where We Are Today

Today, there are a variety of technologies available for stabilizing sludge; these include lime stabilization, heat treatment, and biological stabilization, which consists of aerobic or anaerobic digestion and composting. Energy recovery systems process biogas from biosolids digestion to produce heat and power, and in some cases, produce a renewable natural gas. The EPA and the states continue to provide oversight and regulatory functions for biosolids treatment and disposal. A review of federal biosolids standards is required by EPA at a minimum of every two years. It provides technical resources and a host of biosolids information on its website (www.epa.gov/ biosolids).

The EPA currently classifies biosolids as Class A or Class B, based on the treatment methods used. Current regulations allow for various types of land applications based on the level of treatment/stabilization the biosolids receive. Florida regulators continue to push for stricter regulations for land application of Class B biosolids.

24 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Typical sludge drying bed. 2023 FWEA Biosolids Workshop expert panel.

The process we use at Clay County Utility Authority is an advanced oxidation batch reaction process to remove pathogens and produce Florida Class AA biosolids. This highly efficient chemical treatment process eliminates the need for a digester. The solids are chemically treated for several hours and then sent to the centrifuge for thickening to 20 percent solids before being dropped into a

trailer, where they are taken to local ranches for land application.

The FWEA Biosolids Committee and the FWEA Utility Council are tracking rule development and providing technical support to regulators and decision makers to ensure the development of regulations is based on sound science and provides the practical outcomes intended. The committee annually brings

together experts from around Florida for an intense day of training and networking.

The committee has a workshop scheduled this June that will provide the latest information on the state of our biosolids industry. For more information go to www.fwea.org. I encourage you all to attend! S

Sources 1: USEPA MCD-40, 4/79 Jewell & Seabrook

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Attendees at the 2023 FWEA Biosolids Workshop. 2023 FWEA Biosolids Workshop question and answer session.

Risk Assessment of Pollutants in Biosolids: 2023-2024 Update

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 503, was developed based on the results of several risk assessments to identify what, if any, risks were associated with the use or disposal of biosolids via land application, surface disposal, or incineration.

A biosolids program was created by EPA and its top priority is to assess the potential human health and environmental risk posed by pollutants found in biosolids. These pollutants can vary in space and time, depending on industrial and other inputs to individual wastewater treatment facilities.

The presence of a pollutant in biosolids alone does not necessarily mean that they pose a risk to human health and the environment, i.e., the pollutant has to be at a level above which toxic effects are known or anticipated to occur.

The potential harm from a certain pollutant is determined by conducting a risk assessment.

Risk Assessment



a Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment is a scientific process that considers two primary factors:

S Exposure, or how much contact a person or ecological receptor, such as plants or marine life, has with the contaminant in environmental media due to contamination of biosolids.

S The toxicity of the pollutant.

The biosolids program has a framework to evaluate risks from exposure to chemicals in biosolids. The framework consists of three steps:

S Prioritize chemicals for assessment

S Screen for human health and environmental risk

S Perform a refined risk assessment for chemicals that fail the screen

The biosolids program requested that the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) review this proposed framework and provide input on the

approach. The final report was published in October 2023.

Biosolids Chemical Risk Assessment and Biosolids Tool

Section 405(d) of the Clean Water Act requires EPA to review sewage sludge regulations to identify any additional pollutants that may occur in sewage sludge and to set regulations for pollutants identified if sufficient scientific evidence shows they may harm human health or the environment.

The goal is to modernize, standardize, and streamline the risk assessment process to efficiently and thoroughly assess risk to chemical pollutants found in biosolids. The EPA Office of Water has developed a draft biosolids chemical risk assessment framework and biosolids tool for screening risk assessment. The tool has an accompanying user guide, and it has been preloaded with four chemicals.

The tool is used to identify pollutants, pathways, and receptors of greatest interest and inform decisions regarding the need for refined risk assessment of contaminants in biosolids.

A request has been made by EPA for SAB to review input on the overall risk assessment approach and on the scientific credibility and usability of the tool.

Guide to the Biosolids Risk Assessment

A guide was developed to protect the public health and the environment from reasonably anticipated adverse effects of pollutants that may be present in biosolids. This guide provides an understanding of the multipathway risk assessment that was used for evaluating and setting limits to manage pollutants in biosolids.

The guide does the following:

S Describes the risk assessment procedures used to develop Part 503 pollutant limits.

S Provides historical accounting and discussion of the steps taken during risk assessment.

S Discusses the issues that arose during the risk assessment process and their resolutions.

Continued on page 28

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S Explains assumptions and policy decisions.

S Answers commonly asked questions.

Status of Risk Assessment on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Found in Biosolids

On Oct. 18, 2021, Michael S. Regan, EPA administrator, announced the agency’s per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) strategic roadmap, which lays out a whole-ofagency approach to addressing PFAS.

In its strategic roadmap EPA committed to conduct a biosolids risk assessment for two PFAS compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), in biosolids. The assessment is currently underway and is expected to be published by the end of 2024. After the risk assessment is complete, EPA will engage in risk management to decide how to manage PFOA and PFOS in biosolids, if necessary. It will also use the results of the risk assessment, in addition to other factors, including economics and technological feasibility in the risk management process.

The roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commits to bolder new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable. The actions described in the roadmap represent important and meaningful steps to safeguard communities from PFAS contamination.

Significant New Use Rule

In January 2023, EPA proposed a rule that would prevent anyone from starting or resuming, without a complete EPA review and risk determination, the manufacture, processing, or use of an estimated three hundred PFAS that have not been made or used for many years, known as “inactive PFAS.” In the past, these chemicals may have been used in many industries in a variety of ways, including as binding agents, surfactants, sealants, and gaskets, and may also have been released into the environment. Without this proposed rule, companies could resume uses of these PFAS absent notification to and review by EPA.

Final Effluent Limitations Guidelines Plan 15

In January 2023, EPA released its final Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELGs) Plan 15, including a determination that revised ELGs and pretreatment standards are warranted for reducing PFAS in leachate discharges from landfills. Plan 15 also announced an expansion of the ongoing study of PFAS discharges from textile manufacturers and a new study of publicly owned treatment works influents.

