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2023 Florida Water Resources Conference Review
News and Features
Florida Water Resources Journal, USPS 069-770, ISSN 0896-1794, is published monthly by Florida Water Resources Journal, Inc., 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711, on behalf of the Florida Water & Pollution Control Operator’s Association, Inc.; Florida Section, American Water Works Association; and the Florida Water Environment Association. Members of all three associations receive the publication as a service of their association; $6 of membership dues support the Journal. Subscriptions are otherwise available within the U.S. for $24 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Clermont, FL and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Florida Water Resources Journal, 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711
61 News Beat 62 Drop Savers Poster Contest Winners Announced—Melissa Velez 68 NACWA Warns Congress Against “Draconian Cuts” to Clean Water Funding in Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Spending Bill Technical Articles 10 Model-Predictive Ammonia Control Saves Energy and Improves Water Quality— Alex Ekster 57 Holistic Approach to Optimize Water Quality From Treatment to Tap—Brandon Bryant, Tom Stangle, Kathy Traexler, Chad Meisel, and Edward H. Talton Jr. Education and Training 15 CEU Challenge 49 Florida Water Resources Conference Call for Papers 50 FSAWWA Fall Conference Registration 51 FSAWWA Fall Conference Exhibits and Sponsorships 52 FSAWWA Fall Conference Schedule of Events 53 FSAWWA Fall Conference Chair’s Reception and BBQ Challenge 54 FSAWWA Fall Conference Poker Night, Happy Hour, and Golf 55 FSAWWA Fall Conference Competitions 56 FSAWWA Fall Conference Water Distribution System Awards 65 FWPCOA Training Calendar
4 FWEA Committee Corner: 2022-23 FWEA High School Video Contest Winners Announced— Debbie Sponsler and Melody Gonzalez 6 C Factor—Patrick “Murf” Murphy 66 Test Yourself—Charles Lee Martin Jr. 70 Reader Profile—Al Monteleone Departments 69 New Products 72 Classifieds 74 Display Advertiser Index ON THE COVER: Attendees in the exhibit hall at the 2023 Florida Water Resources Conference, which was held in Kissimmee. Coverage of the conference begins on page 16. Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 3 Volume 74 August 2023 Number 8 16 Conference Highlights—Mish Clark 21 Facility Tour 24 FWPCOA Operators Showcase—Chris Owen, John O’Brien, and Carlyn Higgins 32 Exhibition 33 Workshops and Technical Sessions 34 Women of Water Forum—Megan Nelson 37 FWEA, FSAWWA, FWPCOA Showcase 38 Collections Relay 40 Students and Young Professionals Activities 42 Operations Challenge 44 FWEA Water Stories 45 Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) Breakfast 46 FSSSSS Inducts New Members 47 FSSSSS Member List 48 Evening Reception 48 FWEA President Gavel Passing
Awards presented at the conference will be published in the September issue of FWRJ.
Welcome to the FWEA Committee Corner! The Member Relations Committee of the Florida Water Environment Association hosts this article to celebrate the success of recent association committee activities and inform members of upcoming events. To have information included from your committee, send details to Melody Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2022-23 FWEA High School Video Contest Winners Announced
theme. Students got extra points if they mention the 3 “Ps” that can be flushed down a toilet.
Winners and Prizes
The PCOC is excited to award the winning students and their teachers with the following prize money:
FWEA contest website at www.fwea.org/video_ contest.php.
Plans are now underway for the 2023-24 video contest and details will be posted to the contest website at the beginning of the new school year.
Contest Volunteers Needed
The FWEA Public Communications and Outreach Committee (PCOC) wrapped up a successful video contest this school year! High school students were challenged to submit a family-friendly video between 30 and 45 seconds in length that explains what items are safe to flush. Due to a great response, the PCOC had much work to do to view and judge the 75 entries it received.
Judging of Entries
Entries were ranked according to creativity, originality, education criteria, and which ones best promoted the “To Flush or Not to Flush”
S The first-place winner from New World School of the Arts in Miami-Dade County will receive a $700 prize.
S The second-place winner from Seminole High School in Pinellas County will receive a $500 prize.
S The third-place winner from Miami Sunset Senior High in Miami-Dade County will receive a $300 prize.
The winning teachers also received checks to spend for their classrooms. Additionally, two students will be recognized with honorable mention certificates.
To view the creative winning entries, visit the
The PCOC is always looking for new ways and new people to promote the contest. Anyone interested in this outreach opportunity should contact Debbie Sponsler at Debbie.Sponsler@ocfl.net. S
Debbie Sponsler is the communications section manager at Orange County Utilities and chairs the FWEA Public Communications and Outreach Committee Video Contest. Melody Gonzalez, E.I., is a project engineer with Black & Veatch. She serves as the FWEA Member Relationships Committee chair and treasurer/contact for the FWEA South Florida Chapter.
4 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal FWEA COMMITTEE CORNER
Debbie Sponsler and Melody Gonzalez
Patrick “Murf” Murphy President, FWPCOA
harmless and you couldn’t smell the ammonia right away, once I saw it (and smelled it), I knew that choices had to be immediately made.
Encounters With Chemicals
Sometimes when you see a large billowing fog bank rolling in, it could be one of the largest gaseous anhydrous ammonia leaks in the state of Florida. I’ve witnessed one and it remains number one in my top ten list of coolest things I’ve ever seen, with number two being a lightning bolt without a cloud in the sky disrupting a family reunion out in the woods about 40 miles south of Opp, a city in Alabama.
The ammonia leak happened one night at work. Even though it initially looked
Everyone needed to get upwind of the leak, but two guys were near the loading dock; one guy was loading fertilizer and driving a payloader at the warehouse and the other guy was down by the train tracks unloading molten sulfur. Neither of them could hear me, and they were too far away for me to get to each one.
Thank goodness no one was hurt. Just saying, though—sometimes things look harmless, but they just might not be!
I started working at a chemical plant when I was still a teenager, young and dumber than the average person. After almost nine years, I had seen many fatal and even more nonfatal accidents, and was involved in dozens of close calls of my own. My father and grandpa really couldn’t believe that I made it out of there alive. When I suggested
to them that I was probably immortal, my pop was quick to say it was more likely I was confusing the term immortal with immoral!
There was a gas leak at this plant from some 4- to 100-ton ammonia tanks that were popping off because an operator had forgotten to stop the transfer from the pipeline from Tampa.
I was reprimanded for the first time, along with another employee, because we went up on top of the tanks once he’d got the transfer stopped, and we closed the manual valves below the pressure relief valves on the tanks—with no safety equipment. There was only one self-contained breathing apparatus available at that part of the plant, and it was up inside the diammonium phosphate building, which the foreman used to escort five other employees down the stairs and outside.
Again, everyone was okay, but the chickens at the farm down the road didn’t fare so well. The farm later sued the plant for the dead chickens—plus the eggs that didn't exist yet!
Safe Work Practices Start With Training
I’m sure you’re wondering by now why I’m babbling on about something that has nothing to do with the wastewater or water utilities industry. So, here it is: After a massive second layoff at the chemical plant where I worked, it led to me to start a career as a wastewater operator.
It was funny (to me at least, and with some irony) that I’d barely had two years on the job when an article in a 1987 issue of what was then the Journal Water Pollution Control Federation (WPCF) and now known as the magazine of the Water Environment Federation pointed out that the wastewater industry has retained its number one status as the most dangerous career field based on the results from the 1986 annual WPCF safety survey.
What had I gotten myself into?
I thought I should learn some more about safety. I had already taken the California State University (CSU) correspondence course, but was allowed to sign up for the FWPCOA C wastewater residency course, which was 158 hours, three hours a night, three nights a week. A lot of the material was out of the CSU
Continued on page 8
6 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
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Continued from page 6
textbooks, but there was additional training on safety and real-life stories shared that were very helpful.
Then, I attended a short school and saw all of the other disciplines that were being taught. Each of them focused on safety as a number one component as part of the training and utilized some of the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) from 1910 addressing general safety precautions recommendations.
I was impressed that this association was trying to improve worker safety and ensure that folks were able to go home alive at the end of the day. This was more classroom training on safety than I had received in the entirety of my previous job!
Florida Administrative Code Chapters
I want to encourage all operators to read the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) chapters relative to their discipline(s). The one way you are going to avoid outof-compliance situations, consent orders, or just looking foolish is by continuously studying and advancing in your career. It isn’t just about knowing processes and different technologies; it’s also knowing what legislation is being proposed, rules and regulations that are revised or established, and constantly reviewing and discussing these things with your coworkers.
Don’t rely on a printed version that’s been laying around or filed in your office; go to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) website at www.florida dep.gov/waterresourcesmanagement, scroll down and click on the link “F.A.C. and Statutes” under Rules and Forms, then scroll through the chapters and grab the one you need to ensure that you’re looking at the ones
that have revisions in them. It doesn’t hurt to look at the link just below that F.A.C. link, “Rules in Development,” which will give you a heads-up on what’s happening. While you are on any of those pages, scroll down toward the bottom where you can subscribe to FDEP newsletters or receive updates by email.
Since I’m mentioning rules in development, be on the lookout for Chapter 62-565, F.A.C., Permitting, Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of Advanced Treatment Water Facilities and Associated Systems. The FDEP is creating this new rule as part of the development of rules regarding potable reuse. They’ve done lots of revisions to some of the other chapters already, but if you have any interest in potable reuse, you won’t want to miss the workshops on this chapter.
It’s a daunting task for our friends at FDEP, especially the ones involved in the operator certification program, which addresses the requirements and experience that can be earned (and vetted) without having the time or luxury to create a new license because of statutory deadlines.
I’m pretty sure that everyone would agree that if we are (and we are going to have to at some point) have direct potable reuse drinking water, we want the most experienced and talented operators, proven equipment and technologies, and the best written rules and guidance available for the protection of the health of our citizens.
Harmless or Harmful?
I tell people all the time that I was in third grade before I realized that water wasn’t orange. I was used to drinking water from an old well that was probably originally meant just for irrigation, and I finally payed
attention to the water in the fountain at the
As most water and distribution system operators know, a little discoloration in the water is not what’s going to make you sick— it’s the stuff you can’t see in the water. The rules and regulations that inform us of the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) are our main guidance in giving us the comfort level that we are protecting our customers. Without these rules we would have chaos, health issues—and possibly worse. The minimum detection limits (MDLs) that laboratories are able to determine provide the information that we’re below those MCLs. With advancing technology, contaminants that could have results in parts per million, or parts per billion, are now able to be analyzed to parts per trillion! I’m not saying any of the previously listed contaminants are going to be changed to lower MCLs, but newer ones will be, and it will only take one sampler making a mistake, one lab error, and you will be in a public notification situation.
Remember that our jobs are important, hopefully our pay and recognition will increase, and we can mitigate any efforts to dilute our operator pool and keep our performance standards high.
Work hard, work safe, and let’s keep that water clean! S
8 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
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Model-Predictive Ammonia Control
Saves Energy and Improves Water Quality
The wastewater industry is trying to address the water-energy nexus in an integrated and proactive way. Advanced automation of the activated sludge process is one of the methods to reduce carbon footprint and improve water quality at the same time. This article describes machine learning and model-predictive control methods used to upgrade an automatic control system installed at the 12-mil-gal-per-day (mgd) City of Chico wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
Methods and Materials
The WWTP is located in Northern California. The plant treats a mix of municipal and industrial wastes. The nitrification activated sludge system consists of three parallel aeration tanks, each designed as a two-pass system (Figure 1).
Each tank consists of two anaerobic compartments located up front (zones 1 and 2), one small swing compartment (zone 3), and an aerobic compartment that is divided into four zones; two of them (zones 4 and 5) in pass 1, and two (zones 6 and 7) in pass 2. Air to each zone is provided by a corresponding air grid.
Description of Control Elements
Each aertion drop leg is equipped with a manual butterfly valve. While the
manufacturer’s characteristics for all of these valves are the same, the installed characteristics are quite different (see an example in Figure 2).
In 2016, manual butterfly control valves (15 altogether) were automated with EPI2 electrical actuators (Emerson-Keystone; St. Louis, Mo.). In 2018, due to frequent actuator failures and issues with vendor’s customer service, many EPI2 actuators were replaced with those from another manufacturer (Limitorque; Lynchburg, Va.).
In 2016, each drop leg (15 altogether) was equipped with thermal flowmeters (Kurz; Monterey, Calif.). These meters are characterized by a small-time delay (0.25 seconds constant) and good repeatability (0.13 percent of a full scale). Some of the flowmeters are equipped with pressure sensors.
The same year each aerobic zone and each swing zone (15 altogether) was equipped with LDO dissolved oxygen (DO) meters (HACH; Loveland, Colo.). Later, self-cleaning features were added to 100 percent of the DO meters.
Ammo:lyserTM meters (s::can Measuring Systems LLC; North Attleboro, Mass.) were selected for measuring ammonia and installed at 75 percent length of the aeration tanks (zone 6).
Total suspended solids (TSS) meters (Cerlic Environmental Control; Atlanta, Ga.) were installed in each aeration tank and on the return activated sludge line.
All the meters and actuators were procured using the plant’s operations budget and installed by plant staff. The staff also connected all control loop elements to the plant supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system using wireless technology (Phoenix Contact; (Middletown, Pa.).
Description of the Model-Predictive Control Machine Learning Systems Utilized
The WWTP uses two model-predictive control machine learning (MPCML) systems (Ekster and Associates; Boca Raton, Fla.): one system (SRTmasterTM) is controlling the sludge age and another one (DO/NmasterTM) the air flow. Due to the complexity of MPCML calculations, both systems are installed on Windows servers. The servers communicate with plant SCADA open platform communications (OPC) protocol.
Description of the SRTmaster
The SRTmaster (Figure 3) consists of suspended solids meters, a controller, a waste flow meter, and a flow control element (a
10 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
FWRJ ZONE 7 ZONE 6 ZONE 5 ZONE 4 ZONE 3 ZONE 1 ZONE 2 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 0 20 40 60 80 100 Flow, % of maximum Valves opening,%
Alex Ekster, Ph.D., P.E., is a grade 5 operator and owns Ekster and Associates in Boca Raton.
Figure 1. Schematic of an aeration tank.
Figure 2. Installed characteristics of two identical butterfly valves.
control valve or a pump with variable frequency drive).
Information from the suspended solid meters is sent to the controller; the controller then compares the operational criteria, such as mixed liquor TSS or the calculated real-time sludge age, with the target value, calculates the necessary adjustment to the sludge waste flow, and sends a signal to the control element.
The SRTmaster control algorithm consists of the following algorithm blocks: data verification, calculations, and a safeguard (Figure 4).
A data verification block filters out erroneous input data and determines a meter drift. A TSS signal filter algorithm utilizes a proprietary pattern recognition method that’s based on nonparametric statistics, autocorrelation, and other machine learning techniques. Nonparametric statistics are used instead of traditional statistical models because TSS data are not normally distributed.
An activated sludge model is used for detecting TSS meter drift and alerting operators about the necessity to recalibrate TSS meters.
The data verification block also detects problems with waste flow control by analyzing in real-time the performance of a waste flow controller. If a problem with either flow meters or any other waste flow control elements (pump, valve, etc.) is identified, the program sends an alert to the operators.
