Florida Water Resources Journal - November 2023

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Editor’s Office and Advertiser Information: Florida Water Resources Journal 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive Clermont, FL 34711 Phone: 352-241-6006 Email: Editorial, editor@fwrj.com Display and Classified Advertising, ads@fwrj.com

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1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711 Web: http://www.fwrj.com General Manager: Editor: Graphic Design Manager: Mailing Coordinator:

Michael Delaney Rick Harmon Patrick Delaney Buena Vista Publishing

Published by BUENA VISTA PUBLISHING for Florida Water Resources Journal, Inc. President: Richard Anderson (FSAWWA) Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority Vice President: Joe Paterniti (FWEA) Clay County Utility Authority Treasurer: Rim Bishop (FWPCOA) Seacoast Utility Authority Secretary: Mish Clark

Mish Agency

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

Membership Questions FSAWWA: Casey Cumiskey – 407-979-4806 or fsawwa.casey@gmail.com FWEA: Karen Wallace, Executive Manager – 407-574-3318 FWPCOA: Darin Bishop – 561-840-0340

Training Questions FSAWWA: Donna Metherall – 407-979-4805 or fsawwa.donna@gmail.com FWPCOA: Shirley Reaves – 321-383-9690

For Other Information DEP Operator Certification: Ron McCulley – 850-245-7500 FSAWWA: Peggy Guingona – 407-979-4820 Florida Water Resources Conference: 407-363-7751 FWPCOA Operators Helping Operators: John Lang – 772-559-0722, e-mail – oho@fwpcoa.org FWEA: Karen Wallace, Executive Manager – 407-574-3318

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

Salute to Veterans in the Water and Wastewater Industry

14 15 23 24 25 26

Happy Veterans Day! Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Veterans Work for Water FSAWWA Veteran Liaison Puts His Military Experience to Work—Arthur Bides Reader Profile: Veteran Edition—Lynn Spivey Florida National Cemetery Enhanced by Its Forest Setting

News and Features

10 M eeting the Challenge of Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Four Tenets of Pressure Vessel Design—Geoffrey Burdick 44 News Beat 46 District Awards Grants to Schools for Water Resources Education Programs

Technical Articles

38 Water Reset: Securing a Resilient Future for the Water Supply of Miami-Dade County—Nelson Perez-Jacome, Huren An, Li Gurau, Arturo Burbano, Jayson Page, and Chance Lauderdale

Education and Training

32 FSAWWA Fall Conference Schedule of Events 33 FSAWWA Fall Conference Registration 34 FSAWWA Fall Conference Incoming Chair’s Reception and BBQ Challenge 35 FSAWWA Fall Conference Poker Night, Happy Hour, and Golf 36 AWWA Water Equation 37 CEU Challenge 45 Florida Water Resources Conference 47 FWPCOA Training Calendar


4 C Factor—Patrick “Murf” Murphy 12 Test Yourself—Charles Lee Martin Jr. 28 FSAWWA Speaking Out—Greg D. Taylor 42 FWEA Focus—Suzanne Mechler 48 Let’s Talk Safety: Facing Up to Stress


49 Classifieds 54 Display Advertiser Index

Volume 74

ON THE COVER: City of Stuart water tower. The American flag first appeared on the tower after a suggestion from the Martin County High School Class of 1976 to commemorate the country’s Bicentennial. (photo: City of Stuart)

November 2023

Number 11

Florida Water Resources Journal, USPS 069-770, ISSN 0896-1794, is published monthly by Florida Water Resources Journal, Inc., 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711, on behalf of the Florida Water & Pollution Control Operator’s Association, Inc.; Florida Section, American Water Works Association; and the Florida Water Environment Association. Members of all three associations receive the publication as a service of their association; $6 of membership dues support the Journal. Subscriptions are otherwise available within the U.S. for $24 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Clermont, FL and additional offices.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Florida Water Resources Journal, 1402 Emerald Lakes Drive, Clermont, FL 34711

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 3


Magic Mixed Liquor: Part II Patrick “Murf ” Murphy

President, FWPCOA


o, I left off in my September column with a brief history of the beginning of activated sludge and some regulations leading to advanced wastewater treatment and bringing in designs for treatment levels attaining 5 mg/L of carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD5), 5 mg/L of total suspended solids, 3 mg/L of total nitrogen (TN), and 1 mg/L of total phosphorus .