$2 Billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding

In February 2023, EPA announced the availability of $2 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS, in drinking water across the U.S. This investment, which is allocated to states and territories, will be made available to communities as grants through EPA’s emerging contaminants in small or disadvantaged

communities grant program. These funds will promote access to safe and clean water in these communities, while supporting local economies.

National Drinking Water Standard to Limit Six Substances

In March 2023, EPA took a key step to protect public health by proposing to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS known to occur in drinking water, fulfilling a foundational commitment in the strategic roadmap. Through this proposed rule, EPA is leveraging the most recent science and building on existing state efforts to limit PFAS to provide a nationwide, health-protective level for these specific PFAS in drinking water.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Inform Potential Future Regulations

In April 2023, EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking asking the public for input regarding potential future hazardous substance designations of PFAS under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. This request for input and information follows EPA’s September 2022 proposed rule to designate two PFAS (PFOA and PFOS), and their salts and structural isomers, as hazardous substances under CERCLA.

Framework to Prevent New and Unsafe Perand Polyfluoroalkyl Substances From Entering the Market

In June 2023, EPA released a framework for addressing new and new uses of PFAS under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The framework will ensure that, before these chemicals are allowed to enter into commerce, EPA will undertake an extensive evaluation to ensure they pose no harm to human health and the environment.

National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative

In August 2023, EPA finalized its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative for 2024-2027, including the report, “Addressing Exposure to PFAS.” This initiative will focus on implementing the PFAS strategic roadmap and hold responsible those who manufactured PFAS and/or used PFAS in the manufacturing process, federal facilities that released PFAS, and other industrial parties that significantly contributed to the release of PFAS into the environment.

Initial Nationwide Monitoring Data for Drinking Water Systems

In August 2023, EPA released the first set of data collected under the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). These

28 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Continued from page 26

new data will improve EPA’s understanding of the frequency that twenty-nine PFAS and lithium are found in the nation’s drinking water systems, and at what levels. As part of UCMR 5, EPA is conducting the most comprehensive monitoring effort for PFAS ever, at every large and midsize public water system in the U.S., and at hundreds of small water systems.

Final Rule to Enhance Toxics Release Inventory Reporting

In October 2023, EPA released a final rule that will improve reporting on PFAS to its Toxic Release Inventory by eliminating an exemption that allowed facilities to avoid reporting information on PFAS when those chemicals were used in small concentrations. Under this new rule, EPA will receive more-comprehensive data on PFAS and will share these data with its partners and the public.

Second Annual Strategic Roadmap Progress Report

In December 2023, EPA released its second annual report on PFAS progress. The report highlights significant accomplishments achieved under the strategic roadmap and aligns with the current all-of-government strategy to protect communities from the impacts of PFAS.

Final Rule to Require Reporting for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Manufactured and Used in the United States

In October 2023, EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register that will provide EPA, its partners, and the public with the largest-ever dataset of PFAS manufactured and used in the U.S. This final rule under the TSCA will require all manufacturers (including importers) of PFAS and PFAS-containing articles in any year since 2011 to report information to EPA on PFAS uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards.

Final Significant New Use Rule

In January 2024, EPA finalized a rule that prevents companies from starting or resuming the manufacture or processing of three hundred twenty-nine PFAS that have not been made or used for many years without a complete EPA review and risk determination. Again, without this rule, companies could have resumed uses of these PFAS absent notification to and review by the EPA.

Methods for Measuring Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment

In January 2024 EPA released three methods to better measure PFAS in the environment: S Final EPA Method 1633, a method to test

PFOA 0 4 parts per trillion (ppt) also expressed as ng/L

PFOS 0 4 ppt

PFHxS 10 ppt 10 ppt

PFNA 10 ppt 10 ppt

HFPO-DA (commonly known as GenX chemicals) 10 ppt 10 ppt

Mixtures containing two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and PFBS

for forty PFAS in wastewater, surface water, groundwater, soil, biosolids, sediment, landfill leachate, and fish tissue.

S Final EPA Method 1621, which can broadly screen for the presence of chemical substances that contain carbon-fluorine bonds, including PFAS, in wastewater.

S Other Test Method 50, which measures 30 volatile fluorinated compounds in air.

Proposed Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

In February 2024, EPA released two proposed regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to protect communities from PFAS and other emerging chemicals of concern. These rules would add nine PFAS to the list of RCRA hazardous constituents and would assure that EPA’s regulations clearly reflect the authority of EPA and the authorized states to require cleanup of the full range of substances that RCRA intended.

Final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation

On April 10, 2024, EPA announced the final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS. To inform the final rule, EPA evaluated over 120,000 comments submitted by the public on the rule proposal, as well as considered input received during multiple consultations and stakeholder engagement activities held both prior to and following the proposed rule. It’s expected that the final rule will prevent PFAS exposure in drinking water for approximately 100 million people, prevent thousands of deaths, and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.

The final NPDWR establishes legally

1 (unitless)

Hazard Index 1 (unitless)

Hazard Index

enforceable levels, called maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), for six PFAS in drinking water: PFOA, PFOS, perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPODA) as contaminants with individual MCLs, and PFAS mixtures containing at least two or more of PFHxS, PFNA, HFPO-DA, and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) using a Hazard Index MCL to account for the combined and co-occurring levels of these PFAS in drinking water.

The Hazard Index is made up of a sum of fractions. Each fraction compares the level of each PFAS measured in the water to the highest level below which there is no risk of health effects. Health-based, nonenforceable maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs) for these PFAS were also finalized.

The final rule has the following requirements:

S Public water systems must monitor for these PFAS and have three years to complete initial monitoring (by 2027), followed by ongoing compliance monitoring. Water systems must also provide the public with information on the levels of these PFAS in their drinking water beginning in 2027.

S Public water systems have five years (by 2029) to implement solutions that reduce these PFAS if monitoring shows that drinking water levels exceed these MCLs.

S Beginning in five years (by 2029), public water systems that have PFAS in drinking water that violates one or more of these MCLs must take action to reduce levels of these PFAS in their drinking water and must provide notification to the public.