Finally, a data verification block automatically alerts operators when either sludge inventory in the aeration basins or a mass of waste flow exhibits significant deviation from the norm. These pattern changes could be symptoms of a significant change in the influent biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or a change in sludge inventory distribution between aeration basins and clarifiers. This may be caused by an increase of sludge blanket in the clarifiers.
A calculation block, which is a pivotal part of the algorithm, utilizes the proportionalintegral (PI) control law. Preliminary analysis of the waste control loop showed that it would require up to a year to tune the PI controller using a traditional “trial and error” method.
To reduce the time of algorithm development and tuning, a computer GPS-X activated sludge simulator was utilized.
The GPS-X model for each plant was calibrated using field data. A match between calculated and actual wastage was used as the criterion for the modeling. After the model calibration, a computer-simulated response of the system with solids retention time (SRT) feedback is utilized for the selection of both reset time (Ti) and proportional gain (Kp).
The following criteria are used for designing the SRT controller:
S At a proportional gain equal to twice the Kp design value, waste rate values shall not start to diverge.
S The magnitude of each successive oscillation peak of waste rate values during a change should not exceed one-fourth of the previous peak.
The Kp and Ti values were investigated for the range of potential SRT setpoints. Both upward and downward steps toward a target value were simulated. The selection of each pair of optimum Kp and Ti for each target value usually requires at least 10 simulations. Based on the simulation, the relationship between Kp and SRT is determined for each activated sludge system.
The calculated waste flow signal is filtered
using a low-pass filtration algorithm, while also utilizing nonparametric statistics; then, the signal is sent to a safeguard block. The purpose of this block is to check that the waste flow calculated by the controller will not have a negative effect on the plant processes.
Before the output signal is sent to the flow control element, the safeguard block checks whether new sludge waste flow may cause one of the following problems:
S Overload of clarifiers
S Overload of sludge processing facility
S Underload of sludge processing facility
S Excessive variation of waste flow (load)
S Excessive change in biomass inventory.
If any of these conditions is identified, the waste flow output signal is automatically corrected to avoid these problems. Also, a waste flow output signal was corrected using a proprietary algorithm when minimum variability of waste mass over 24 hours was beneficial for the waste sludge processing facility (dissolved air flotation [DAF], gravity thickeners, etc.).
Description of the DO/Nmaster
The DO/Nmaster control system consists of three cascaded control loops (Figure 5): airflow, DO, and ammonia. The following are
Continued on page 12
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 11
Figure 3. Schematic of solids retention time controller.
Figure 4. Waste control algorithm.
Figure 5. DO/Nmaster control algorithm.
Continued from page
descriptions of control algorithms for each control loop.
Airflow Model-Predictive Controller
Traditionally, airflow is controlled using a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) algorithm that’s linear. Control of valves with nonlinear characteristics (see Figure 1) using the PID algorithm often causes inaccurate and oscillatory behavior of the control loops. The fact that each aeration valve is controlled individually contributes to the oscillatory behavior of the aeration control. The DO/ Nmaster uses the machine learning (ML) algorithm instead of PID.
The ML algorithm is a simple decision tree that’s an implementation of an “if-then” algorithm. The decisions in the tree are followed from the root (beginning) node down and up a leaf node. The leaf node contains numeric responses.
The fine, medium, and coarse versions were tested for the decision trees. A coarse decision tree had few leaves (maximum number of four splits), a medium-complexity decision tree had a maximum number of 20 splits, and a fine decision tree had many leaves (up to 100 splits).
The DO/Nmaster uses the most advanced decision tree algorithms: a regularized gradient boosting machine (RGBM). The RGBM builds an ensemble of coarse trees in sequence, with each tree learning from and improving on the previous one.
Although coarse trees by themselves have poor predictive capabilities, they can be “boosted” to produce a powerful selection “committee.” The main idea of boosting is to add new models to the ensemble sequentially
In essence, boosting attacks the bias-variance tradeoff by starting with a weak model (e.g., a decision tree with only a few splits) and sequentially boosts its performance by continuing to build new trees, where each new tree in the sequence tries to fix up where the previous one made the biggest mistakes (i.e., each new tree in the sequence will focus on the training rows where the previous tree had the largest prediction errors).
Dissolved Oxygen Model-Predictive Control Machine Learning Controller
Classical model-predictive control (MPC) algorithms were used for DO control. For each zone, the DO transfer functions were generated using experimental data; then, each transfer function was fed through a Kalman filter into an MPC algorithm. A 10-step modeling and twostep control horizons were used in the MPC algorithms. The optimization cost function included a tracking error, the rate of change of manipulated variables, and other parameters.
During field testing of the developed state-space DO models it was found that experimental data often began to diverge from the forecast in less than an hour. To mitigate the divergence, stationary MPC algorithms were replaced with adaptive MPCs that also utilize the Kalman filter. These algorithms utilized the original transfer function structure (i.e., the number of state variables remained the same). Unfortunately, the adaptive MPCs did not provide the desired accuracy of DO control in zone 6 (at the end of the aeration tank). A new algorithm was developed to address this complication. The new algorithm updates both structure (i.e., the number of state variables) and coefficients of transfer models periodically.
Ammonia Model-Predictive Control Machine Learning Controller
Ammonia control algorithms utilize feedforward-feedback control laws. Feedforward control signals are calculated using machine learning methods using the PROPHET library developed by Facebook. The feedforward algorithm utilizes incoming ammonia load and historical data. The feedback control signals are calculated using the ammonia concentration in the corresponding zone. The control algorithm utilizes the classical MPC previously described.
Reliability Requirements for the Control System
The WWTP is staffed for only eight hours each day. The plant staff is supposed to consist of six operators, two electricians, and a plant manager; unfortunately, at this time and for the foreseeable future, the plant employs only three to four operators, one electrician, and a plant manager. For 16 hours a day the plant is unstaffed, which imposes very conservative reliability requirements (i.e., the control system is supposed to automatically identify unusual behavior of control elements, blowers, and diffusers, or a power failure and other abnormal conditions; automatically switch to an alternative control method that does not use the failed equipment; notify operators; and automatically switch back to normal operation when the problem is fixed).
Also, due to the blower discharge pressure problems previously described, there were requirements to smooth pressure changes during transients and to prevent an increase in pressure above the 0.648 bar (9.4 pounds per sq in. gauge [psig]).
The DO/Nmaster sensor and actuators fault-detection algorithms were customized for the WWTP conditions. Multicolor indication and alarm schemes were implemented using the DO/Nmaster interface (Figure 6). The alternative control logic was implemented for each failed control element (analyzers, flow meters, and actuators). The short-term electrical voltage variations and a switch from one source of energy to another were also addressed by special control algorithms.
Prior to SRTmaster installation, the plant had been experiencing high turbidity caused by pin floc; intermittent nitrification problems were also recorded. Both of these problems resulted in an increase in chlorine dosage and, in some cases, an increase of coliforms above the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limit.
12 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Figure 6. DO/Nmaster interface for tanks 3 and 4.
Continued on page 14 11
Continued from page 12
After the installation of the automated SRT control system in 2014, the SRT setpoint was optimized and eventually maintained at 11 days (plus or minus 0.2 days). Since then, the frequency of the problems discussed here was significantly reduced. These improvements allowed the reduction of chlorine dosage and the NPDES limit violations were eliminated completely. The optimized and precisely controlled SRT was long enough to achieve stable nitrification, but was still below the minimum required for developing pin floc.
Installation of the automatic SRT control system at the WWTP allowed it to achieve 25 percent reduction in the polymer used for sludge thickening. Savings were achieved due to a significant reduction in variability of sludge mass loading on the thickening facilities. As was discussed in the Methods and Materials section, the proprietary algorithm within the automated SRT control software provides the stability of sludge wasted mass.
The accuracy of ammonia control was evaluated based on maintaining the ammonia target in zone 6 (75 percent length of the aeration tank) since there are no ammonia meters installed in zone 7. Ammonia target in zone 6 was chosen by plant staff based on these criteria: S Necessity of maintaining zero ammonia and nitrite concentrations at the end of the tank
S Energy saving goals
The plant staff decided that ammonia concentration equal to 3.5 mg/l should target the winter-spring season; during the summerfall season, this target was increased to 5mg/l.
Results showed that the average and median values were 0.2mg/l below the setpoint. The standard deviation was equal to 0.3 mg/l. The setpoint was maintained within 1 mg/l, 90 percent of the time. Typical hydraulic, DO, and ammonia profiles are shown in Figure 7.
Airflow was reduced by as much as
60 percent. Airflow reduction achieved by upgrading to the DO/Nmaster controller is illustrated in Figure 8.
Under the original DO control, constant pressure was maintained; the DO/Nmaster maintained variable pressure, depending on the air demand. A combination of airflow reduction and pressure reduction led to more than 50 percent reduction in energy usage. As can be seen in Figure 9, daily energy demand was reduced to 500 kilowatt/mil gal (kW/ MG). While using traditional PID DO control, the energy demand for nitrification plants equipped with primary clarifiers is between 880 and1500 kW/MG.
The methods discussed showed the following outcomes:
1. Computer-generated models can overcome processes nonlinearity and time delays much better than the traditional PID control. As a result, the machine learning model-predictive control significantly improves control accuracy.
2. SRTmaster maintained the sludge age target with around 2 percent accuracy.
3. Ninety percent of the time, DO/Nmaster maintained the ammonia concentration target within 1 mg/l from the setpoint.
4. Optimization and precise control of sludge age reduced effluent turbidity, improved disinfection, and reduced thickener polymer usage by more than 25 percent.
5. Optimization and precise ammonia control reduced daily average energy demand by 60 percent. Daily energy usage was reduced to 500 kW/MG (similar plants usually consume between 880 kW/MG and1500 kW/MG using traditional PID DO control). S
14 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
0 2 4 6 8 6/4 0:00 6/4 12:00 6/5 0:00 6/5 12:00 6/6 0:00 6/6 12:00 6/7 0:00 NH3.Setpoint,mg/l NH3 readings,mg/l DO readings influent flow
Figure 7. Accuracy of ammonia control.
Figure 8. 24-hour airflow profile under various operating conditions.
Figure 9. 24-hour energy usage profile.
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 Disinfection and Water Quality. 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. Enclose $15 for each set of questions you choose to answer (make checks payable to FWPCOA). You MUST be an FWPCOA member before you can submit your answers!
EARN CEUS BY ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM PREVIOUS JOURNAL ISSUES! Contact FWPCOA at email@example.com or at 561-840-0340. Articles from past issues can be viewed on the Journal website, www.fwrj.com.
Model-Predictive Ammonia Control Saves Energy and Improves Water Quality
Alex Ekster (Article 1: CEU = 0.1 WW02015421)
1. Optimization and precise control of sludge age reduced polymer usage by more than
a. 25 percent.
c. 50 percent.
b. 40 percent.
d. 60 percent.
2. After the installation of the automated solids retention time (SRT) control system, the SRT set point was eventually maintained at ______ days.
3. The Chico plant is currently staffed
a. 16 hours a day.
b. by three to four operators.
c. seven days a week.
d. entirely remotely.
4. The application of air to the plant’s aerobic tanks is controlled by
a. manually actuated ball valves.
b. electrically actuated globe valves.
c. electrically actuated butterfly valves.
5. A data verification block within the __________ algorithm automatically alerts operators when either aeration basin sludge inventory or flow mass exhibits significant deviation from normal.
b. SRT Master
d. waste control
If paying by credit card, fax to (561) 625-4858
providing the following information:
Holistic Approach to Optimize Water Quality From Treatment to Tap
Brandon Bryant, Tom Stangle, Kathy Traexler, Chad Meisel, and Edward H. Talton Jr. (Article 2: CEU = 0.1 DW/DS02015422)
1. Elemental sulfur particles are undesirable in potable water systems as they can lead to
a. corrosion problems.
c. black water issues.
b. red water issues.
2. To expedite model simulations, ____________ was used as a surrogate for total trihalomethane (TTHM) and chlorine residual.
a. water age
c. pipe size
d. distance from the point of disinfection
3. Which of the following is not listed as a treatment technology to control high total organic carbon?
c. Volatilization of disinfection byproducts
b. Granular activated carbon
d. Ultraviolet light
4. Optimizing water storage tank levels can benefit system water quality, provided that _______________ allow(s) for such optimization.
a. booster pumping capacity
b. inlet and discharge pipe size
c. valve placement
d. 4-log virus inactivation requirements
5. The model simulations were established to predict water quality meeting which of the following criterion?
a. Residual chlorine exceeding 0.2 milligrams (mg) per liter
b. Water age not exceeding 12 hours
c. TTHM not less than 80 mg per liter
d. Haloacetic acid not exceeding 80 mg per liter
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 15
___________________________________ SUBSCRIBER NAME (please print) Article 1 LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded Article 2 LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded Article 3 LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded
(Credit Card Number) (Expiration Date)
Highlights From the 2023 Florida Water Resources Conference
Thank you to all the attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and volunteers for a great 2023 Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC)! Supported by Florida Section American Water Works Association (FSAWWA), Florida Water Environment Federation (FWEA), and Florida Water and Pollution
Control Operators Association (FWPCOA), the conference was held May 31- June 3 at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee. I hope everyone found the conference successful and that you were able to exceed your goals and make new connections.
2023 FWRC by the Numbers
Here are some statistics from the conference:
S 2,775 attendees
S 386 exhibitor booths
S 73 sponsors
S Six paid secondary events
S 1,253 app downloads
S Numerous networking opportunities
S 113 technical sessions and workshops
S 685 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 FWRC is so highly regarded as a premier event in the water/wastewater business.
Networking events brought to life the many ways that 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.
The exhibit hall in the Gaylord Palms hosted 386 exhibitor booths. There truly was a reason to visit every corner and space in between. In the center of the exhibit hall, all could enjoy watching the various Operations Challenge competitions,
16 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
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: Hamlin Water Reclamation Facility
A tour of Hamlin Water Reclamation Facility was held on Wednesday and was very engaging and informative. The facility’s operating permit represents the first of three construction phases, and initial treatment of flows began in October 2022.
The Operators Showcase, presented by FWPCOA, was an opportunity for operators of all levels to review and discuss the impact of changes in Florida regulations. This year, Dr. Chris Owen, associate vice president and director of water and reuse innovations with Hazen and Sawyer, spoke on the effects of perand polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on the water utility industry. Dr. Carlyn J. Higgins, an engineer with Hazen and Sawyer, presented the City of Plant City’s direct/indirect potable reuse water pilot project, including data collection, operator training, and operator certification. In addition, an overview of direct potable reuse was delivered by John O’Brien, a licensed operator working for Seacoast Utility Authority.
Women of Water Forum
It was standing room only at this sixth 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: Marisela Aranguiz-Cueto, deputy director, Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department; Nancy Gallinaro, utilities director, City of North Port; Tara Lamoureux, utilities director, City of Casselberry; Raynetta Curry Marshall, chief operating officer, Jacksonville Electric Authority; Megan Ross, utilities director, Pinellas County; and Ifetayo Venner, wastewater practice leader, Arcadis.
FSAWWA Water Utility Council and FWEA Water Resources, Reuse, and Resiliency Committee Committee Meeting
At this meeting, attendees continued their conversations around drinking water and wastewater challenges and
opportunities. The FSAWWA Water Utility Council (WUC) mission is to develop action programs to initiate, evaluate, respond, and comment on legislative, regulatory, and other matters directly affecting water utilities in Florida. The FWEA Water Resources, Reuse, and Resiliency (WR3) Committee grew out of the One Water concept when the Water Reuse and Integrated Water Resources committees merged to meet current industry trends.