Processes for Activated Sludge Secondary treatment includes biological processes. One can’t just forget about rotating biological contactors or trickling filters when taking exams or talking about secondary treatment, but the activated sludge process

has proven to be more effective in a variety of different conditions. The most common processes begin with conventional, complete mix, step feed, contact stabilization, extended aeration, and oxidation ditches. Each of these can provide excellent secondary treatment, but they have design parameters that are significant to their performance that must be evaluated for the raw source water that will be going through the facility and the ultimate effluent quality that’s to be obtained, i.e., detention time through the aeration basin, foodto-microorganism (F/M) ratio, optimal mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations, and sludge retention times (SRTs). The most common denominator of each of these processes is that influent passes into an aeration basin to a secondary clarifier, then return activated sludge (RAS) goes back to the front of the aeration basin and waste activated sludge (WAS) is cut off to slaughter (going to a digestion process to maintain the desired MLSS concentration, controlling the F/M ratio and process control parameters). All of these are considered to have a plug flow pattern except complete mix mode.

A beautiful colony of stalked ciliates, which are indicator organisms. One would need an electron microscope to see the actual bacteria that are the mixed liquor suspended solids mass.

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They all have specific design detention times, desired design F/M ratios, MLSS concentrations, and SRTs. Of these processes, contact stabilization is accredited to handle shock/toxic loads better than the conventional plug flow modes. It’s quite effective in the removal of colloidal and suspended organic matter, but not very effective in removing soluble organic matter. This process could be considered to almost double the capacity of an existing conventional plant by redesigning it to use the contact aeration tank and reaeration tank because this only requires about 50 percent of the total aeration tank volume in comparison. So, as for all the processes, laboratory testing, and design criteria, our most valued engineers need to be involved in picking the right process for success. It’s not just enough to have a competent operator paying close attention to the biological process!

Other Modifications Modifications to activated sludge processes are not a new thing. It’s not enough to just get better nitrification, and I’m betting that there will be even newer modifications that will target contaminants that we don’t even want to talk about, or might not even know their names yet. Here are some other modifications that were all attempts to improve the nitrification process and enhance biological nutrient removal (BNR): S K raus Process S H igh Rate S P ure Oxygen S L udzack/Ettinger Process S W uhrman Process S S equencing Batch Reactor S S chreiber Process S A naerobic–Anoxic/Oxic (A2/O) Process S B ardenpho Process I don’t expect operator trainees to know right away what type of process they are working with, but how long do you let an employee get away with not knowing a process or how it should work? The more the operators know about the design, the process, and how it should work, it will enable ya’ll to better keep it in a steady-state condition, and help respond to abnormal events. Continued on page 6

Continued from page 4 Hopefully, there are some grassroots operators reading this, because here I want to impart to them the importance of learning all the processes, but most assuredly, the process that you are working with. If you have the chance to be employed at the time the plant is being built (or updated), get off your butt and see how it’s being done: Go outside, put on your safety gear, and see where those pipes, valves, and conduits are— the works! Tag along with your lead or chief operator and find out why and what they are doing; don’t let that person be out there as a one-person band doing all the tweaking (tweaking has been a long-used term with operators, referring to fine-tuning process controls, and should not involve a cheater bar). I realize studying the manuals and passing the state exams might be the only thing you care about to get a pay increase (truly important), but dig into the operations and maintenance manuals, at least once read the operating permit, and learn the Florida Administrative Codes (F.A.C.s) relative to your discipline. Every day, look at your plant’s process control data; you’ll be investing in yourself. Tell me that you at least watched the first five minutes of the settleometer (a device that shows the solids liquid separation capability in the secondary clarifier), every so often run a dilute settleometer reading, and look at the indicator organisms under the microscope. How else are you going to know what your mixed liquor is doing, and if you’ve got the “bug glue” working?