For more information, go to www.epa.gov. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 29
Compound Final MCLG Final MCL (enforceable levels)

WQA Announces 2024 Leadership and Excellence Award Winners

15 individuals, including Floridian, and two companies honored at 2024 convention and exposition

The Water Quality Association (WQA) honored 15 individuals and two member companies on March 5 with its annual Leadership and Excellence Awards. Amanda Moore, CWS, president of WQA, announced the recipients during the keynote session on the opening day of the organization’s convention and exposition, which was recently held in Orlando.

Award Requirements

Any WQA member is eligible for the leadership awards with a required minimum commitment or service to the water quality industry evidenced by engagement with WQA, a state or regional WQA, or other industry association. In addition, each award has individual requirements that must be met.

Nominations are evaluated against the individual award criteria by the Nominating Committee, and recommended award recipients are reviewed and approved by the WQA board of governors and announced at the following year’s convention.

2023 Awards

Hall of Fame Award

The 2024 Hall of Fame award—the highest honor bestowed on a WQA member and given for lifetime dedication and service to the industry and association—was presented to Darwin R. “Buzz” Goldstein, MWS, general manager of Charger Water Treatment Products. Goldstein, a former member of the WQA board of directors, was previously honored with the WQA Ray Cross Award in 2020.

Lifetime Member Award

This award, which recognizes exemplary service to the association, went to two recipients:

S Kurt Gruett, CWS, who works in business development at the North American Water Treatment Division of A.O. Smith.

S It was also posthumously given to Peter S. Meyers, technical director at ResinTech for 28 years.

Excellence Award

This award is given to WQA member companies that excel in operations, innovation, customer service, or community involvement. This year the award was presented to:

S Jacobi Carbons Inc. of Columbus, Ohio.

S Performance Water Products of Buena Park, Calif.

Other Awards

Other awards announced March 5 were:

S Key Award – This award, which honors members who demonstrate the highest quality of leadership within their company, industry, and various associations, was presented to:

• Suzanne Trueblood, executive

director of the Florida Water Quality Association (FWQA).

Trueblood is executive secretary of FWQA and has served for 36 years. With her background in banking, public relations, and association management, her role has expanded to assisting in FWQA’s growth in membership and recognition. She is proud of the working relationships she has created over the years, whether they be with other state associations or WQA’s education and government affairs teams. She has served on several boards of directors for nonprofit organizations and is the founder of Noah’s Ark of Central Florida, an organization for people with developmental disabilities. She also is active with United Way and church activities.

• William Jefferis, owner and president of Freeman Water Treatment of Mississippi LLC.

S Ray Cross Award – This award, recognizing WQA members whose pioneer spirit and unwavering commitment made a notable difference in the water treatment industry, was given to:

• Mike Herman, MWS, vice president and general manager for Culligan Ultrapure in Minnesota.

• John Griesbach, MWS, vice president of Diamond H2O in Wisconsin.

S Regents Award – This award, presented to individuals who have made significant contributions at the state or local level, was presented to:

• David A. Davies, CWS, president of Aqua General Inc. in Houston.

30 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Suzanne Trueblood

• Bob Ruhstorfer, MWS, a former WQA president and owner of five Culligan dealerships in Texas.

S Award of Merit – This award, in recognition of exceptional service to the water quality improvement industry, honored:

• E. Allan Horner, MWS, technical director for Impact Water Products.

• Jennifer Smith, CWS, sales representative with ResinTech Inc. based in New Jersey.

S International Award of Merit – This award was given to:

• Andrey Mitchenko, Ph.D., a Ukrainian entrepreneur and co-owner and chief executive officer of Ecosoft.

S Honorary Membership Award – This award, given to someone outside the water treatment industry with meritorious contributions to humanity though research, education, or exemplary service, went to:

• Tom Harrington, retired, a former chief executive officer of Primo Water.

S Next Gen Award – This award is given to individuals 40 or younger who have demonstrated a commitment to the betterment of the water treatment industry and was presented to:

• Kathryn Fisher, certification specialist for A.O. Smith’s North America Water Treatment.

S Presidents Club Membership – This is given for recruiting at least three new companies to join WQA in the last year and was presented to:

• Roy Esparza, MWS, CI, CWR, Franklin Water Treatment (Puronics).

More details about the awards and the honorees, plus photos of the winners, can be found at www.wqa.org.

An Historic Year

The WQA is marking 50 years (1974-2024) as a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Its education and professional certification programs have been providing industry-standardized training and credentialing since 1977. The WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water since 1959 and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and the Standards Council of Canada. The organization also publishes a consumer-friendly website at www. betterwatertoday.org. S

What Do You Know About Water Distribution? Test Yourself

1. Fire hydrants are primarily used to provide water for

a. fire trucks.

b. flushing waterlines.

c. fighting fires.

d. all of the above.

2. The operating valve on the dry barrel located at the bottom of a hydrant allows for emptying all the water to prevent

a. water hammer.

b. head loss.

c. freezing.

d. none of the above.

3. The wet barrel hydrants have their operating valve at the outlet and can only be used a. where winters are mild. b. where winters are cold.

c. where winters are extreme. d. none of the above.

4. The most common type of hydrant used is the a. gate hydrant.

b. Corey hydrant. c. post hydrant.

d. below ground level hydrant.

5. Fire hydrants should be no more than a. 100 feet apart.

b. 500 feet apart.

c. 1000 feet apart.

d. 200 feet apart.

6. Within commercial districts fire hydrants should be placed or located

a. in front all restaurants. b. at intersections. c. at dead ends.

d. none of the above.

7. Water meters should be used at a. main supply lines.

b. reservoir outlets.

c. each customer service line. d. all of the above.

8. A small water meter’s sufficient accuracy is such that it does not register less than a. 98.5 percent of the water passing through it.

b. 90 percent of the water passing through it.

c. 80 percent of the water passing through it. d. none of the above.

9. A small water meter’s sufficient accuracy is such that it does not register more than a. 103.5 percent of the water passing through it.

b. 105 percent of the water passing through it.

c. 101.5 percent of the water passing through it.

d. none of the above.

10. A small water meter should have a head loss of no more than

a. 20 pounds per square inch (psi).

b. 15 psi.

c. 10 psi.

d. 05 psi.