FWEA, FSAWWA, FWPCOA Showcase
A new event this year, the three supporting membershipbased organizations showcased their associations, including various committees and volunteer opportunities.
Continued on page 18
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 17
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
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 was held at this year’s conference. The newest shovelers were Suzanne Mechler, Jason Hopp, and Chuck Nichols, Sr.
Other Secondary Events
In addition to events previously mentioned, several additional events 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 WEF bookstore at this year’s conference, also sponsored by FWEA, had more than 20,000 pieces of technical content.
The new Scavenger Hunt experience
was enjoyed by attendees as clues were available at 16 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.
Students 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:
S University of Florida was the firstplace winner in this category! Students included Daniela Montoya, Adele Howard, Olta Tarko, and Fabricio Escobar.
S The first-place winner in this category was University of South Florida! The student representative was Hayden McCandless.
The winning teams will move on to the national contest at the 2023 Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) in Chicago in the fall.
Resume Writing Workshop
As an added bonus, a resume writing workshop was held to assist the students in preparing a sharp resume for future employment consideration.
Student Poster Contest
The poster contest was in full swing Friday afternoon in the rear area of the exhibit hall. Thydaleaph Koeut and David Yin from University of North Florida won first place in the poster competition.
New This Year: Young Professionals Workshop
A joint endeavor by FWEA and FSAWWA young professionals, this
18 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Continued from page 17
workshop brought together young professionals in the water and wastewater industry 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 Nicole McConnell, P.E., with Kimley-Horn. 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.
For the first time this year, “green sheets” were not needed to track credits. Each attendee had their personal QR code scanned upon entry into each session. A total of 685 certificates have already been emailed to attendees.
The eight workshop presentations were:
S Using Wastewater Treatment Modeling for Improved Operations
S Septic System Conversions/Onsite Treatment
S Contractors Council
S Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities Potpourri 2: The Conversations
S State of the Economy: How it Impacts Utilities
S Evolution of Water Reuse in Central Florida: The Story of Potable Reuse
S Resiliency During Hurricane Ian
S Grant Funding
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 Water Quality/Water Supply
S Reclamation and Reuse
S Collection Systems
S Biosolids/Resource Recovery
S Potable Water Treatment
S Facilities Operation and Maintenance
S Distribution Systems/Modeling/ Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/ Computer Apps
S Wastewater Treatment
S Nutrient Removal
S Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
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.
S Merrell Bros.
Platinum Plus Sponsors
S Cha Consulting Inc.
S Freese and Nichols
S CS3 Waterworks
S PCL Construction
S Vogel Bros. Building Co.
S Wade Trim
S Barge Design Solutions
S Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers
S FJ Nugent & Associates Inc.
S Hydra Service Inc
S Kimley Horn
S Mott Macdonald
S Tetra Tech
S Black & Veatch
S Custom Controls Technology Inc.
S Franzenburg Centrifuge
S McKim & Creed
S Weston & Sampson
S Brown and Caldwell
S CDM Smith
S Custom Pump & Controls
S Flovac Vacuum Sewerage Systems
Continued on page 20
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 19 FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Continued from page 19
S General Control Systems
S Mead & Hunt
S Moss Kelley Inc.
S Tom Evans Environmental
S U.S. Water Services Corporation
S VTScada, by Trihedral
S Classic Controls Inc.
S Florida Aquastore
S Fortiline Waterworks
S Gerber Pumps
We thank you for attending the 2023 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 April 2024 in Kissimmee as we return to the beautiful Gaylord Palms.
We always appreciate your feedback. We started the planning for FWRC 2024 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.
Individual Technical Session Sponsors
S Volition Controls Corp.
Scavenger Hunt Sponsors
S Engineered Spray Solutions
S Fortiline Waterworks
S Hartzell Air Movement
S Odyssey Manufacturing Co.
S Source Technologies
S U.S. Submergent
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.
To kick off the 2023 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 and harpist helped to set the mood.
Hundreds of attendees and exhibitors attended the FWRC awards luncheon on Thursday. 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 Corey Williams, a member of the WEF board of trustees.
Patrick “Murf” Murphy hosted the Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) 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.”
Friday’s FWEA annual meeting and awards luncheon was hosted by Corey Williams, 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, Suzanne Mechler, P.E., who gave her incoming remarks.
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 2023 WEFTEC.
The results of the Operations Challenge were as follows:
S Polk County Wizards - First Place
S St. Pete Dirty Birds - Second Place
S JEA The Fecal Matter - 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.
You are all good stewards of Florida’s clean water environment with your commitment to FWRC.
Save the Date
Let’s get ready for more fun and sun at the 2024 Florida Water Resources Conference, which is scheduled for April 2-4 at Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee. 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. S
20 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Conference Attendees Tour Hamlin Water Reclamation Facility
On Wednesday, May 31, conference attendees had the opportunity to tour the Hamlin Water Reclamation Facility, which resides on 50 acres in the Horizon West/Winter Garden section of Orange County and has a permitted
tertiary cloth filtration, chlorine contact tanks, effluent transfer pump station, reclaimed water storage tanks, reclaimed water/nonpar water high-service pump station, sodium hypochlorite storage and feed systems, reject pond system, covered sludge holding tanks, gravity belt thickening equipment in an associated metal building, electrical gear and emergency power generators with a fuel storage system, and administration and maintenance buildings.
The facility uses a five-stage Bardenpho-type process that includes screening, odor control, grit removal, aeration with nitrification and denitrification, secondary clarification, supplemental chemical feed (if necessary), disk filtration units, and chlorination. Biosolids are processed
Continued on page 22
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 21 FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
– Facility Tour –
James Montague Jr., plant manager (at far right) leads one of the tour groups.
Grit pumps located on the lower floor.
The group looks at the first anoxic stage of the five-stage Bardenpho treatment process, which uses the mixer in right foreground. Air distribution pipes are elevated above the walkways to provide oxygen for the aerated stages of the treatment process.
The offline Clarifier No. 1, with spiral rake assembly and Stamford baffle visible. The temporary alum system, hypochlorite building, and part of the clarifier influent splitter box are in the right background.
Continued from page 21
eventual transport. The reclaimed water produced is stored in the public access reuse tank and pumped offsite to Water Conserv II, the largest reuse project of its kind in the world, with agricultural irrigation as its primary focus.
The facility is staffed 16 hours a day by one senior operations specialist, five plant specialists, one senior utilities maintenance coordinator, one industrial electrician, and two industrial mechanics.
22 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
(photos: Curtis Kunihiro)
At the 6-million-gallon lined reject pond.
At the maintenance building.
The control screens in the control room of the operations building.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
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“THE BEAST IS HERE”
Operators Learn About Latest Water and Wastewater Regulations
Operators from across Florida came to the conference to learn about pertinent issues to use in their careers. On Thursday, some attended the Operators Showcase to have a beer and hear about new regulations.
The showcase is sponsored by the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (FWPCOA), and this year the discussion was moderated by Tom King, who chairs and is a member of several FWPCOA committees.
The session had three presenters:
S Chris Owen, associate vice president and director of water and reuse innovations with Hazen and Sawyer in Tampa.
S Carlyn J. Higgins, Ph.D., P.E., an engineer with Hazen and Sawyer in Tampa.
S John O’Brien, a licensed operator with Seacoast Utility Authority in Palm Beach Gardens.
What Does the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Regulatory Future Look Like and What Does It Mean for Your Utility?
Owen spoke about the effects of perand polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals on the water utility industry. She discussed the following:
S PFAS background
S The proposed new maximum contaminant levels (MCLs)
S Proposed compliance schedules
S Treatment approaches
S Funding opportunities
S Communication tools
The (Expanding) World of PFAS Compounds
A large, complex group of synthetic chemicals, PFAS have been used in consumer products around the world since about the 1950s. They are ingredients in various everyday products that are used to keep food
from sticking to packaging or cookware, make clothes and carpets resistant to stains, and create firefighting foam that is more effective. There are more than 4,000 compounds that make up PFAS.
The PFAS molecules have a chain of linked carbon and fluorine atoms. Because the carbon-fluorine bond is one of the strongest, these chemicals do not degrade easily in the environment.
People are most likely exposed to these chemicals by consuming PFAS-contaminated water or food, using products made with PFAS, or breathing air containing PFAS. Because PFAS break down slowly (if at all), people and animals are repeatedly exposed to them, and blood levels with PFAS can build up over time.
The most commonly studied PFAS are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The next most commonly studied are perfluorohexane
sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA). The PFAS molecules have a chain of linked carbon and fluorine atoms that provide their chemical and thermal stability, as well as their water- and oil-repellent characteristics.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized the human health toxicity assessment for hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) dimer acid and its ammonium salt, which are also known as “GenX chemicals” because they are the two major chemicals associated with the next generation of processing technology used to make highperformance fluoropolymers without the use of PFOA.
The adverse health effects of PFAS exposure include:
S Increased cholesterol levels
S Decreased vaccine response in children
S Changes in liver enzymes
S Increased risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia in pregnant women
24 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
– FWPCOA OPERATORS SHOWCASE –
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380916/ FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Small decreases in infant birth weights
Scientists are still learning about the health effects of exposures to mixtures of different PFAS.
Maximum Contaminant Levels
In March of this year, EPA proposed new MCLs for a group of PFAS contaminants. These new MCLs will be finalized at the end of 2023 (or the beginning of 2024) and utilities will need to take action as a result, including monitoring, public notification, and treatment if levels exceed the new MCLs. Utilities will have three years to implement treatment.
Attention from the Media
All forms of media (print, electronic, social) are now reporting on PFAS, which means that water and wastewater utility customers are more aware of the issue. The potential health risks surrounding PFAS have created an environment where communities are asking utilities and regulators to quickly find solutions to address, remove, and destroy these contaminants.
Managers and operators at water utilities must educate themselves on PFAS, build trust with their communities, and juggle evolving regulations, while also simultaneously planning for and funding new treatment systems.
The U.S. government has been aware of PFAS for some time and EPA set a regulatory action timeline to deal with them: 1998 - EPA first alerted to risks.
2000 - Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) article on global PFAS distribution is published.
2006 - Manufacturers phase out chemicals via participation in EPA’s stewardship program.
2016 - EPA published health advisories for PFOA and PFOS.
2019 - Federal legislation (Senate Bill 1507) is enacted, which requires the EPA administrator to promulgate certain limitations with respect to preproduction, plastic pellet pollution, and for other purposes.
2020 - Preliminary regulatory determination is made for PFOA/PFOS; various state regulatory action and monitoring also established.
2022 - New health advisory levels (HALs) announced.
2023 - Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) 5 begins and EPA proposes
PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR).
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
The EPA has extended its estimated publication of a final rule designating certain PFAS (PFOA and PFOS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). It pushed the timeline for the final rule on PFAS CERCLA designation from August 2023 to February 2024.
The CERCLA establishes liability for current and former owners and operators of facilities where hazardous wastes were released or disposed, generators and arrangers of disposal or transportation of hazardous substances, and transporters of hazardous substances. As such, any entity that handles designated PFAS—not solely PFAS manufacturers—could become liable for the recovery and remediation costs of PFAS releases or threatened releases and would need to comply with federal law on transportation and disposal of hazardous waste. Owners of land contaminated with a hazardous substance are considered potentially responsible parties and are jointly and severally liable for response costs.
The CERCLA also imposes retroactive
liability; prior owners of contaminated land may be held liable under the statute. The manufacturing of PFAS began in the United States in the 1930s and the extent of contamination at manufacturing sites and places of use is still unknown. Prospective owners can avoid liability only by qualifying for a CERCLA defense, exemption, or liability protection.
Liability under CERCLA creates a significant risk for passive receivers who don’t contribute to PFAS contamination and merely receive materials and substances that contain PFAS. Water and wastewater utilities are particularly vulnerable to CERCLA liability due to their role in receiving and filtering PFAS out of drinking water and wastewater.
Treatment technologies that can remove PFAS from source water—granular activated carbon (GAC), anion exchange resins, and membrane systems (reverse osmosis [RO] and nanofiltration)—result in PFAS-filled contaminated media or concentrate that must be disposed of carefully. The most effective known method of destroying PFAS is incineration, but the capability is not widely deployed and it still requires consolidation of media containing PFAS. Transporting and disposing of spent media risks subjecting utilities to significant legal consequences.
Continued on page 26
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 25
S Increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer
Figure 1. Presence and composition of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Wastewater utilities also must contend with both industrial and residential contributors of PFAS, the latter of which poses unique challenges due to the prevalence of PFAS in many consumer products. Wastewater utilities also face uncertainty over regulation of biosolids, a beneficial byproduct of treatment that supports agriculture.
Treating PFAS Current Technologies
Many water agencies have already begun to address PFAS in their water supplies. Treatment solutions include GAC adsorption, ion exchange (IX) resins, and nanofiltration (NF) and low-pressure RO membrane treatment processes.
The utilities that use these treatments can expect varying levels of PFAS “removal” ranging from less than 50 percent to more than 95 percent with RO membranes. More advanced treatment options are needed.
Control and Management Approach
Utilities should determine the presence and composition of PFAS in their facilities and intercept and treat them from multiple sources, as shown in Figure 1.
Water treatment plants (WTPs) and water resources reclamation facilities (WRRFs) are only receivers of PFAS and DO NOT produce PFAS, but the transformation of precursors makes it appear that PFAS are “generated” at WRRFs. The reality is that many precursors aren’t detected in current screening methods and caution must be used when performing mass balances at a facility.
A utility’s sampling approach for PFAS should consider total organofluorine contributions. Source control may be a very effective strategy for reducing these chemicals in WRRF influents.
Innovation Technologies and Approaches Under Consideration
New technologies to treat PFAS include:
S Novel adsorbents
S Coagulant aids
S Pretreatment with GAC
S Nanobubbles for foam fractionation
Cost of Treatment
Water agencies have played no role in producing PFAS, yet they are the ones who are facing the burden of removing these contaminants from their water supplies. As
water providers discover these contaminants in their supplies, the demand (and cost) for treatment technologies and infrastructure upgrades are likely to rise.
The bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 includes a comprehensive package that will invest billions of dollars in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure to address PFAS and other unregulated contaminants. The funds, however, come with restrictions on what they can be used for and exclude the long-term operation and maintenance costs of running these facilities.
Unless the manufacturers responsible for this pollution are held accountable, the billions of dollars to clean the contaminated water will be a burden borne by rate payers, who have also likely been exposed to the toxic chemicals.
Over the past two decades, litigation has helped expose not only the dangers of these chemicals, but how much the manufacturers knew and withheld information about those dangers. In past cases pursued against PFAS manufacturers, an enormous amount of evidence was produced demonstrating wrongdoing on the part of those manufacturers, making litigation a good option for water providers to consider.
What are Additional Challenges for Utilities?
A gap exists between what affects humans versus what can be measured, and there are limitations of analytical methods.