I’m recalibrating after that tangent; now, back to the processes. So, with those other modifications, I hesitated to mention the Kraus Process, simply because (in my mind, and I have no proof) it’s not something common to Florida. It’s a modification of the activated sludge process in which liquid from anaerobic digesters is added to the aeration basins as a source of additional nutrients. I think this deserves a mention since one of the probable causes for poor settling sludge and possible filamentous organism growth is wastewater nutrient deficiencies. If the nutrient levels are less than the average ratios in the wastewater influent that would constituent nutrient deficiencies, then one would need to evaluate the addition of chemicals. Testing should be performed to evaluate that the ratio of biological oxygen demand (BOD) to nutrients is 100 parts BOD to 5 parts nitrogen (N) to 1 part phosphorus (P) to 0.5 parts iron. So, with the Kraus Process, the anaerobic digester is going to provide those nutrients and keep the plant from dropping below those ratios into a nutrient deficiency state. The bulk of these process modifications is to increase nitrification, add in denitrification, and/or have BNR in a better control process setting. Again, all of the processes have design criteria that should be adhered to, typically in ranges for process controls that have been vetted by very smart people over very long periods of time, and are generally not what the operator should decide to alter. Operating a plant in a loading range other than what it was designed

A tardigrade (also known as water bear and sludge puppy) carcass (exuvia) with six tardigrade eggs in the nest. A predominance of tardigrades is considered an old sludge age indicator.

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for is going down the railroad track to disappointment depot. Anyway, these columns on activated sludge are not to teach a 155-hour class as a prerequisite for the state exam, but many of the classes that I have attended over the course of 38 years have not delved into all the varieties of processes (generally just the most common). I haven’t listed all of them, and there are new ones in the works. What I want to point out to the operators is that they exist, because if you never see or hear it at least once, the opportunity to dig deeper might never be prompted. The activated sludge process is a living organism. It should be treated as if you were the caregiver for the mixed liquor (the bugs); treat it as a family member. Love your bugs, and they will love you back. Be a bug farmer, be a bug whisperer! Help them to make the magic MLSS that will produce the bestquality effluent possible.

Simple Man There are a lot of senses that will make you a good operator: touch, sight, hearing, and (very importantly) common sense. I worked with an operator who, at first, I was shocked to find out that he was grandfathered into the wastewater plant as a Class C license operator; he had no desire to advance any further and couldn’t work at another facility with a grandfathered license. One midnight shift, he proudly reported that his exam was a five-question test with essay-style answers. As I continued up the chain acquiring my Class A license and getting into a chief plant operator position, I fretted over his lack of interest in advancement and how it would influence the other operators that I was trying to convince to keep taking the nextlevel book work and exams. I’m slow, I finally realized. Even though quite a number of the operators who came on board would learn the routines and get the next-level licenses, they did not have the qualities that Old Rusty, a longtime employee, had. He would be all over the plant, stopping everywhere, listening, touching packing glands and motors, eyeballing every piece of equipment and the processes, walking the air bays (only stopping to clean something up or wash something down), and more often than any other operator I’ve ever worked with, would identify that there was something wrong over in a particular area. He wouldn’t do anything about it, but he would run to tell me. He cared, worked religiously, and many Continued on page 8

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Continued from page 6 of the operators in comparison wouldn’t have made a pimple on his butt. Observations are essential, from the headworks (what’s coming in that will affect your MLSS) to the outfall (effluent quality affected by the MLSS)! If I was allowed to teach an operator only one thing to operate the plant it would be absolutely, hands down, the settleometer. My favorite manual is the 1977 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Aerobic Biological Wastewater Treatment Facilities – Process Control Manual, where, in the troubleshooting guide section, it warns operators that they “must realize that all observations made during the setteability test are not necessarily indicative of conditions occurring in the secondary clarifier tank(s).” Whatever! I’m not saying it’s not true that some of the observations of the settleometer readings can be caused by several problems, but that line makes it seem like the settleometer is unreliable. The settleometer test will provide you instantaneous results, unlike the laboratory results that you might be waiting on for hours, or even days. Running dilute settleometer tests will better-identify your need for increasing or decreasing wasting and observing the flocculation, and supernatant quality can point you at the need for air adjustments. Watching the sludge condense downward in the settleometer and channels forming along the sides where it looks like water streaming upwards, or being squeezed to the top of the jar as clear supernatant, is a beautiful site! Comparing the settleometer reading to the aeration basin(s) and clarifier(s) observations (foaming, color, floc, etc.), and running the settleometer every day gives you lots of information to help make process decisions. In my experience, the biggest and best ammunition that you have for activated sludge control methods are dissolved oxygen (DO), RAS, and WAS. I’m not saying that you don’t target the control parameters for your process; I’m just saying if an operator tells me they are running their plant off the F/M ratio, I immediately wonder what the plant is doing. To get the F/M ratio, you need the CBOD5 results to plug into the math, which takes five days to run if you’re doing it inhouse, and if you are sending samples to a contract laboratory, you might not get the results for 14 days; so, you’re looking at the past—thus, F/M is truly a performance evaluation.