Answers on page 50

References used for this quiz:

• Larry Mays, Water Distribution Systems Handbook, AWWA

• Water Distribution System Operation and Maintenance, CSUS 6th edition

• Water Distribution Operator Training Handbook 3rd edition, AWWA

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 31
Send Us Your Questions Readers are welcome to submit questions or exercises on water or wastewater treatment plant operations for publication in Test Yourself. Send your question (with the answer) or your exercise (with the solution) by email to: charmartin@msn.com
32 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 33

>> Exhibitor Registration Starts July 15

Premium Booth Space: $1,250


■ Prime location within the Exhibit Hall

■ 8 x 1 0 Booth space

■ 1 - Draped table

■ 2-Chairs

■ Backdrop

■ Side draping

■ Company sign

■ Wastebasket

■ 3 - Exhibit staff registrations

Standard Booth Space: $990


■ 8 x 1 O Booth space

■ 1 - Draped table

■ 2-Chairs

■ Backdrop

■ Side draping

■ Company sign

■ Wastebasket

■ 2- Exhibit staff registrations

Exhibit booth spaces can include heavy equipment on a case-by-case basis and with an additional fee, workshops, portable equipment and showrooms. Flammable materials are prohibited. No modifications will be made to the backdrops or sidewalls without prior approval from FSAWWA. All other services related to the trade show booth are the responsibility of each exhibitor. This includes but is not limited to costs such as: electricity, shipping, storage and handling. Once an exhibitor is registered and has provided payment, an exhibitor packet of information will be provided with the details and instructions on ordering and payment for additional services.

Online Registration is strongly recommended!

Online Exhibitor registration at: www.fsawwa.org/2024exhibits

No Refunds after September 1st.

For more information: fsawwa.org/2024fallconference

Sponsorship opportunities will be available on the FSAWWA Conference website.

Hotel Accommodations: fsawwa.org/2024hotel

Host hotel is Omni Orlando Resort ChampionsGate

Please Note:

All promotional activity other than product demonstrations must be approved by FSAWWA prior to the conference.

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 35

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Duel Challenge in the Quest for Sustainability: Biosolids Management and Bioenergy Production

asn’t it just yesterday we were ringing in the new year? We’re almost halfway through 2024 and the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) has held, hosted, led, advocated, and engaged in many activities and educational events in and for the water industry. We’ve achieved so

much already, including seminars, webinars, regional events, and hosting the AWWA Regional Meeting of Section Officers from several sections in our region. We’ve been engaging in conferences (Florida Water Resources Conference and the AWWA/ WEF Utility Management Conference); the AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In; advertising for scholarships; initiating a communication contract to begin media training; and developing a plan to enrich communication for the benefit of our membership. And we’ve got more planned!

The highlight of June will be the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE) in Anaheim, Calif., with the theme, “Transforming Our Water Future.” I’m very

excited to be attending ACE this year! It’s been many years since I’ve been able to attend a national conference; I’ve been supporting members of my team to attend, then there were conferences canceled because of COVID restrictions, or budget challenges. It’s going to be a great conference.

AWWA Celebrates 50 Years of the Safe Drinking Water Act at the Water Matters! Fly-In

The FSAWWA Water Utility Council (WUC) monitors regulatory matters throughout the year and leads annual delegations to Tallahassee and the annual

36 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Beer for Us

Water Matters! Fly-In

AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In in Washington, D.C.

Monica Wallis from Destin Water Users Inc. is in her third year as chair of WUC. In April, she and the WUC led 12 delegates from FSAWWA in attending the annual Fly-In. We helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), toasting with water in special glasses engraved with the AWWA 50th Anniversary logo!

I remember Dave Tippin, director of the Tampa Water Department, coming back from Washington, D.C., in 1996 with one of the pens used to sign additional amendments to the SDWA, which included water resources protection, operator training, and public information. It also established the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, which has been

essential to funding many drinking water improvements over the years through lowinterest loans.

During our visit in April, we visited legislators on Capitol Hill and spoke with them and their legislative staff about issues important to AWWA and the water industry: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the importance of making the polluters pay, not their constituents; keeping drinking water costs down through infrastructure funding; and the importance of cybersecurity.

Eddy, the AWWA water drop mascot, spent time alternating with delegates and made quite a splash.

Quest for Sustainability

This theme of this month’s magazine is biosolids management and bioenergy production. Modern society faces a dual challenge in the quest for sustainability: managing waste effectively while striving to meet energy demands with minimal environmental impact. A possible solution lies in the symbiotic relationship between biosolids management and bioenergy production. Harnessing the potential of organic waste can offer a practical approach to waste management and unlock a valuable source of renewable energy. Please note that the introduction of PFAS and other regulation(s) could threaten this approach

Continued on page 38

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 37

unless effective ways to remove it from biosolids are developed.

Understanding Biosolids

Biosolids, often derived from sewage treatment processes (but also a byproduct of some water treatment processes), represent organic matter rich in nutrients and organic compounds. Historically, these materials were seen merely as waste products requiring disposal, often in landfills or incinerators, posing environmental and economic challenges. With recent advancements in technology and shifting perspectives on resource management, biosolids can be recognized as valuable resources with multifaceted potential.

Biosolids Management

Effective biosolids management involves a combination of treatment, processing, and beneficial reuse strategies when possible. Modern treatment processes aim to remove contaminants while preserving nutrientrich organic matter. Once treated, biosolids undergo various processing methods (including composting, anaerobic digestion, and thermal treatment) tailored to specific end uses and environmental considerations. Water treatment biosolids may serve as a valuable soil amendment, depending on the treatment process. Florida has iron-poor soil and if a treatment chemical such as ferric sulfate is used, the resulting biosolids can undergo further processing to optimize their suitability as a soil amendment.

Bioenergy Production

Anaerobic digestion is a prominent method for treating (primarily wastewater) biosolids and producing bioenergy. This process involves microorganisms decomposing organic matter in the absence of oxygen, yielding biogas primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas is a renewable energy source suitable for electricity generation, heat production, or even vehicle fuel. Furthermore, the residual digestate from anaerobic digestion retains nutrient content, making it a valuable fertilizer for agricultural use and closing the loop in the nutrient cycle.

