Florida Water Resources Journal - July 2024

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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

2024 Florida Water Resources Conference Recap

News and Features

Activated Carbon Engineered Solution to Inactivate Karenia brevis and Adsorb Toxins Associated With Florida Red Tide—Domenic Contrino, Leverto Jean Charles, Benjamin Pepper, Alisia Holland, Vince Lovko, and Regina Rodriguez.



University of South Florida Wins AUTM 2024 Better World Project Award

AUTM (formerly the Association of University Technology Managers) has recognized the University of South Florida (USF) with its 2024 Better World Project Award for commercializing a wastewater sanitization technology designed to provide clean water, energy, and nutrients to individuals in remote locations. The award was announced at AUTM’s 2024 annual meeting in San Diego.

The AUTM Better World Project highlights the global impact of research commercialization and the vital role that technology transfer plays in that process. The annual award honors the exemplary work of one technology transfer office (TTO) from the stories submitted during the previous year.

“Congratulations to our colleagues at USF for work that truly is making the world a better place for individuals without access to clean water and sanitation,” said Stephen J. Susalka, chief executive officer of AUTM. “Its selection underscores how empowering technology transfer can be and exemplifies the impactful innovations that embody the Better World Project.”

The Winning Project

The USF NEWgenerator technology, developed by inventor Daniel Yeh, is self-sustaining and operates completely off-grid. It uses microbes to break down waste; then, byproducts, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, can be harvested as fertilizers and the clean water can be used for irrigation or other applications.

Recognizing the potential impact of this breakthrough technology, the USF TTO team collaborated with the inventors and lawyers to secure intellectual property protection. To ensure this technology could reach people in remote areas around the globe, the technology transfer team partnered with humanitarian aid organizations and executed nonexclusive licensing agreements with companies in multiple countries to manufacture and deploy the NEWgenerator systems.

“The USF is honored to have been selected for this prestigious award that recognizes the impact of the work we do with industry collaborators,” said Michele Tyrpak, director, USF TTO. “NEWgenerator is a remarkable innovation that can truly make a difference in the world. We are pleased to have partnered with organizations, like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to facilitate implementation of this technology, for the people who need it most.”

Project Selection

More than 50 stories were submitted to the project last year. The Better World Project Committee narrowed them down to three very worthy finalists, and the winner was decided by a public vote in which 1,400 ballots were cast. The committee was cochaired by Carlos A. Báez-Pagán, Ph.D., MBA, RTTP, associate director of the TTO of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust, and Ann Amidzich, senior intellectual property manager at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“Congratulations to our TTO colleagues at USF and to the other finalists for showing the important role technology transfer professionals play in creating a better world,” Báez-Pagán and Amizdich said. “We appreciate all the stories that were submitted in this last round and look forward to reading all the new submissions in the coming year.”

The other two finalists were:

S The Technology Development office at Boston University, for working with inventor Ed Damiano to commercialize iLet, a bionic pancreas for managing Type 1 diabetes.

S The Office of Technology Commercialization at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, for partnering with Sarepta Therapeutics to commercialize ELEVIDYS, a gene therapy treatment for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

About AUTM

A nonprofit leader in efforts to educate, promote, and inspire professionals, AUTM supports the development of academic research that changes the world and drives innovation forward. Its community is comprised of more than 3,000 members who work in more than 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses, and government organizations around the globe.

To learn more about AUTM, visit www.autm.net. S

2024 AWWA State of the Water Industry Report Now Available

Even with climate change challenges, aging infrastructure, threats to water supply, and other obstacles, the water community is feeling more optimistic year-over-year about the sector’s ability to overcome major issues and support and improve water systems and services.

Produced annually by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), this year’s State of the Water Industry report marks the 21th edition of the industry’s most trusted source of data. The responses continue a six-year trend of increasing optimism, rating 5 on a scale of 1 to 7 (with the exception of 2021, which was during the COVID-19 pandemic), about the water industry, now and in the future.

Infrastructure Dethroned

For the first time in the survey’s 21-year history, source water protection has emerged as the top issue for water professionals, surpassing the long-standing top concern of aging infrastructure. As the industry addresses complex issues, such as emerging contaminants that threaten water quality, is it prepared to protect the source?

The report provides valuable insights into the challenges and priorities facing the water sector. This year’s report, based on a survey of more than 2,400 water professionals conducted

in late 2023, highlights key trends and emerging concerns. In addition to source water protection, other issue cited were aging infrastructure, perand polyfluoroalkyl substances, cybersecurity, climate change, workforce, and more.

Discover how this year’s report offers a fresh perspective on the water industry’s most pressing challenges. With its comprehensive analysis of current trends and future projections, the report is an essential tool for water community professionals seeking to stay ahead of the curve.

Plus, this year’s executive summary views the data through the lens of AWWA’s Water 2050 think tank drivers:

S Sustainability

S Technology

S Economics

S Governance

S Social Demographics

Planning for All Emergencies

This most recent survey asked utility respondents if their utility has considered and/or implemented plans to assess risk and resilience and emergency preparedness. Overall, 88 percent of all utility respondents have fully implemented or are in the process of preparing emergency response plans, and 72 percent of all utility respondents have fully implemented or are in the process of implementing a risk and resilience assessment.

As stewards of public health and the environment, water professionals understand the importance of protecting water supplies, securing physical and cyber systems, and planning for routine and extreme events. By incorporating resilience into a risk management framework, utilities can improve their response and recovery strategies, thereby mitigating the potential for loss of service.

To download the 2024 State of the Water Industry report or request a copy go to www.


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SMART Utility Management Systems and Decision Support Tools for Informed Decisions

Sarasota County (county), a coastal community in Florida, owns, operates, and maintains a wastewater collection, pumping, and transmission system. To operate and maintain a sustainable wastewater collection system (WCS) and minimize the potential of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), the county has been developing and implementing a capacity, management, operations, and maintenance (CMOM) program over the past six years.

In 2020, the county developed and submitted a CMOM program plan (CMOM plan) in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance document

and industry best practices. The CMOM plan included an evaluation of the county’s existing CMOM-related programs and practices and resulted in a series of recommended action items with an implementation schedule. The county began its CMOM plan implementation in 2021 to achieve the following goals:

S Manage, operate, and maintain all parts of the WCS properly and continuously.

S Provide adequate capacity to convey base and peak design flows throughout the WCS.

S Take all feasible actions to prevent SSOs or spills and mitigate the environmental and public impacts of any such releases.

Bryan T. Veith, P.E., Assoc. DBIA, F. ASCE, is president and principal consultant with Veith Engineering & Business Solutions in Sarasota. Gregory Rouse, P.E., is engineering division manager with Sarasota County Public Utilities. Sean Fitzgerald, P.E., is vice president with Hazen and Sawyer in Cincinnati.

S Notify the public and other directly affected parties of any WCS SSOs or spills.

In support of its goals outlined, the county developed its CMOM vision as:

“To be recognized as a digitally SMART utility with a best-in-class CMOM program that is highly effective in resource allocation to protect the public health and environment and promote financial stewardship and sustainable growth.”

SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based

The county authorized the team of Hazen and Sawyer (Hazen) and Veith Engineering & Business Solutions (VEBS) to assist in implementing the county’s CMOM program to achieve its vision, mission, and goals. The key to achieving the CMOM vision for its management program required the enhancement and creation of existing and new resources, processes, and tools.

The primary focus of this article is the presentation of the new management system processes and decision support tools implemented and used by the Sarasota County Public Utilities (SCPU) engineering division, planning, asset management, and regulatory work groups and the resulting benefits. Business case evaluation (BCE), capital improvement plan (CIP) prioritization, collaborative project delivery, record drawing/asset onboarding decision support tools, and data warehouse framework will be discussed, and examples will be given.

Figure 1. New Sarasota County Public Utilities wastewater collection system Microsoft Power BI dashboard. (source: SCPU, Hazen, and VEBS) Continued on page 10

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2. DRIER CAKE SOLIDS: P6 PolyMix® technology optimizes the polymer and sludge mixing process, allowing INCREASE DEWATERED SOLIDS CONCENTRATION and INCREASED PERCENT SOLIDS CAPTURED. This unique mixing process results in more efficient sludge hauling, allowing customers to transport less water and more dewatered cake off-site.

3. ELIMINATION OF PUMP MAINTENANCE: P6 PolyMix® technology reduces pump parts and maintenance by utilizing the abrasion-resistant Discflo pumping principles of Boundary Layer/Viscous Drag. This principle can save the customer thousands of dollars in parts and maintenance over the lifetime of the equipment. All P6 PolyMix® systems in the municipal market include a 10-YEAR (extendable to 20 years) 100% WET END WEAR WARRANTY, No other pump manufacturer in the industry provides a wear warranty, let alone a 20-year wear warranty!

4. PUMPS & MIXES: P6 PolyMix® technology uses the unique principles of Boundary Layer/Viscous Drag for mixing polymer versus a mixer/check valve; this, paired with its unique InjeX™ polymer injection mixing chamber, is designed for MINIMAL POLYMER DEGRIDATION, allowing for maximum polymer savings. The hydraulic shear forces within the mixing pump provide a complete homogeneous wastewater polymer slurry fed to the dewatering equipment without breaking the long chain polymers or reducing floc size.

5. LOWER OPERATING PRESSURE AND INSTALLED HORESPOWER: P6 PolyMix® technology dramatically reduces the operating pressure by reducing back pressure within the piping system due to eliminating mixer/check valves. In some applications, customers have had a 75% REDUCTION IN PRESSURE Lower pressure allows the feed pump to operate at lower horsepower. HORSEPOWER SAVINGS OF UP TO 50% OR MORE are possible by installing a P6 PolyMix® system. Customers can see substantial long-term energy savings and reduced upfront capital costs associated with lower installed horsepower.

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The county owns, operates, and maintains a WCS with major assets, including various types of pumping stations (approximately 675 lift stations [LS], 20 master vacuum stations, and 60 low-pressure stations), 550 mi of force mains, approximately 1,273 air release valves, 810 mi of gravity sewers, vacuum mains, approximately 19,648 sanitary manholes, and laterals (in county rights of way or utility easements). To operate and maintain its WCS, while minimizing the potential for SSOs, the county has been developing and implementing a CMOM program since 2018. In December 2020, a CMOM plan was submitted to the county to achieve compliance with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection consent order, and

the Suncoast Waterkeeper stipulated order. This CMOM plan documented the current WCS and CMOM program of SCPU, identified its gaps, and included a multiyear implementation plan, with activities and a schedule to address the gaps following its newly defined vision, mission, goals, and objectives.

Another focus of this article is the “M” or ‘management” of CMOM with respect to SCPU being a digitally SMART utility through enhanced processes supported by the electronic collection and analytics of new data and decision support tools.

The key subprograms under management include, but are not limited to, design, engineering, and construction standards; information management; budgeting; and funding (financial management). The WCS rehabilitation and replacement (R&R) needs are addressed through the CMOM planning framework and support programs, such as financial management, budgeting, and funding. During the CMOM development phase in 2020, the following gaps were identified in these management support programs:

S The county did not have best-in-class processes for evaluating, developing, or prioritizing its CIP projects.

S The county did not have a formalized and structured BCE process to help prioritize projects or select a WCS project to solve a problem from a list of possible alternatives.

S The county was not documenting or updating information regarding ongoing WCS condition assessments and resulting risk score updates.

S The county’s process for onboarding WCS assets into its management systems was not consistent, complete, or timely.

S The county did not have a “centralized information system” for its varying sources and types of data, with dashboard and reporting for real-time access, use, monitoring, and analysis.

Because of these gaps, and based on the county’s vision and mission, it was recommended that it implement new processes and tools for the following CMOM subprograms and work activities:

S A formalized CIP prioritization process for the SCPU WCS to support financial planning and decision making for the following work activities:

• Enhanced CIP development and prioritization process, guidance manual, and new decision support tool

• Project evaluation, justification, and validation to be formally added to the process


• New process, guidance manual, and training

• New financial analytics and decision support tool

S Record Drawings and Asset Onboarding

• Enhanced process and new guidance manual

• New asset onboarding tool to automate asset integration into county GIS and CMMS

S Data Warehouse (Data Hub)

• New framework, process, resources, tools, dashboards, and reporting

Figure 2. Business case evaluation process overview.
Figure 3. Capital improvement plan prioritization guidance manual.

County’s Goals and Mission


S Reduce SSOs and improve stakeholder public trust.

S Document the CMOM program and meet regulatory milestones.

S Capture the county’s institutional knowledge, document its existing programs, and develop improved training programs.

S Develop a preeminent CMOM program that provides efficient and effective allocation of operation and maintenance and capital resources, including staff education, buy-in, training, and commitment.

S Conduct data management and collect, review, organize, manage, and use data in a centralized information management system for more-informed and timely decision making.

The county’s CMOM mission statement is to:

“Protect and preserve the public’s health and safety by effectively managing the sanitary sewer collection system utilizing best practices, leveraging technology, and the effective use and allocation of resources.”

Digitally Smart Utility

One of the key goals of the CMOM program implementation was to create a centralized data hub to provide the ability to view data (i.e., closed-circuit television [CCTV], customer information systems [CIS], computerized maintenance management systems [CMMS], financial information system [FIS], geographic information systems [GIS], supervisory control and data acquisition [SCADA], hydraulic modeling, Acela, E-builder, and flow monitoring) collected and managed through the various CMOM subprograms. This data hub will be designed to coordinate with the county’s current Microsoft Power BI visualization initiative (see Figure 1 as an example of county SSO and LS data tracking).

Key challenges facing the county are lack of data integration, consistency, and time series; data ownership and maintenance; and timely and accurate data. The county’s key platform/ solution’s utilitywide success criteria are as follows:

S Increased accessibility to quality information and data

S Standardized process for requesting and approving datasets

S Maintained/calibrated devices and instruments and well-integrated data

S Time series analysis

S Enhanced performance management through monitoring of key performance indicators

S Users enabled to create their own insightful dashboards

Figure 5. Capital improvement plan project development process overview.
Figure 4. Work process flow diagram.
Figure 6. Capital improvement plan project validation and prioritization process overview.

Continued from page 11

The data hub framework is currently being developed in 2024 and is planned to go live in 2026.

In addition to enhancing the county’s real-time electronic (digital) data collection capabilities, the county has also simultaneously developed the framework, processes, and tools to be performance-metric-driven for continuous improvement.

Management System Process Enhancements

Business Case Evaluation

The BCE process was developed to address the gap in the county not having a formalized and structured evaluation process for solving problems using quantitative and qualitative economic, technical, and social factors, and both current and life cycle costs to select the desired solution to prioritize or select funding for WCS projects.

Figure 2 shows a work process flow diagram from the initial step of stating the problem, i.e., developing the problem statement through several steps of alternative analysis using a triple bottom line, to validating and selecting the solution (project).

A BCE data analysis and decision support tool in Excel was developed to support the BCE evaluation process. The BCE tool is discussed further in the decision support tools section.

Continued on page 14

Figure 7. As-is record drawing and asset onboarding process overview.
Figure 8. Record drawings and asset onboarding process, resource, and tool enhancements.
Figure 9. Business case evaluation tool dashboard and “what-if” scenario analysis data.
Figure 10. Example of business case evaluation tool alternatives analysis calculation worksheet.
Figure 11. Noncost factors were prioritized and scored for each alternative.


Breakthrough Water Technology Of The Decade


Following its introduction to North America in 2016, AquaNereda® Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology is quickly becoming the most sought-after wastewater treatment system in the U.S. and Canada with many plants in design and several plants currently under construction.

Consultants and end-users have realized the process and cost saving benefits associated with AquaNereda technology through on-site pilot testing, installation visits and technical seminars. The result is complete confidence in a progressive technology that ensures full plant compliance and peace of mind. Florida is no exception with plants currently pre-selected, under construction, or operational in 2024.

• Exceptional effluent without chemical addition

• Designed to meet or exceed nutrient removal demands

• Small footprint that easily retrofits into existing basins

Represented by:

Chuck Hlavach Sarasota, FL C (941) 915-4861


• Reduced cost due to minimal civil site construction

• Low total cost of ownership

Greg Slohoda Orlando, FL C (239) 963-4467


Jon Fernald St. Petersburg, FL C (813) 541-6127



Social Customer satisfaction, trust, aesthetics, safety, health



Habitat preservation, adherence to standards, ecofriendly, odor

Reliability, key performance indicators (KPI), estimated useful life (EUL), level of service (LOS)

Capital Improvement Plan Prioritization Process

The CIP prioritization process was developed to address the gap in the county not having a formalized and structured evaluation process for selecting and prioritizing “at-risk”, i.e., R&R and growth-driven projects based on a set funding level. A scenario analysis can be run based on changing the available funding, project evaluation weightings, and other factors.

A new guidance manual (Figure 3) and training were prepared that discuss the need, framework, process changes, and new decision support tool, and provide an overview of the recording training sessions.

Figure 4 shows the new work process flow diagrams from the initial step of feeding “at-risk” projects from the county’s newly developed collection system asset management program (CSAMP) and growth-driven projects, such as those identified through the its largescale master planning, planning studies and evaluations, and land development submittals. Figures 5 and 6 provide an overview of the new CIP prioritization and project validation process.

Noncost Related Factor Criteria
Table 1. Noncost-Related Factors Guidance Criteria for Scoring
Figure 12. Capital improvement plan tool project cover sheet and data (cell) entry guidance legend.
Figure 13. Capital improvement plan tool prioritization analysis worksheet.

Record Drawing and Asset Onboarding Process


S Record drawing and asset onboarding package submittals are typically incomplete.

S Submittals are not electronic, requiring much manual labor for asset onboarding data review, entry, and processing from SCPU and GIS staff.

S Time from receipt of asset onboarding submittal to integration into the county’s information management systems (GIS, CMMS, and FIS) has taken up to a year.

Figure 7 shows the county’s as-is record drawing and asset onboarding business process.

Proposed Record Drawing and Asset Onboarding Submittal and Integration Process

The following changes are being implemented to streamline and improve the accuracy of asset onboarding data entry and time to go live into the county’s CMMS and GIS.