The DO is the driver that makes your MLSS do its magic. For the state exams, you will be expected to maintain your DO in the aeration basins between 1 and 3 mg/L; this aeration also provides mixing of the MLSS. The DO provides the energy for the bugs to do their magic, and from tank to tank (or within tanks) it’s so important to control the DO levels to help as a selector for the appropriate bacteria that are going to facilitate nitrification, denitrification, and P uptake. You don’t want to waste energy/power costs by operating with excessive DO, and >5 mg/L DO can shear floc. For every 1 pound of BOD, 1.5 pounds of oxygen are required; to convert 1 pound of ammonia, 4.5 pounds of oxygen are required, so you must have enough air going in to do that conversion. Poor settling sludge has been associated with low levels of DO below 0.5 mg/L in the aeration basin(s), so if you can have continuous monitoring with online meters, you’re a step ahead in the great balancing act. If insufficient DO is available for the nitrifying bacteria, they will not convert the ammonia to nitrate, but if your DO isn’t low enough in your anoxic zones, the bacteria won’t want to eat the compound oxygen off the nitrates, letting the N go off into the air and reducing your overall TN in the effluent. Controlling the DO will allow for uptake of P. The RAS, returning the microorganisms back to the aeration basins from the clarifiers, might not seem that important. Simply put, the MLSS that’s coming around and being inoculated with the raw wastewater in the aeration basin (the kitchen), is going to have the bugs eating and grabbing their food while they go to the secondary (final) clarifiers (the TV room) where they will finish eating and be hungry for the next round of vittles when they are pumped back to the aeration basins. This return makes it possible for the microorganisms to be in the treatment stream longer than the flowing wastewater, and all the processes have typical ranges of what the RAS flow rates should be for the activated sludge process variations. Based on the changes that can occur with your activated sludge quality, adjustments to the RAS flow rates may be required due to the settling characteristics of the sludge and will be how you optimize clarifier performance. If you start a plant without seed sludge (from scratch), it’s going to take you 14 days to grow your MLSS to the concentration it needs to be, and the RAS is going to be your best friend. The WAS, and wasting the right amount,

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is going to maintain your process control techniques, whether you are eyeballing a constant MLSS concentration, F/M ratio, sludge age, mean cell residence time, or other performance techniques. The objective is to remove just the number of microorganisms that will grow; the bugs eat, grow, and multiply, and the rate at which they grow is called the growth rate. When the amount of activated sludge formed by microbial growth is balanced by what is wasted, you retain a constant condition, and that condition is called steady state, a very desirable place to be. I remember about 35 years ago a snake oil salesman touted a process that would never require wasting. There is, however, no such thing as a “total oxidation process”; we eat, we poop; bugs eat, they poop, then die. If you don’t waste, the plant is going to waste for you, whether you are there or not. There should only be one kind of wasting— intentional! There are a few variations on how to calculate your wasting rate, or the pounds you need to get out of your solids inventory, but for the cautionary rule of thumb, that’s a normal quiz question: Increasing or decreasing the WAS rates should not exceed 10 to 15 percent of the previous day’s WAS rate. A very key factor to wasting deals with P removal; whether you are biologically or chemically doing P removal, the P goes with the WAS to the digester.

Next One: Part III and Done I’d say don’t listen too closely to what I say, but it might help you some sunny day. Thank you to all the hard-working people in our industry. Thank you also to those who have given me feedback on my columns— don’t worry, my term is almost over. Let’s keep that water clean and work safe! S


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Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 9

Meeting the Challenge of Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Four Tenets of Pressure Vessel Design Geoffrey Burdick Meeting the growing demand for safe drinking water is a challenge facing communities worldwide. With water a finite resource, optimizing the efficiency and efficacy of water infrastructure has never been more critical. Effective filtration plays an essential role in achieving this goal, ensuring water supplies meet regulatory standards for human and environmental safety. Filtration practiced by water and wastewater treatment plants typically involves multiple stages: S Prefiltration to remove solids S Filtration to remove total dissolved solids S Disinfection before releasing water for storage and distribution Unfortunately, traditional filtration techniques are not effective at removing substances known as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).