Anaerobic digestion is more expensive,

however, so the costs have to be weighed against the benefits, and not all biosolids are suitable for bioenergy. Many factors, such as the composition of the biosolids, their moisture content, and the presence of any contaminants, can affect their suitability for this process. Careful consideration is therefore required to determine which biosolids are viable for anaerobic digestion and which alternative disposal methods should be employed for those not suitable. As noted previously, potential regulations on biosolids that contain PFAS and other currently unregulated microcontaminants could change the way biosolids are handled.

Advantages of Integration

The integration of biosolids management and bioenergy production offers several notable advantages:

S Waste Reduction. By converting organic waste into energy and valuable byproducts, this approach reduces the burden on landfills and incinerators, minimizing environmental pollution and associated costs.

S Renewable Energy Generation. Biogas produced from anaerobic digestion represents a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, contributing to climate change mitigation efforts and enhancing energy security.

S Resource Recovery. Nutrient and organic matter present in biosolids can be recovered and recycled, enriching soil fertility and supporting agricultural productivity.

S Cost Efficiency. While initial investment in infrastructure is required, the longterm economic benefits, including energy savings and revenue from biogas sales, can outweigh the costs, making the approach economically viable.

S Environmental Sustainability. By using organic waste streams in a closed-loop system, the integrated approach promotes environmental sustainability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources, and safeguarding ecosystem health.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite its potential benefits, integrating biosolids management and bioenergy production can present great challenges. Technical complexities, regulatory

compliance, public perception, and economic viability must be carefully addressed to ensure successful implementation. Additionally, concerns regarding odor control, pathogens, and the quality of end products require diligent monitoring and management. Biosolids management and bioenergy production represent integral components of a sustainable waste management strategy. By harnessing the energy potential of organic waste, while recovering valuable resources, the integrated approach offers a pathway toward a more circular and resilient economy. With continued innovation, investment, and collaboration, we can maximize the benefits of biosolids utilization, contributing to both environmental stewardship and energy transition goals.

Ensuring compliance with biosolids regulations remains a critical priority within the water industry. The WUC and its counterpart, the Florida Water Environment Association Utility Council, play pivotal roles in this endeavor, by not only helping monitor regulations, but also by actively participating in the shaping and application of them. Through collaborative efforts, we maintain vigilance over regulatory standards, while contributing to their development and implementation.

If you’re not a member, please consider joining our WUC.

Upcoming FSAWWA Events

Some upcoming FSAWWA events include:

S June 18 – Introduction to Asset Management Webinar by the Technical and Education Council

S July 25 – 2024 Wine for Water - Region III, Orlando

S August 16 – FWAWWA and FL2051 Water Utility Community Innovation, Technology, and Financial WorkshopOrlando

The full section calendar is available at www.fsawwa.org.

I’ve included some photos from the Region VI fundraising event in March, “Beer for Us,” which had a friendly beer brewing competition and raised money for Water For People. Todd Bonlarron, Palm Beach County assistant administrator, hosted this annual event at his waterside home. A food truck was available for dinner. Several water organizations and other local home brewers competed for trophies and bragging rights. There are also photos from the Fly-In. S

38 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
from page 37

More Than Water Quality: Benefits of a Wetland Treatment System

he Orlando Wetlands is located in Christmas, Fla., but is it a treatment facility or is it a park—or both? The Orlando Wetlands was opened in 1987 as a final polishing treatment facility for reclaimed water. Spanning 1,650 acres, this area is now a habitat for over 240 species of birds, fish, turtles, alligators, and other Florida wildlife. The Roseate Spoonbill calls these wetlands home and obtains its vibrant pink color from its diet of crustaceans.

I spoke with Rachel Kessler, public outreach coordinator for the wetlands, to see how it has expanded over the years.

Orlando Wetlands

Rachel Kessler Public Outreach Coordinator City of Orlando

Driving down a long narrow road,

with soft predawn light peeking through the passing trees, an eager nature photographer anticipates the wonders to behold on their visit to the Orlando Wetlands. Upon pulling into the gravelly parking lot, they change into hiking shoes, load up with drinking water, and grab their camera gear.

They begin to hike atop the berm roads and are soon surrounded by lush marsh and an exciting sound: the unique “whistling” of black-bellied whistling ducks flying overhead. The morning light is now smiling above the distant tree line and illuminating the life and vibrancy of the Orlando Wetlands—exactly what this photographer was hoping for.

What to capture first? The awakening Great Egrets that roost in the Cypress dome squawking and stretching their wings? Or perhaps the bright pink Roseate Spoonbills scuffling their odd-shaped bills back and forth in the mud and water in search of small crustaceans for breakfast? While contemplating the initial shot, the large lone black alligator with its ridged leathery back and powerful tail is silently swimming through the reflective water. Miles away from the noise and crowds of town, the photographer takes a deep breath and all at once is filled with awe, excitement, peace, and beauty.

Who knew that a constructed wetland could be all of this and more?

Wetlands as Treatment

When the City of Orlando first opened the Orlando Wetlands, the goal was straightforward: provide advanced treatment of reclaimed water from the Iron Bridge Regional Water Reclamation Facility reducing loadings of total nitrogen and phosphorus and complying with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) requirements for safe discharge into the St. Johns River. At the time, this was one of the world’s first large-scale treatment wetlands, and although the facility was well-researched and designed, the results and benefits were yet to be proven.

Over time, the staff grew to help manage water quality, land management, and eventually, educational outreach. A lot of the work was experimental in nature, driven by field data and research into innovative practices to maintain and improve nutrient removal in the wetlands system. Some of these include:

S Incorporation of diverse wetland plant species

S Use of prescribed fire to remove dead biomass and stimulate new growth

S Performing muck removal renovation projects

The results were undeniable: the Orlando

40 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
American alligator. (photo: Vinny Colucci) Boardwalk at Orlando Wetlands. (photo: City of Orlando)

Wetlands and its successful management proved to meet and exceed FDEP requirements, as outlined in its annual reports.