S Electronic submittals and uploads

S Automated completeness checks

S Standardized asset data forms for easy data integration into GIS and CMMS

Decision Support Tools Overview

Business Case Evaluation Tool

The BCE tool contains a summary dashboard with the data and results needed for informed decision making by the utility owner. The dashboard (Figure 9) also contains several data input cells (highlighted in lime green) for decision makers to update key financial input values to run “what-if” scenarios to analyze the change in analysis period duration (i.e., 20 years, 50 years), estimated future cost escalation (percent), and discount rate (percent).

The dashboard is fed with data input from backup data and calculation worksheets for each of the alternatives being considered, including the “do-nothing” alternative. When the analysis beginning year, analysis period duration, future cost escalation percentage, alternative names, and discount rate percentages are changed, the dashboard is automatically updated, including displaying the highest-ranked alternative. Figure 10 shows an example of a completed alternative back data and calculation worksheet. Blue cells are calculation-only cells and are protected and locked from editing by a password; green cells are data input cells.

Figure 11 shows the data entry screen for the alternative qualification rating process. Table 1 shows the noncost related factors criteria to guide the BCE project scoring.

Capitalization Improvement Project Development and Prioritization Process Tool

The CIP prioritization worksheet tool (CIP tool) has been developed as an integral part of the SCPU-enhanced CIP prioritization process. The CIP tool has three separate worksheets that require data input from county staff. The CIP tool was designed to standardize the process in which projects are evaluated by ensuring that the same process is applied to each project’s scoring.

Data input is either free form (green cell) or selected from a predetermined drop-down list (white) for ease and to make for more-consistent data entry (Figure 12).

The CIP prioritization analysis worksheet is where the formal project scoring is performed by county staff for each project. The project scoring process is based on evaluation factors (see left

Continued on page 16

Continued from page 15

column in Figure 13) and weighting values (each factor will be assigned low, medium, or high, corresponding to values of 1, 2, and 3, respectively). The weighted score is the project favorability score, for each factor (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) multiplied by the weighting score (1, 2, or 3). Each project will have a unique final prioritized score that is the sum of all the weighted scores for each factor.

After all the CIP projects have completed their scoring and prioritization analysis, key details will autopopulate in the CIP tool’s priority analysis summary, as shown in Figure 14. The sheet will update each time scoring, and the allowable funding values are changed for the projects. The project-funded lists (Y shaded in green) will recalculate each time the projects are reranked.

Record Drawing and Asset Onboarding Tool

The county’s record drawing and asset onboarding tool was developed to capture private land development, county unit price contracts, and capital projects asset onboarding data in a user-friendly Excel/CSV format aligned with the county’s GIS and CMMS asset hierarchy. The user is provided with green and white shaded data entry cells, with white allowing easy input through the data drop-down menu. The data from these sheets easily integrate into the county’s CMMS and GIS for enhanced completeness, accuracy, and timing. Examples of the tool are shown in Figure 15.

Data Warehouse

Digitally SMART Utility

The county is in the early stages of implementing a centralized information management system, called Data Warehouse, to become a best-in-class digitally SMART utility. The data warehouse framework is currently being developed to establish goals, objectives, and scope; data administration and ownership; data sources; data integration; data reporting; platform options; access and security; implementation plan and phasing

for data ingestion and orchestration; and longterm business processes that will involve morecomplicated systems (i.e., SCADA historian or other sources that are difficult to connect to, or require a lot of scrubbing). Figure 16 shows the transition from their current data in silos to the centralized information managements system.


1. CMOM Yr. 3 Business Case Evaluation Guidance Manual and Example Pilot Project.

2. CMOM Yr. 3 Business Case Evaluation Guidance Manual and Example Pilot Project.

3. CMOM Yr. 3 Record Drawing and Asset Transfer Policies and Procedures Framework. S

Figure 16. County utilities data source integration with a new data hub.
Figure 14. Capital improvement plan tool prioritization analysis worksheet.
Figure 15. Screenshots for the asset onboarding data tool.

The FWRC technical program provides man opportunities to share your environmental knowledge and solutions to water and wastewater professionals at the 2025 Florid Water Resources Conference. Join industry professionals dedicated to improving and sustaining Florida's water.

Submit your abstract for consideration as a session, workshop or roundtable discussion

Registration will open September 16, 2024.

FWEA FOCUS Emerging Technologies and Stormwater Management

Iwant to use my column this month to address the magazine’s themes: emerging technologies and stormwater management.

Emerging Technologies

I am pleased to introduce FWEA’s newest technical committee this month. The Emerging Water Technology Committee, chaired by Tim Ware of Arcadis, will explore and present emerging innovative water technologies and products to our water community. This will allow our industry suppliers and manufacturers to showcase their innovations successfully applied to address issues in our water industry.

Stormwater Management

As we all know, stormwater is a critical part of the water cycle. How we manage it is essential to the sustainability of our water supply and it is difficult to talk about stormwater management without considering its interdependence to the water supply.

Florida averages between 50 and 60 inches of rainfall annually and the state’s five water management districts (WMDs) manage this resource. The WMDs employ the use of long-term (20-year horizon) regional water supply plans to access and manage the state’s water resources to serve Florida’s growing population, while at the same time protecting the environment. These plans are updated every five years.

Stormwater management techniques attempt to balance these complex needs and one complex issue is the protection of our surface waters.

In October 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorized the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting program in the state of Florida (in all areas except Indian Country lands). The FDEP’s authority to administer the NPDES program is set forth in section 403.0885, Florida Statutes (F.S.). The NPDES stormwater program regulates point source discharges of stormwater into surface waters of the state of Florida from certain municipal, industrial, and construction activities.

As the NPDES stormwater permitting authority, FDEP is responsible for promulgating rules and issuing permits, managing and reviewing permit applications, and performing compliance and enforcement activities.

The Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) Program regulates activities in, on, or over surface waters or wetlands, as well as any activity involving the alteration of surface water flows. This includes new activities in uplands that generate stormwater runoff from upland construction, as well as dredging and filling in wetlands and other surface waters. Environmental Resource Permit applications are processed by either FDEP or one of the state’s WMDs, in accordance with the division of responsibilities specified in operating agreements between FDEP and the WMDs. The ERP Program is in effect throughout the state.

The WMDs established minimum flows and levels (MFLS) of Florida’s surface waters to preserve their ecological and aesthetic

Aerial photo of the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority.
Map of Florida’s water management districts.

value benefits. Water providers are allowed to withdraw surface water during high flow or elevated levels and implement offline storage systems, which can be reservoirs or aquifer and storage recovery [ASR] well fields to store stormwater flows and recover the stored water for use during periods of low rainfall, flow, or water levels. The Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority utilizes such a reservoir system.

As you know, ASR is the storage of water in an aquifer using a dual-purpose well that is used for both recharge and recovery of water. As part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) implemented by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the SFWMD has conducted numerous studies to determine where and when to implement ASR as a means of storing excess surface water during the rainy season for use during the dry season. The SFMWD also uses water conservation areas (WCAs) or reservoirs to manage Everglades water levels and provide storage and treatment of excess stormwater runoff.

The SFWMD utilizes these WCAs to collect stormwater (excess surface water) to a system of canals and remotely operated pumps and gates to manage groundwater levels in the coastal communities of south Florida. The canal surface water levels are kept above sea level to provide groundwater aquifer recharge and function as a hydraulic barrier for saltwater intrusion into the freshwater aquifer.

While the minimum flows and levels address the quantity of this water resource, a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), in general, manages the quality of the water resource. The state is comprised of over 30 BMAPs.

The goal of the BMAPs is to restore the water quality of water bodies within a defined geographic area or water basin. Through the BMAP, local and state entities commit to projects to reduce pollutant loading. These reductions are achieved by establishment of a total maximum daily load, which guides FDEP when establishing effluent discharge limits for water reclamation facilities, urban and farming best management practices, and conservation efforts to reduce pollutant loads to the water bodies. The FDEP is required to update the nutrient loadings by July 2025 and it has established a BMAP dashboard to track the updating process: http://Floridadep.gov/dear/water-qualityrestoration/content/basin-managementaction-plans-bmaps

A Final Thought

l will leave you this month with a question: Which is more important, water quality or flood control? When I worked as the district engineer for the Central Broward Drainage District, I found it fascinating that everyone within the district was concerned

about stormwater management to improve runoff water quality—until a flood event occurred. Then, the focus abruptly shifted to flood control.

We must always consider the balance between these two objectives when designing stormwater management systems. S

Everglades Wildlife Management Areas.
Locations of the Basin Management Action Plans in Florida.

Innovative Solutions for Effective Stormwater Management in Urban Environments

Urbanization is on the rise, with more people choosing to call cities their home. While this movement brings countless advantages, it also poses significant challenges, particularly in stormwater management.

In densely populated urban areas, the efficient control and mitigation of flooding caused by intense rainfall is paramount. To tackle this issue engineers, urban planners, and environmentalists are hard at work developing innovative solutions for effective stormwater management.

Urbanization and Stormwater Challenges

As urban landscapes expand and grow, impermeable surfaces, such as roads, parking lots, and buildings, often replace the natural terrain. This transition disrupts the natural water cycle, resulting in an increased volume of water runoff during rainfall.

Inadequate drainage systems and aging infrastructures compound the problem, leading to urban flooding, property damage, and even injury or loss of life.

Rapid industrialization and urban growth are some of the main causes of this issue. The Industrial Revolution led to rapid urbanization in the late 18th century, as people flocked to cities in search of employment in factories. This unprecedented growth strained existing infrastructure and led to poorly planned, densely populated areas.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as city

growth continued, urban planning was often inadequate, if it existed at all. Cities expanded haphazardly, resulting in irregular street layouts and insufficient drainage systems. Lack of comprehensive planning exacerbated stormwater management issues.

Today, many older cities have stormwater and sewage infrastructure that cannot handle the volume and intensity of current rainfall totals. Over time, these systems have aged and deteriorated, leading to frequent leaks and overflows. Climate change has also led to morefrequent and intense storms. Urban areas are illprepared to handle such rapid influxes of water, causing flooding and infrastructure damage.

One of the most notable recent incidents is Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans in 2005. The failure of stormwater management systems during and after the hurricane led to catastrophic flooding. Levee breaches and inadequate drainage systems caused widespread devastation. The storm claimed over 1,800 lives, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in United States history. This event led engineers to rethink stormwater management regarding urban planning and architectural design.

Professionals in various fields—including restoration and remediation technicians—have collaborated to devise innovative stormwater management strategies to address these issues. These experts are crucial in assessing water damage and restoring affected areas to their pre-storm conditions. They assist in detaining stormwater, removing pollutants, and implementing green infrastructure to capture and reuse stormwater.

In addition, professionals can provide consultation on the proactive management of manufactured lakes and stormwater ponds in urban areas, which involves maintaining a

healthy aquatic ecosystem through measures such as dredging and biomanipulation techniques, stabilizing shorelines, and using nutrient remediation methods.

Technologies, Practices, and Innovations

To combat the issues related to stormwater, communities, businesses, governments, and individuals are adopting sustainable practices.

Green Infrastructure

One of the most promising developments in urban stormwater management is incorporating green infrastructure. This strategy aims to restore natural hydrological processes within urban areas. Green infrastructure includes a variety of features, such as green roofs, permeable pavement, bioswales, and rain gardens. These elements capture and slow the flow of water, allowing it to naturally filter and absorb into the ground.

Green Roofs

Green roofs are innovative architectural features that introduce vegetation to the rooftops of buildings. They serve a dual purpose: enhancing urban aesthetics and contributing to effective stormwater management. Restoration and remediation professionals assist in assessing the structural integrity of buildings, and ensure proper installation and maintenance of the vegetative roofing system. By using specialized growth mediums, green roofs absorb and retain rainwater, reducing the overall volume of water runoff. They collect between 40 and 80 percent of rainwater and release it slowly. Green roofs also act as natural insulators, improving energy efficiency and air quality, and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens—or bioretention areas— are landscaped areas specifically designed to capture and manage stormwater runoff. These aesthetically pleasing features utilize a variety of native plants and specially engineered soil to absorb, filter, and slow down the flow of rainwater.

They help reduce flooding by allowing water to percolate into the ground, minimizing the burden on conventional drainage systems. Beyond their flood control benefits, rain gardens also enhance urban biodiversity and provide habitats for wildlife, creating green pockets within city landscapes.


Bioswales are engineered landscape features designed to channel and manage water runoff effectively. These vegetated channels, or ditches, are typically lined with vegetation and soil engineered to capture and treat rainwater as it flows.

By filtering out pollutants and allowing water to infiltrate the ground, bioswales reduce the burden on stormwater infrastructure and prevent urban flooding. They are pivotal in enhancing water quality and promoting a more-sustainable approach to urban water management.

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting has gained prominence as a sustainable solution to stormwater management in urban areas. The collected water can be used for irrigation, toilet flushing and other household uses, and cooling systems. By diminishing the volume of stormwater entering conventional drainage systems, rainwater harvesting alleviates the strain on infrastructure and conserves freshwater resources.

Urban Tree Canopies

Urban tree canopies comprise the network of trees within urban environments, offering several significant benefits, including stormwater management. Trees are critical in reducing the risk of flooding by absorbing rainwater and releasing it back into the atmosphere through transpiration. Moreover, they provide shade, which cools urban areas and decreases evaporation rates. By expanding and preserving urban tree canopies, cities can enhance their resilience to extreme weather events and improve air quality.

Permeable Pavement

Permeable pavement is a pioneering solution to urban flood control that transforms traditional impervious surfaces into permeable ones. These surfaces allow rainwater to infiltrate

through the pavement and into the ground below, thus reducing runoff and preventing flooding.

The materials used take various forms— porous concrete, pavers, or asphalt—with each offering a resilient and efficient way to address stormwater management in urban areas. By replacing conventional roads, parking lots, and sidewalks with permeable alternatives, cities can drastically reduce the risk of flooding and improve water quality through the natural filtration of pollutants.

Green Streets

Also known as ecofriendly or sustainable streets, green streets are an effective stormwater management tool. Key features include using permeable pavements, strategically planted trees, and the integration of bioswales and rain gardens, combining multiple green technologies. This multifaceted approach allows green streets to capture and filter rainwater, curbing the volume of runoff that can lead to flooding. In addition to their flood control benefits, they improve air quality, urban cooling, and aesthetic enhancements, transforming urban environments into more-sustainable and pleasant places for residents to live and work.

Continued on page 22

Underground Storage and Detention Systems

In highly developed urban areas with limited space for green infrastructure, underground storage and detention systems provide an effective alternative. These systems consist of underground tanks or chambers designed to store excess stormwater.

By temporarily holding water during heavy rainfall, they prevent downstream flooding and can slowly release it when the storm has passed. This controlled release of water reduces the pressure on drainage systems and minimizes the risk of urban flooding.

WaterGate Rapid Solution

WaterGate is a versatile and rapidly deployable flood barrier system. During flooding, its innovative design allows companies to install it quickly to protect critical infrastructure and homes. The barrier consists of lightweight, modular elements that can easily be assembled, providing an effective defense against rising waters.

Whether used to secure access points, shore up embankments, or protect vulnerable areas, WaterGate offers a flexible and scalable solution to urban flood control. Its adaptability and rapid deployment capabilities make it a valuable tool for mitigating the immediate impacts of flooding and reducing damage to both public and private property.

Smart Stormwater Management

The digital age has brought a wealth of opportunities for more-efficient stormwater management. Smart systems use advanced sensors, data analytics, and real-time monitoring to predict and respond to storm events. These systems can autonomously adjust water levels in storage tanks, control water flow, and provide early warnings to relevant authorities and residents. By optimizing stormwater management in this way, the impact of heavy rains can be mitigated more effectively.

Flood Guards

Flood guards are a state-of-the-art fluid

monitoring and prediction system that provides timely and accurate information during potential floods. A flood guard continuously monitors weather conditions, river levels, and other critical parameters, and is equipped with a network of sensors and advanced data analytics.

When adverse weather patterns indicate an increased risk of flooding, the system issues early warnings to relevant authorities and communities, allowing them to implement precautionary measures and evacuate residents if necessary. This proactive approach to flood management is invaluable in reducing property damage, protecting lives, and enhancing the overall resilience of urban areas.

Preparation and Future Planning

Responding to Emergencies

In emergency response situations, it’s always important to ensure adequate preparation. Creating emergency action plans, implementing advanced early warning systems, developing evacuation plans, and maintaining stockpiles of emergency resources can help ensure individuals and communities are better-prepared in the event of a storm.

Additionally, a utility trailer can be a valuable tool in an emergency situation. These trailers are purpose-built to transport essential supplies and equipment to affected areas swiftly, effectively turning them into a lifeline for disaster-stricken communities. It’s important, however, to select aluminum over steel trailers, as steel is vulnerable to water exposure and has a tendency to rust.

Resilient Infrastructure

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of storms, making it essential for cities to adopt resilient infrastructure. Modular systems, which can be adapted and expanded, provide cities with the flexibility to adjust to changing storm patterns and growing urban populations.

By embracing resilient infrastructure, cities can reduce the long-term costs associated with stormwater management and enhance their ability to control urban flooding.

Urban Planning and Design

Effective stormwater management starts with adequate urban planning and design. Forward-thinking city planners are incorporating stormwater management into their plans from the outset, integrating green spaces, sustainable drainage systems, and flood-resistant infrastructure into the urban landscape. By doing so, they’re not only mitigating the effects of stormwater, but also creating more-livable and sustainable cities.

These advanced stormwater management solutions offer resilient, sustainable, and highly effective ways to address urban water challenges. By combining and customizing these techniques to fit the specific needs of a given urban environment, stormwater professionals can help mitigate the adverse impacts of urbanization, and protect lives and property during extreme weather events.

Adopting Innovative Solutions for Stormwater Management

Around the world, increasing numbers of people are living in cities. Unfortunately, most of the structures they currently live in were not built in a time when the effective draining of flood water was essential. Urbanization may bring about numerous challenges, but it also serves as a catalyst for innovation.

Cities are now actively seeking new and sustainable ways to deal with stormwater and protect their residents. Those in the water industry and other professionals can bring their expertise in assessing water damage implementing green infrastructure measures, and ensuring compliance with stormwater management regulations in order for these solutions to be effective.

By embracing cutting-edge innovations, urban areas can adapt to current and future stormwater challenges and enhance the overall quality of life.

Oscar Collins is founder and editor in chief of Modded. This article was originally published in the November 2023 issue of Restoration and Remediation. S

Highlights From the 2024 Florida Water Resources Conference

Thank you to all the attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and volunteers for a great 2024 Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC)! Supported by Florida Section American Water Works Association (FSAWWA), Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), and Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (FWPCOA), the conference was held April 2-6 at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee.