The challenges regarding PFAS include:
S Inconsistent regulatory actions over the past 10 years
S Lack of testing/monitoring methods for HALs and MCLs
S Communicating complicated information to customers and other stakeholders
The challenges associated with quantifying the full diversity of PFAS present in environmental samples and the lack of toxicity data highlight the need for information and tools to better understand new and emerging fluorinated compounds. Further, there are no current data for approximately 100 million Americans who obtain their water from small public water supplies serving less than 10,000 individuals and private wells, representing a critical research need for the future.
It’s also a challenge to get the public to understand scientific issues when the “experts” don’t know the full extent of exposure and how to mitigate the danger.
What Communication Tools do Utilities
Have in the Light of Recent PFAS Developments?
Utilities can adopt the following communication strategies:
Develop communication materials that are informative and educational. Crafting public notification strategies specific for stakeholders, including customers, board members, elected officials, and the media, will go a long way to educate these audiences.
Prepare staff with training designed to address PFAS implications throughout the agency, including the operations, customer service, engineering, management, and board levels. Provide staff with key messages they can readily share with customers.
Monitoring Advice and Results Interpretation
Identify resources that can provide guidance on sample collection, methods selection, laboratory identification, and data analysis for understanding and communicating results. National organizations have prepared educational materials and templates that are generally open to all to use.
Proactive Treatment Assessments
Begin sampling and planning discussions to address PFAS occurrence and treatment effectiveness.
Any communication to any audience regarding PFAS should include the “4 Cs”:
S Control – determine the message and seek out opportunities to interact with various audiences
S Clarity – no jargon
S Competence – be informed and knowledgeable
S Concern - acknowledge customer fears and issues
As more information comes to light about the impact of these chemicals, it will continue to draw the attention of water customers; local, state, and federal regulators; legal professionals; environmental groups; and the public.
26 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Continued from page 25 FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Direct Potable Reuse in Florida: What It Means for Operators
O’Brien is an instructor in the utility field and is chair of the new Direct Potable Reuse Operator Certification Committee for FWPCOA. He gave an overview of direct potable reuse (DPR) in Florida.
What is Direct Potable Reuse?
Potable reuse is the process of using treated wastewater for drinking water and provides another option for expanding a region’s water supply portfolio. As planned potable water reuse, DPR uses advanced ultratreated reclaimed water for potable purposes without an environmental buffer, such as surface water or an aquifer. Wastewater may be conveyed to a municipal wastewater treatment plant for treatment to reclaimed water standards, and then further treated to protective drinking water levels for distribution as potable water.
This water is treated to levels that protect public health and is tested before entering a drinking water distribution system. Advanced treatment is used, which consists of multiple treatment steps that are specifically engineered to treat any anticipated pollutants or contaminants in reclaimed or wastewater. The processes are constantly monitored and tested at every necessary treatment step to protect public health. Contingency plans are also in place to ensure that DPR water is further treated when necessary. In addition, DPR facilities must comply with regulations
mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Another Source of Water for Florida
As an alternative, sustainable supply of water, DPR can help Florida meet its projected water needs. By 2035 the state is forecast to require an additional 1.1 billion gallons of fresh water per day to help meet supply. With fresh groundwater supplies becoming limited, reusing water for potable uses has become a proven method across the United States to augment water supplies.
Technology advancements have made the costs of treating potable reuse competitive with other alternative water supply sources, such as seawater and brackish desalination.
Outreach to the Public
Public acceptance is crucial to the success of any water reuse project and it’s influenced by many factors, such as the perceived value of water, the history of the water to be reused, trust in the entities promoting the reuse project and in the technologies used to purify the reuse water, education on fundamental water concepts that apply more specifically to water reuse, the timing of the proposed reuse project with local circumstances (e.g., drought), and inclusion of information on pilot projects.
Despite research demonstrating that DPR can be safe, one of the most significant issues surrounding implementation is public opposition. Because the public has rejected many reuse projects in the past, there is a substantial body of work on public perceptions of, and attitudes toward, water reuse, along
with recommendations for effective public education and outreach related to water reuse projects. Most of this work, however, is based on experiences with nonpotable reuse, or indirect potable reuse (IPR).
For the public to feel comfortable about DPR, it needs to know that the technology is advanced enough to ensure the purity of the water and that the utility personnel using the technology have been adequately trained.
Operators and Direct Potable Reuse
Most of the existing operator training and certification doesn’t cover reuse well, especially when it comes to licensing.
The FWPCOA has assisted the WateReuse Association in developing a survey to collect data from water and wastewater operators and other members of the industry about advancing the concept of DPR and IPR treatment licensing in the state of Florida. WateReuse has created the Potable Reuse Commission (PRC) to assist in promulgation of a joint position for Florida.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working on a discussion framework for a draft water reuse action plan (WRAP). One recommendation is the introduction of an advanced water treatment license. While FWPCOA endorses EPA’s development of the WRAP, the survey will gather information to share with the PRC, which it can use to guide the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other water sector stakeholders in amending the future licensing certification program.
The FWPCOA is also creating a manual on DPR that can be used by operators.
Plant City Potable Reuse: Data Collection, Operator Training, and Operator Certification
Higgins presented information on the City of Plant City’s potable reuse water pilot project.
The City of Plant City (city) is located about 50 miles inland of Florida’s west coast and is known for agriculture and its annual Strawberry Festival. The city owns and
operates a water reclamation facility (WRF) and four water treatment plants (WTPs).
The city considered potable reuse for several reasons:
Florida Senate Bill 64 requires certain domestic wastewater utilities to submit to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), by a specified date, a plan for eliminating nonbeneficial surface water discharge within a specified timeframe.
The city’s current stormwater system is
experiencing flooding and treatment challenges.
S The city needs more drinking water supply due to population growth.
S The city is located in the Dover Southern Water Use Caution Area, which creates additional challenges to permit additional groundwater for drinking water supplies.
Potable reuse would then give the city the following advantages:
Continued on page 28
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 27
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Continued from page 27
S Reduce reliance on surface water discharge by diverting highly treated effluent to McIntosh Park, which would in turn hydrate wetlands, mitigate flooding, promote a healthy ecosystem,
preserve the beauty of the passive recreational park, and recharge the aquifer.
S Implement potable reuse—either indirect potable reuse (IPR) or direct potable reuse (DPR)—to augment the city’s
provide water supply and flood protection to the city. It has the following components:
S Stormwater treatment through expanded wetland treatment systems.
S Localized flooding mitigation by adding more than 100 acres of wetlands and pond systems.
S Increased water supply through investigating potable reuse.
S Creation of a natural habitat park with walking trails, education boards, and a nature preserve.
Potable Reuse Requirements
Some key questions that the city considered when evaluating potable reuse for its utility were:
The integrated water management plan for McIntosh Park is a collaborative project to enhance park recreational opportunities and
S How much additional potable water is needed?
S Would IPR or DPR be more feasible for the city given the current state of the city’s water needs and draft potable reuse regulation?
S What potable reuse treatment trains should be utilized?
S How can it demonstrate performance while the rule making process is ongoing?
The current regulations in Florida require a pilot program to demonstrate the performance of reuse treatment intended for drinking water supplies. The pilot consisted of the components shown in Figure 1.
Pilot Goals and Objectives
The city’s potable reuse pilot had the following goals:
S Meet current regulatory requirements
S Establish design and operating criteria for a full-scale process
S Develop and execute an engagement program
S Provide operator training for operation and maintenance
To achieve the pilot goals, a membrane filtration (MF), reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet/advanced oxidation process (UV/ AOP) pilot was procured and installed in series to represent advanced potable reuse treatment. Each pilot unit was prefabricated by a vendor and contained appropriate meters, gages, valves, instrumentation, etc., required to monitor and adjust performance. The pilots also have sample panels to appropriately collect samples as water goes through each treatment stage.
28 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Constituent Unit MCL Plant City 2021 Annual Water Quality Report Plant City Potable Reuse Pilot Barium mg/L 2 0.0171 < 0.002 Chromium ug/L 100 1.5 < 0.9 Fluoride mg/L 4 0.690 < 0.05 Sodium mg/L 160 17.2 7.83 Copper mg/L 1.3 0.565 < 0.001 Alpha Emitters pCi/L 15 2.7 < 0.15 Radium 226 + 228 pCi/L 5 2.0 0.5 Uranium ug/L 30 0.3 < 1.0 Average Pathogen Water Quality Parameters MF Feed RO Permeate UV/AOP Treated Unit Average Conc. Std. Dev Detect (%) Average Conc. Std. Dev Detect (%) Average Conc. Std. Dev Detect (%) Total Coliforms MPN/100 m >2400 NA 100% 1.75 1.98 13% <1 NA 0% Giardia cyst/L 0.252 0.134 60% NA NA NA <0.1 NA 0% Cryptosporidium oocycst/ L 0.339 0.495 20% NA NA NA <0.1 NA 0% Enterovirus MPN/100 L <1 NA 0% NA NA NA <1 NA 0% Legionella MPN/mL <1 NA 0% NA NA NA <1 NA 0% Table 1 Table 2
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Figure 1. Components of the pilot program.
The process mimics that of a potential full-scale purification facility, but is scaled down to receive only a fraction of the flow. In this application, the wastewater treatment plant diverts approximately 40 gal per minute (gpm) of wastewater effluent from the city’s sand filter effluent to the pilot process.
The comparison of pilot finished water to current potable water quality is shown in Table 1.
As shown in Table 2, no viable pathogens were detected in the finished water.
More than 400 organic compounds and constituents of emerging concern were analyzed in reclaimed water and pilot finished water.
S 18 constituents were detected in the reclaimed water (N-Nitrosodimethylamine [NDMA], 1,4-dioxane, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances [PFAS], sucralose, hexazinone [herbicide], testosterone [hormone], erucamide, phenanthrene [industry])
S Seven constituents were detected in the UV/AOP finished water (disinfection byproducts [DBPs] at less than 5 ug/L, sucralose at less than 10 ng/L)
No constituents, however, exceeded maximum contaminants levels (MCLs) or health advisory levels (HALs).
Pilot performance monitoring and optimization have helped inform design criteria, as shown in Table 3.
Public Outreach Program
The city has engaged in a comprehensive public outreach program to educate the surrounding community about the future of its water supply. The efforts were developed with the goal of increasing public acceptance of potable reuse by educating stakeholders on the quality and safety of alternative potable water supplies.
Components of the program included:
S Project branding
S Creation of educational materials
S An inaugural ribbon-cutting event
S Public tours
S Video development
S Collaborative beverage making with Keel Farms
Operator Training and Certification
Hands-on training opportunities for
Potential Option 1
Potential Option 2
Potential Option 3
operators exposed them to potable reuse treatment technologies and included:
S Classroom educational sessions
S Process monitoring
S Sampling procedures
S Maintenance activities
The city’s pilot was extended for three months to allow for operator exposure and public outreach. Continued on page 30
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 29
Process Parameter Range Pretreatment Pretreatment chemical Chloramines MF Flux 40 gfd (minimum) Cleaning Chemicals Citric acid, bleach, caustic, sulfuric acid RO Flux 11.4 gfd Recovery 85% Scale Inhibitor AWC 119 UV/AOP Oxidant Chlorine UV Dose 900 mJ/cm 2
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
As the regulation is still in the draft phase, the avenue of operator certification is still up for discussion. Potential certification options include:
S New license
S Dual licensing
S Potable reuse operator certification
S Certificate on water or wastewater license
Several options are available:
• Potential Option 1: A separate potable reuse (PR) operator certification program (source: California Urban Water Agencies, 2016)
• Potential Option 2: A supplement to a current drinking water or wastewater license (source: California Urban Water Agencies, 2016)
• Potential Option 3: Hybrid added onto either drinking water or wastewater license (source: California Urban Water Agencies, 2016)
Other questions to consider concerning operator certification are:
S Is there a large enough market to support a certification program?
S Could the approach limit the existing pool of existing operators?
S What level of experience would be acceptable to operate a potable reuse facility and sit for an exam?
S Would a specific certification avenue result in knowledge gaps?
If both drinking water and wastewater operators are used, would senior supervisors be experienced enough to manage a diversity of staff backgrounds?
Other challenges exist:
Implementation of resources to run the
Mobility, career path, pay implications, and job descriptions
Boundaries: what to test and not to test; what to test at different levels of an exam
The Path Forward
To assist with operator training, FWPCOA is creating study materials on potable reuse. There is also the potential to leverage training materials from other states, associations, and water-related organizations. It’s important to keep the conversation going and include operators in any decisionmaking processes. S
O’Brien (standing) discusses direct potable reuse.
Higgins discussing City of Plant City’s direct/ indirect potable reuse water pilot project.
Tom King, moderator for the session.
Audience members listen to one of the presentations.
Owen during her talk on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Continued from page 29
The Newest Products, Services, and Innovations in the Industry
The exhibit hall this year included 380 exhibitors, 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.
32 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
– EXHIBITION –
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Sharing Knowledge, 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 eight workshops at the conference covered the topics of wastewater treatment modeling, septic system conversion and onsite treatment, Contractors Council issues, latest topics for drinking water and wastewater utilities, how the economy impacts utilities, evolution of water reuse in central Florida, resiliency during Hurricane Ian, and grant funding.
The two-day technical program included sessions on utility management, wastewater treatment, facilities operation and maintenance, nutrient removal, stormwater and green infrastructure, collection systems, biosolids and resource recovery, potable water treatment, modeling/geographic information systems/computer apps, water quality and water supply, sustainability, reclamation and reuse, and distribution systems.
Pictured are some of the workshops and sessions.
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 33
– WORKSHOPS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS –
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Empowering Voices: Women of Water Share Insights and Inspire Action
A conference workshop for connection, inspiration, and community
In an era characterized by rapid technological advancements and instantaneous communication, it’s easy to overlook the significance of genuine human connections and the power of shared experiences. There are, however, rare moments when we come together to engage in meaningful conversations that transcend boundaries and allow us to understand and appreciate the diverse perspectives of others. The interactive Women of Water Forum held at the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC) was one such extraordinary occasion—an event that not only celebrated the water industry, but also highlighted the inherent humanity that binds us all.
If One Wonders: Is This Panel Still Relevant? Addressing Gender Disparities
Recognizing the valuable contributions of women in historically male-dominated industries is vital for promoting gender equality and driving positive change. Despite progress, statistics still show that 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 a significant milestone in promoting gender equality and empowering women in the water industry.
Unveiling the Humanity of the Water Industry
The forum served as a captivating platform where six accomplished panelists from the water industry shared their stories, insights, and challenges. Beyond the technicalities and engineering innovations, the panelists brought forth the human dimension of the water industry—the passion, dedication, and empathy that underpin their work. They also discussed what inspired them to enter the industry and how, along their path, they “fell into it” from another industry.
The panelists for the forum were:
S Marisela Aranguiz-Cueto - deputy director, Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department
S Nancy Gallinaro - utilities director, City of North Port
S Tara Lamoureux - utilities director, City of Casselberry
S Raynetta Curry Marshall - chief operating officer, Jacksonville Electric Authority
S Megan Ross – former utilities director, Pinellas County
S Ifetayo Venner - wastewater practice leader, Arcadis
The program was facilitated by:
S Randy Brown - utilities director, Pompano Beach
34 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
– WOMEN OF WATER FORUM –
Panelists, moderators, and attendees gather post-event to capture the excitement of the moment and remember the tangible sense of community.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
The panelists share their professional and personal experiences.
Megan Nelson, senior engineer, Orange County Utilities, supported the facilitators before and during the forum.