Formidable Pollutants The CECs are formidable compounds, resisting conventional treatment techniques. Many have been linked to adverse impacts to human health, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); 1,4-dioxane; 1,2,3-trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP); and perchlorate. Public awareness of the dangers of CECs is growing—especially the threat posed by PFAS. Made up of more than 4,000 compounds, PFAS have strong fluorine and carbon bonds

that resist breaking down under normal environmental conditions. Often called “forever chemicals,” PFAS can take thousands of years to decompose, lingering in the human body. Found in the blood of every American, PFAS have been associated with a range of health problems, including decreased immunity, kidney cancer, and inhibited fetal and infant growth. The CECs originate from a variety of products and processes, from pharmaceuticals and lotions, to industrial operations, pesticides, and other chemicals. They enter public water sources through a variety of point and nonpoint sources, including runoff and aquifer recharge. The CECs have been detected in virtually every water source, including groundwater, wastewater, and industrial process water, and PFAS have even been detected in Antarctica.

Effective Contaminants of Emerging Concern Treatment The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently released guidance regarding the treatment of CECs, requiring compliance by all 50 states by 2025 (Table 1). Given this development and increasing awareness of CECs across the Unites States, it’s advisable for water utilities to proactively develop treatment strategies for CECs, including addressing substances like PFAS. While conventional methods, such as coagulation and biofiltration, have limited effectiveness in treating CECs, advanced processes, such as granular activated carbon (GAC) and ion exchange (IX), offer viable

Table 1. Proposed Contaminants of Emerging Concern Mean Contaminant Levels Compound

Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) Enforceable Levels

PFOA - Perfluorooctanoic acid

Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) Zero

PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid


4 ppt

1 (unitless) Hazard Index

1 (unitless) Hazard Index

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

PFNA - Perfluorononanoic acid PFHxS - Perfluorohexane sulfonate PFBS - Perfluorobutane sulfonate HFPO-DA - Referred to as GenX

10 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

solutions. In fact, when executed correctly, GAC and IX can achieve complete removal of PFAS, reaching a removal efficiency of nondetect with current analytical test methodologies. This involves utilizing a pressure vessel equipped with a suitable flow-through filter. Among filtration systems, a pressure vessel approach is preferred for removing contaminants from water due to its inline configuration, which minimizes flow disruption; however, not all pressure vessels are created equal. How can a utility select the most efficient solution for its facility?

Four Tenets of Pressure Vessel Design To maximize filtration effectiveness, while optimizing cost and operational efficiency, it’s important to ask some key questions regarding a pressure vessel: S What is the CECs removal goal and the flow requirement? S What is the anticipated design life? S What is the total cost of ownership, including operation and maintenance (O&M)? To answer these questions, and to ensure maximum performance and efficiency over the pressure vessel’s lifespan, engineers and other water professionals should consider the four tenets of pressure vessel design. Tenet 1: Corrosion Control Corrosion control in pressure vessels is a persistent challenge, resulting from both internal and external environmental factors. It can significantly impact performance and compromise structural integrity, posing both health and safety risks. Furthermore, corrosion requires parts to be replaced more frequently and can even lead to catastrophic failure. It’s crucial to consider a corrosion control strategy when designing a pressure vessel. In an effort to minimize costs, certain designs opt for materials and construction methods that are susceptible to corrosion, such as using dissimilar metals and incorporating welded elements within the vessel. After a few years of service, however, these designs often prove to be more expensive for the utility due

to the increased need for replacement and maintenance, outweighing any initial cost savings associated with choosing a lowerpriced unit. Higher-quality designs adhere to the guidelines provided by the Association of Materials Protection Performance (formerly National Association of Corrosion Engineers and Society for Protective Coatings) and employ materials specifically engineered to reduce corrosion rates. Look for key indicators of a superior design, including a single homogeneous lining, adherence to blast cleanliness standards, application of linings without any voids, and effective protection of carbon steel components exposed to water. By considering these factors, utilities can ensure that their pressure vessels are designed to mitigate corrosion effectively, thereby enhancing performance, safeguarding structural integrity, and minimizing the risk of failures and associated costs. Tenet 2: Hydraulic Performance The design of a pressure vessel is primarily based on its ability to withstand high pressure or loading. Typically, this design is determined by considering the vessel’s hydraulic loading capacity or flow rate. Considering the vessel’s expected lifespan of around 50 years, the cost of pumping water can accumulate significantly, but by optimizing the flow design of the vessel and the system in general, substantial cost savings can be achieved, amounting to $1 million or more over the vessel’s lifespan. Additionally, this optimization enhances the safety and reliability of the vessel. It’s worth emphasizing the correlation between hydraulic loading and media optimization. Once the desired flow rate is established, the design must account for achieving a “plug flow” condition through the media, where all streamlines are parallel. This configuration creates a linear mass transfer zone, facilitating effective adsorption of CECs by the media. To accomplish this, optimization is necessary in all three regions of the vessel: S Water distribution (over drain design) S Stratified media bed S Collection system (underdrain design) By addressing these areas, optimal performance can be achieved, ensuring efficient treatment of water contaminants while maintaining the vessel’s integrity. Tenet 3: Media Optimization When designing a filtration system to remove CECs, several factors should be considered, including hydraulic design, media selection, and contact time.