FWRC is so highly regarded as a premier event in the water/wastewater business.

Networking events brought to life the many ways water professionals are growing and thriving in their careers. With the various opportunities and challenges they face on a daily basis, the broad array of technical presentations, roundtables, and symposiums provided many answers for them.

for Palm Beach County and is an instructor for water and wastewater courses there.

Other presenters were Colin Devitt, Suzette Irizarry, Manuel Moncholi, and Zakir Hirani from Stantec. Attendees also reviewed the current and future possibilities of DPR rules and regulations.

Women of Water Forum

I hope everyone found the conference successful and that you were able to exceed your goals and make new connections.

2024 FWRC by the Numbers

Here are some statistics from the conference:

S 3,571 attendees

S 453 exhibitor booths

S 69 sponsors

S Six paid secondary events

S 769 app downloads

S Numerous networking opportunities

S 1,134 technical session and workshop presentations

S 651 continuing education unit (CEU) or professional development hour (PDH) certificates awarded

A Multifaceted Conference

The conference technical program, including workshops and special-interest presentations, was exceptional and the quality educational papers that were presented once again demonstrate why

The exhibit hall in the Gaylord Palms hosted a record 453 exhibitor booths. There truly was a reason to visit every corner and the spaces in between. In the center of the exhibit hall, all could enjoy watching the various Operations Challenge competitions, where teams of four members competed in this statewide contest.

Each year we try to include activities to make this event as interesting and informative as possible.

Facility Tour: South Bermuda Water Reclamation Facility

A tour of South Bermuda Water Reclamation Facility was held on Tuesday with record attendees and it was very engaging and informative.

Operators Showcase

The Operators Showcase, presented by FWPCOA, was an opportunity for operators of all levels to review and discuss the impact of changes in water use in Florida.

The showcase featured an overview of direct potable reuse (DPR), delivered by John O’Brien. John is a licensed operator and developed the DPR manual and training program being offered by FWPCOA. He is an instructor in the utility field and is the new chair of the Direct Potable Reuse Committee for FWPCOA. John is currently the chief water/wastewater operator at Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility

It was standing room only at the seventh forum, facilitated by Randy Brown, utilities director from Pompano Beach, and Marjorie Craig, P.E., utilities director at Village of Tequesta. Both women and men participated in this dynamic conversation with leaders from across the state of Florida.

Thank you to this year’s panelists:

S Lisa Rhea, water resources director, Hillsborough County

S Athena Tipalos, assistant stormwater division manager, City of Orlando

S Brooke Bailey, director of public utilities, Sarasota County

S Hillary Weber, chief business and environmental services officer, Toho Water Authority

S Katie Templeton, water/wastewater engineer, Jax Electric Authority

S Luiza Yordanova, MChE, water treatment operations manager, City of Port St. Lucie

Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge

Shovelers Breakfast and New Member Induction

The Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) annual members breakfast and new member induction ceremony were held at this year’s conference. The newest shovelers are:

S Bob Bierhorst

S Darryl Parker

S Tim Ware

Other Secondary Events

In addition to the previously mentioned events, several others were available to all.

The FWEA sponsored the “What’s Your Water Story?” experience throughout the conference, filming attendees’ stories about how they got into the industry.

The new Scavenger Hunt experience was enjoyed by attendees as clues were available at 11 different locations throughout the conference site.

Students and Young Professionals: The Future of the Industry

Emphasis was placed on young professionals and university students as we ramped up new activities to maintain their interest and involvement.

Student and Young Professionals Reception

The social, which was an evening event, provided an opportunity for young professionals and others to meet, network, and learn more about the industry.

Student Design Competition

The competition brings the brightest young minds and their wastewater and environmental designs to the conference. Each team presented its real-world findings to an assigned problem or task in both environmental and wastewater

interests. This competition is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students, typically completing a capstone project.

Teams representing Florida universities were from:

S University of Florida

S University of South Florida

Wastewater Category

University of South Florida was the firstplace winner in this category! Students on this team included:

S Deven Brown

S Aleyda Matamoros

S Natasha Truong

S Aileen Flores

Environmental Category

The first-place winner in this category was University of Florida! The student representatives were:

S Rita Hippe

S Morgan Meuleman

S Anthony Trow

S Bianca Pineros

S Katherine Palmer

S Ross Nygard

S Olivia Bergmann

S Maya Patel

The winning teams will move on to the national contest at the 2024 Water Environment

Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) to be held in October in New Orleans.

Resumé Writing Workshop

As an added bonus, a resumé writing workshop was held to assist the students in preparing a sharp resumé for future employment consideration.

Student Poster Contest

The poster contest was in full swing Wednesday afternoon in the rear area of the exhibit hall. The winners were:

S First Place: Sheyla Chero-Osorio from University of South Florida

S Second Place: Natchaya Luangphairin from University of South Florida

New This Year: Young Professionals Workshop

A joint endeavor by FWEA and FSAWWA young professionals, this workshop brought together young professionals in the water and wastewater community to learn from industry leaders, grow professionally, and network with peers from across Florida.

Technical Sessions and Workshops: Peers Share Their Expertise

The technical program, loaded with valuable content, was coordinated by Pam

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Continued from page 25

London-Exner. She serves as conference vice president, and her Technical Review Committee, which is composed of industry experts from a variety of government and privately owned facilities and agencies, developed the program. The committee members read and graded the submitted abstracts by subject, and the top five in each group were selected for presentation. A total of 651 CEU or PDH certificates have already been emailed to attendees.


The nine workshop presentations were:

S Regulatory Updates from FSAWWA and FWEA

S Maximizing Efficiency in Your Collection System

S Source Control: The Solution to Drinking Water/Wastewater Pollution?

S Building the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System of Tomorrow Starts Today

S Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities Potpourri: The Conversations Continue

S Hot Topics in Collection Systems

S Operations Topics for Operators

S Effectively Communicating Financial Messages

S From Public Officials to Kindergarteners: How to Effectively Communicate on a Facility Tour

Technical Sessions

Two days of solid technical content included five (and sometimes more) concurrent sessions that substantially covered important and timely issues on the following topics:

S Utility Management

S Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

S Nutrient Removal

S Distribution Systems

S Sustainability

S Potable Water Treatment

S Wastewater Treatment

S Facilities Operation and Maintenance

S Modeling/Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Computers

S Water Quality/Water Supply

S Biosolids/Resource Recovery

S Reclamation and Reuse

S Collection Systems

S Stormwater and Green Infrastructure

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The conference sponsors help to enrich the experience at FWRC. We appreciate their interest in the conference’s vision and are grateful for their support. We encourage all conference attendees to give these sponsors the opportunity to earn their business throughout the year.

Title Sponsor

S Merrell Bros.

Platinum Plus Sponsors


S Cha Consulting Inc.

S Stantec

Platinum Sponsors

S Ardurra

S CS3 Waterworks

S Jacobs

S PCL Construction

S Wade Trim

Gold Sponsors

S Barge Design Solutions

S Carollo

S Dewberry

S Freese & Nichols

S Grundfos

S Hazen

S Hydra Service Inc.

S Kimley-Horn

S Mott Macdonald

S Wright-Pierce

S Xylem

Silver Sponsors

S Atkins Realis

S Arcadis

S Baxter & Woodman

S Black & Veatch

S Flovac

S Globaltech

S Halff


S McKim & Creed

S Primoris

S Synagro

S Tetra Tech

S Weston & Sampson

Bronze Sponsors

S Archer Western Construction

S Brown and Caldwell


S CDM Smith

S Custom Pump & Controls

S Gannett Fleming

S JonesEdmunds


S Mead & Hunt

S Moss Kelley Inc.

S OnSyte Performance

S Tom Evans Environmental

S Vaughan

S Veith Solutions

S VTScada, by Trihedral

S Woolpert

Supporting Sponsors

S Barney’s Pump

S Fortiline Waterworks

S Kiewit


S Sundt

S Water Company of America

Individual Technical Session Sponsors

S Florida Aquastore

S Synagro

S Veith Solutions

Scavenger Hunt Sponsors

S Carollo

S Engineered Spray Solutions

S Fortiline Waterworks

S HydroCorp

S HydroMax USA

S Midwest Hose & Specialty Inc.

S Smartrek

S Source Technologies

S Thalle Construction

S Trinnex


Networking and Annual Events: Information Sharing and Industry Recognition

Many other activities went on at FWRC in addition to the educational forums, technical sessions, and committee meetings.

President’s Reception

To kick off the 2024 FWRC, a president’s reception was held in the exhibit hall. As everyone networked and reconnected, buffets and open bars were enjoyed by all. In addition, a violist helped to set the mood.

Awards Luncheons

Hundreds of attendees and exhibitors attended the FWRC awards luncheon on Wednesday. Tim Madhanagopal, FWRC president, hosted the proceedings. The board members of FSAWWA, FWEA, FWPCOA, and FWRC were in attendance and several awards were given. Also

in attendance was Diego Rosso, a member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) board of trustees.

Patrick “Murf” Murphy hosted the Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) new member inductions at the lunch. This exclusive award honors the recipients based on merit for their “outstanding and meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty to the water industry.”

Thursday’s FWEA annual meeting and awards luncheon hosted Diego Rosso, the WEF officer in attendance, and included review of the organization’s annual report, election of officers, and passing of the gavel to the new FWEA president, Joseph Paterniti, P.E., who gave his incoming remarks.

Operations Challenge

The Operations Challenge included teams of four people that competed in five separate events: operations, maintenance, laboratory, safety, and collection systems. Teams competed at a regional level to earn the right to represent Florida at the national competition at the 2024 WEFTEC.

The results of the Operations Challenge were as follows:

S Polk County Wizards - First Place

S JEA The Fecal Matter - Second Place

S St. Pete Dirty Birds - Third Place

Volunteers: The Backbone of the Conference

The FWRC has many moving parts and I would especially like to thank all of our talented speakers who truly are experts in their fields; staff members of FSAWWA, FWPCOA, and FWEA; all of the many people who volunteered their time at registration, as part of the Technical Review Committee, and as workshop coordinators; attendees at educational events and committee meetings; and all the other people behind the scenes who make this event so successful.

Save the Date

Let’s get ready for more fun and sun at the 2025 Florida Water Resources Conference, which is scheduled for May 4-7 in West Palm Beach.

The FWRC strives to be your prevailing source for technical and educational information and we look forward to another great conference next year!

Mish Clark is executive director of the Florida Water Resources Conference.

FWRC President Thank You

We thank you for attending the 2024 Florida Water Resources Conference in Kissimmee. I hope you had a memorable FWRC and the events were up to your expectations. We hope you and your company or your utility benefitted from the technical sessions, exhibits, field trip, and networking opportunities.

The conference was a great success and set a record in several areas. We hope to see you in May 2025 in West Palm Beach.

We always appreciate your feedback. We started the planning for FWRC 2025 based on your comments.

If we can be of help in any way with your participation next year, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tim Madhanagopal, P.E., F.WEF, F. NSPE President, Florida Water Resources Conference Inc.

– Facility Tour –

Conference Attendees Tour South Bermuda Water Reclamation Facility

On Tuesday, April 2, conference attendees had the opportunity to tour the South Bermuda Water Reclamation Facility (SBWRF) in Kissimmee.

The conference tour was attended by about 30 participants. A chartered bus took the attendees from the conference site to Toho Water Authority’s SBWRF. Don Vedner, wastewater operations superintendent, led the tour and was supported by Justin Moran, chief operator.

The tour started out with a video explaining wastewater origins, collection, and treatment. The tour guides took the group through the facility that is permitted to treat 14 million gallons per day (mgd) annual average daily flow (AADF). The group followed the flow path, from preliminary treatment with screens and grit removal, anoxic-aerobic-anoxic-aerobic (AOAO)

basins, secondary clarifiers, disk filters, chlorine contact chambers, and reclaimed water storage tanks. The tour continued to the centrifuge building where excess biomass is dewatered and the resultant cake is conveyed to trailers that are then hauled to an offsite composting company to create a beneficial agricultural product.

The plant was originally placed online in April 1988 at a permitted capacity of 6 mgd and the facility is currently under design to increase the capacity to 16 mgd. The September 2016 revised permit authorized modifications to the treatment plant that included new blowers, conversion of part of the secondary treatment process from an oxidation ditch to an AOAO process, installation of highefficiency fine bubble diffusers, anoxic mixers, internal recycle pumps, three centrifuges for dewatering, and upgrades to the existing

transfer pump station. These upgrades were completed in November 2018.

Construction within the last five years added an additional AOAO treatment train with 8-mgd AADF capacity. The facility also has four filter bays with 48 aqua disks. The facility houses four secondary clarifiers, each with a capacity of 3.5 mgd. The facility also features two 3-milliongallon (MG) effluent storage tanks, and a 2.2MG reject pond with a usable capacity of 1.3 MG.

The SBWRF discharges reclaimed water via a 14mile 36-inch low-pressure reuse transmission main to Toho’s western rapid infiltration basin (RIB) sites in western Osceola County. Along this route, Toho provides reuse to large-user customers who utilize repump stations to provide irrigation to golf courses and substation cooling towers.

(photos: Curtis Kunihiro)

A dormant anoxic-aerobic-anoxic-aerobic process basin provides clear views of baffle walls and internal recycle piping.
Don Vedner discusses the reduction in chlorine consumption achieved by using floating balls at the chlorine contact chambers.
The first stop on the tour was the elevated preliminary treatment structure, where screenings and grit are removed.
Don Vedner shows the centrate and cake produced by the dewatering centrifuges at the centrifuge building.
Tour participants learn about the features of the screens and the A-frame used for screen maintenance.
The wastewater video presentation captures the attention of the tour participants.

– Exhibition –

The Newest Products, Services, and Technologies in the Industry

The exhibit hall this year included 453 exhibit booths, with company employees and representatives discussing the newest technologies and processes with the attendees at their booths.

Booths for FSAWWA, FWEA, FWPCOA, and the Florida Water Resources Journal had staff and volunteers available to talk about programs and events from the three organizations and their joint magazine.

The hall was also the site for the evening receptions, morning and afternoon breaks, prize giveaways, competitions, and some of the awards presentations.

Some of the many booths and activities are pictured here.



–Sharing Information, Experience, and Expertise

Experts in their fields gave presentations at the conference on the latest technical, professional, and managerial information for water and wastewater personnel.

The nine workshops at the conference covered the topics of regulatory updates, collection system efficiency and hot topics, communicating financial messages, source control, operations topics for operators, issues for drinking water and wastewater utilities, building supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and facility tour communications.

The two-day technical program included sessions on utility management, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, nutrient removal, distribution systems, sustainability, potable water and wastewater treatment, facilities operation and maintenance, modeling/geographic information systems/computers, water quality and water supply, reclamation and reuse, biosolids/resource recovery, and collection systems.

Pictured are some of the workshops and sessions.

Operators Learn Latest About Potable Reuse

Operators from across Florida came to the conference to learn about pertinent issues to use as they develop in their careers. On Tuesday, some attended the Operators Showcase to enjoy a beer and some snacks and hear about potable reuse. The showcase is sponsored by the Florida Water and Pollution

Control Operators Association (FWPCOA), and the discussion was moderated by Tom King, who chairs and is a member of several FWPCOA committees.

Presentations were made by:

S John O’Brien, licensed operator with Seacoast Utility Authority in Palm Beach Gardens

S Colin Devitt, P.E., MPM, senior project manager with Stantec in Coral Gables

S Manuel Moncholi, Ph.D., P.E., U.S. gulf region wastewater section leader and senior process engineer with Stantec in Coral Gables

Florida Potable Reuse Water

Introduction to Potable Reuse

Potable reuse involves the indirect (IPR) or direct (DPR) use of highly retreated wastewater as a source of drinking water. In DPR, a drinking water treatment plant receives reclaim water directly and often blends it with other water sources before treatment. The drinking water facility that is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (FDEP) may be located at the advanced treatment water facility (ATWF) or in another location. The Florida Clean Waterways Act of 2020 deemed reclaim water as a source for public water systems, Section 403.064, Florida Statutes (F.S.).

There is a rapidly expanding approach for both nonpotable and potable applications of the reuse of wastewater to augment existing water resources with the necessary treatment available. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that potable reuse of water can play a critical role in helping states, tribes, and communities meet their future needs

for drinking water with a diversified portfolio of water sources. Drought, growing water demands, and other stressors have caused an expectation of long-term water scarcity in the future; therefore, the practice and acceptance of potable reuse have gained substantial momentum.

Local factors that may make potable reuse desirable include:

S Water supply stress such as drought

S Competing demands such as population growth and from agriculture and industry

S Increased groundwater withdrawals and challenges with sea water intrusion into coastal aquifers

Surface water sources could have seasonal water quality disruptions or introductions of unintentional contaminants that can be offset by having a source of potable reuse. Elimination of ocean outfalls through regulatory actions in increasing restrictive water quality requirements for discharges from publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) has resulted in utilities seeking ways to recover costs by creating a value for the treated wastewater.

S Sussette Irizarry, project manager with Stantec in Coral Gables

S Zakir Hirani, vice president, water reuse practice leader, with Stantec in Pasadena, Calif.

The presentation made by the Stantec team will appear in a future issue of the magazine.

Environmental and Engineered Buffers

An environmental buffer refers to an aquifer, wetland, or other body of water, such as a river, stream, lake, or reservoir, that serves as an intermediate discharge and holding point within a potable reuse scheme. It receives highly treated wastewater from a water reclamation facility. Dilution, blending, and some containment removal through filtration (aquifers, photolysis, surface waters) or biological degradation can occur before IPR withdrawal. Environmental buffers tend to dissociate the origin of the water (wastewater discharge) from the end point (drinking water); they also create a window of time in which the water enters into a natural environment. Although environmental buffers can improve water quality they are not a required or necessary component in potable reuse projects, and they do not conform to control performance standards. Aquifer recharge can serve as a subsurface environmental buffer. In this approach treated wastewater effluent is diverted to surface spreading basins, whereby infiltration occurs if used in more-modern approaches, such as

Tom King moderates the showcase.
John O’Brien makes his presentation. Attendees at the session.

rapid infiltrations systems (RIBs), vadose zone injection wells, infiltration trenches, or riverbank infiltration to reach the water table. Reclaim water percolates through the sediment until it reaches the aquifer and blends with groundwater. It remains underground for a predetermined time before being extracted as a drinking water source.