During the session, panelists shared personal stories about their initial encounters with water as a valuable resource and how these experiences sparked their sense of purpose and passion for the industry. Each panelist’s journey had a unique genesis, demonstrating the diverse ways in which water can leave an indelible mark on one’s life. “There is nothing as foundational to our quality of life as water,” reflected Curry Marshall.
From childhood memories of playing by the ocean, to witnessing the devastating effects of water scarcity in underserved communities, the panelists revealed the pivotal moments that propelled them on their career paths. Childhood imaginings of living as a dolphin trainer or beach bum eventually morphed into the noble path of water protector serving utility communities.
These stories served as a testament to the transformative power of water, instilling a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to make a positive impact.
The Scene: Community in Conversation
This forum, however, was not just about the six esteemed guests sitting at the front of the room. This annual gathering brings together accomplished professionals, aspiring individuals, and allies passionate about creating a moreinclusive water sector to connect, celebrate successes, and address the challenges faced by women in the sector.
The event unfolded as an interactive dialogue, where panelists and attendees alike found themselves fully immersed in a shared
Embracing Discomfort: Saying “Yes” to the Unknown
Conversations explored the importance of embracing discomfort as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Attendees discovered that true growth often lies just beyond the boundaries of comfort. By being willing to step into unfamiliar territory, individuals can unlock new opportunities, broaden their horizons, and expand their skill sets. Embracing uncomfortable opportunities can “carry you to a place you may not have otherwise known was accessible to you,” emphasized panelist Curry Marshall.
Lamoureux relayed her experience of when she was first presented the opportunity for her current role. Despite the overwhelming sense of internal uncertainty at the age of 27, she boldly impressed upon her leadership: “Give me the opportunity. I can do this job.”
By saying “yes” to opportunities that come our way, attendees acknowledged the potential for personal and professional growth, as well as the possibility of unexpected and rewarding outcomes.
Imposter Syndrome: Embracing Authentic Leadership
Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where individuals doubt their abilities and feel like frauds, despite evidence of their competence and accomplishments. It’s characterized by persistent feelings of selfdoubt, inadequacy, and fear of being exposed as an imposter in their professional or academic
While imposter syndrome can affect individuals of any gender, research suggests that it may present differently for men and women due to various societal and cultural factors. Imposter syndrome, a pervasive challenge faced by many high-achieving individuals, including women in leadership, may be traced back to a fundamental need for personal connection and representation.
Venner related to the audience that feeling like an imposter can stem from a lack of visible role models or successful professionals who share similar backgrounds, experiences, or identities. When individuals do not see someone who looks like them succeeding in their field, it becomes harder to envision themselves as capable of achieving similar success.
By creating spaces that validate and celebrate diverse perspectives, achievements, and capabilities, we can help individuals embrace their true potential.
Recognizing Personal Potential: Anyone Can Lead
One theme that emerged from the dialogue was the recognition that leadership is not limited to those who are born with innate qualities.
Continued on page 36
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 35
Marisela Aranguiz-Cueto Nancy Gallinaro
Raynetta Curry Marshall
Randy Brown Marjorie Craig
Continued from page 35
Attendees were inspired to realize their own potential and understand that anyone can be a leader. It was a reminder that self-belief and confidence are key ingredients for stepping into leadership roles and making a meaningful impact. The discussion served as a powerful affirmation that everyone possesses the capability to lead and create positive change.
As panelist Ross declared, “You are more capable than you give yourself credit for. If you are willing to learn, you can do it.” She shared her recommendation to not only develop technical skills, but to also formally study leadership as a discipline to be built on throughout a career.
essential aspect of leadership includes cultivating talent within an organization. By training your replacement, you contribute to building a sustainable pipeline of capable and confident individuals who can effectively lead in the future.
Building Strong Networks: The Power of Collaboration
The panelists commented on the significance of surrounding oneself with talented and supportive individuals. “Surround yourself with the best people,” remarked Gallinaro.
Attendees discovered the immense value of building strong networks and relying on the experiences and perspectives of others.
Collaboration was celebrated as a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. The discussion reinforced the notion that relationships are enigmatic, but also the most rewarding aspect of our work.
Venner also emphasized the power of mentoring, relating her experience of supporting other women of color though direct messaging on LinkedIn. Through fostering authentic connections and recognizing the power of collective wisdom, she was able to empower young professionals to envision new possibilities.
The panelists also shared their experiences of being mentored and how it positively impacted their careers. They highlighted the importance of both being a mentee and becoming a mentor, emphasizing the reciprocal nature of mentorship. Through mentoring, women can gain insights, guidance, and support from experienced professionals, enabling them to navigate challenges, overcome obstacles, and achieve their goals.
The panelists encouraged women to seek out mentorship opportunities, establish relationships that foster personal growth, expand networks, and contribute to the overall advancement of women within the water industry.
To Be Continued: On to Next Year!
We invite you to embrace this unique opportunity to participate in the next Women of Water Forum. By attending, you will become part of a transformative movement that empowers women, amplifies their voices, and paves the way for a more equitable future. Together, we can create a water industry where women thrive, break barriers, and lead with confidence.
Make a note in your calendar for the Women of Water Forum to be held at FWRC in 2024 and mark it as a must-attend event. Join the movement, be part of the conversation, and contribute to a more-inclusive future.
Together, we can create lasting change and make a difference that extends far beyond the conference. S
36 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Megan Nelson, P.E., is a senior engineer at Orange County Utilities in Orlando.
Above: Megan Nelson (left) and Marjorie Craig after the forum. At right: The popular forum is always well-publicized.
The panelists (at the head table) and some of the attendees.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Did you attend this workshop? Scan here to provide your valuable feedback.
– FWEA, FSAWWA, FWPCOA SHOWCASE
Attendees Learn About Volunteer Opportunities
Held in the exhibit hall on the first afternoon of the conference, the showcase allowed attendees to learn about volunteer opportunities available with the three
organizations. They were able to meet staff and representatives from the groups, relax and play games, and meet leaders in the water field.
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 37
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
- COLLECTIONS RELAY
Relay Contest Held for Second Time at FWRC
For the second 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 almost 30 entrants divided among
the seven teams signed up to compete, and over 50 percent were women!
Pipe donations for the relay were made by Core and Main and the winners received Visa gift cards.
38 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
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AND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
–Activities Galore for University Students and Newer Industry Workers
There were a lot of things for young professionals and university students to learn about, see, and do at the conference.
Young Professionals Workshop
This all-day workshop, presented for the first time, was a joint endeavor by FWEA and FSAWWA. It brought together young professionals in water and wastewater to learn from industry leaders and network with peers from across Florida. Representatives from FWPCOA were also in attendance.
It was a crash course, with several speakers, to teach attendees how to make contacts and boost their career potential.
Young Professionals Reception
The reception, which was an evening event, provided an opportunity for young professionals and others to meet, network, learn more about the industry, and have fun!
40 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
YP Reception FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Student Design Competition
Student Design Competition
The Student Design Competition brings the brightest young minds and their waterrelated designs to the conference, with teams representing several Florida universities. 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.
This year, University of Florida was the first-place winner in the wastewater category, and the first-place winner in the environmental category was University of South Florida. The winning teams move on to the national contest at the 2023 Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), which is being held in the fall in Chicago.
Resumé Writing Workshop
A resumé writing workshop was held to assist students in preparing an effective resumé for future employment consideration, including objectives, education, experience, professional involvement, awards, and skills.
Student Poster Contest
The poster contest was held Friday afternoon in the rear area of the exhibit hall. Thydaleaph Koeut and David Yin from University of North Florida won first place in the competition.
Resumé Writing Workshop
Student Poster Contest
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 41
Above: Judges at work.
At right: Hayden McCandless from the University of Florida.
University of South Florida team (from left to right) are Daniela Montoya, Adele Howard, Olta Tarko, and Fabricio Escobar.
Students and others pose with their category signs.
Thydaleaph Koeut (left) and David Yin pose in front of their winning poster.
Polk County Bio-Wizards Wins Again in 2023!
For the second year in a row, Polk County Bio-Wizards came in first place in the Operations Challenge. The other winners this year were:
S St. Pete Dirty Birds – Second Place
S Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) The Fecal Matter – Third Place
The contest 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.
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, 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 the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), which will be held in Chicago in the fall.
42 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
– OPERATIONS CHALLENGE –
The winning Bio-Wizards Team.
The St. Pete Dirty Birds Team.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
The Fecal Matter Team from Jacksonville Electric Authority.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship information.
The next Operations Challenge at FWRC will be held April 2024 in Kissimmee. 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 email@example.com.
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 43
The collections event.
The process control event.
The laboratory event.
The maintenance event.
The safety event.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
The crowd watches as the teams compete.
Attendees Share Their Water Career Paths
Over the three-day period of the conference, more than 50 attendees were recorded talking about how they got into the water industry, what they’re passionate about, and offered ideas to encourage choosing a career in water.
The FWEA and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) are working to amplify the stories of water to build community,
strengthen partnerships, increase awareness and appreciation of working in water, and promote stories of success.
If you missed giving your water story, or didn’t attend the conference, you can record your story at www.wefwaterfuture.org.
44 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
– FWEA WATER STORIES –
Factory Trained Technicians - Emergency Repair Services - PM Service/Plans Gas Feed Systems Dry Chemical Feed Systems Peristaltic Pumps Fiberglass Enclosures Metering Pump Skids Tablet Feeders Analyzers Scale Systems Serving the Southeast since 1976 800–826-7699 firstname.lastname@example.org watertc.com FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers Holds its Annual Meeting
The Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) breakfast was held on Thursday at the conference. 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.
A new addition this year was a document that pH 7 generated called the “Golden Shovels” that highlights information gathered about the shovelers who acquire the asterisk mark (meaning they are deceased) on the Class of Shovelers list.
Thanks were given to Rim Bishop, a Class of 1996 shoveler, for providing information on 15 of the 17 members who have passed; contact information for many of these had been lost and the group didn’t know of their passing.
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 45
- FSSSSS BREAKFAST –
Some of the attendees.
Attendees at the breakfast pose for a group photo.
Patrick “Murf” Murphy presides over the meeting.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Attendees enjoy the breakfast.
FWEA Society Inducts
New Members for 2023
Three nominees for the Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (FSSSSS) became members of the organization after completing a tongue-twisting induction exercise at the conference, held on Monday during the awards luncheon. The chair of the society, Patrick “Murf” Murphy, welcomed the attendees to the ceremony.
The inductees this year were:
S Jason Hopp, Heyward Inc.
S Suzanne Mechler, CDM
S Chuck Nichols Sr., Polk County
Hopp was nominated in the vendor or “peddler” category, Nichols in the operator
category, and Mechler 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 2023. 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 as dictated by tradition.
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.
46 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
- NEW FSSSSS MEMBERS –
From left to right: Hopp, Mechler, and Nichols display their certificates as Murphy looks on. Nichols at the podium.
Hopp has his turn in front of the audience.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
Mechler tackles the tongue-twister. Murphy (center) emcees the ceremony.
FLORIDA SELECT SOCIETY OF SANITARY SLUDGE SHOVELERS
CHARTER MEMBERS - Class of 1956
* 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 1967
* Lou Branding
* K.K. Hufstetler
* Richard P. Vogh
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
* George Humphreys
* R.A. Litkenhaus
* J. Edward Singley
* Garrett Sloan
Shoveler Class of 1978
* Arthur Saarinen Jr.
* Felix Janocha Charles Hogue
* Curtis Stanton
Shoveler Class of 1979
* Donald K. Shine
* Geoffrey Scott Bobby L. Jones
Shoveler Class of 1980
* Ray C. Holman
* 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
Shoveler Class of 1984
* Frank D. Hoble
* 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
* Richard Sheldon
Shoveler Class of 1988
* Robert Driver
Shoveler Class of 1989
Phillip K. Feeney
* Herb Pickle
Samuel R. Willis
Shoveler Class of 1990
* Robert Parmelee
Shoveler Class of 1991
* Sam P. Gutridge Ill
Shoveler Class of 1992
* J. Jack Smith
Shoveler Class of 1993
Shoveler Class of 1994
Shoveler Class of 1995
* James Baird Jr.
Douglas W. Fredericks
Shoveler Class of 1996
Gregory J. Chomic
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
Larry J. Ruffin
Shoveler Class of 2000
Jessie L. Carpenter
* Juan A. Citarella
Julie L. Karleskint
Shoveler Class of 2001
* Grady Sorah
Shoveler Class of 2002
Gary D. Dernlan
* Kenneth Wilson
Shoveler Class of 2003
Shoveler Class of 2004
Raymond E. Hanson
Shoveler Class of 2005
Holly M. Hanson
Shoveler Class of 2006
* Lee Kraft
O.H. “Sonny” Moss
* David York
Shoveler Class of 2007
* Edward James
Shoveler Class of 2008
Shoveler Class of 2009
* Albert “Bill” Heller Jr.
* Donald Maurer
Shoveler Class of 2010
Shoveler Class of 2011
Shoveler Class of 2012
Shoveler Class of 2013
Shoveler Class of 2014
* Richard Griswold
Shoveler Class of 2015
Shoveler Class of 2016
Shoveler Class of 2017
Shoveler Class of 2018
Shoveler Class of 2019
Shoveler Class of 2020
Shoveler Class of 2021
Shoveler Class of 2022
Shoveler Class of 2023
Chuck Nichols Sr.
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 47
Attendees Mix and Mingle at Evening Event
FWEA Welcomes New President With Passing of the Gavel
48 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
– H2YOU EVENING RECEPTION –
Held on Thursday night, this after-dinner reception brought everyone together to network, enjoy coffee and dessert, and listen (and dance to!) the music of the Go Time band.
Sondra Lee completed her term as the 2022-2023 FWEA president at the organization’s annual meeting and awards luncheon held on June 2 at the conference. Suzanne Mechler began her term as FWEA president for 2023-2024.
FWEA PRESIDENT –
Lee displays her plaque.
Mechler and Lee with the gavel.
Lee accepts a plaque commemorating her term as president from Mechler.
FWRC 2023 – H2YOU!
At the luncheon podium Sondra Lee (left) presents the FWEA president’s gavel to Suzanne Mechler (right).
CALL FOR PAPERS
The FWRC technical program provides many opportunities to share your environmental knowledge and solutions to water and wastewater professionals at the 2024 Florida Water Resources Conference. Join industry professionals dedicated to improving and sustaining Florida's waters.
Submit your abstract for consideration as a session, workshop or roundtable discussion.
Submit by 10.1.2023
Notifications by 11.30.2023
EXHIBITORS AND SPONSORS
Registration will open in August for all 2024 booths and sponsorships .
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023
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56 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Holistic Approach to Optimize Water Quality From Treatment to Tap
Brandon Bryant, Tom Stangle, Kathy Traexler, Chad
Orange County Utilities (OCU) is a progressive, quality-driven utility known for its excellent service and commitment to regulatory compliance. The OCU is constantly seeking opportunities to optimize operations and enhance service to customers.