All of this created a habitat ripe with resources for an abundance of wildlife. This was once pastureland with only a total of 35 documented species, and is now home to numerous mammals, fish, herptiles, insects, plants, and more. In the early 1990s, the City of Orlando recognized the benefits and success of the property and officially opened it as a recreational space.

Open to the Public

In December 2022 a newly constructed half-mile-long over-water boardwalk opened at the Orlando Wetlands and social media and local news networks buzzed with the story. In the months to follow, record numbers of visitors poured into the Orlando Wetlands to enjoy the scenery and wildlife, many of whom were visiting for the very first time. Annual visitor attendance jumped from around 60,000 people in 2022 to over 112,000 people by the end of 2023.

“Do you know what these wetlands do?” asks a Friends of the Orlando Wetlands volunteer to a passing visitor. “Let me tell you—or rather, let me show you!” The visitor

is quickly boarded onto a tram tour where a volunteer guide recounts the fascinating story of how the wetlands came to be. Just as this tour departs, another tour has just completed its journey and returns with smiling, grateful passengers. “Wow, I didn’t realize the wetlands did so much to clean our water! And to see all the wildlife that lives here too; it’s amazing!” Every weekend, this scenario occurs again and again as the volunteers give these tours to the public.

A staff member can be heard saying “Excuse me, but please keep a distance from the young sandhill cranes!” to a visitor enthusiastically taking pictures with a cell phone only feet away from the juvenile bird. The staff member approaches and kindly explains how the Florida sandhill crane is federally protected species. “Thank you for helping us protect them!” the staff member explains and continues on their way.

Occasionally, the Orlando Wetlands will partner with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor wildlife, including species such as the sandhill crane and the wood stork. Currently, the wetlands is helping to monitor approximately 90 active wood stork nests on the property;

an astonishing and promising number since much of their nesting habitat has dwindled across the state of Florida.

There’s another sight and sound that can be heard at the Orlando Wetlands: a trailer full of boisterous children. A staff member can be heard atop the chatter, “Does anyone remember the three reasons wetlands are important?” Some students shout answers and recall what they learned on their tour. “Remember: wetlands clean the water in our environment, wetlands are habitat for wildlife, and wetlands are fun to visit!”

Guided school tours such as these are opportunities for students to experience nature firsthand and can inspire future stewards of the environment.

Wetlands are for Everyone

The Orlando Wetlands is a testament to how a solution for reclaimed water treatment can be mutually beneficial to the environment and to people. While the facility improves water quality, it also provides rich and diverse habitat and preserves valuable green space for the public to enjoy and learn from.

For more information, visit www.orlando. gov/wetlands. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 41
Great blue heron. (photo: Randy Snyder) Roseate Spoonbill. (photo: Jim Werner) Sandhill crane with colt. (photo: Randy Snyder) Viceroy butterfly on buttonbush. (photo: Randy Snyder) Green-Winged Teals. (photo: Randy Snyder) Wood stork. (photo: Randy Snyder)

City of Sanford’s Official Water Meter Replacement Project Mascot

The City of Sanford started a multimillion-dollar citywide water meter replacement project in 2024, with approximately 25,000 individual water meters being installed for Sanford’s residents and business customers to upgrade the city’s water infrastructure for improved efficiency and reliability.

The city understands water billing has been frustrating and this advanced metering system is an investment for the city and its customers. The new meters will operate with the best technology currently available and provide more-accurate billing information, overall improved service, and operational savings.

A Mascot is Born

The city takes this project very seriously; however, it wanted to have fun with the marketing and public awareness campaign for the meter replacement project.

The city is excited to announce the introduction of Pearl, the official mascot of the project. Pearl was born out of the desire to make the replacement information and communications memorable and engaging to customers and the Sanford community throughout the duration of the estimated 24-month project.

Following a public graphic design contest, city employees selected the winning design created by Billie Jean Puleo, a talented member of the team. Named after the innovative iPERL® water meter being installed, Pearl embodies the spirit of progress and technological advancement.

Designed with whimsy and functionality in mind, Pearl mirrors the real iPERL water meter, complete with radio frequency technology for seamless data transmission. With water-filled arms and legs symbolizing the vital role of water in the community, Pearl serves as a friendly reminder of the importance of this infrastructure project.

Appearing Everywhere!

Starting soon, Pearl will make appearances on the city’s water meter replacement project webpage, social media channels, and public relations marketing materials. Additionally, a life-size version of Pearl is on display in the main lobby of City Hall, the city commission chambers, and the utility customer service area, welcoming all visitors, and most importantly, raising awareness about this critical endeavor.

Everyone in Sanford is encouraged to keep an eye out for Pearl, snap a photo (or a selfie!), and share it on social media when the cheerful mascot is spotted.

Stay tuned for more updates on the water meter replacement project as the city works with its customers and citizens to build a better future! S

42 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
An iPerl water meter.
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 43 June 4-7 Water Distribution 2 Deltona $375.00 10-13 .............Backflow Tester ......................................................................... Deltona ..................... $425.00 13 .............Backflow recerts ........................................................................ Deltona ..................... $115.00 17-21 .............Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector .................................. Deltona ..................... $425.00 17-21 Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector Winter Garden $425.00 July 16-19 .............Wastewater Collection A ........................................................ Deltona ..................... $375.00 16-19 Water Distribution 1 Deltona $375.00 22-24 .............Wastewater Collection B ......................................................... Deltona ..................... $375.00 22-24 .............Backflow Repair ........................................................................ Gulfport .................... $355.00 24 .............Backflow recert ......................................................................... Gulfport .................... $115.00

Selecting a Construction Manager at Risk Early in the Process Benefits Your Project

With the overarching goal to design and construct a high-quality project within budget and on time, the construction manager at risk (CMAR) delivery method is becoming a popular option for many owners when evaluating the various collaborative delivery processes. One key advantage to CMAR delivery is that it puts owners in the driver’s seat, giving them the ability to select both the designer and the CMAR based on a “best value” selection process.

The question then becomes: When do you select and add the CMAR to the project team?

Historically, it has been a general practice to select a designer to develop a preliminary design report and 30 percent design documents to use in the request for proposal process for CMAR selection. Therefore, by the time the CMAR is selected and under contract, the designer had already progressed well beyond the 30 percent design phase.