The process of enhancing natural groundwater supplies using engineered conveyances to route water to an aquifer is known as managed aquifer recharge, and in a number of cases, such as in near coastal areas, it has helped reduced salt water intrusion. Surface water storage occurs when reclaimed effluent is discharged into a lake, reservoir, or river. The receiving surface water blends with the reclaim water before being extracted and sent to the water treatment plant. Surface water storage can be a limiting factor in IPR implementation because a viable location for it doesn’t always exist in all situations.

There are many of these facilities in use today, such as in Clayton County, Ga., where the discharge of treated wastewater effluent is discharged into a wetland treatment system for the recharge of the water supply. The wetlands rely on aquatic ecosystem and components to filter and biologically treat the water that flows through them. These components include soils, plants, and bacteria. Engineered storage is an additional approach in DPR reuse systems designed to provide capacity to manage fluctuations in water supply, water quality, and demand. An engineered storage reuse scenario is classified as DPR because there is no discharge to a natural body of water.

Treatment Technologies for Potable Reuse

There are five main objectives for ATWFs: removing suspending solids, reducing dissolved chemicals, disinfection, water stabilization, and producing water with satisfactory aesthetics. The removal of suspended solids is accomplished through coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, media filtration, microfiltration, and ultrafiltration (UV). Treatment methods for reducing the concentration of dissolved chemicals include reverse osmosis (RO), electrodialysis, electrodialysis reversal, granular activated carbon, biologically active filtration, and ion exchange. Means of disinfection and removal of trace organic compounds can be accomplished by UV disinfection, chlorine, chloramines, chlorine dioxide, ozone, and advanced oxidation processes, which include:

S UV/hydrogen peroxide

S Ozone/hydrogen peroxide

S UV/chlorine

Stabilization can happen through water blending, lime stabilization, or the addition of sodium hydroxide or calcium chloride. The RO is very effective at treating water by a physical process in which the feed water is forced through a semipermeable membrane using a pressure gradient to separate permeate from a concentrated reject (concentrate). In RO, the feed water must be pressurized to exceed the osmotic pressure difference between the feed and permeate, while providing additional driving pressure to overcome hydraulic losses of water passing through the membrane material.

The RO is used extensively for the desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater; potable reuse can also take advantage of RO because of its ability to effectively remove pathogens, dissolved chemical substances, total organic carbon, trace organic compounds, and total dissolved solids.

The RO membrane most commonly used in drinking water today is thin film composite, which includes a thicker support structured in thin membrane skin. Two flat sheet membranes are glued together at their edges, with the membranes skins facing out and a permeate spacer mesh between the membrane sheets, thus creating a membrane envelope. Multiple envelopes are then rolled into a spiral-wound configuration with feed spacer meshes separating each envelope, creating an individual membrane module or element.

An RO skid has multiple membrane elements placed in series within a longer pressure vessel and multiple vessels are then banked and parrelled in series to create the treatment unit. The RO permeate has a near-complete removal of hardness and low alkalinity that will typically have subsequent stabilization.

A high-pressure pump, multiple membrane modules installed in series within cylindrical pressure vessels, and permeate piping and concentrate piping are the components of an RO system.

FWPCOA Direct Potable Reuse Voluntary Certification

Operator training and certification are critical for the protection of public health and the maintenance of safe, optimal, and reliable operations of wastewater and water treatment plants and distribution systems. The FWPCOA’s role in the voluntary certification program is primarily related to providing tools, training, and guidance that is implemented by FDEP.

There are currently no federal regulations that specifically govern potable water reuse in the United States. The state of Florida has accepted potable reuse with the passing of

the Florida Clean Waterways Act of 2020 and regulated through Florida Administrative Codes (F.A.C.) 62-565.

Potable reuse is a permissible approach to produce drinking water, provided all generally applicable SDWA, Clean Water Act (CWA), and FDEP requirements are met. The SDWA and CWA provide the core statutory requirements relevant to potable reuse. The foundation of wastewater treatment requirements in the U.S. is the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. During the 1972 Amendments the law became known as the “Clean Water Act.” Since then, the law has been reauthorized three times: in 1977, 1981, and 1987. The CWA authorizes water quality standards for surface waters and regulates pollutant discharge into U.S. waters.

Ambient water quality criteria protect a given use of waterbodies, including those that serve as designate drinking water supplies. These criteria based on pollutant concentration and environmental and human health effects data are developed from the protection of both aquatic and human health. Microbial (pathogens) criteria can protect the public from exposure to harmful levels of pathogens during contact. Human health ambient water quality criteria are numeric values that limit chemical concentrations in U.S. surface waters. These standards ultimately provide a basis for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits for designated waters.

Impaired waters and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) must be evaluated in waters that do not meet or are not expected to meet applicable water standards. The TMDLs identify the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive and still meet water quality standards. The National Pretreatment Program promulgates pretreatment standards for the CWA. These standards apply to all nondomestic discharges that discharge wastewater to POTWs.

The SDWA was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect the U.S. public drinking water supply and is the law that provides EPA the authority to regulate public water systems. A public water system is a water system that has at least 15 service connections or regularly serves 25 individuals with water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances. The SDWA has established primary maximum contaminants levels for contaminants that have health concerns and secondary maximum contaminants levels to regulate contaminants related to water aesthetics, such as taste, odor and appearance. The FDEP regulates public water systems through F.A.C.


Empowering Voices: Women of Water Share Insights and Inspire Action

A conference session for connection, inspiration, and community

Amid the bustling crowds and the lineup of deeply technical presentations at the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC), the Women of Water Forum stands as an oasis of thought and reflection, while offering an opportunity to learn how others manage and navigate the industry and earn continuing education units (CEUs) and professional development hours (PDHs).

This annual session has become a cherished tradition, offering a unique space for meaningful dialogue and inspiration. This year’s panel brought together six distinguished leaders from across the state, creating a platform for attendees to explore and reflect on central themes related to professional presence and engagement in the workplace. The discussions provided valuable insights and fostered a sense of community among participants, highlighting the importance of leadership, collaboration, and personal growth in the field of water resources.

The interactive Women of Water Forum held at the conference is an event that not only celebrates the water industry, but also highlights the inherent humanity that binds us all, with the following of universal importance:

S What motivates you?

S What gives you a sense of purpose?

S How do we create systems that support a sense of psychological safety?

Holding space for these questions creates an opening for big conversations and begins unraveling a sense of isolation that can erode workplace coherence. Sharing experiences offers validation and support, and also amplifies the strength of our community. By openly discussing obstacles and opportunities, awareness is raised, fostering a more-inclusive culture. Inspirational stories empower attendees, providing examples of overcoming adversity and driving change.

Networking and mentoring opportunities facilitate learning and growth. Through sharing, we promote diversity and inclusion, amplifying voices that might otherwise be overlooked. Ultimately, this collective sharing contributes to building more-equitable workplaces where all individuals can thrive.

Addressing Gender Disparities

Marjorie Craig, utilities director at the Village of Tequesta and long-time facilitator of the Women of Water Forum, opened the

event with a presentation of the quantified state of diversity in the workplace as it stands today. “We still have a long way to go,” she remarked. Craig emphasized that when workplace structures inherently disadvantage certain demographics, the resulting business solutions inherently favor others. Breaking this cycle requires conscious attention, intentional communication, and collective action. Recognizing the valuable contributions of women in historically male-dominated industries is vital for promoting gender equality and driving positive change. Despite progress, significant disparities persist, especially in engineering roles: women make up 48 percent of the overall workforce, but only 15 percent of engineers. The gender pay gap also continues to exist, with women earning less on average than their male counterparts in similar positions. Against this backdrop of gender disparities, the Women of Water Forum serves as an honored portal for promoting gender equality and empowering diverse voices in the water industry.

Everyone is a leader, and often the “unofficial” leaders can have the greatest influence on a team’s morale and accomplishments. Everyone must manage— whether it’s their own time, priorities,

Interactive word cloud created during the breakout session displays words that participants submitted in response to “Who are the women of water?” Larger words represent words that were repeatedly submitted, indicating a common theme.

Pictured left to right are Randy Brown – utilities director, Pompano Beach, facilitator; Katie Templeton –water/wastewater engineer, JEA, panelist; Megan Nelson – senior engineer, Orange County Utilities, facilitator; Luiza Yordanova – water treatment operations manager, City of Port St. Lucie, panelist; Athena Tipaldos – assistant stormwater division manager, City of Orlando, panelist; London Womack –division director of plan operations, Hillsborough County, panelist; Hillary Weber – chief business and environmental services officer, Toho Water Authority, panelist; Brooke Bailey – director of public utilities, Sarasota County Public Utilities, panelist; and Marjorie Craig – utilities director, Village of Tequesta, facilitator.

relationships, or work-life balance. The effort put into becoming a better leader and manager directly impacts our water industry of tomorrow.

Unveiling the Humanity of the Water Industry

Women of Water serves as a captivating platform for discussing the stories, achievements, and challenges we face as an industry. The six accomplished panelists came together to engage with attendees. Their stories were motivating, passionate, eye-opening, and engaging.

“Did you find water, or did water find you?” inquired facilitator Randy Brown, kicking off the conversation with a seemingly straightforward background question that also indulged the magical allure of water itself. Webster shared her experiences growing up by the beach, while Templeton reflected on her time as a competitive swimmer. Yordanova recounted her childhood in Bulgaria, where water access was restricted to five hours on and five hours off, ultimately leading her to an intense interest in the value of water. Their stories highlighted the diverse inspirations and opportunities that shape our individual paths in the water industry.

During the panel discussion, the speakers shared invaluable insights on professional growth, work-life balance, and team motivation, drawing from their diverse experiences and backgrounds.

One key theme was the influence of early mentors, emphasizing the invaluable qualities of both female and male influences. Reflecting on these foundational relationships empowered many panelists to thrive in their own paths. Womack emphasized the importance of authenticity, advising women to be their own

emulating others.

Brooks spoke about the ebb and flow of work-life balance, acknowledging seasons of intense work and seasons where balance is more achievable. She shared strategies for setting work boundaries, particularly in the age of constant connectivity. Yordanova added that effective delegation, thorough training and established procedures, are crucial for maintaining balance and efficiency. Templeton discussed her efforts to be more realistic about her own expectations for herself, jokingly calling it “getting more comfortable with mediocrity,” which cued the audience to sighs of relief, laughter, and head nods.

Motivating staff was another focal point. Tipaldos underscored the importance of making emotional deposits by celebrating small achievements to build a cohesive team. Webber noted that psychological safety, indicated by how freely staff members share their opinions, is vital for a healthy work environment. Brooks illustrated this with a story about meeting an employee on his terms, fostering a relationship of trust, and effective problem-solving.

These insights collectively underscored the importance of authenticity, balance, and supportive relationships in cultivating a successful and fulfilling career in the water industry.

The Scene: Community in Conversation

While these six esteemed guests sat gathered at the front table, the intensity of engagement of the room palpably builds. This annual gathering brings together accomplished professionals, aspiring individuals, and allies

passionate about creating a more-inclusive water sector to connect.

The event unfolded into an interactive dialogue, where panelists and attendees alike found themselves fully immersed in a shared experience. Attendees were greeted with drinks and cookies (sponsored by Vaughan for the second year) and the U-shaped seating arrangement for the audience was designed to invite connection. Over 100 individuals engaged in this year’s event.

The microphone was passed to everyone in the room to honor each unique voice. Attendees were not mere spectators; they became active participants, sharing their insights during interactive breakout sessions, led by me and Wilmarie Jeremy De La Cruz.

To be Continued: On to Next Year!

The Women of Water Forum continues its legacy as a feature event of FWRC. Whether you have attended this event for many years or are new to the scene, you will be amazed and inspired by this event. By attending, you enter a transformative movement that empowers women, amplifies their voices, and paves the way for a more-equitable future. We are the creators of a water industry where all people thrive, break barriers, and lead with confidence. Make a note on your calendar for the next Women of Water Forum to be held at FWRC in 2025 and mark it as a must-attend event, as well as an opportunity to earn CEUs and PDHs.

Join the movement, be part of the conversation, and contribute to a moreinclusive future. Together, we can create lasting change and make a difference that extends far beyond the conference.

Megan Nelson, P.E., is a senior engineer at Orange County Utilities in Orlando.

Panelists, moderators, and attendees gather post-event to capture the excitement of the moment and remember the tangible sense of community.


Attendees Meet and Mingle at Evening Event

Held on Wednesday night, this afterdinner reception brought conference attendees together to network, relax, play some games, enjoy coffee and dessert, and listen (and dance to!) some great DJ-mixed music.

Attendees Learn About Programs, Products, and Volunteering

Held in the exhibit hall on the first afternoon of the conference, the showcase was available to attendees to learn about new programs and products and how to volunteer for the three organizations. They were able to meet staff and representatives from the groups, relax and play games, record their “water stories,” and meet leaders in the water industry.

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Students and Young Professionals: The Future of the Industry

Students and Young Professionals: The Future of the Industry

There was much for young professionals and university students to learn about, see, and do at the conference.

Students and Young Professionals Reception

The reception, which was an evening event, provided an opportunity for students, young professionals, and others to meet, network, and learn more about the industry.

Student Design Competition

The competition brings the brightest young minds and their wastewater and environmental designs to the conference. Each team presented its real-world findings to an assigned problem or task in both environmental and wastewater interests. This competition is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students, typically completing a capstone project.

Teams representing Florida universities

University of Florida

University of South Florida

Wastewater Category

University of South Florida was the first-place winner in this category. Students on this team included Deven Brown, Aleyda Matamoros, Natasha Truong, and Aileen Flores.

Environmental Category

The first-place winner in this category was University of Florida. The student representatives were Rita Hippe, Morgan

University of Florida team.
Students and Young Professionals Reception
University of South Florida team.
Resumé Writing Workshop
Student Design Competition

Young Professionals Workshop

Meuleman, Anthony Trow, Bianca Pineros, Katherine Palmer, Ross Nygard, Olivia Bergmann, and Maya Patel.

The winning teams will move on to the national contest at the 2024 Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) to be held in October in New Orleans.

Resumé Writing Workshop

A resumé writing workshop was held to assist the students in preparing a concise and informative resumé for future employment consideration.

Student Poster Contest

The poster contest took place on Wednesday afternoon in the rear area of the exhibit hall. The winners were:

S First Place: Sheyla Chero-Osorio from University of South Florida

S Second Place: Natchaya Luangphairin from University of South Florida

New This Year: Young Professionals Workshop

A joint endeavor by young professionals from FWEA and FSAWWA, this workshop

brought together younger and newer workers in the water and wastewater community, who were attending the conference, to learn from leaders about the industry and the associations, grow professionally, and network with peers from across the state and the Southeast.

Sheyla Chero-Osorio at her winning poster.
Natchaya Luangphairin with her second-place poster.
Students reviewing the various posters.
Student Poster Contest


Shovelers Hold Annual Meeting and Induct New Members

Shovelers Breakfast

The Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) breakfast was held on Wednesday at the conference. Patrick “Murf” Murphy presided over the meeting. The agenda each year is generally the same: attendees sign in, review the contact list for errors and missing information, report the spotting of fellow shovelers not properly attired with their shovel pin, and share stories. They also advise the leadership (ph7) of FSSSSS potential candidates who should be given consideration

for membership in the future, and then sign the certificates for the nominees for the current year deemed to have contributed outstanding and meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty to the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) per the guidelines.

The nominees must be present at the conference awards luncheon to receive their certificate and pin as dictated by tradition. The names of the nominees remain secret until the awards ceremony, except for the shovelers who attend the breakfast.

New Members for 2024 Inducted

Three nominees for FSSSSS became members of the organization after completing a tongue-twisting induction exercise at the conference, held on Thursday during the FWEA luncheon. Murphy, the chair of the society, took to the podium and began the ceremony.

The inductees this year were:

S Bob Bierhorst, MTS Environmental

S Darryl Parker, Lee County Utilities

S Tim Ware, Arcadis

Bierhorst was nominated in the vendor or “peddler” category, Parker in the operator category, and Ware in the engineer category.

These three each took their turn at the podium, and after successfully repeating the name of the society three times (and after several tries!), received their certificates as members of the Class of

2024. The new members also received the coveted Silver Shovel pin, which, according to FSSSSS, should be worn at all times.

Each nominee must be a FWEA member in good standing at the time of nomination. The nominees must also be present at the FWRC luncheon to receive the award.

Upon successful completion of the induction ceremony, the nominees are: “Elevated on the official shovel to the highest ridge on the sludge bed, with the title of Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shoveler, and with all the honors, atmosphere, perquisites, and dignity appertaining thereunto.”

The society, which was founded in 1956 by David B. Lee and has had more than 180 members, annually recognizes wastewater industry professionals for meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty to FWEA.

From left to right, Bierhorst, Parker, and Ware display their certificates.
Ware (left) attempts the tongue twister as Murphy (right) looks on.
Murphy moderates the meeting.
Meeting in progress.
Attendees at the breakfast pose for a group photo.


* Founder: David B. Lee

* M. Emory Dawkins

* Pat Flanagan

* John E. Kiker Jr.

* C. E. Richeimer

* K.S. Watson

Shoveler Class of 1957

* Ralph H. Baker

* Bill Bryant

* J. Robert Hoy

* Emil Jensen

Shoveler Class of 1958

* J.J.R. Bristow

* Ralph E. Fuhrman

* Wylie W. Gillespie

* Ellis K. Phelps

* R.E. Simon

Shoveler Class of 1959

* Sidney A. Berkowitz

* Thomas De S Furman

* D. Joe Raye

* John D. Wakefield

* Joe C. Woolf

Shoveler Class of 1960

* Clifford M. Courson

* Arthur R. Finney Jr.

* George T. Lohmeyer

Shoveler Class of 1961

* Ray Lawrence

* Robert R. McNary

* Ralph L. Metcalf

* E.C. Shreve Jr.

Shoveler Class of 1962

* Perry A. Cessna

* Fred A. Eldness

* Harry E. Schlenz

Shoveler Class of 1963

* Alvin R. Murphy Jr.