This project exemplifies continual improvement through a comprehensive analysis of the potable water system, with a focus on quality from the production well to end users’ taps. This initiative was undertaken by OCU to address customer feedback by evaluating supply, treatment, and distribution facilities and to align with the following OCU goals:
S Deliver efficient, cost-effective, and highquality water service/facilities
S Continually improve operations and service to customers
S Provide environmentally sound water service/facilities promoting conservation
Through this initiative, OCU developed a unique methodology to evaluate the performance of the potable water system from supply to treatment and distribution to customers’ taps. Personnel at all levels of the utility were engaged to analyze historical data on potable water supply, treatment, distribution, and customer performance. New field data were also collected to identify optimization opportunities, both through capital projects and operational adjustments. A synergistic approach was adopted to evaluate the supply/ treatment facilities and distribution system for each water service area (WSA), identifying areas for improvement.
This project was a collaborative and intensive effort involving various teams within OCU.
The supply/treatment and distribution system was evaluated holistically to identify improvement opportunities. The focus of OCU was on its four major WSAs as part of this initiative. Each WSA operates independently, but is interconnected with adjacent WSAs. The four major WSAs, illustrated in Figure 1, are South, West, East, and Southwest.
Each WSA comprises various water supply facilities (WSF), storage and repump facilities (SRF), booster stations (BS), and an extensive network of distribution and transmission pipes. All these components are essential for meeting
and Edward H. Talton Jr.
customer demands and require ongoing assessment to achieve OCU’s hydraulic and water quality objectives for improved customer water quality.
Goals and Objectives
The project involved a cooperative effort with various teams within OCU, including management, engineering, field services, water facilities operations, laboratory, geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping, information technology/supervisory control and data acquisition (IT/SCADA), and hydraulic modeling analysis.
By working jointly, the following specific project goals and objectives were determined:
S Establish water quality baseline conditions
S Identify water quality optimization opportunities
S Holistically evaluate treatment and distribution water quality
Water quality optimizations were previously conducted by OCU in 2007, 2009,
Brandon Bryant, P.E., is chief engineer; Tom Stangle, P.E., is assistant manager; and Kathy Traexler, P.E., is senior engineer with Orange County Utilities in Orlando. Chad Meisel, P.E., is project engineer, and Edward H. Talton Jr., P.E., is senior principal engineer with CHA Consulting in Winter Springs.
2012, and 2014. In 2020, a comprehensive approach was taken to evaluate and optimize the treatment and distribution systems focusing on enhancing water quality for customers. This evaluation involved analyzing historical data and conducting engineering/operations analyses. Innovative tools, such as water quality modeling, were employed to help optimize distribution water quality.
This collaborative project included the following methods:
S Collect, review, and summarize historical data on supply and distribution water quality to establish baseline conditions for correlating with simulated results of water age.
Continued on page 58
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 57
Figure 1. The four water service areas of Orange County Utilities.
Continued from page 57
S Develop and implement a thorough sampling plan for each WSA, process the data to identify water quality issues and trends that are used to calibrate/validate the model, and compare the model to field data to identify any discrepancies.
S Utilize the field data to set water age targets for each WSF and its associated distribution system influenced area.
S Update the water quality model and benchmark distribution performance.
S Utilize the model to explore and assess optimization alternatives/techniques, such as flushing, looping, and/or operational changes that work synergistically.
S List recommended phased maintenance actions and capital projects based on findings.
Historical and Field Water Quality Evaluation
The historical water quality data for the WSFs and the distribution system were reviewed and analyzed for trends. The analysis revealed
that some areas of the distribution system had low chlorine residual levels, which could potentially lead to elevated concentrations of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). To optimize water quality, various factors, such as historical WSF chlorine levels, customer complaints, heterotrophic plate count, sulfide, and total trihalomethane (TTHM), were taken into consideration. Customer complaint data were geographically referenced, highlighting areas with frequent complaints in the distribution system, particularly related to sulfide odor, which peaked in the summer.
To support the analysis of the historical data, comprehensive field sampling was conducted during the higher-temperature months of summer. These sampling results, especially for DBPs, represented worst-case scenarios, providing maximum observed concentrations at the sampling locations.
The project utilized key potable water distribution and water quality optimization techniques, including systemwide unidirectional flushing (UDF), targeted ice pigging (successfully tested as an early
recommendation), optimized auto flushing, key pipe looping, storage tank operational adjustments, and operational protocols for large interconnect transmissions.
For water treatment and water quality optimization, the project implemented additional treatment measures for total sulfide treatment and reducing the formation of potential disinfection byproducts. The presence of hydrogen sulfide in source waters was addressed through removal/treatment or oxidation by chlorine, forming particulate elemental sulfur; however, elemental sulfur particles are undesirable in potable water systems as they can lead to milky yellow or black water (when oxidized with copper) and result in a “rotten egg” odor.
In summary, considering the groundwater quality and current distribution system water quality, using both historical and field sampling, and the investigation focused on two critical components at the OCU WSFs: sulfide and organics (DBP precursors).
The typical approach for WSF improvements would involve sulfide treatment and, when necessary, treating a portion of the total flow for total organic carbon (TOC) removal to meet the DBP goal. Figure 2 illustrates a typical treatment schematic depicting this process.
Water Age Targets and Water Quality Modeling
The water quality optimization methodology for addressing the identified improvements is outlined as follows:
S Establish chlorine residual and DPBs goals for the distribution system.
S Correlate chlorine residual and DBP goals with water age for each WSF.
58 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
OCU's Wells Sulfide Removal Treatment Improvement Ground Storage Tank To Distribution TOC Removal Treatment Improvement Sodium Hypochlorite (Pre-storage for CT) Sodium Hypochlorite (Post-storage for disinfection)
Figure 3. Chlorine residual water age target.
Figure 4. Total trihalomethane formation water age target.
Figure 2. Typical Orange County Utilities water supply facility improvement schematic.
S Set water age targets for each WSF and define their influence areas.
S Identify pipes, through water quality modeling simulations, with water age exceeding the established goal for each WSF’s influence area.
S Optimize the areas with nonoptimized water age.
To expedite model simulations, the optimization process, and implementation, distribution water age was used as a surrogate for TTHM and chlorine residual. The water ages corresponding to the TTHM and chlorine residual compliance goals were referred to as maximum water ages. These maximum ages were estimated for each WSF using fieldcollected data on TTHM and haloacetic acid (HAA) formation at the point of entry (POE), as well as the chlorine residual decay.
The maximum water ages were determined by interpolating or extrapolating to the point where TTHM formation exceeded the regulatory limit of 80 µg/L, HAA formation exceeded the regulatory limit of 60 µg/L, and/or chlorine residual decay fell below the established minimum of 0.2 mg/L, as shown in Figures 3 and 4. Field sampling played a crucial role in calculating water age targets, considering the influence of the distribution system on water quality.
The water age correlations established maximum target water ages for each WSF, as presented in Table 1. The limiting factor for Plant A and B was TTHM, and changes compared to previous targets are also included in Table 1. It’s important to note that the maximum water age determination did not include the finished water ground storage tank (GST) ages for WSFs. The water age is calculated from the POE of the WSF. The WSF’s finished water GST ages were addressed separately.
Using the maximum target water ages for each WSF, the updated model identified locations within the WSA that exceeded these targets. By utilizing the simulated water age, target water ages, and WSF influence areas, the nonoptimized areas were identified. To address these areas, one or more of the following water age optimization techniques were applied, assuming treatment improvements are not completed or active:
S Transmission/Distribution Improvements
S Treatment/Facility Improvements
• WSF disinfection optimization
• Conversion of SRFs to continuous fill/draw instead of intermittent filling and drawing
The optimization techniques were carefully
evaluated and refined to ensure compliance with the maximum target water age. The primary techniques used were auto flushing, looping, and converting SRFs to a continuous fill/draw to resolve the nonoptimized water age areas. Each auto flusher or looping project was analyzed individually, requiring multiple model simulations to develop a set of optimization alternatives. Compatibility and efficiency of the alternatives were considered, aiming for consolidation or finding moreeffective optimization techniques. For each recommended auto flusher location, options such as pipe looping or valve closure were explored first; if no viable options were found, an auto flusher was placed using an existing auto flusher pattern. Converting SRFs to a continuous fill/draw is simulated to achieve the best water age improvements, as shown in Figures 5 and 6.
Storage Tank Analysis
The operations staff implemented SCADA operational controls to regularly fill and empty the tanks, aiming to minimize water age through turnover of tank volume. Maintaining tank levels below full capacity can also reduce water age; however, this method may conflict with protocols that prioritize operational flexibility and emergency usage by maximizing storage volumes. Additionally, isolation of filling and discharge transmission mains and the use of pressure sustaining/ reducing valves can further minimize water age in tanks. These operational strategies can be employed individually or in combination to create a dynamic schedule for tank operations.
Continued on page 60
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 59
Figure 5. Water age before optimization.
WSAWSF Maximum Water Age Target (Hrs) Controlling Factor Recommended 2020 Maximum Water Age Target (Hrs) 2007 2009 2012 2014 Plant A 96 96 79 72 TTHM 72 Plant B 48 79 66 60 TTHM 60
Figure 6. Water age after optimization.
Table 1. Water Service Area and Water Supply Facility Water Age Targets
Continued from page 59
It’s important to consider the unique needs and characteristics of each storage facility. Many utilities set water turnover goals for each facility to enhance water quality.
Optimizing water tank levels can benefit each facility, provided that OCU policy (regarding finished water storage) and the requirement for 4-log virus inactivation would allow for such optimization.
Table 2. Water Service Area Calculated Minimum Required Storage
As an example for a WSA, Table 2 summarizes the storage analysis results. The current required storage, as per the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and OCU criteria, is 3.24 mil gal (MG). Currently, OCU has 3.60 MG of usable volume available in the WSA, indicating surplus capacity when compared to the current requirements. If GST levels are currently set above the minimum storage requirements, adjusting the GST level to a lower operating level can improve water quality throughout the distribution system. This technique, combined with modifying the facility for constant filling/ discharging, proves to be the most effective approach for improving water quality coming from SRFs.
The OCU water storage facility capacity is composed of two criteria:
S Criteria 1: maximum day flow (MDF) x 25 percent + fire flow storage (FDEP requirement)
• 2000 gal per minute (gpm) for 4 hours (.48 MG)
S Criteria 2: fire flow storage + (peak hour flow [PHF]) – WSF well/treatment) x 4 hours
Developing and Evaluating Synergistic Optimization Alternatives and Capital Cost Plan
Table 3. Optimization Alternatives for Identified Water Quality Issues
Water Quality Issues
Elevated water age
Converting SRF to constant fill/draw
Optimizing storage tanks
Responsible demand increasing
Elevated flushing in localized areas not built out
Create a flushing plan to coincide with the construction of new developments
Examine pipe sizing standards for new developments to look for size minimization opportunities
The evaluation confirmed OCU’s compliance with state and federal water quality standards, highlighting it as a welloperated utility. The focus of this effort was on water quality improvements to reduce customer complaints and ensure longterm regulatory compliance. The identified optimization techniques in this project were determined by OCU staff, and actions are already being taken in most cases, with this project supplementing OCU’s efforts (see Table 3).
High TOC, which correlates to high DBPs
Nanofiltration (NF)/Reverse osmosis (RO)
Ion exchange using TOC-specific resin
Granular activated carbon (GAC)
Free chlorine to chloramines
Volatization of DBPs from the water Disinfection optimization
Sulfide removal process
Elevated sulfide levels
Forced draft aeration
A series of capital and operational projects were identified for each system. Detailed facility master planning is necessary to consider facility-specific factors and budget adequately for these upgrades. The budget schedule for the capital improvement plan (CIP) projects assumes a timeline of five to six years, depending on the project type, with one year for procurement, one to two years for design (including field studies if required), one year for bidding and contracting, and two years for construction.
Balancing water quality to minimize microbial corrosion and reactions in distribution system, e.g., biological stability
Unidirectional flushing (UDF)
The OCU treatment and distribution staff consistently delivers potable water to customers at a high standard. Operational adjustments focus on improving product
Continued on page 61
60 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Plant A Plant B WSA Total Plant Capacity (mil gal per day [mgd]) 8.948 4.000 12.948 Existing ADF (mgd) 2.73 2.63 5.36 Existing MDF (mgd) 4.64 4.47 9.11 Existing PHF (mgd) 7.92 7.63 15.54 Tank Nimber 1 2 1 Nominal Volume Available (MG) 1.00 1.00 2.00 4.00 Usable Volume Available (MG) 0.90 0.90 1.80 3.60 Total Facility Usable Volume (MG) 1.80 1.80 3.60 Average Level (ft)* 24.6 25.9 22.7 Maximum Level (ft)* 34.5 35.5 33.0 % Full 69% 71% 73% 71% Total Required Volume (MG) – Modified OCU Criteria 1** 3.24 Total Required Volume (MG) – OCU Criteria 2 0.31 1.08 1.39 Minimum % Full Based on OCU Criteria 1 90% Surplus Storage (MG) 0.36 *SCADA data from 03/04/2018 to 03/04/2019 ** FDEP criterion plus one additional fire flow (0.48 MG*2 =0 96 MG)
aesthetics, while maintaining quality standards and required minimal to no capital cost. Recommended operational strategies include:
S Coordinate with FDEP for a revised 4-log with two tanks in service, as opposed to the current calculations using one tank to lower prechlorine levels.
S Reduce/optimize storage tank levels, while meeting actual demands and fire flow volumes,
S Continue to install/exercise blowoff valves on dead ends.
S Locate and optimize flow of auto flushers.
S Examine pipe sizing standards for new developments to look for size minimization opportunities, while still meeting OCU constraints.
S Continue regulatory (FDEP) dead-end flushing implementation.
S Work with customers to educate them on the maintenance of their systems, including water softeners and hot water heaters.
S Lower the pH of the raw water from 6.4 standard units (SU) to 6.2 SU to further decrease the total sulfide concentration in the forced draft aeration effluent.
S Evaluate the pH at all wells and consider adding a chemical feed system for adjustment of pH.
The project confirmed full regulatory compliance and identified optimization opportunities to address customer aesthetic concerns (color, taste, and odor), support long-term regulatory compliance, and conserve potable water through reduced water quality-related distribution flushing. By improving sulfide removal, reducing disinfection byproduct formation, and implementing optimized distribution quality strategies, OCU can deliver improved potable water, conserve water resources, enhance water aesthetics, minimize corrosion and customer issues, prepare for regional water distribution, and consider innovative operating strategies for tanks and pipelines. This project serves as a roadmap for other potable water utilities, showcasing the use of people power and technology to enhance water aesthetics and provide maximum quality and value to customers. S
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) water quality grants portal opened July 5, 2023. Multiple grant opportunities are available to improve water quality in Florida, including the Innovative Technologies Grant Program. Local governments are encouraged to submit project proposals for this opportunity that evaluate and implement innovative technologies to predict, prevent, mitigate, and clean up harmful algal blooms. Since 2019, $80 million has been appropriated for over 40 innovative technology projects and for harmful algal bloom management and response. To submit a proposal or view a list of past grant awardees, visit ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov.
The request for proposals closes on Aug. 31, 2023.
The FDEP is also accepting grant applications through the Resilient Florida Grant Program for projects to prepare coastal and inland communities for the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge, including proposals aimed at protecting critical assets, such as transportation and evacuation routes, critical infrastructure, critical community and emergency facilities, and natural, cultural, and historical resources.
Through a variety of grant opportunities, Florida’s communities can identify vulnerabilities and implement solutions to protect inland areas, coastlines, and shores. The online grant application portal opened July 1, 2023, and closes on Sept. 1, 2023.