This practice is becoming a thing of the past as owners now see the benefit of selecting the CMAR much earlier in the process, often well before the 30 percent design phase. Owners now understand that, when it comes to water infrastructure projects, early CMAR involvement can significantly enhance project outcomes by saving time and money. Engaging the CMAR early in the planning and design stages of a project offers several benefits that cannot be overstated.

Early Involvement Benefits

The three key benefits of early CMAR involvement are :

S Accelerated schedule

S Higher cost certainty

S Flexibility in decision making

Accelerated Schedule

Time is of the essence for any infrastructure project, and early CMAR involvement can play a pivotal role in expediting the schedule. By engaging an experienced CMAR from the project’s inception, valuable input can be integrated into the schedule, including critical path analysis, identification of long lead equipment, single or multiple guaranteed maximum price submissions, concurrent design and construction sequencing, permitting constraints, etc.

This early collaboration facilitates the identification of potential bottlenecks, feasibility challenges, and construction constraints, as well as provides valuable insights regarding construction methods and alternate approaches that can help optimize project timelines. Ultimately, an accelerated schedule can lead to cost savings, reduced disruption to the surrounding community, and earlier delivery of vital water infrastructure to meet growing demand.

Higher Cost Certainty

Cost overruns are a common challenge on infrastructure projects, often stemming from unexpected site conditions, scope changes, or unforeseen design issues. Early CMAR involvement can help mitigate these risks and provide better cost certainty for owners. Contractors bring practical insight into the project’s cost drivers for materials, labor, and equipment requirements and a CMAR is able to provide real-time pricing that reflects current market conditions and supply chain issues, thus enabling moreaccurate cost estimates during the planning and design stages.

Collaborating with a CMAR early also allows for value engineering exercises, where cost-saving opportunities are explored without compromising the project’s quality and performance. Alternative materials, construction methods, or design modifications can be vetted with the project team, which can lead to significant savings in material

Continued on page 46

44 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 45

Continued from page 44

and labor costs. Additionally, early engagement with the CMAR can facilitate the identification and mitigation of potential construction-related risks, thereby minimizing the likelihood of costly surprises during the construction phase.

By integrating a CMAR’s expertise into the decision-making process early, project owners can gain a comprehensive understanding of the project’s cost implications and make informed choices. The result is a

more-accurate budget and greater confidence in financial projections, reducing the likelihood of costly delays and the need for change orders.

Flexibility in Decision Making

Water infrastructure projects often involve complex engineering, environmental considerations, and regulatory requirements. Early CMAR involvement empowers project owners and stakeholders with increased flexibility in decision making. The CMAR can provide critical insights into design alternatives, construction methods, and project phasing that optimize the project’s functionality, durability, and sustainability.

With the CMAR on board from the beginning, potential conflicts between design intent and constructability can be resolved early, reducing the need for potentially expensive and time-consuming design changes during the construction phase. The CMAR can provide valuable input on the availability and suitability of construction materials and equipment, ensuring that the project remains on track—without delays or compromises.

Moreover, early collaboration fosters better teamwork among all project participants, allowing for more-effective communication and alignment of objectives. A common decision log capturing constructability, risk, and value engineering items can be used early in the process to guide the design and ensure the final product meets the owner’s expectations. By establishing a shared understanding of project goals, constraints, and opportunities, early CMAR involvement facilitates a smoother decisionmaking process and promotes a culture of collaboration, which ultimately enhances the overall project outcome.


For water infrastructure projects, early involvement of the CMAR brings numerous benefits to owners. An accelerated schedule, higher cost certainty, and flexibility in decision making are all results of early CMAR integration in the project that can lead to improved project outcomes, reduced risk, and greater stakeholder satisfaction.

Embracing early collaboration with a CMAR sets the stage for the project team to successfully and efficiently delivery vital water infrastructure projects, ensuring sustainable and resilient water systems for all communities.

Adam Corn is business development manager for Florida with Garney Construction in Winter Garden and is chair of the FSAWWA Contractors Council.

46 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal


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


Water Plant Operator

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

Citrus County BOCCWater Resources Vacancy

Engineer I - Performs routine professional and technical engineering work reviewing and evaluating plans for the design of new water/ wastewater infrastructure and provides general professional engineering services for departmental capital improvement projects.

Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or recent college graduate with internship experience in general civil engineering design, site development, residential development, transportation projects, and water and wastewater related projects. Must be a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the State of Florida.

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

Utilities Program Coordinator

$61,859 - $95,744/yr.

Utilities Electrician

$61,234 - $86,163/yr.

Utilities Electrician Apprentice

$55.542 - $78,152/yr.

Utilities Treatment Plant Operator I or Trainee

$55,542 - $78,152/yr. or $50,378 - $70,885/yr.

Utilities System Trainee or Operators II & III

$41,446, $45,693 - $64,297, $50,378 - $70,885/yr. Apply Online At: http://pompanobeachfl.gov Open until filled.

Water Reclamation Facility Operator III

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

Required Qualifications:

· Possess a valid high school diploma or GED equivalency.

· Possess and maintain a valid Driver License.

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

· Must be able to perform shift work.

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

Salary: $31.02 - $41.30 hourly


48 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Halff Associates - Water and Wastewater Team Leader

– Orlando, Fl & Tavares, Fl

Halff, an employee-owned, full-service engineering firm, has positions open for a Water and Wastewater Utilities Senior Project Manager, with the intention of transitioning to a Team Leader within 6-12 months. The positions are located in our Tavares and Orlando, FL locations. These positions require strong design experience and technical background working with local and state public utilities. The successful candidate should have experience managing multiple multi-disciplined project development teams, coordinating with clients and leading delivery of Water and Wastewater Infrastructure projects. In addition to project delivery responsibilities, candidates must demonstrate the ability to manage personnel, budgets, schedules, sub consultants and client interaction. The candidate will also assist the region’s business development activities. This position offers an excellent career development opportunity for someone looking to grow with Halff, with potential for not only business and personal growth while developing a Water/Wastewater team, but ownership in the firm.