* Vincent D. Patton

* J.A. Shepard

* Sidney W. Wells

Shoveler Class of 1964

* John E. Baber

* J.F. Kapinos

* Donald P. Schlesswohl

* Robert S. Shaw

* Raymond C. Willis

Shoveler Class of 1965

* Charles E. Adams

* Fred C. Funnell

* Sam P. Robinson

* Sam Scott

* Joe M. Valdespino

Shoveler Class of 1966

* Arthur D. Castor

Albert Henderson

* Hoyle Knight

Robert S. Wright


Shoveler Class of 1968

* Paul D. Haney

* Nick Mastro

* John V. Miner Jr.

* Thomas P. Smith

Shoveler Class of 1969

* William P. Allman

* Hugh Pearch

* James Santarone

* Robert Sinn

* Arthur F. Vondrick

Shoveler Class of 1970

* Roderick W. Campbell

* Joseph B. Hanlon

* John B. Miller

* Charles C. Sweglar

Shoveler Class of 1971

* Hardy C. Croom

* L.T. Faulk

Joseph F. Lagnese, Jr.

Shoveler Class of 1972

* J. Floyd Byrd

* B.T. Dean

* Harry W. Gioielli

* S.M. Richard Jr.

Shoveler Class of 1973

Charles L. Meyer

* Richard C. Mills

* John D. Parkhurst

* George E. Symons

* William C. Timms

Shoveler Class of 1974

* James F. Barlow

* John A. Dacy

* R.L. Hart

* Victor G. Wagner

Shoveler Class of 1975

* Mac Grossman

* Cecil M. Kent

* Madame Jean Suave

* William P. Simpson

* Horace L. Smith

Shoveler Class of 1976

* John W. Bamble

* George W. Parker Jr.

* Norman Tuckett Jr.

Shoveler Class of 1977

Richard Englebrecht

* George Humphreys

* R.A. Litkenhaus

* J. Edward Singley

* Garrett Sloan

Shoveler Class of 1978

* Arthur Saarinen Jr.

* Felix Janocha

Charles Hogue

Shoveler Class of 1980

* Ray C. Holman

Terry Knepper

* E. Jack Newbould

* Joseph Papia

* David B. Preston

Shoveler Class of 1981

* Robert A. Canham

* George B. Furman

* Phil E. Whelchel

Shoveler Class of 1982

* William E. Dunn

* Everett Kinloch

Shoveler Class of 1983

* Joan E. Stokes

James Taylor

Shoveler Class of 1984

* Frank D. Hoble

Larry Robinson

* Wally Zentner

Shoveler Class of 1985

* James M. McCracken

* William D. Johnson

Shoveler Class of 1986

* George H. Dacy

* Kenneth M. Drury

* Theodore C. Pope

Shoveler Class of 1987

Thomas M. Baber

J.I. Garcia-Bengochea

* Richard Sheldon

Shoveler Class of 1988

Joseph Cheatham

* Robert Driver

David Stewart

Shoveler Class of 1989

Phillip K. Feeney

* Herb Pickle

Samuel R. Willis

Shoveler Class of 1990

Patrick Karney

* Robert Parmelee

H.E. Pruder

Phil Searcy

Shoveler Class of 1991

* Sam P. Gutridge Ill

Katherine Kinloch

Shoveler Class of 1992

Donald Holcomb

David Shulmister

* J. Jack Smith

Shoveler Class of 1993

Timothy Brodeur

Shoveler Class of 1995

Donald Munksgaard

Charles Logue

* James Baird Jr.

Douglas W. Fredericks

Shoveler Class of 1996

Rim Bishop

Gregory J. Chomic

Thomas Mueller

Shoveler Class of 1997

* David L. Crowson

Richard W. Fernandez

* Joseph Habraken

* J.C. Holley

Shoveler Class of 1998

Charles C. Billias

Michael D. Cliburn

* C. W. “Mickey” Sheffield

Shoveler Class of 1999

Robert Bailey

Larry J. Ruffin

Thomas Lothrop

Shoveler Class of 2000

Jessie L. Carpenter

* Juan A. Citarella

Julie L. Karleskint

Shoveler Class of 2001

Luis Aguiar

John Harward

* Grady Sorah

Richard Voorhees

Shoveler Class of 2002

Gary D. Dernlan

Rudolph Fernandez

Authur Saey

* Kenneth Wilson

Shoveler Class of 2003

Christine Ferraro

William Edgar

Kenneth Rearden

Roy Pelletier

Shoveler Class of 2004

Thomas Helgeson

Raymond E. Hanson

Robert Solomon

Shoveler Class of 2005

Scott Kelly

Holly M. Hanson

Douglas Prentis

Shoveler Class of 2006

* Lee Kraft

O.H. “Sonny” Moss

* David York

Shoveler Class of 2007

Shoveler Class of 2009

* Albert “Bill” Heller Jr.

Mark McNeal

Donna Kaluzniak

* Donald Maurer

Shoveler Class of 2010

Pamela Holcomb

Thomas King

Christopher Stewart

Shoveler Class of 2011

Walter Barrett

John Giachino

George Lomax

Shoveler Class of 2012

James Hope

Nabil Muhaisen

Lisa Prieto

Shoveler Class of 2013

Timothy McVeigh

Darrell Milligan

Paul Pinault

Shoveler Class of 2014

Patrick Allman

* Richard Griswold

Christine Miranda

Shoveler Class of 2015

Gregory Kolb

Frederick Nugent

Jeffrey Poteet

Shoveler Class of 2016

Brad Hayes

Rodney Shupler

Brian Wheeler

Shoveler Class of 2017

Tom Evans

Chris Fasnacht

Sondra Lee

Shoveler Class of 2018

Raymond Bordner

Ron Cavalieri

David Hartwig

Shoveler Class of 2019

Clyde Burgess

Tim Harley

Patrick Murphy

Shoveler Class of 2020

Tina Nixon

Larry Hickey

Mike Darrow

Shoveler Class of 2021

Mike Sweeney

Vaughan Harshman

Jake Rohrich

Shoveler Class of 2022

Shoveler Class of 2024

Bob Bierhorst

Darryl Parker

Shoveler Class of 1967

* Lou Branding

* K.K. Hufstetler

* Richard P. Vogh

* Curtis Stanton

Shoveler Class of 1979

* Donald K. Shine

* Geoffrey Scott

* Bobby L. Jones

David Pickard

Frederick Trippensee

Shoveler Class of 1994

Salvatore D’Angelo

Bert Hale

Charles Jacobs

Kartik Vaith

Mark Cliburn

* Edward James

Shoveler Class of 2008

Chuck Hlavach

Tim Madhanagopal

Jon Meyer

Chris Collins

Keaton Heller

Lynn Spivey

Shoveler Class of 2023

Jason Hopp

Suzanne Mechler

Chuck Nichols Sr.

Tim Ware *Deceased

Bonita Springs Team Wins Top Ops Competition

The team from Bonita Springs Utilities qualified for the national American Water Works Association (AWWA) Top Ops competition by winning the Florida Top Ops, held during the conference. Gannett Fleming sponsored the contest.

The other teams this year were from:

S Hillsborough County Utilities

S Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department

S Pasco County Utilities

Top Ops is a “College Bowl” type event that tests the groups, made up of water treatment and distribution operators or laboratory personnel, on their knowledge of system operations. Teams from FSAWWA regions compete against each other in this fastpaced question-and-answer tournament. The moderator poses a broad range of technical questions and math problems, and the team scoring the most points in the championship round is awarded the winner’s trophy.

Teams were encouraged to promote their team theme and colors throughout the conference. The winning team competed at Top Ops at the American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE24) in June in Anaheim, Calif., with other teams from AWWA sections across the United States. Water utilities across the state are encouraged to enter the next Top Ops, which will be held May 2025 during the Florida Water Resources Conference in West Palm Beach. Teams may represent more than one utility.

For more details, and to receive the competition rules, contact Andrew Greenbaum at greenbaumal@bv.com or Mark Lehigh at lehighm@hillsboroughcounty.org.

The traveling trophy.
The winning team from Bonita Springs Utilities includes members (left to right) Merritt Stewart, David Rodriquez, and Michael Brandon Gentry.
The Hillsborough County Utilities team.
Members of the Pasco County Utilities team.
Team members from Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.
The teams wait for their questions.


A Three-Peat for Polk County Bio-Wizards!

The Operations Challenge includes teams of four people that compete in five separate operator-related events. Teams compete at a regional level to earn the right to represent Florida at the national competition at the 2024 Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC).

For the third year in a row, Polk County Bio-Wizards came in first place in the contest. The other winners were:

S JEA The Fecal Matter - Second Place

S St. Pete Dirty Birds - Third Place

The competition is coordinated by Chris Fasnacht, with City of St. Cloud. Pipe donations were made by Ferguson and other equipment was furnished by St. Pete Utilities, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), and Polk County Utilities.

Contest Components

The competition, which was held in the exhibit hall, is a skills-based contest consisting of four timed events and one questionnaire event that showcase the knowledge and expertise of wastewater treatment plant operators. The teams display their proficiency in process control,

First-Place Bio-Wizards from Polk County Utilities. The St. Pete Dirty Birds team.
The Fecal Matter team from JEA.
The collections event.
The safety event.

maintenance, safety, collections, and the laboratory.

The process control event uses a computer-based questionnaire where two team members are given certain scenarios to figure out through a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) program, and the other members complete a math and basic knowledge question section.

The laboratory section is an ammonia and alkalinity testing situation, in a simulated format, to determine the operation of an aerobic wastewater system, as well as added questions to know what the demand and usage are.

The maintenance event simulates the maintenance of a lift station where a pump has gone down and a pump is set up as a bypass in case, at some point, the other pump

goes down. The teams are to do a simulated inspection of the pump before simulating taking the pump to the station and hooking it up.

The collections event simulates the team having to replace a section of an 8-inch piece of pipe with a new piece of pipe that has a 4-inch hole cut out for a new sewer lateral. While this is going on, one member of the team is setting up a sampler to take samples.

The safety event simulates a person passing out in a confined space and the team arriving onsite to retrieve the person. Also added is the maintenance of a check valve in replacing the gaskets to it.

The top two teams will now go on to represent Florida at this year’s Operation Challenge at WEFTEC, which will be held in the fall in New Orleans.

Sponsors and Next Year’s Event

The contest is looking for sponsors to help finance the travel costs for Florida’s champions to compete at the national level at WEFTEC. If you would like to contribute, please reach out to Brad Hayes at bhayes@ woodardcurran.com for sponsorship information.

The next Operations Challenge at FWRC will be held May 2025 in West Palm Beach. The competition is open to teams of wastewater treatment operators from any utility in Florida.

For information on entering a team, contact Chris Fasnacht at cfasnacht@stcloud. org.

The process control event.
The laboratory event.
The array of awards.
The maintenance event.

Third Relay Contest Held

For the third year, a Collections Relay was held at the conference, which was under the wing of the Operations Challenge teams. This exhibition, with participants performing hole saw and pipe cuts timed relays, had both male and female entrants.

Pipe donations for the relay were made by Core and Main and the winners received Visa gift cards.


Each year the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association, Florida Water Environment Association, and Florida Section of the American Water Works Association honor outstanding individuals, utilities, and other organizations for contributions to the state’s water and wastewater industry. The awards were presented at the two lunches held during the April 2024 Florida Water Resources Conference.

FWEA Awards

Earle B. Phelps Awards

Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility First Place

Lee County Utilities Fiesta Village Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Robert Dick and Zack Munoz.

Advanced Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility Less Than 4 MGD First Place

Town & Country Utilities Babcock Ranch Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Ashley Arnold.

Advanced Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility Greater Than 4 MGD First Place

Polk County Utilities Southwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility

Accepted by Todd Potter.

Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility Runner-Up Hillsborough County Public Utilities Northwest Regional Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by (left to right) Gregg Rollo, Toriano Ayers, Antoine Harris, and Jim Conley.

Advanced Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility Less Than 4 MGD Runner-Up

Polk County Utilities Northwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility Accepted by Edward Clark.

Advanced Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility Greater Than 4 MGD Runner-Up

Lee County Utilities Fort Myers Beach Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Robert Dick and Igor Gutin.

Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility Honorable Mention City of Plant City Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Patrick “Murf” Murphy.

Advanced Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility Less Than 4 MGD Honorable Mention Lee County Utilities Gateway Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Robert Dick and Santino Sinibaldi.

Advanced Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility Greater Than 4 MGD Honorable Mention Lee County Utilities Three Oaks Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Robert Dick and Dereck Perez.

Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility

First Place

Polk County Utilities

Waverly Wastewater Treatment Facility

Accepted by Robert Stephenson.

Secondary Wastewater Treatment Facility

Honorable Mention

JEA Monterey

Water Treatment Facility

Accepted by Rob Graves.

Wastewater Collection System Awards


City of Clearwater Public Utilities

Accepted by (left

David W. York Water Reuse System of the Year Awards

Greater Than 15 MGD

City of Cape Coral Reuse Water System

Accepted by (left to right) Jody Daubenberger, Jeff Wakter, Jeffrey Pearson, Robert Tracy, Bradley Trautman, Eddie Carter, and Thomas McLean.

5 to 15 MGD

Toho Water Authority Reuse System of Cypress Lake, Walnut, and Lake Marion Water Reclamation Facilities

Accepted by (left to right) Richard Struckmeyer, Jose Massas, and Donald Vedner.

1 to 5 MGD

Polk County Utilities

Northwest Regional

Wastewater Treatment Facility

Accepted by Edward Clark.

Reuse Project of the Year


Connect City of Fort Myers

Accepted by (left to right) Richard Moulton, Jeffrey Pearson, Jeff Walter, and Bradley Trautman.

to right) Reed Harvin, Jeff Barnes, Andrew Blauvelt, and Justin Fletcher.

Collection System Excellence Award, Golden Manhole Society

Gainesville Regional Utilities Combined Water Reclamation Facilities

Accepted by

Public Education Awards


Accepted by Dereck Perez.

Safety Awards

Class A, Second Place

Toho Water Authority Sandhill Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by (left to right) Samuel Luciano, Jose Massas, and Donald Vedner.

Accepted by Santino Sinibaldi.


Accepted by Mandi

Toho Water Authority Cypress West Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by (left to right) Richard Struckmeyer, Jose Massas, and Donald Vedner.

Accepted by Santino

George W. Burke Jr. Facility Safety Award Gainesville Regional Utilities, Combined Water Reclamation Facilities
Accepted by (left to right) Richard Hutton, Rachel Lockhart, Alva White, Deborah Daugherty, and Jennifer McElroy.
Class C, Third Place Seminole Tribe of Florida Hollywood Wastewater Treatment Plant
Accepted by Juan Suarez.
Class C, Second Place
Accepted by Justin Moran and Donald Vedner.
Class C, First Place
Water Authority Harmony
Reclamation Facility Accepted by Donald Watkins and Donald Vedner.
Class B, Third Place Lee County Utilities Highpoint Water Reclamation Facility
B, Second Place
Class B, First Place Lee County Utilities Three Oaks Water Reclamation Facility
Dereck Perez.
Class A, Third Place
Class A, First Place
Accepted by (left to right) Jennifer McElroy, Debbie Daugherty, Alva White, and Andrea Ditto.
Presented to Melody Gonzalez
Accepted by Sarah Guzman and Oscar Bello.
Presented to Brent Weidenhamer (left), pictured with Oscar Bello.

Small Operating Facility

Bonita Springs Utilities East Water Reclamation Facility

Accepted by Jake Hepokoski and Donald Woodruff.

Biosolids Residuals Program Excellence

Large Operating Facility

Broward County Water and Wastewater Services

North Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility

Accepted by (left to right) Clive Haynes, Mark Darmanin, and John Kay.

Environmental Stewardship Award for Odor Control

Sarasota County Public Utilities

Accepted by (left to right) Andy Ward, Brooke Bailey, and Gregory Rouse.

One Water Professional of the Year Award

Hillsborough County Public Utilities

Purple Stingray Reclaimed Water Operations Team

Accepted by (left to right) Jennifer Kampwerth, Mike Lehigh, and Emmett Lee.

Leroy H. Scott Award

Presented to Josh Williams.

Athur Sidney Bedell Award

Presented to Sondra Lee.

Presented to

Albert B. Herndon Award
Sharon E.T. Piltz.
Ralph H. Baker Award
Presented to Pamela Kerns.
William D. Hatfield Award
Presented to Chris Fasnacht and accepted by (left to right) Ed Torres, Mark Ikeler, Chris Fasnacht, Mark Robinson, Marc Cannata, and David Brewton.
Young Professional of the Year Award
Presented to Alejandro Solanilla.

Service Awards

Drinking Water Treatment Plant

Operator Meritorious Service Award

Marvin N.

Kaden Award for Outstanding Water Treatment Plant Operator

Outstanding Class A

Ogla Water Treatment Plant

Accepted by Daniel Smith.

Most Improved Class A North Springs Improvement District

Accepted by Grace Solomon.

WEF Lifetime Membership Awards


Water Treatment Plants

Outstanding Class B

William C. Maytum Water Treatment Plant

Accepted by Michael Stein.

Outstanding Class C

Lake Park Water Treatment Plant

Accepted by (from left to right in back row) Paul Kavanaugh, Mark Lehigh, Chris Wetz, Joseph Duran, and Raymond Harmon; (front row) Mark Bell, Paige Mulford, and Ralph Baptiste.

Most Improved Class B Seminole Tribe of Florida

Accepted by Bryan Fogle and Rudy Garcia.

Presented to Nicole Cohen.
Presented to Alex Maas.
Presented to Curtis Kunihiro.
Presented to A. Randolph Brown.
Presented to Gary Framo, Orange County Utilities.
Presented to Karen Lewis, Pasco County.

– FWEA PRESIDENT –FWEA Welcomes New President

With Passing of the Gavel

Suzanne Mechler completed her term as the 2023-2024 FWEA president at the organization’s annual meeting and awards luncheon held on April 4 at the conference.

David B. Lee Award
Reclaim Accepted by John Sowka Jr. Water
Accepted by Robert Johnson.
Pat Flanagan Award
Presented to David Pickard and accepted by Michael Pickard.
At the luncheon podium Mechler delivers her outgoing address to the attendees.
Mechler displays her plaque commemorating her term as president.
Mechler passes the gavel to Paterniti.
Joe Paterniti began his term as FWEA president for 2024-2025.

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 Stormwater Management and Emerging Technologies. 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!