• Counties and municipalities are eligible for fully funded planning grants to promote resilience planning, including further assessment of vulnerabilities of critical assets and complying with the “Peril of Flood” statute, which helps to ensure that coastal communities will recover and move forward faster after natural disasters. Starting this year, water management districts are also eligible to receive planning grants to assist the Florida Flood Hub for Applied Research and Innovation in addressing gaps in available data.
• Counties, municipalities, and special districts responsible for inlets, intracoastal waterways, ports, or other critical waterways are eligible to apply for projects that address risks of
flooding or sea level rise identified in a local government vulnerability assessment. Water management districts, drainage districts, erosion control districts, flood control districts, and regional water supply authorities can propose projects that mitigate the risks of flooding or sea level rise on water supplies or water resources of the state. Eligible applicants in either category may receive 50 percent cost-share funding assistance to implement projects for adaptation and mitigation.
If not already completed, register for an account on the Resilient Florida application portal. If an account already exists, log in to access the application.
Additional information, important dates, and links to helpful webinars can be found on the Resilient Florida resources website.
Note that any information submitted to FDEP will become public record subject to disclosure in accordance with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, and Article 1 of the Florida Constitution. Submittal of a project proposal does not create an agreement, nor does it guarantee funding. All awards are contingent upon legislative appropriations. S
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 61
Continued from page 60
Drop Savers Poster Contest Winners Announced
Every year the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) sponsors the “Drop Savers” Water Conservation Poster Contest. Students from Kindergarten to 12th grade are encouraged to create a poster depicting a water conservation idea in slogan form, drawing form, or both. The contest allows students to promote water awareness and the importance of water conservation in their daily routines.
Posters are designated under one of the following categories:
Division 1 - Kindergarten and First Grade
Division 2 - Second and Third Grade
Division 3 - Fourth and Fifth Grade
Division 4 - Middle School: Grades Six, Seven, and Eight
Division 5 - High School: Grades Nine, Ten, Eleven, and Twelve
S Posters are drawn on 8 ½- x 11-inch white paper (horizontally or vertically).
S Each poster must portray a water conservation idea in a slogan, drawing, or both. Students may use crayons, paint, color pencils, or markers. No highlighters, photos, or computer graphics are permitted. S Students must work on posters individually, otherwise posters will be disqualified. S Only original artwork will be accepted (i.e., no trademarked or copyrighted materials).
Poster Committee Responsibilities
The Drop Savers Committee’s responsibility is to invite and provide each water utility in Florida with the guidelines for running their own poster contest. Once water utilities select their winners, they send the first-place winner’s poster to the Drop Savers Committee, where they participate in the state competition. This year, there were 137 posters from 29 water utilities that participated in the contest.
The prizes for this year included:
S First-Place Winners:
• $100 Amazon gift card
• Plaque displaying the poster
• Calendar displaying the poster
• Water conservation kit
S Second-Place Winners:
• $75 Amazon gift card
• Calendar displaying the poster
• Water conservation kit
S Third-Place Winners:
• $50 Amazon gift card
• Calendar displaying the poster
• Water conservation kit
The winning Drop Savers posters are pictured here.
Melissa Velez, P.E., LEED AP, is an engineering manager at Black & Veatch in Coral Springs. S
62 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
FIRST PLACE Bonita Springs Utilities Ariel Alistarkhova SECOND PLACE City
THIRD PLACE Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Amai Sabala
of Sunrise Carter Loriston
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 63 DIVISION 2
FIRST PLACE City of Sunrise Isadorah Joseph
SECOND PLACE City of Winter Garden River Estes
THIRD PLACE Bonita Springs Utilities Emma Giamatti
FIRST PLACE Bonita Springs Utilities Anna Bushko
SECOND PLACE City of Sunrise Jaizon Williams
THIRD PLACE Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department Vighnesh Pamnani
FIRST PLACE City of Winter Garden Bailey McLean
SECOND PLACE City of Clermont Aubree Terrio
THIRD PLACE City of Hollywood Mairead Polland
THE CONSISTENT SOLUTION IN A CHANGING INDUSTRY. You only have to look back a few decades, and plenty of things were different – with one notable exception. AMERICAN remains the standard for water transmission delivering innovation, sustainability, greater life cycle, and enduring quality with every project. Materials come and materials go. Yet AMERICAN remains the pipe of choice. Job after job, decade after decade.
64 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
A M E R I C A N - U S A . C O M 1 - 2 0 5 - 3 2 5 - 7 7 0 1
DUCTILE IRON PIPE FLOW CONTROL INTERNATIONAL SPIRALWELD PIPE STEEL PIPE
Made in America By AMERICAN
WE SOLVED TOMORROW’S WATER PROBLEMS A CENTURY AGO.
FIRST PLACE City of Winter Garden Carlin Whitney
SECOND PLACE City of Sunrise Marissa Clemons
THIRD PLACE Toho Water Authority Cassandra Ayala
August 7-11 Fall Sate Short School Ft. Pierce 21-24 ..............Backflow Tester .................................................................................. Deltona ....................... $375/405 24 ..............Backflow Tester recertification ........................................................ Deltona ....................... $85/115 28-31 Wastewater Collection C Deltona $325 September 11-14 ..............Backflow Tester .................................................................................. Deltona ....................... 3275/405 14 Backflow Tester recertification Deltona $85/115 18-21 Wastewater Collection B Deltona $325 October 2-4 ..............Backflow Repair ................................................................................. Deltona ....................... $275/305 4 Backflow Tester recertification Deltona $85/115 16-60 Reclaimed Water Field Site Inspector Deltona $350/380 16-20 ..............Wastewater Collection C.................................................................. Orlando ...................... $325 16-20 Wastewater Collection B Orlando $325
What Do You Know About Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances?
Charlie Lee Martin Jr., Ph.D.
1. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) for which suite of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)?
a. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
b. Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA)
c. Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)
d. All the above
2. The proposed rule is expected to be finalized by the end of
3. The known health effects of PFAS include
a. increased risk of prostate, kidney, and testicular cancer.
b. accelerated puberty or disrupted normal bodily hormone function.
c. decreased fertility.
d. all the above.
4. Humans can be exposed to PFAS via
a. milk, cheese, and ice cream.
b. pizza delivery boxes, hamburger wrapping, and microwave popcorn bags.
c. drinking water private or public drinking water systems.
d. all the above.
5. The EPA-proposed maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA is
b. 4 parts per trillion (ppt).
c. 1 ppt.
d. 2 ppt.
6. The EPA-proposed MCL for PFOS is
c. 3 ppt.
b. 1 ppt.
d. 4 ppt.
7. The EPA-proposed rule concerning PFAS will require public water systems to
a. provide treatment of drinking water that exceeds standards.
b. provide notification of PFAS levels within drinking water.
c. monitor water system for PFAS.
d. all the above.
8. The PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been produced since the 1940s to manufacture
a. water repellent boots, jackets, or pants.
b. nonstick cookware.
c. some cosmetics and shampoo.
d. all the above.
9. The EPA-proposed MCL for PFNA is
b. 2 ppt.
c. 1 (unitless) Hazard Index.
d. 4 ppt.
10. The EPA-proposed MCL for HFPODA (common name: GenX chemicals) is
a. 1 (unitless) Hazard Index.
b. 1 ppt.
c. 2 ppt.
d. 4 ppt.
Answers on page 74
References used for this quiz:
(with the solution) by email to: email@example.com
66 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
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Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 67
NACWA Warns Congress Against “Draconian Cuts” to Clean Water Funding in Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Spending Bill
Public water utilities say cuts to state revolving funds come at worst possible time
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has expressed deep concern about the potential for the House of Representatives to enact massive spending cuts to State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs for clean water and drinking water—programs previously designated for expansion in Fiscal Year (FY) 24 to $3 billion apiece through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Instead of trying to fix the growing water crisis, the House Appropriations Committee proposed cutting water funding by more than half in its Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Spending Bill.
The committee’s proposed legislation to rein in “wasteful spending” for “low-priority programs” would cut appropriations for SRFs to a terminal level, effectively killing these vital programs supporting public water utilities. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is reduced from $1.64 billion in FY23 to $535 million in FY24 (a 67 percent reduction), and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) is reduced from $1.13 billion in FY23 to $460.61 million in FY24 (a 59 percent reduction). The CWSRF figure is only 17 percent of the authorized level of funding under BIL, and the DWSRF figure only 15 percent. The NACWA warned that the already underfunded water sector could not absorb additional funding cuts at this level.
According to Adam Krantz, chief executive officer of NACWA, “The House Appropriations Committee is asking Congress to cut funding for key water programs at the worst time possible. What we need to do is increase the State Revolving Funds to their fully authorized levels to close
the water investment gap and help address the growing, low-income water affordability challenge. Water experts on both sides of the aisle are watching extreme rain and flooding events ravage New York and Vermont, and every corner of the country is at greater risk from climate impacts. No responsible lawmakers who are listening closely to their constituents can deny the public outcry for adequately funding water infrastructure at this critical juncture. Congress needs to put a stop to political posturing; proposing radical spending cuts like this is a waste of time. We need to get down to business and fix our clean water infrastructure. Earmarks are helpful, but given the huge water funding need they should be in addition to a fully funded SRF.”
In recent reports NACWA has noted that costs of providing basic water services are growing for a variety of factors, including the need for communities to update aging infrastructure, comply with new regulatory mandates, address increasingly complex water quality challenges related to nutrients and emerging contaminants
like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and improve system resilience to climate change and extreme weather.
Nathan Gardner-Andrews, NACWA chief advocacy and policy officer, said, “Although the current proposal just represents the committee’s starting point for negotiations with the Senate, draconian spending cuts like this to the State Revolving Funds endanger the health and safety of American families by underfunding clean water services to an unsustainable level. It’s vital that Congress appropriates the full authorized funding levels for water, wastewater, stormwater, and water recycling programs in Fiscal Year 24 so that local utilities and their customers have the resources to affordably invest in water infrastructure and meet their federal regulatory obligations.”
For over 50 years, NACWA has been the recognized leader in the United States for legislative, regulatory, legal, and communications advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues. It represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. Its unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for the public clean water sector and helps advance policies to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all. The vision of NACWA is to advance sustainable and responsible policy initiatives that help to shape a strong and sustainable clean water future. For more information, visit www.nacwa.org. S
68 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Anue Water Technologies is launching Anue Total Solutions™ (ATS), a unique and turnkey service that replaces costly chemicals with ecofriendly oxygen/ozone systems for municipal wastewater treatment and odor/ corrosion control at a low monthly fee to substantially reduce monthly operating costs.
Recently the cost of water treatment chemicals (i.e., calcium nitrate) has increased dramatically. Supply chain problems have also caused major delivery issues. The ATS service eliminates the capital expense and reduces costs in a municipality’s monthly operating budget.
According to Greg Bock, Anue’s vice president and general manager, “With Anue Total Solutions, a municipality can immediately push its monthly spending on wastewater treatment below what it currently spends for chemicals by a minimum of 20 percent. That’s because Anue retains ownership of the equipment. The ATS is a turnkey program, with Anue and its local channel partners handling the setup and maintenance. This is a unique and innovative program, which we believe will open the door for municipalities to start saving operating dollars and enjoy an easy-to-use, ecofriendly FORSe® oxygen/ ozone infusion system with remote digital telemetry. Of course, if a municipality prefers an outright purchase of a FORSe system, we are happy to accommodate. The ATS service is in addition to a regular purchase option to make it easy for all municipalities.”
Anue Water Technologies was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga. Anue manufacturers and offers full operating and maintenance service of cost-effective and ecofriendly equipment for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment; odor; corrosion; and fats, oil, and grease (FOG) control applied in municipal force mains, lift stations, wet wells, and wastewater tanks. In addition to the FORSe injection system, Anue products include the more-compact Phantom® oxygen/ozone injection system (also with remote digital telemetry), Enviroprep® well washers for FOG control, and the highly customizable Anue geomembrane covers with embedded carbon filters for odor elimination from practically any sized or shaped wastewater tank.
Wall Mount Skids from Blue-White Industries arrive fully assembled with topof-the-line components and are ready to use. Included is the Blue-White metering pump(s) in two choices: diaphragm or peristaltic. Skids are board-mounted with convenient handles to facilitate easy installation and quick startup.
One or two pump units are available and are offered with four piping options: PVC, CPVC, PVDF, and Chem Proline. Plumbing connections are threadless for a leak-free operation. (www.blue-white.com)
Compatible with leading smart hubs, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the Rusco Smart Ball Valve is app-driven and pairs easily with Apple and Android
devices. Its connectivity allows for program automation, simplifying two primary functions: sediment flushing and flow shutoff. Not only can it be used in commercial and municipal water treatment applications, it can also be employed in home filtration and well water applications, and is offered in both WiFi and Zigbee models, ensuring maximum access to the technology.
Although the smart ball valve can serve
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 69
Pump station wet wells need mixing and the GridBee® AP500 is the best there is. Turn crappy into happy. • Mix away FOG. Stop pump clogs. • Extremely affordable price point • No moving parts in the water • Everything you need in one kit • Quick and easy to deploy A proven solution with thousands of installations! www.ixomwatercare.com | +1 866 - 437 - 8076 | firstname.lastname@example.org All Weather, Quiet Air Unit Heavy-Duty Air Hose Chain AP500 Mixer Watch the Video Before and After Ask us about our 30-Day Free Trial Become an AP500 Distributor partner Contact us today! Continued on page 71 NEW PRODUCTS
Work title and years of service.
In 1966, I started reading water meters for City of Pembroke Pines; I operated a water plant and a sewer plant before operator licenses were required. I then moved into plant maintenance and other related positions. I worked for City of Delray Beach, City of Plantation, Seacoast Utility Authority, City of Naples, and R&L Engineering building water and wastewater facilities. I also
operated the water and wastewater plant on the lndian reservation in Hollywood. I retired from Martin County Utilities in 2008.
What does your job entail?
During my 57 years, I had various positions, from meter reader to superintendent of water distribution and wastewater collection. When I retired from Martin County Utilities, I was in charge of backflow prevention and industrial pretreatment.
Since I retired, I teach backflow testing and repair at the FWPCOA state short schools and other areas around the state. I’m on the board of directors for the Florida Water Resources Conference (FWRC) and the Florida Water Resources Journal (FWRJ). I’m in charge of managing and staffing the FWPCOA exhibit booth at FWRC. I am also the historian for FWPCOA.
What education and training have you had?
During my 57 plus years in the industry I attended several schools and FWPCOA short schools and have had on-the-job training.
What do you like best about your job?
equipment, as well as meeting customers and educating them about the type of work we do as utilities personnel.
What professional organizations do you belong to?
During my years of service I was a member of AWWA, FWEA, and FWPCOA. I’ve enjoyed meeting the men and women of these associations who work in the industry and protect our environment and providing training and seminars related to the water and wastewater industries.
What do you like best about the industry? It has provided me with a variety of job opportunities over the years. It’s important to me to protect our environment and help provide clean and safe drinking water to our communities.
What do you do when you’re not working? I participate in several hobbies and volunteer activities. Now that I’m retired my wife and I enjoy traveling in our motor home, visiting our children and traveling to other
FWRJ READER PROFILE
Al (center between screens) teaches a backflow tester class.