Team Leader Qualfications:

· PE license in Florida

· Bachelor or Masters degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering

· 10+ years of experience including treatment facility and pipeline planning, design, and construction

· Strong communication skills, both written and verbal

· Experience managing design and plans production

· Familiarity with federal and state funding stream requirements is a plus

· Ability to manage multiple projects, clients, and lead technical support staff

· Ability to work in a team environment with multiple offices and various disciplines

· A positive attitude, be self-directed yet a team player, and have a focus on quality, integrity and success

Submit resume’s and requests for information to Ginger Nilsson, gNilsson@halff.com

Account Manager

USP Technologies seeks an Account Manager to live in the Jacksonville area. Qualified applicants will be responsible for managing existing municipal business in North Florida, as well as becoming point person for business in GA and SC. Responsibilities will include application of various chemistries used to control sulfide-related issues in collection systems and biosolids plants, as well as various industrial applications. Candidate should have 2-5 years working in municipal or industrial WWTP and be comfortable in an industrial environment. Ideal candidate will have BS in Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental or related technical field. For additional information, please send a copy of your resume and letter of interest to Abby Holder at abbie.holder@hach.com.


Petticoat-Schmitt Civil Contractors, a  construction firm specializing in water resources, public works, and site development projects, announces the promotion of Charles Tofferi, E.I., to director of preconstruction, a key leadership role in the firm. In this role, Tofferi will identify business opportunities, while training and developing an in-house team of estimators. “I am so appreciative of the opportunity to provide leadership and experience to guide and mentor the department, while growing and delivering better projects, building solid relationships, and providing strong revenue streams,” said Tofferi.

Tofferi bolsters his professional expertise in the construction industry as the holder of four contracting licenses in the state of Florida, including general contracting, underground utility, plumbing, and mechanical disciplines. He is currently in the final stage of achieving certification as a design-build professional, demonstrating a commitment to his experience and collaboration on design-build projects.

Tofferi will continue to set the standard for the company’s preconstruction services that form the fundamental foundation of each project. Supporting the firm’s overriding mission of ‘We Build Life Changing Infrastructure,” he will also leverage the collective experience and skills of his team and colleagues to deliver customized solutions, while bringing the greatest value to each project and client. “Since joining the Petticoat-Schmitt team just two years ago, Charles has worked hard and proven himself a valuable addition to the company. I am confident his passionate attention to detail and strong leadership skills make him the right fit for his new position. We’re thrilled to see the great things Charles will accomplish and bring to our estimating department,” said Lauren Atwell, Petticoat-Schmitt’s president and chief operating officer.

RThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved $6,419,944 in grant funding to reimburse Orange County for debris removal expenses after Hurricane Ian. The storm left extensive debris, resulting in a threat to public health and safety. Approximately 115,165 cubic yards of vegetative debris and 250,802 cubic yards of hurricane-generated debris were removed from roads and public property. The public assistance program of FEMA provides grants to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, so communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. Applicants work with FEMA to develop projects and scopes of work, which obligates funding for projects to the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) after final approval. Once a project is obligated, FDEM works closely with applicants to complete the grant process and begin making payments. The FDEM has procedures in place designed to ensure grant funding is provided to local communities as quickly as possible.

Some Florida residents could see their water and wastewater bills jump in the near future as city council members at Riviera Beach consider a new water treatment plant that could cost up to $300 million.

The news in Riviera comes as municipalities across the United States have recently considered an increase in water bills for a variety of reasons, ranging from new nanofiltration systems to reduce the levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), to less water storage in reservoirs because of because of damaged dams. Some municipalities are considering raising water and sewer bills to cover an increase in fuel, power, and chemical costs.

The $300 million cost comes as Riviera Beach city officials address other issues, such as water in a Riviera Beach well testing positive for  E. coli, which is a bacterium that normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals.

Florida Water Resources Journal • June 2024 49













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.

Test Yourself

Continued from page 31

1. D) all of the above. Fire hydrants are primarily used to provide water for fire trucks, flushing waterlines, and fighting fires.

2. C) prevent freezing. The operating valve on the dry barrel located at the bottom of a hydrant allows for emptying all the water to prevent freezing.

3. A) where winters are mild. The wet barrel hydrants have their operating valve at the outlet and can only be used where winters are mild.

4. C) post hydrant.

The most common type of hydrant used is the post hydrant.

5. B) 500 feet apart.

Fire hydrants should be no more than 500 feet apart.

6. B) intersections.

Within commercial districts fire hydrants should be placed or located at intersections.

7. D) all of the above. Water meters should be used on main supply lines, reservoir outlets, and each customer service line.

8. A) 98.5 percent of the water passing through it.

A small water meter’s sufficient accuracy is such that it does not register less than 98.5 percent of the water passing through it.

9. C) 101.5 percent of the water passing through it.

A small water meter’s sufficient accuracy is such that it does not register more than 101.5 percent of the water passing through it.

10. A)

A small water meter should have a head loss of no more than 20 psi.

50 June 2024 • Florida Water Resources Journal
20 psi.
Answer Key Display Advertiser Index Blue Planet Environmental Systems 51 CEU Challenge 11 Data Flow Systems ................................................................................................. 21 Engineered Pumps Inc 45 FJ Nugent 47 FSAWWA ............................................................................................................. 32-35 FWPCOA Trainiing Calendar 43 Gerber Pumps 9 Heyward...................................................................................................................... 2 Hudson Pump & Equipment 39 Hydro Internatioinal 5 Lakeside Equipment Corporation ........................................................................... 7 PolyProcessing 46 Smith & Loveless 19 Water Treatment & Control Technology ............................................................... 25 US Submergent 27 Veolia 23 Xylem ........................................................................................................................ 52
Editorial Calendar
....... Wastewater Treatment
Water Supply; Alternative Sources
........... Energy Efficiency; Environmental Stewardship
............. Conservation and Reuse
.............. Operations and Utilities Management
............. Biosolids Management and Bioenergy Production
.............. Stormwater Management; Emerging Technologies
......... Disinfection; Water Quality
Emerging Issues; Water Resources Management
....... New Facilities, Expansions, and Upgrades
Water Treatment
.... Distribution
Januar y 2016 Januar y 2016

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