SMART Utility Management Systems and Decision Support Tools for Informed Decisions

Bryan T. Veith, Gregory Rouse, and Sean Fitzgerald (Article 1: CEU = 0.1 WW 02015438)

1. What does CMOM stand for?

a) Coastal management and operations model

b) Capacity, management, operations, and maintenance

c) County management of operational metrics

d) Community monitoring and oversight measure

2. What is the county’s CMOM vision described as?

a) Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based

b) Sustainable, modern, adaptive, resilient, and technological

c) Strategic, motivated, aligned, resourceful, and transparent

d) Simple, memorable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound

3. What is the focus of this article regarding CMOM?

a) Asset management and regulatory compliance

b) Wastewater collection system (WCS) rehabilitation and replacement

c) Data warehouse framework implementation

d) Decision support tools and their benefits

4. How many miles of gravity sewers does the county’s WCS include?

a) Approximately 675 miles

b) 810 miles

c) 550 miles

d) 1,273 miles

5. Which of the following is not listed as a county deficiency during the 2020 CMOM development phase?

a) Inconsistent asset onboarding processes

b) Absence of maintenance records of any kind

c) Failure to document or update ongoing condition assessments

d) No centralized information systems with real time access

(ACPA) has announced that this year’s Concrete Pipe Week will be held September 22-28. Concrete Pipe Week recognizes the significance of concrete pipe and box culverts and affirms their contributions to building long-lasting and sustainable communities and infrastructure.

The celebration will include a week full of webinars, plant tours (locally and virtually), state proclamations, and customer events.

About Concrete Pipe Week

Concrete Pipe Week recognizes the significance that the reinforced concrete pipe and precast industry has in the quality of life, and affirms the contributions of the concrete pipe and precast industry to each state and province. It’s a time to recognize the contributions of ACPA’s partners: public works agencies, departments of transportation, engineering companies, associate members, steel producers, form producers, casting producers, the trucking industry, sand and rock producers, contractors, cement producers, academia, and everyone associated with the buried infrastructure industry and the products this industry requires.

“Concrete Pipe Week celebrates the nation’s resilient infrastructure,” says Steven Hawkins, AIA, president of ACPA. “Like oxygen, the infrastructure hidden beneath the places where we travel, work, and play, is largely taken for granted until the moment we don’t have enough. Concrete pipe is central to the infrastructure in the United States and

ACPA Announces 2024 Concrete Pipe Week

has proven to be remarkably reliable for more than a century. We believe this is the reason to celebrate our industry’s contribution to the nation’s resilient infrastructure.”

The week-long celebration includes activities and events at the national, state, and local levels.

Concrete Pipe Week Events

Complimentary Webinars

Several webinars are being offered about concrete pipe and the resources available from ACPA and its affiliated state associations.

State Proclamations

Governors and other elected officials from around the U.S. share their support and pride in concrete pipe by signing state declarations for Concrete Pipe Week. Declarations, pictures, and public sentiments are shared leading up to and during the celebration. In addition to the online activities, ACPA members from across the country are hosting in-person plant tours and customer appreciation events, and offering educational opportunities.

“While Concrete Pipe Week allows us to take pride in our products,” says Michael Kremer, ACPA vice president of marketing, “it goes beyond our members. We also celebrate the contributions of all our partners. The week is about the entire value chain and pipeline of suppliers, producers, and installers who take pride in building a resilient and sustainable future.”

For more information about Concrete Pipe Week visit concretepipeweek.org/activities.

About the American Concrete Pipe Association

The ACPA was originally conceived in 1907 by a small group of concrete farm drain tile manufacturers as the Interstate Cement Tile Manufacturers Association in Ames, Iowa. The group needed some means of exchanging ideas and establishing high-quality, standardized products. In 1914, the organization was renamed the American Concrete Pipe Association.

Throughout the 20th century, the concrete pipe industry has experienced tremendous growth. As more and more people moved from farms to cities, it created increased demand for concrete sewer and drainage products. The introduction of the automobile and subsequent highway development extended the uses of concrete pipe storm drains and culverts.

The ACPA represents the concrete pipe industry in all matters affecting the industry’s welfare. The ACPA members contribute to the improvement of the environment by producing quality concrete pipe that’s engineered to provide a lasting and economical solution to drainage and pollution problems.

There are currently over 400 plants operated by ACPA members in the U.S. and Canada. Over 40 countries are represented in the membership of ACPA and its international headquarters is located in Irving, Texas.

For more information go to www. concretepipe.org. S

>> 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.


This annual awards program of the FSAWWA Water Use Efficiency Division (WUED) recognizes successful water efficiency progra s and projects throughout Florida.

Award Categories:

Comprehensive Water Conservation Pro a Program Element- Single Program Hig light

Agencies will be awarded one of the folio Best in Class or Show of Excellence

For online application and information, visit : fsawwa.org/wcawards

Entries must be submitted b Friday, October 18, 2024 ----

For additional information, please contact: Cassidy Hampton, Water Use Efficiency Division (WUED) Chair cassidy.hampton@swfwmd.state.fl.us

December 8 -11, 2024

Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate fsawwa.org

More Than Water Quality: Benefits of a Wetland Treatment System

s we celebrate the 4th of July, we may find ourselves enjoying one of the 30,000 lakes in the state of Florida. Our lakes are one of the reasons Florida is known as the “Fishing Capital of the World.”

Fishing is an integral part of everyday life in Florida, not just for recreation, but also for consumption. Many wildlife species call our lakes home, as well.

Besides fishing, other recreational activities on our lakes include paddleboarding, wakeboarding, jet skiing, and boating, to name a few. Lakes are also important in helping our communities conserve potable water, as they serve as a source of irrigation and play a vital role in receiving stormwater runoff to prevent flooding.

To minimize human pollution entering our

natural water bodies, there are several actions we can take to help:

S Limit the use of fertilizers

S Incorporate Florida-Friendly plants into the landscape

S Plant native aquatics along shorelines

You can also consider volunteering to join the University of Florida LAKEWATCH water quality monitoring program or participate in community trash cleanups—all of these efforts contribute significantly to helping our lakes. Finally, promoting public education to raise awareness about the impacts of mistreating our lakes is essential (http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu).

July is Lakes Appreciation Month and one fun way to celebrate is by participating in the annual Robert Carlson Secchi Dip-In to track changes in water quality (www.nalms.org/secchidipin), which has been happening since 1994.

Some of my staff and I took on the challenge at Lake Silver, which was experiencing algal blooms for several years. Since March 2022, our division has implemented a series of aluminum sulfate treatments to this lake to improve the water quality. Prior to the alum applications, the average Secchi depth was 7.25 feet; during our field visit, Lake Silver’s Secchi depth measurement was over 15 feet!

However you choose to celebrate Lake Appreciation Month, I hope you enjoy your time on the water! S

Lisa Lotti taking Secchi measurement.
Athena Tipaldos taking Secchi measurement.
Hannah Yucht and Lisa Lotti taking Secchi measurement.
Aquatics and water sampling crews together on Lake Silver. Pictured (left to right) are Athena Tipaldos, Mike Whiting, Hannah Yucht, Ovall Mann, and Lisa Lotti.
Aquatics and water sampling crews together on Lake Silver. Pictured (left to right) are John Pinder, Athena Tipaldos, Hannah Yucht, Ovall Mann, Lisa Lotti, and Mike Whiting.

Innovative Solutions: Exploring Existing and Emerging Stormwater Management Technologies

Summer Connections: Networking for a Purpose and Passion

Happy July 4th! I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday. I also hope you

On May 21, the AWWA Water Landmark Award was presented to the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Pictured (left to right) are Mayor Dean L. Trantalis; Emeliz Torres, Region VI chair; Tyler Tedcastle, FSAWWA vice-chair; and Steve Hillberg, senior project manager, public works department, City of Fort Lauderdale.

get a chance to attend some of the enjoyable FSAWWA events coming up on our “Calendar of Events.” Two of them are fundraising with friends events, where you can meet, mingle, and make a difference for AWWA’s Water For People. The Florida 2051 event will be the third annual workshop with panels and interactive and engaging activities. The Region V Expo has been a staple of southwest Florida’s utility industry.

S July 25 - Region III Wine for Water Event - 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Orlando Science Center

S August 8 - Region IV Annual Water For

People Event - 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Tampa Armature Works

S August 16 - FL2051 Water Utility Community Innovation, Technology, and Financial Workshop - 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Orlando Convention Center, Sunburst Room

S August 22 - Region V Seventeenth Annual Water and Wastewater Expo - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center

In May, several of our FSAWWA board members helped present the Water Landmark Award to the City of Fort Lauderdale. Congratulations to both Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton on this prestigious AWWA award.

Revolutionizing Rainwater: Strategic Planning and Technologies

This month’s magazine focuses on stormwater management and emerging technologies.

In the Village of Tequesta (Tequesta), we are surrounded by water: the Loxahatchee River, the North Fork of the Loxahatchee River, and the Indian River Lagoon (Figure 1).

Part of my responsibilities as the utilities director of Tequesta’s utilities department is stormwater. Like much of Florida, the topography is very flat, with open land for stormwater ponds, and infrastructure is almost nonexistent. Because the surrounding water bodies are impaired and we and our nearby stakeholders want to preserve the habitat and enhance the water quality, we formed partnerships and interlocal agreements to implement projects that will improve water quality in the surrounding receiving waters.

We are members of the Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative (LRPI) and the Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council. Both partnerships have members of interested stakeholders and regulatory agencies. Tequesta has implemented some specific projects, such as bioswales, through a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) grant. One of the challenges of constructing bioswales is that

Figure 1. Village of Tequesta and its waterbodies.

they are much more expensive than restoring an existing regular swale and they take additional maintenance; however, it improves the discharged water quality. We have also received a joint grant with the Town of Jupiter to improve water quality by constructing a living shoreline for Dover Ditch (Figures 2 and 3), for which the two municipalities share maintenance responsibilities. The Dover Ditch project was presented to the LRPI and received support when requesting the grant.

Although we are continuing to strive for water quality improvement in Tequesta, including stronger stormwater retention permitting requirements for redevelopment and home additions (holding the first two inches onsite for new impervious areas added to a residential site), we have had to spend much of our maintenance dollars on aging infrastructure by lining our stormwater pipes. When I think about emerging technologies and new stormwater management approaches, I consider quality and quantity. Some emerging or enhanced concepts for stormwater management that come to mind are:

S Conduct a vulnerability assessment (VA). The FDEP has money available for 100 percent funding for conducting such a study for your municipality, county, special district, etc., to help determine inundation of assets through data gathering, modeling, and developing a list of prioritized stormwater improvement projects to help protect critical assets. I can’t stress enough how important it is to develop such a list, which can be used to justify funding and to partner with nearby agencies for mutual benefit. In Palm Beach County (PBC), seven southeast county municipalities partnered with PBC to develop a unified VA, which is anticipated to be used to advocate for grants and other funding to protect critical assets. Tequesta will be holding a second public workshop as we start to complete our VA and the associated adaptation plan.

S One Water concept. This includes a holistic look at water and water supply, and how we can optimize all our water resources. This is a national initiative by the US Water Alliance, and there are initiatives across Florida utilities. One important tenet of One Water is to harvest and harness stormwater for potable water supply and irrigation. West Palm Beach’s Renaissance Project has been in place for over 25 years, and it takes stormwater in a small semiisolated lobe at the southern end of Clear Lake, treats it, and allows it to flow to West Palm Beach’s Clear Lake, its main surface

Figure 2. Tequesta/Jupiter Dover Ditch project summary.
Figure 3. Tequesta/Jupiter Dover Ditch project photos.
Figure 4. Detail for bioswales in the Village of Tequesta.

Continued from page 65

water reservoir. The primary source of water to Clear Lake is the 23-square-mile Grassy Waters everglades preserve, which drains into an adjacent canal (M-Canal) with much of that water flowing into Clear Lake.

S Bioswales. This is just like it sounds; bioswales have a biological component that removes nutrients before stormwater discharges into the receiving water bodies (Figure 4).

S Smart ponds. A smart pond takes weather patterns predicted from live forecast data, controls water levels using technology, and lowers pond levels before flooding can occur (Figure 5).


Environmental component

Social component





Groundwater Land use

Types of vegetation

Building codes

Storage capacity

Infrastructure (dams, dikes, levees)


Population (density, poverty, age)

Proximity to inundated area

Cultural heritage

Natural reservations

Urban growth

Quality of infrastructure

Population (education, growth, access to public services and health services)



Past experiences

Trust in institutions


Urban planning

Regional GDP

Recovery time of floods Environmental concern

Warning system

Evacuation routes

Emergency services


Institutional capacity

S Nanobubbles. These have been shown to improve water quality, but need power if used in places such as golf courses. According to Rob Teegarden, a former FSAWWA chair who has several units installed in golf courses, they have been shown to significantly improve the water quality of golf course ponds, are used for irrigation, and reduce the amount of soil amendments or nutrients that have traditionally been a staple of golf course health. They result in significant operational savings, as well as improved water quality. I’d like to see a triple-bottom-line accounting of nanobubbles used to help determine their overall environmental and financial benefit.

S “Living shoreline” projects. These can improve water quality to receiving water bodies (see project description).

Asking the Experts

I posed several questions to seasoned stormwater professionals with years of experience in the industry. Here are their responses:

David Cowan Jr.

David Cowan Jr., P.E., ENV SP, is senior civil engineer with Chen Moore and Associates.

What is the biggest threat to stormwater systems over the next 30 years?

S Lack of funding.

Investment in counter

Economic component

Land use

Proximity to inundated area

Percentage of urbanized area

Employment conditions Inequality

Quality of infrastructure

Urban growth

Urban planning

(source: UNESCO IHE, 2007 [modified])

Flood insurances

Recovery time

Past experiences

What creative stormwater projects have you seen (designed/in place)?

S New use of weather tracking retention ponds (smart ponds).

S Dover Ditch, a tributary of Cahoon Creek that is a riparian corridor restoration project, using a “living shoreline” concept to improve water quality.

Figure 5 . Smart pond graphic. (source: National Stormwater Trust website)
Table 1. Flood Vulnerability Factors

What do you recommend stormwater providers plan for over the next 10, 20, 30, and 50 years?

S Provide new ways to meet water quality rules, underground storage, indirect uses for drawdown between storms, credits for developers for green infrastructure, and nature-based solutions.

S Demonstration projects in the right of way by municipalities.

Here are some links to more information from David:

S www.moleaer.com/blog/lakes-ponds/waterremediation-for-stormwater

S www.sbir.gov/node/2073893

S www.sustainability.ncsu.edu/ blog/2018/03/01/floating-islands

Anne Capelli

Anne Capelli is a senior project manager with Mock-Roos Consulting Engineers. She works closely with Alan Wertepny, P.E., vice president of water resources at MockRoos. They lead Palm Beach County’s and its municipalities’ National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits that roll up into the county’s permit for submittal to FDEP.

What is the biggest threat to stormwater systems over the next 30 years?

S The biggest threat to our stormwater management systems, in continuing to provide flood protection, is probably climate change (both sea level rise and an increase in the frequency and intensity of storm events). Existing infrastructure was designed using criteria that will no longer represent the conditions that will be encountered. This threat is closely followed by the challenge of maintaining and/or replacing existing stormwater management infrastructure so that flood protection can continue to be provided. Much of the primary and secondary stormwater management infrastructure system is 40, 50, and even 60 years old.

What are the most creative stormwater projects you have seen (designed/in place)?

S One project, which Mock-Roos was involved with, was the City of West Palm Beach’s Renaissance Project. Twentyfive years ago, the concept of rerouting stormwater runoff back into a water supply system was pretty “innovative” in south Florida, but excessive stormwater runoff was having detrimental effects on the Lake Worth Lagoon (an intracoastal waterway) and there was a strong push to stop wasting

Table 2. Summary of Benefits, Costs, and Barriers for Each of the Engineering Alternatives in the Toolbox

Developed by the Florida Atlantic University Center for Water Resiliency and Risk Reduction (CWR3)


Class Implementation Strategy

Green Rainwater harvesting


Local, small-scale, easily implemented in developed areas

Gray Pervious paving Parking lots, patios, driveways, anything except paved roads due to traffic loading

Green Detention Common for new development, but difficult to retrofit; limited to open areas

Gray Exfiltration Trench

Gray Central sewer installation

Any low-lying area where stormwater collects and the water table is more than 3 feet below the surface; densely developed areas where retention is not available, roadways

All areas where there are septic tanks; mostly a water quality issue

Green Flood prone property acquisition

Regional agency; could be any lowlying areas

Benefits Cost (2020 dollars)

Protects property, treats runoff Under $5,000

Reduces roadway and parking lot flooding

Removes water from streets, reduces flooding

Excess water drains to aquifer, some treatment provided

Public health benefit of reducing discharges to lawns, canals, and groundwater from septic tanks

Removes floodprone areas from risk

runoff to tide, when it could be stored and directed to other beneficial uses. The project was designed to address these challenges by collecting stormwater runoff from an established and redeveloping urban watershed, treating the runoff with an alum injection system, settling out solids and nutrients, and routing the water into one of the city’s surface water supply lakes.

S The Wellington Environmental Preserve was, and is, another creative stormwater project that Mock-Roos had the privilege of working on. This solution was developed specifically to address a water quality treatment need, but also provides additional flood protection and an outstanding environmental experience. Stormwater

Barriers to Implementation

Limited volume disposed of, so many are needed; maintenance

$10-20/sf, requires bumpers and subbase to maintain paver integrity Must be maintained via vacuuming or the perviousness fades after two to three years

$200K/ac Land availability, maintenance of pond, discharge location; uses up land that could otherwise be developed

$250/ft Significant damage to roadways for installation, maintenance needed, clogging issues reduce benefits

$15,000 per household Cost, assessments against property owners, property rights issues

$2K$100K/ac depending on whether it is already developed

Difficult to implement if occupied, issues with willing sellers, cost, lack of funds for acquisition

runoff from the south half of Wellington, which had historically discharged south into the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, was replumbed into the Village’s 365-acre environmental preserve for the removal of phosphorus.

What do you recommend stormwater providers plan for over the next 10, 20, 30, and 50 years?

S I’d like to see stormwater system owners make system inspection and maintenance as important as capital stormwater projects. One way this could be approached is by establishing capital maintenance programs that identify larger, more-costly maintenance items and outline both short-

Continued on page 68

and long-term plans for addressing them. The stormwater system needs identified during the 2022 state-mandated stormwater needs analysis would be a good place to start.