Al (left) receives the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association 50-year membership award from Renee Moticker (right) in 2016.
Al (far right) at the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association booth in the exhibit hall at the 2016 Florida Water Resources Conference with colleagues displaying the premier-level sponsor plaque.
70 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
Al (at right in red shirt) at one of the Florida Water Resources Conference luncheons in 2018.
as a standalone shut-off valve, it can also be combined with a Rusco Spin-Down Filter, Sediment Trapper, or similar product from a competing brand for optimum use. By properly removing sediment from the water supply, users can extend the life of filter media and other treatment components, while also protecting the personal well-being of employees. Company research has drawn correlations between sediment and health risks, including exposure to harmful bacteria and viruses, CECs, and dissolved metals.
Faced with limited capacity, it’s reassuring to customers to know that the smart ball valve can be activated anywhere with the simple click of a button. Alerts are sent in real time if something interrupts normal operation and new units are equipped with standard power fail safe shutoff—both providing peace of mind to customers.(www.rusco.com)
Spencer Turbine Co. offers the AyrJet high-speed, high-efficiency, single-stage turbo blower as an air and gas handling solution for the water and wastewater treatment industry.
Designed for energy-efficient and continuous-duty aeration applications, the compact footprint AyrJet Series 215 has a 215 hp motor and provides flows to 5,400 cfm. The unit has a direct-drive, oil-free, permanent magnet motor and an integrated variablefrequency drive with PLC controls, built-in vibration, and temperature monitoring.
Proven-technology magnetic bearings monitor and manage shaft position for proactive protection against failure. The AyrJet family can handle applications from 100 to 400 hp, flows to 12,000 cfm, and pressures to 18 psig.
Spencer has also introduced digester gas booster skid packages and Power Mizer multistage cast centrifugal blowers. The custom-designed gas booster skid packages have a hermetic gas booster design that provides a continuous flow of gas around an explosion-proof motor, cooling the motor and extending its life. The Power Mizer blower line has aerodynamic cast components for smooth, energy-efficient airflow from inlet to discharge. (www.spencerturbine.com)
OZ Lifting Products has launched its XR Series of davit cranes for wastewater and water operators. The Winona, Minn.-based manufacturer has released the model in 500 and 1,000 pound capacities, but the long reach of the range is a standout benefit for operators. Where other davit cranes typically have
reduced capacity when they’re in the longestreaching position, this series maintains its maximum capacity rating in all configurations. This means wastewater and water professionals can lift more weight and lift it further out, which presents many benefits for numerous lifting and material handling applications. The smaller crane weighs only 57 pounds and the larger crane weighs 95 pounds. Both have a maximum 62-in. reach and maximum hook height of 87 in. (www.ozliftingproducts.com)
The new Aquaray S horizontal UV disinfection equipment from Veolia Water Technologies and Solutions incorporates the latest electronic ballast and communication technology with powerful long-lasting, lowpressure, and high-output UV lamps. The power supplies for the lamps are located inside a sealed aluminum extrusion directly on top of the module. This power bar also handles all the lamp controls and data exchange with the power distribution and data center. The self-supporting modular units are placed into a flowing channel (concrete or stainless steel) in multiple combinations to provide the required level of disinfection. Quartz sleeves protect the lamps, and as with any UV system can gradually accumulate a coating operating in challenging water quality. The system offers a fully automatic, in-channel cleaning system to remove fouling. (www.watertechnologies. com)
The Terminator Actuator from Halogen Valve Systems can be used on chlorine ton containers, as well 150-pound cylinders to instantly stop the flow of chlorine in case of an emergency. The clamp mount version incorporates the same mounting clamp design as the Eclipse Actuator, allowing it to quickly and securely be installed on ton container valves without the use of any tools. It can be used on containers feeding through a pressure manifold or can be installed side by side with tank-mounted vacuum regulators. The Gemini controller provides DC power and control to one or two terminators and can be combined for systems with larger quantities of containers. Emergency chlorine shutoff is initiated when the controller receives a close contact signal from a leak detector or included emergency shutoff switch and a relay output provides remote indication that an emergency close sequence has been performed. (www. halogenvalve.com)
the TB350 turbidimeter from Lovibond delivers reliable measurements for low-range to high-range samples without sacrificing accuracy. It’s designed to eliminate the complexities of turbidity measurement and provide users with an opportunity for operational and regulatory efficiencies, no matter one’s experience level. On the surface, turbidity analysis is a simple measurement; however, there are many factors that can affect the accuracy of readings or the dependability of an instrument. Lovibond obsesses about turbidity measurement so you don’t have to and its team of globally recognized turbidity experts works to anticipate and solve any operator’s struggles with turbidity measurement. (www.lovibond.com)
ZZ Series blowers from Eurus Blower are drop-in replacements for competitor blowers. They have heavy-duty cast housings, machined impellers, alloy steel shafts with oversized bearings, hardened/precision machined steel forged gears, oil-lubricated gear and/or grease- or oil-lubricated drive sides, and keyless locking assemblies for easier timing gear maintenance. The blowers provide up to 15 psig pressure and 2,350 cfm flow. (www.eurusblower.com)
Ballasted clarification dramatically increases biological treatment capacity, produces effluent quality far superior than conventional alternatives, and does it at lower life-cycle costs. The BioMag and CoMag systems from Evoqua use magnetite, which is a fully inert iron ore particle, to ballast biological floc or conventional chemical floc, enhancing settling rates and increasing the performance of wastewater and water treatment facilities. It also substantially reduces costs to upgrade process performance. Both systems easily integrate with existing or planned facilities and are simple, reliable, and proven. (www.evoqua.com)
The Eagle Microsystems GD-4000 MultiChannel Gas Detector monitors and detects the hazardous gases often found in water and wastewater treatment environments. This high-performance detector is designed to provide accurate and reliable readings of gas concentrations, ensuring the safety of workers and the public. Featuring NEMA 4X enclosures, it’s built to withstand harsh environments and is resistant to dust, water, and extreme temperatures. Its user-friendly,
Ideal for field and environmental testing,
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 71 NEW PRODUCTS Continued on page 73
Continued from page 69
C L A S S I F I E D 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. email@example.com
City of Temple Terrace Water Plant Operator
Technical work in the operation of a water treatment plant and auxiliary facilities on an assigned shift. Performs quality control lab tests and other analyses, monthly regulatory reports, and minor adjustments and repairs to plant equipment. Applicant must have State of Florida D.E.P. Class “A”, “B”, or “C ” Drinking Water License at time of application. Excellent benefits package. To apply and/or obtain more details contact City of Temple Terrace, Chief Plant Operator at (813) 506-6593 or Human Resources at (813) 5066430 or visit www.templeterrace.com. EOE/DFWP.
$22.13 - $35.42 per hour • w/”C” Certificate
$24.34 - $38.96 per hour • w/”B” Certificate (+10% above “C”)
$26.77 - $42.86 per hour • w/”A” Certificate (+10% above “B”)
$1,000 Hiring Bonus!
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.
♦ 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: $29.97 - $39.90 hourly http://www.stpete.org/jobs
Clay County Utility Authority - Multiple Positions Available
• Senior Design Engineer /project manager,
• Water, Wastewater Maintenance Mechanic Apply at WWW.Clayutility.org
The Coral Springs Improvement District
A GREAT place to further your career and enhance your life!
• Salary levels are at the top of the industry
• Health Insurance that is unmatched when compared to like sized Districts
• Promotions from within for qualified employees
• Continuing education courses to develop your skills and further your growth
• Retirement plans where an employee can earn 18% of their salary by contributing toward their future
The Coral Springs Improvement District is seeking qualified employees in the following field:
Lead Wastewater Plant Operator: Applicants must have a valid Class A Wastewater Treatment license and a minimum of three years’ experience.
Experienced in the operation of sewage treatment, sludge processing, and disposal equipment in wastewater. This lead position is responsible for keeping within the permit discharge limits and routinely monitoring the flow of wastewater and chemical levels. Employees in this class receive minimal supervision and reports to the Chief Waste Operator.
Salary range $81,328. – 95,680. Salary to commensurate relative to level of experience in this field.
Excellent benefits which include health, life, disability, dental, vison and a retirement plan which includes a 6% non-contributory defined benefit and matching 457b plan with a 100% match up to 6%. EOE. All positions require a valid Florida Drivers license, high school diploma or GED equivalent, be COVID-19 vaccinated and must pass a pre-employment drug screen test
Salaries for the above position based on level of licensing and years of experience.
Submit your resume to or fax your resume to 954-753-6328, attention Jan Zilmer, Director of Human Resources.
72 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal
U.S. Water Services Corporation Multiple Positions Available
• Operations Manager
• Project Manager
• Utility Construction Technician
• Water/Wastewater Plant Operators
Are you ready to join our team?
Please Apply online at www.uswatercorp.com/careers/ www.uswatercorp.com
SOUTH MARTIN REGIONAL UTILITY Water Plant Operator Trainee
Position Open Until Filled
The South Martin Regional Utility, located in Hobe Sound, Florida is looking for a day shift Water Plant Operator Trainee to provide Water Plant Operator services the to the South Martin Regional Utility under the supervision of the Chief Water Plant Operator. The position is classified as hourly and non-exempt. Work in excess of 40 hours per week is likely. This is a skilled technical position responsible for operating and maintaining water treatment plants, water wells and producing safe drinking water in accordance with Federal and State regulatory requirements. Applied practical experience in water treatment facilities, infrastructure and equipment maintenance is preferred. The trainee is expected to obtain a Class “C” FDEP license within one year of hire. Applicants must submit a completed job application which can be obtained at www.townofjupiterisland. com. Applications should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to 2 Bridge Road, Jupiter Island, FL 33455.
Water Treatment Plant Operator
The Water Treatment Plant at Village of Wellington is currently accepting applications for a full-time Water Operator. Apply online. Job postings and application are available on our website: https://wellingtonfl.munisselfservice.com/ employees/EmploymentOpportunities/JobDetail. aspx?req=34&sreq=6&form=WTO3&desc=OPERATOR%20
We are located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Village of Wellington offers great benefits. For further information, call Human Resources at (561) 753-2585.
Clay County Utility Authority - Multiple Positions Available Senior Design Engineer /project manager, GIS & Asset System manager, Water treatment plant operator trainee, Wastewater Mechanic, and electrician. Apply at WWW.CLayutility.org
Okeechobee Utility Authority
Lift Station Technician.
For salary and information and to apply, visit www.ouafl.com/employment-opportunities.
Continued from page 71
color touch screen interface and fieldprogrammable alarms and settings make it easy to use. Calibration is accomplished through the same menu drive touch screen interface. It has four 4-20 mA DC outputs and is capable of housing up to four precision sensors for common gases like chlorine and sulfur dioxide. Its sensor technology can detect gas concentrations as low as 0.1 ppm, ensuring maximum protection against potential leaks or other hazardous situations. (www.eaglemicrosystems.com)
SOUTH MARTIN REGIONAL UTILITY Water Plant Operator
Position Open Until Filled
The South Martin Regional Utility, located in Hobe Sound, Florida is looking for a day shift Water Plant Operator to provide Water Plant Operator services to the South Martin Regional Utility under the supervision of the Chief Water Plant Operator. The position is classified as hourly and non-exempt. Work in excess of 40 hours per week is likely. This is a skilled technical position responsible for operating and maintaining water treatment plants, water wells and producing safe drinking water in accordance with Federal and State regulatory requirements. Applied practical experience in water treatment facilities, infrastructure and equipment maintenance is preferred. Minimum Class “C” FDEP license is required. Applicants must submit a completed job application which can be obtained at www.townofjupiterisland.com. Applications should be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to 2 Bridge Road, Jupiter Island, FL 33455.
Low-maintenance blower technology can help minimize power costs with load splitting, sequencing, and superior multiblower controls. Kaeser rotary screw blowers are turnkey systems, available in sizes up to 335 hp and flows to 5,650 cfm. They use up to 35 percent less energy than conventional rotary blowers, while energy savings of up to 15 percent can be achieved in comparison with turbo blowers. All blowers come complete with noise-insulated cabinets, inlet and outlet silencers, motors, and drives. The intelligent
Sigma Control 2 on each blower optimizes machine performance via various control modes, and a full suite of sensors provides active condition monitoring to protect the machine. The combination of a blower air end with high-efficiency SIGMA Profile rotors, flow-optimized components, efficient power transmission, and reliable drive components ensures wire-toair performance year after year. (www. us.kaeser.com) S
Florida Water Resources Journal • August 2023 73
January ....... Wastewater Treatment
February ...... Water Supply; Alternative Sources
March ........... Energy Efficiency; Environmental Stewardship
April ............. Conservation and Reuse
May .............. Operations and Utilities Management
June Biosolids Management and Bioenergy Production
July .............. Stormwater Management; Emerging Technologies
August ......... Disinfection; Water Quality
September... Emerging Issues; Water Resources Management
October ....... New Facilities, Expansions, and Upgrades
November.... Water Treatment
December .... Distribution and Collection
Technical articles are usually scheduled several months in advance and are due 60 days before the issue month (for example, January 1 for the March issue).
The closing date for display ad and directory card reservations, notices, announcements, upcoming events, and everything else including classified ads, is 30 days before the issue month (for example, September 1 for the October issue).
For further information on submittal requirements, guidelines for writers, advertising rates and conditions, and ad dimensions, as well as the most recent notices, announcements, and classified advertisements, go to www.fwrj.com or call 352-241-6006.
Display Advertiser Index
Test Yourself Answer Key
Continued from page 66
1. D) All the above
The EPA has proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS).
2. A) 2023.
The proposed rule is expected to be finalized by the end of 2023.
3. D) all the above.
The known health effects of PFAS include increased risks of certain types of cancer, disrupted normal bodily hormone function, and decreased fertility.
4. D) all the above.
Humans can be exposed to PFAS via dairy products, food packaging, and drinking water.
5. B) 4 ppt.
The EPA-proposed maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA is 4 ppt.
6. D) 4 ppt.
The EPA-proposed MCL for PFOS is 4 ppt.
7. D) all the above.
The EPA-proposed rule concerning PFAS will require public water systems to provide treatment of drinking water that exceeds standards, provide public notification of testing results, and monitor water systems for PFAS.
8. D) all the above.
The PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been produced since the 1940s to manufacture water repellent clothing, nonstick cookware, and personal care products.
9. C) 1 (unitless) Hazard index.
The EPA-proposed MCL for PFNA is 1 (unitless) Hazard index.
10. A) 1 (unitless) Hazard index.
The EPA-proposed MCL for HFPO-DA (common name: GenX chemicals) is 1 (unitless) Hazard Index.
74 August 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal American 64 Blue Planet 75 CEU Challenge ........................................................................................... 15 CHA 60 Data Flow 37 Engineered Pumps 23 FJ Nugent 13 Florida Water Resources Conference ...................................................... 49 FSAWWA 50-55 FWPCOA Training Calendar 65 Gerber Pumps 9 Heyward 2 Hudson Pumps ........................................................................................... 31 Hydro international 5 IXOM Water 69 Lakeside Construction Equipment 7 Poly Processing 22 Smith & Loveless 67 US Submergent 39 Water Treatment & Controls Technologies 44 Xylem 76
Januar y 2016 Januar y 2016 SERVING FLORIDA’S WATER AND WASTEWATER INDUSTRY SINCE 1949