S It’s a safe bet to anticipate an increase in the need to provide additional water quality treatment for stormwater runoff or to reduce the volume of stormwater runoff from new and redeveloped areas. This ties in with the state’s growing list of verified impaired waterbodies and the establishment/adoption of total maximum daily loads for those impaired waterbodies.

S And obviously, climate change must be taken into account in all system maintenance and improvement planning.

Stormwater: Other Florida Issues

Over half the people in the United States are served by the 500 largest utilities and most of their water sources are surface waters. Those surface waters are often someone else’s stormwater runoff unless significantly spring-fed.

The Florida perspective is far different for most water utilities (including stormwater). Most potable water comes from groundwater wells except for a few surface water sources, such as the aforementioned West Palm Beach and the City of Tampa. For our state, stormwater is primarily associated with typical storm activity; our main worry is the flooding associated with the storms and runoff. Increasingly, Florida has experienced more hurricanes over the last 20 plus years.

Moreover, it’s not getting better, as the predictions for this year are more of the same. The 2024 storm season is anticipated to be one of the most active in years—hurricane experts project 23 named storms.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, 2019), over 98 percent of counties in the U.S. have experienced a previous flooding event, and just one inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage per household. In 1990, FEMA created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) to encourage community floodplain management activities to meet the long-term goal of protecting life and property. As of 2017, nearly 3.6 million policyholders in 1,520 communities have participated in the CRS program, out of 22,000 communities participating in the NFIP, which equates to only 7 percent of the possible participants (FEMA, 2017). Nearly half of these are in Florida.

Despite the risk associated with tropical storms, Florida will remain a desirable place to live, so the interconnectedness of waterbodies will require a more-integrated solution to resolve water quantity and quality issues. Making thoughtful, long-term decisions will be important because infrastructure and development typically have an expected life cycle of at least 50 years or more. It is important to create a planning framework to protect vulnerable infrastructure through a long-term plan. This includes creating policies that conform with the fact that most buildings last about 50 years, so new regulations can solve a lot of our challenges.

There is a link to climate: we are warmer and wetter part of the year, and drier at other times. Whether or not comate changes impact storms is not really important—the fact that storms are getting what appears to be stronger, is. We are vulnerable, and the fact that over half the population lives within 20 miles of the coast in Florida adds urgency to this situation.

Formerly known as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO (2007) defines vulnerability as the extent of harm, which can be expected under certain conditions of exposure, susceptibility, and resilience. Following this definition, flood vulnerability can be accessed considering the factors shown in Table 1. Flood vulnerability cannot be estimated with 100 percent certainty; however, decision makers or specific stakeholders use flood risk analysis to define protection and adaptation measures that reduce flood vulnerability in their communities before the possible harm is realized. In Florida, we see major challenges, such as sea level rise, storm frequency, and

Continued on page 70

Figure 6. Periodic table of solutions.
Figure 7. Historical and projected sea level rise from 1929 to 2100 –Miami Beach Station (Bloetscher, Abbate, & Sobhan, 2023)

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What Do You Know About Wastewater Collection Systems? Test Yourself

1. A properly designed and constructed wastewater collection system is constructed to provide a water velocity greater than

a. 0.5 feet per second.

b. 1 foot per second.

c. 1.5 feet per second.

d. 2 feet per second.

2. The wastewater within collection systems is usually conveyed by

a. centrifugal pumps.

b. gravity using the natural slope of the land.

c. positive displacement pumps.

d. none of the above.

3. Wastewater collection systems are designed and built

a. to remove pathogens within wastewater.

b. to remove water runoff.

c. to remove vectors.

d. none of the above.

4. The most important line of defense to a prevent disease outbreak according to the “Methods and Objectives of Preventive Medicine” is

a. sanitation.

b. inoculation.

c. isolation.

d. none of the above.

5. Which is true concerning the responsibilities of collection system operators?

a. Protecting public health and safety.

b. Protecting the environment.

c. Preserving the community’s capital investment.

d. All of the above.

6. Lift stations are used to raise wastewater

a. from a higher elevation to a lower elevation.

b. from a middle elevation to a higher elevation.

c. from a lower elevation to a higher elevation.

d. none of the above.

7. Lift station pumps are selected for

a. constant or consistent flows.

b. intermittent flows.

c. low flows.

d. all of the above.

8. A dry well station is designed to isolate which of the following from the wet well?

a. Pumps

b. Motors

c. Electrical controls

d. All of the above.

9. Given a typical per capita flow of 70 gallons per day, the estimated flow into the collection system of the city of Long Island, N.Y., with a population of 7.647 million people, is

a. 600,000,000.

b. 235,000,000.

c. 435,500,000.

d. 535,290,000.

10. Actual velocities within the collection system should be high enough to prevent

a. scouring.

b. deposition of solids.

c. cleaning of the pipe.

d. none of the above.

Answers on page 82

References used for this quiz:

• Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems, Volume I fifth edition

• Operation and Maintenance of Wastewater Collection Systems. Volume II fifth edition

Continued from page 68

infrastructure conditions, along with elevation and the risk to residents in low-lying areas. While uncertainties in the scale, timing, and location of the challenges can complicate decision making, response strategies can be effective if planning is initiated early.

The risks to water and sewer utilities are real—water mains and sewer lines are under the roads—and roadway bases are already failing in many low-lying areas. Water mains are subject to corrosion from saltwater and sewer lines will leak from the surface (inflow as opposed to infiltration). Changing P materials can help, as can sealing the sewer system, but making sure we understand the challenges is important. We still keep confusing inflow and infiltration, but they are not the same and are not fixed the same way. The key is to be able to determine failure modes, which a challenge for busy staffs.

There are many potential solutions. Dr. Fred Bloetscher, associate dean for undergraduate studies and community outreach for the department of civil, environmental, and geomatics engineering at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), provided information that they developed of large-scale solutions (see Table 2 and Figure 6). Rainfall, sea level rise, and heat-related events pose significant challenges for Florida, particularly impacting its coastal regions, which host the majority of the state’s population. Figure 7 shows the actual sea level rise increase in south Florida. Based on the analysis by FAU researchers, from 1929 to 1992, over 10 inches of sea level rise had been measured based on tide gauges, and since 1992 an additional rise of five inches has been documented (Bloetscher, Abbate, & Sobhan, 2023).

Going forward we are going to need to spend time talking about how much money will be spent. Once the vulnerability assessment and mitigation measures have been determined, the next step is to implement the plan to address these issues; in other words, it is often possible to add mitigation measures to existing capital improvement programs.

There are many stormwater challenges ahead, but starting now (if you haven’t started already) will be critical to our success. Many stormwater utilities are woefully underfunded, and using a vulnerability assessment and prioritized adaptation plan can help provide valuable information for justifying projects and funding. We need to do this to be prepared for the future.

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

Many thanks to David Cohen, Anne Capelli, and Dr. Fred Bloetscher for their help with this column.

“See” you next month! S

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Activated Carbon Engineered Solution to Inactivate Karenia brevis and Adsorb Toxins Associated With Florida Red Tide

Domenic Contrino, Leverto Jean Charles, Benjamin Pepper, Alisia Holland, Vince Lovko, and Regina Rodriguez.

Large ocean blooms of Karenia brevis, often called “Florida red tide” or red tide, have ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States. When these harmful algal blooms are allowed to grow and migrate toward the coast they cause fish kills, respiratory issues among coastal residents, and billions of dollars in losses to the fishing, tourism, and aquaculture industries of the surrounding areas. Along with human respiratory hazards, elevated toxin levels in the water lead to fish kills, where for miles fish line the shores as they wash up, causing more hazards associated with decomposition and cleanup costs. Algal toxins that leave the water and enter the air cause respiratory irritation and force beaches to shut down and limit people from accessing oceanfront properties, restaurants, and other businesses. As a result, the state of Florida reorganized the Red Tide Task Force in 2019 and approved Florida Senate Bill 1552 establishing the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, by which this project was funded, to provide funding allocations and expert guidance to address causes and mitigation tools against red tide.

Several reports highlight the enormous costs associated with red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and surrounding states.

A 1974 study on a relatively short bloom (four months) estimated the tourism industry of southwest Florida was adversely impacted by an estimated $100 million (based on 2020 dollars) as a result of a fairly mild red tide event four years earlier in 1970 [1, 2]. A report by Hoagland [2], estimated $4 million in emergency-room charges incurred by health conditions caused by a bloom spanning 2001 and 2002.

Financial impacts of a recent 2018 red tide

event, which may have been the largest in recent history, have been recently analyzed by a group at the University of Central Florida [3] to show nonlinear impacts as the bloom persists longer and longer. In late 2017, higher concentrations of red tide began to appear near the coast of southwest Florida. Over the coming months, the bloom grew and spread so far that, by fall 2018, it had rounded the straits of Florida and started to impact the southeast coast of Florida as well.

The impacts caused the state to issue a state of emergency for seven counties on the southwestern coast of Florida, where impacts were the most severe and the bloom persisted until spring 2019. Alvarez et al. [3] report that, for southwest, ocean-facing counties of Florida (i.e., Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, down to Monroe), an estimated $1.24 million of revenue was lost per day in areas with a persistent red tide bloom at low concentrations (10,000 to 100,000 cells/L), and up to $1.67 million per day at high bloom concentrations (<1,000,000 cells/L).

For the three southeastern oceanfacing counties of Florida with larger tourism destinations (i.e., Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach) these estimates are $9.79 million per day for low concentrations, and $17.71 million per day for medium concentration (100,000 to 1,000,000 cells/L). In total, this recent red tide event in 2018 is estimated to have impacted these local economies by up to $2.6 billion in losses [3] as tourism and hospitality were severally limited.

The current strategy is simply to limit human exposure by avoiding the beach and waiting until the tides, currents, or other natural processes diminish the bloom or shift it away

Table 1. Samples of Powdered Flavonoid and Activated Carbon 1:1 Weight/Weight Blends

Label Activated Carbon Algicide

C1-CA Carbon 1 Commercial pond algicide

C2-Cr Carbon 2 Potassium dichromate

C1-FL Carbon 1 Flavone

C1-IP Carbon 1 Ipriflavone

C1-LU Carbon 1 Luteolin

C1-QU Carbon 1 Quercetin

Domenic Contrino is research engineer, Leverto Jean Charles is research lab technician, Benjamin Pepper is applications engineer, Alisia Holland is research engineer, and Regina Rodriguez is chief executive officer with Carbonxt Inc. in Gainesville. Vince Lovko is staff scientist with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

from coastal waters, which in some cases could take months, or even years. A simple approach to this strategy has been proposed, including compilation of existing public data to a single mobile app or webpage [4]. Although effective at limiting human exposure, this avoidance strategy does not address the adverse impacts on marine life or lost revenue, nor does it suggest a solution in limiting bloom spread. The need for a mitigation tool to limit the growth of blooms and actively reduce impacts is apparent. Luteolin and related flavonoid compounds have recently been discussed as a naturally derived candidate for the mitigation of harmful algal blooms. Several studies have looked at the effects of luteolin on various harmful algae, including marine dinoflagellate and freshwater cyanobacteria [5-9]. These studies showed that the compounds reduced cell counts of a control species, rather than the entire phytoplankton community. In one specific instance, as it relates to K. brevis, a marine dinoflagellate (Park et al.) showed the selectivity of their algicide to reducing cell abundance of dinoflagellates, but not diatoms [10]. A possible mechanism of bloom elimination with flavonoids is linked to inhibition of photosynthetic function, here too in a selective manner rather than totally destruction of phytoplankton community [11]

Additional work with quercetin showed no detrimental effect to Chlamydomonas sp. or Dunaliella tertiolecta, but did have strong inhibition of Thalassiosira pseudonana photosynthesis. These reports have been used to assess the methodologies and feasibility of combining an effective algicide with activated carbon in an engineered product for the selective reduction of harmful algae.

Aside from the destruction of red tide cells and limiting its growth, the adsorption of toxins is a critical component to reducing harmful effects and limiting the spread of dissolved or aerosolized toxins. Toxins inside the cells (brevetoxins) are released when cell walls rupture, causing severe health effects. It’s well known that activated carbon is a commonly used material capable of removing trace organics from water [12-15] and thus will be explored along with algicidal compounds.

Activated carbon has also been found to be an effective adsorbent for algal cellular material and toxins [16-18]. While many studies focus on freshwater cyanobacteria and microcystin, it’s important to understand the different adsorption affinities of activated carbon for comparison of freshwater adsorption to marine adsorption in which both the pH of the water and ionic strength can be radically different between the two. The benefits to adsorption via activated carbon are that the bonds of adsorption are strong, and permanent, allowing for possible degradation over time of adsorbed toxins. One work studying brevetoxin adsorption onto activated carbon [16] showed brevetoxins adsorption to a coconut-shell-based activated carbon was so strong it could not be desorbed via conventional solvent extraction, an extraction technique much more severe than what would be experienced in a natural deployment.

Typically, water in Sarasota Bay is around a pH of 8.1, with a salinity of 32 parts per trillion (ppt) [19]. The adsorption of cellular algal peptides significantly decreases as a function of pH; however, at elevated pH levels associated with marine environments, the salinity increases adsorption of these compounds for some activated carbons [18, 20]. The direct assessment of K. brevis adsorption in marine waters is therefore critical to understanding both efficacy and dosage requirements as this will vary across specific applications and local water conditions. High ionic strengths of sea water also will play a role as discussed in more depth.

Beyond water quality parameters affecting adsorption performance, activated carbon properties resulting in the choice of raw material can also strongly dictate the selection of sorbent to be deployed. Regression modeling of several activated carbons was done on

drinking water to best assess characteristics of adsorption performance [13]. This study showed characteristics, such as tannin value and phenol number, were far more effective at predicting activated carbon’s performance to remove trace organics than traditionally reported characteristics, like surface area or iodine value. This increased performance was ascribed to well-established mesopore structures (as correlated to tannin value), which help diffusion of contaminants throughout the activated carbon and limit pore blockage by organic matter [13]. In many cases, the surface area, and particularly, the iodine number, are strongly correlated to micropore volume and do not represent the entirety of the carbon’s pore structure or performance in natural waters. With the particularly hydrophilic nature of algal organic matter [21] present in significantly larger volumes than the hydrophobic brevetoxins [22], heterogeneous pore size distributions and surface chemistries observed with thermally activated wood-based activated carbons are of value to avoid pore blockage phenomena.

The Carbonxt team in Gainesville has been studying nutrient impacts in water systems for years and is focused on developing, commercializing, and producing unique engineered activated carbons with a first-ofits-kind manufacturing operation in Georgia. This includes Hydrestor, which is a first-ofits-kind activated carbon sorbent targeted at removing phosphorous from reclaimed wastewater. Carbonxt’s production facility produces a renewable wood-based sorbent that lends itself very well to this application, having a wide distribution of pores for adsorption and nontoxic components (like heavy metals in the ash) that could affect the ecosystem where it will be deployed. The team is poised with industryleading research and development capabilities and a strong commitment to environmental remediations.

The partnership with the Mote Marine Laboratory allowed the group to target what was particularly harmful to the Gulf Coast of Florida, K. brevis, which was chosen as the target algae in this study. Tests herein demonstrate an effective dose of a commercially available highpurity luteolin, combined with wood-based powdered activated carbon (PAC), in an allin-one approach to reducing abundance and


bloom health in situ to an active lab culture of K. brevis. Additional flavonoids were also tested, along with a commercially available pond algicide. Water from Sarasota Bay was used after filtration and disinfection.

Materials and Methods


This work was done primarily with a woodbased activated carbon powdered to pass 325 mesh (Carbon 1, Carbonxt Inc.). The activated carbon was dried at 120°C for 24 hours and stored in a desiccator until use. A commercially available, sodium carbonate peroxyhydratebased pond algicide was used and purchased from local retailers. Flavonoid compounds quercetin (>94 percent, Thermo Scientific), ipriflavone (>98 percent, TCI American), flavone (>99 percent, Thermo Scientific), and luteolin (>98 percent, Tocris bioscience) were purchased for preliminary assessments. In one instance potassium dichromate was used with

Continued on page 74

Figure 1. 80-L test
Table 2. Activated Carbon Physical Properties

Continued from page 73

a high-surface-area coconut-shell-derived activated carbon (Carbon 2) as comparison (Figure 2).

To combine the two ingredients, equal parts by weight of algicide (i.e., commercial product, hexavalent chromium, or flavonoid) and activated carbon were mixed until homogeneity was achieved. This methodology was used throughout the tests. Sample details and nomenclature are shown in Table 1.

Activated Carbon Characterization

Porosity characteristics of all sorbents were analyzed using nitrogen adsorption/desorption via a Quantachrome NOVA 2200e (Boca Raton). Each sample was held at 110°C under vacuum for at least three hours prior to analysis to effectively clear out the pores for accurate

measurements. Isotherms were conducted with ultrahigh-purity nitrogen gas (Airgas) at a constant temperature of approximately -196°C. The surface area of each sample was calculated by the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) equation at a relative pressure, P/P0, of 0.01 to 0.3. The average pore size is calculated from the pore volume, distributed over various pore sizes as done within the instrument software. The volume of adsorbed nitrogen gas adsorbed by the carbon was plotted against the relative pressure to determine the total pore volume. Midsized pore volume (mesopores) was measured following the Barrett-JoynerHalenda (BJH) method of determining pore size distributions. Micropore volume and pore size distributions as shown were measured by density functional theory.

A modified ASTM D6851 standard

procedure for contact pH was used. Measurements for solution pH were taken using an Accumet AP55 (pH) and connected to an Orion Star portable pH meter (Thermo-Fisher). Ultrapure water (Barnstead) was sparged with ultrahigh-purity nitrogen gas (Airgas) for at least 20 minutes. The pH of the deionized water was first measured to ensure an acceptable starting pH of 6 to 7 prior to activated carbon addition (10 percent by weight). The sample was stirred for 30 minutes and then the pH was measured immediately.

Mitigation Efficacy Testing

Seawater used for these mitigation tests was collected from research docks on the south end of Sarasota Bay about 1 nautical mi from the Gulf of Mexico. The natural water passes through various filtration steps (i.e., 5µm, activated carbon; ultraviolet, 0.2µm) to sanitize and remove particulates prior to use in these experiments. K. brevis was cultured in the laboratory and diluted to concentrations with filtered seawater.

The first tier of testing was done in 10-mL glass wells at the various dosages between 0.1 g/L and 1 g/L. The powders were added to the test solutions directly, with minimal stirring. Larger tests were then done in 1-L glass jars, and finally in 80-L polyvinyl chloride columns (Figure 1). In the 80-L columns, samples were taken from tubing at various depths without disrupting the water columns to assess impacts at different depths. The tanks were lit with full-spectrum LED lighting up to ~800 µmol m2/s at the surface of the water and operate on a 12:12 light:dark cycle. Concentrations of K. brevis were near 250,000 cells/L for 10-mL

Figure 2. Pore size distribution of Carbon 1 (wood-based, left) and Carbon 2 (coconut-shell-based, right). Note different y-axis scales.
Figure 3. Screening tests of two commercial algicides and two different activated carbons. Both were dosed at 1 g/L.

screening tests, and 1,000,000 cells/L in all tests in 1-L jars or above, which correspond to approximately medium and severe intensity bloom concentrations, respectively.

Control samples were conducted alongside treatment samples with similar cell concentrations and in similar environments. Results are depicted normalized to the control concentrations and error bars represent the standard deviation of the average for that sample. Sampling for screening tests was done in at least duplicate, and sampling for 1-L tests and above were done in triplicate.

Measurements for cell abundance were conducted using microscopy with a SedgewickRafter counting chamber. Cell photophysiology (i.e., cell health) was quantified with pulseamplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometry (Walz PhytoPAM compact). Toxin concentrations were quantified with highperformance liquid chromatography (HPLC) at the Mote Marine Ecotoxicology Laboratory to quantify concentrations of both classes of Brevetoxin A and B and specifically subtypes PbTx-1, Pb-Tx-2, and PbTx-3, as these are the most



Activated Carbon Characterization

The activated carbon selected for this work had a surface area of 335 m2/g and a total pore volume of 0.185 cc/g, with an average pore diameter of 22.1 angstroms. The activated carbon was largely microporous with a good pore size distribution allowing for channeling of trace toxin into the pores. Water changes pH when in contact with activated carbon as a function of dissociation of surface functional

Continued on page 76

natural blooms [23]
Figure 4. Screening tests with various activated carbon flavonoid blends C1-FL (top left), C1-IP (top right), C1-LU (bottom left), and C1-QU (bottom right).
Figure 5. Screening tests in larger sizes and over longer time scales of C1-LU against K. brevis
Figure 6. K. brevis bloom vitality as a function of photosynthetic yield after contact with C1-LU blend.

Continued from page 75

groups from the carbon or adsorption of ions from the water [24]. Water contact pH of the activated carbon was as expected for a thermally activated wood-based carbon (pH of 9.8 and 10.2) and suggests a surface with minimal acidic oxygen functional groups [25, 26] .

Activated carbon physical properties are listed in Table 2.

Reduction of Karenia brevis Cell Counts and Toxin Adsorption

Testing of two activated carbons with known algicides (commercial pond cleaner and hexavalent chromium) initially showed good results toward K. brevis after two hours of contact time; however, there was a strong

resurgence of viable cells after 24 hours (as shown in Figure 3), which was the prompt to attempt more-novel algicides, along with a focus to use an environmentally friendly and naturally derived algicidal compound.

Screening results of individual flavonoids showed strong reduction in viable cell counts after two hours, and remained high after 24 hours. Flavone, luteolin, and quercetin showed >95 percent cell destruction of K. brevis cells at 0.5 g/L dose, while ipriflavone achieved a maximum of 57 percent destruction at the 1 mg/L dose after 24 hours (Figure 4). In these smaller-volume tests (10 mL) there was, in some cases, a strong, permanent response, with as little as 0.1 g/L dose.

With the intent to create a viable

commercial product from this research, raw material costs and ease of procurement were considered. Luteolin is commonly derived from peanut shells and can be easily purchased in bulk, at reasonable rates for laboratory and small-scale applications. The test was scaled up to 1-L glass jars; these results again suggested the luteolin and activated carbon blend showed success, and over a longer contact time of 48 hours, there was no resurgence of viable cells and the K. brevis bloom was eliminated. Results at a higher dose were observed in as quickly as one hour (Figure 5). Similarly, photophysiology of the bloom followed a similar trend, with no resurgence after the first few hours (Figure 6). With complete destruction of K. brevis being shown, attention was turned to the

much larger prevalence of

Figure 7. Adsorption of toxins when treated with C1-LU. Note scales and
Table 3. Summary of 1-L K. brevis Jar Testing With C1-LU

adsorption of toxins. Indeed, destruction and elimination of K. brevis bloom abundance is important, but in doing this, significant levels of brevetoxins are released into the water, which could cause a shock and further damage to the ecosystem. Success of this mitigation technology also requires a mechanism to reduce toxin loading into the environment, which was investigated next.

Toxin analysis showed that, for the three most relevant brevetoxins (PbTx-1, PbTx-2, and PbTx-3), the blending and co-dosing of activated carbon and luteolin allowed for both the destruction of cells and adsorption of toxins (Figure 7). The wood-based activated carbon used possessed a highly microporous structure, along with some channeling mesoporosity that allowed for the adsorption of toxins in ng/L range, even with a challenging matrix with cellular organic matter from the bloom. Because of the limited abundance of aromatic rings in the brevetoxin structure, along with a significant amount of oxygen functional groups, it’s not thought that pi-pi bonding on the basal plane of activated carbon is occurring [27] , but rather hydrophobic adsorption interactions further enhanced by the ionic strength of the marine water [20, 24]. Adsorption of PbTx-1, 2, and 3 were 85 percent, 77 percent, and 75 percent, respectively, at the 48-hour mark using a 0.5 g/L dose, and 67 percent, 50 percent, and 46 percent for the 0.1 g/L dose. Tabulation of these results are shown in Table 3.

Additional scaling into 80-L column tests showed a similar trend, with effective reduction of K. brevis cell concentrations and reduced cell vitality; however, the treatment needed longer contact times to make an effect (Figures 8 and 9). A unique feature of the 80-L test columns is also the ability to test at multiple depths. Some algae may migrate to different depths to avoid harm, and the isolated sampling ports on the column suggest the entire water column is affected by this treatment. Larger tests also further confirm effectiveness at scale over longer periods of time and indicated that, when field deployment is done, to expect longer contact times before an effect is seen.

Conclusions, Deployment, and Future Work

As mentioned, K. brevis blooms, otherwise known as red tide, can cause massive detrimental impacts to the natural ecosystem, the economy, and the well-being of coastal residents in Florida. Current work by Carbonxt and Mote via this initiative-funded effort, along with others as part of Florida’s investment in protecting its natural waters, has led to the development of an all-inclusive bloom destruction and toxin

adsorption tool. Combination of a naturally occurring flavonoid, luteolin, and activated carbon has shown effectiveness in laboratory scale testing at dosages as low as 0.5 g/L. Unlike other commercially available chromium or hydroxide-based products, flavonoids cells resulting in lowered cell abundance, along with confirming other works, results in the stagnation of photosynthesis and the ultimate complete eradication of the bloom. Furthermore, the combination with activated

carbon allowed for effective reduction of brevetoxin concentrations in solution. This technology can be further scaled up as an active tool used to reduce the growth and spread of red tide and limit the health and economic impacts. Engineering additional algicides with activated carbon can further be done to target additional marine species or freshwater cyanobacteria. Future work by this group, in collaboration with the Mote Marine Ocean Technology

Continued on page 78

Figure 8. K. brevis abundance at various depths of the water column after being treated by C1-LU at 0.5 g/L.
Figure 9. K. brevis cell vitality as a function of photosynthetic yield after treatment with C1-LU at 0.5 g/L.
Figure 10. Diagram of tractable net for activated carbon-algicide pellets (source: Carbonxt).

Department, is aimed at pelletizing these two active ingredients to be stored and widely broadcast by agriculture seed spreader (e.g., Air Tractor, or helicopter), or by a tractable net or permeable barrier at the entrance of a canal, as shown in Figure 10.

Carbonxt has extensive development experience and a patent portfolio in the pelletization arena to help further this commercialization and deployment effort. This technology should also not be constrained to marine K. brevis and could lead to potential solutions combating freshwater cyanobacteria and other harmful algal blooms.



1. Habas, E.J. and C.K. Gilbert. The economic effects of the 1971 Florida red tide and the damage it presages for future occurrences. Environmental Letters, 1974. 6(2): p. 139147.

2. Hoagland, P. et al. The costs of respiratory illnesses arising from Florida Gulf Coast Karenia brevis blooms. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2009. 117(8): p. 12391243.

3. Alvarez, S. et al. Nonlinear impacts of harmful algae blooms on the coastal tourism economy. Journal of Environmental Management, 2024. 351: p. 119811.

4. Hoagland, P. et al. Lessening the hazards of Florida red tides: A common-sense approach. Frontiers in Marine Science, 2020. 7: p. 538.

5. Zhu, J. et al. The antialgal mechanism of luteolin-7-O-glucuronide on Phaeocystis globosa by metabolomics analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2019. 16(17): p. 3222.

allelochemicals from pomegranate peel and their effects on Microcystis aeruginosa growth. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2019. 26: p. 2238922399.

7. Xiao, X. et al. Inhibition effect of natural flavonoids on red tide alga Phaeocystis globosa and its quantitative structureactivity relationship. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2019. 26: p. 2376323776.

8. Laabir, M. et al. Allelopathic effects of Zostera spp. on the growth and photosynthetic activity of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella. in Proceedings of the 4th Mediterranean Symposium on Marine Vegetation. Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas, YasmineHammamet. 2010.

This work was funded through the Red Tide Mitigation Technology Development Initiative and was conducted in partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory. The group thanks Dr. Richard Pierce for his support with brevetoxin analysis. The group would also like to thank Kevin Claridge for his support throughout the life of this project.

9. Zhu, X. et al. A review on control of harmful algal blooms by plant-derived allelochemicals. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2021. 401: p. 123403.

10. Park, S.-C. et al. Selective algicidal action of peptides against harmful algal bloom species. PLoS One, 2011. 6(10): p. e26733.

11. McGinn, P.J., and F.M. Morel. Expression Continued from page

6. Chen, L. et al. Identification of

and inhibition of the carboxylating and decarboxylating enzymes in the photosynthetic C4 pathway of marine diatoms. Plant Physiology, 2008. 146(1): p. 300-309.

12. Coughlin, R.W., and F.S. Ezra. Role of surface acidity in the adsorption of organic pollutants on the surface of carbon. Environmental Science & Technology, 1968. 2(4): p. 291-297.

13. Valcarce, C.O., E.W. Gonzaga, and D.W. Mazyck. Evaluating the efficacy of PAC and water parameters to remove trace organics. Journal-American Water Works Association, 2017. 109(3): p. E50-E60.

14. Moreno-Castilla, C. Adsorption of organic molecules from aqueous solutions on carbon materials. Carbon, 2004. 42(1): p. 83-94.

15. Tennant, M.F. and D.W. Mazyck. The role of surface acidity and pore size distribution in the adsorption of 2-methylisoborneol via powdered activated carbon. Carbon, 2007. 45(4): p. 858-864.

16. Pierce, R., et al. Evaluation of solid sorbents for the recovery of polyether toxins (brevetoxins) in seawater. Bulletin

of environmental contamination and toxicology, 1992. 49: p. 479-484.

17. Wang, H. et al. Discriminating and assessing adsorption and biodegradation removal mechanisms during granular activated carbon filtration of microcystin toxins. Water research, 2007. 41(18): p. 4262-4270.

18. Kopecka, I. et al. Adsorption of peptides produced by cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa onto granular activated carbon. Carbon, 2014. 69: p. 595-608.

19. Atlas, S.B.W. Sarasota Bay. 2024 [cited April 24, 2024]; Available from: https:// sarasota.wateratlas.usf.edu/waterbodies/ bays/14147/.

20. Newcombe, G. and M. Drikas. Adsorption of NOM onto activated carbon: electrostatic and nonelectrostatic effects. Carbon, 1997. 35(9): p. 1239-1250.

21. Zhao, Z., W. Sun, and M.B. Ray. Adsorption isotherms and kinetics for the removal of algal organic matter by granular activated carbon. Science of The Total Environment, 2022. 806: p. 150885.

22. Pierce, R.H., et al. Removal of harmful algal cells (Karenia brevis) and toxins

from seawater culture by clay flocculation. Harmful Algae, 2004. 3(2): p. 141-148.

23. Pierce, R., M. Henry, and P. Blum. Brevetoxin abundance and composition during ECOHAB-Florida field monitoring cruises in the Gulf of Mexico. Continental Shelf Research, 2008. 28(1): p. 45-58.

24. Radovic, L.R., C. Moreno-Castilla, and J. Rivera-Utrilla. Carbon materials as adsorbents in aqueous solutions. Chemistry and physics of carbon, 2001: p. 227-406.

25. Rodriguez, R., D. Contrino, and D. Mazyck. Role of activated carbon precursor for mercury oxidation and removal: oxidized surface and carbene site interaction. Processes, 2021. 9(7): p. 1190.

26. Menéndez, J.A. et al. On the modification and characterization of chemical surface properties of activated carbon: in the search of carbons with stable basic properties. Langmuir, 1996. 12(18): p. 4404-4410.

27. Hunter, C.A., and J.K. Sanders. The nature of. pi-pi interactions. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1990. 112(14): p. 5525-5534. S


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 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


Plant Operator I

Applicants must have at least a Class “C” water or wastewater license. Valid driver’s license, clean MVR, and background screening required.

Robust, private sector compensation and benefit package and low turnover work environment of long-term professionals. https://jobs.barroncollier.com EOE/DFWP

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 Qualifications:

· 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

City of Eustis – Multiple Positions

Utility Worker I $15.83/hr

Utility Worker III $17.27/hr

Utility Foreman $21.85/hr

Please visit eustis.org for full job descriptions & online app. Background check/drug screen required. EOE, V/P, DFWP https://www.eustis.org/Services/Apply-for-a-Job

Civil/Environmental Engineer (Full-Time, On-Site) in Sarasota, FL

Join our growing and talented team as a Civil or Environmental Engineer at our Sarasota, FL office. You’ll provide engineering expertise in infrastructure for potable water, wastewater, reclaimed water, stormwater, groundwater, and OneWater projects. Collaborate with our fun and experienced team to study/model/design complex systems and deliver innovative and sustainable engineering and business solutions.

Work on leading-edge projects such as “OneWater”, indirect potable reuse, infiltration and inflow (I&I), piloting, asset management / CMOM / management consulting, “Digitally SMART Utility” implementation, collaborative project delivery (aka design build), and Low Impact Development (LIDs) sustainable designs for public and private clients. Receive principal and senior-level mentorship for rapid career advancement in all aspects of our business. To learn more, visit www.veithsolutions.com

We offer Excellent Compensation Packages and Great Benefits. Compensation will be based on your licensure, certifications, education, years of experience, and expertise.

For position details or to apply, please email humanresources@ veithsolutions.com and lblahackova@veithsolutions.com.

Citrus County BOCC - Water 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 position and to apply please visit https:// www.governmentjobs.com/careers/citrusfl

Exciting Challenges to Welcome a Plant Superintendent II!

The City of Bradenton is seeking an experienced Plant Superintendent II who is self-directed with extensive knowledge in the operations of Public Works and Utilities including wastewater safety protocols and procedures, modern laboratory procedures and standard methods required to evaluate treatment processes and effluent, applicable to current EPA and DEP standards of treatment and effluent, and potable water supply. The ideal candidate will possess effective project and time management skills.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have a High school diploma or GED equivalent with minimum of five (5) years of plant operations experience as a Class A Operator and possession of a current FDEP “A” Water and/or Wastewater Operator License prior to appointment. A minimum of three (3) years of supervisory experience in plant operations or combination of education, training, and experience is required. A Bachelor degree in a related field is desired. The salary range is commensurate with experience. The City provides a competitive salary and excellent benefits package including participation in Florida Retirement System, paid vacation and sick leave, life, disability, a 457 deferred compensation through MissionSquare Retirement (formerly ICMA-RC), and Florida Blue health insurance.

The Process: The City Administration, Public Works Director and the Executive Team will review qualifications, background and experience as it relates to this very important position. Interested candidates may forward their resume along with salary requirements to Colonel Irvin Lee, Public Works Director, through cheryl.garrett@ bradentonfl.gov

We look forward to personally speaking with you to discuss your knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the position.

Calling all Awesome Wastewater Operators –you know who you are!

Join one of the fastest growing cities in Central Florida – with a NEW RATE OF PAY! Applicants must hold at least a Class “C” license and a valid driver’s license. Starting Pay Range: $46,096.61 - $50,705/yr – 10% more if you have a dual license or a Class A or B. Applications online www.wildwood-fl.gov or City Hall, 100 N. Main St, Wildwood, FL 34785 Attn: Marc Correnti EEO/AA/V/H/ MF/DFWP.

Okeechobee Utility

Waste Water Treatment Plant Assistant Supervisor

Information on job description, salary, benefits and to apply visit: www.ouafl.com or email: hrmanager@ouafl.com

1. D) 2 feet per second.

Test Yourself Answer Key

A properly designed and constructed wastewater collection system is constructed to provide a water velocity greater than 2 feet per second.

2. B) gravity using the natural slope of the land.

The wastewater within collection systems is usually conveyed by gravity using the natural slope of the land.

3. A) to remove pathogens within wastewater.

Wastewater collection systems are designed and built to remove pathogens within wastewater.

4. A) sanitation.

The most important line of defense to a prevent disease outbreak according to “Methods and Objectives of Preventive Medicine” is sanitation.

5. D) all of the above.

The responsibilities of collection system operators are to protect public health and safety, protect the environment, and preserve the community’s capital investment.

6. C) from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. Lift stations are used to raise wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation.

7. A) constant or consistent flows.

Lift station pumps are selected to provide constant or consistent flows.

8. A) All of the above.

A dry well station is designed to isolate pumps, motors, and electrical controls from the wet well.

9. D) 535,290,000.

Given a typical per capita flow of 70 gallons per day, the estimated flow into the collection system of the city of Long Island, N.Y., with a population of 7.647 million people, is 535,290,000.

10. B) deposition of solids.

Actual velocities within the collection system should be high enough to prevent deposition of solids.

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