Two 12-foot-diameter ion exchange systems for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances removal at a facility in Stuart.

Here are some key points to keep in mind. Hydraulic Design The hydraulic design of the filtration vessel is important to ensure proper flow rates and contact time. The empty bed contact time (EBCT) refers to the duration that the water remains in contact with the filtration media. For compounds like PFAS, which may require a longer contact time for effective removal, the hydraulic design should be optimized to achieve the desired EBCT. Media Selection Choosing the right filtration media is crucial for effective CECs removal. There are various types of media that can be used, including activated carbon, IX resins, and specialized adsorbents. All media have advantages and limitations, so it’s important to select one that has a high affinity for the desired CECs and provides efficient removal. S Activated carbon is commonly used to address CECs, like PFAS, due to its high adsorption capacity. Different types of activated carbon, such as GAC or powdered activated carbon, can be used based on the specific application. S Certain IX resins can effectively remove CECs, like PFAS, from water by exchanging the PFAS ions with other ions bound to the resin. These resins may require periodic regeneration or replacement. S Some specialized adsorbents have been developed specifically for PFAS removal,

which can exhibit high selectivity and capacity for PFAS compounds. Media Sizing The amount of filtration media required depends on the water flow rate, desired contact time, and the media’s adsorption capacity. Proper sizing of the media bed ensures that sufficient contact time is achieved for effective PFAS removal. Additionally, considering the anticipated lifespan of the media is important to determine maintenance and replacement schedules. It’s worth noting that PFAS removal technologies are continuously evolving and new advancements may emerge over time; therefore, it’s advisable to consult with water treatment experts, engineers, or specialists who can provide the most up-to-date guidance on media selection for specific application criteria and how they might impact hydraulic performance and/or O&M over the design life of the system. Following the treatment process, water flows to an internal or external collection source before it’s released as effluent. While many pressure vessels have a traditional internal cone design, some solutions providers outfit vessels with an external ring header underdrain to collect the water and transport it to the vessel effluent. This enables the vessel to be sized to accommodate a variety of needs and ensures that the initial breakthrough of the contaminant utilizes the most media possible. Water is then treated with disinfectant for storage and distribution. Depending on the Continued on page 10

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 11

Test Yourself

What Do You Know About Gravity Separation (Sedimentation)? Charlie Lee Martin Jr., Ph.D. 1. The oldest and most widely used process in water treatment is a. filtration. b. flocculation. c. g ravity separation. d. coagulation. 2. The organic particles within the source water from the Mississippi River most likely will settle by gravity a. w ithin seconds. b. within minutes. c. a long time. d. n one of the above. 3. I n a conventional water treatment plant sedimentation follows a. coagulation. b. filtration. c. disinfection. d. flocculation. 4. The St. Johns River contains small particles that without coagulation and flocculation will a. s ettle within six hours. b. never settle. c. settle within 12 hours. d. s ettle within 24 hours. 5. W ithin a rectangular sedimentation basin that has efficient flocculation, the percentage of the floc that will settle within the first one-third of the basin length is a. 1 0 percent. b. 100 percent. c. 60 percent. d. 70 percent. 6. One of the most vital factors that influences the effectiveness of sedimentation is the a. surface loading rate. b. e ffective water depth. c. mean flow velocity. d. w eir loading rate.

7. The surface loading rate (overflow loading rate) is equal to the settling velocity of a. the largest particle the basin will remove. b. the smallest particle the basin will remove. c. the fastest particle the basin will remove. d. none of the above. 8. When the mean flow velocity gets too high a. the settled sludge is compacted on the bottom of the basin. b. the settled sludge blanket increases in height. c. the settled sludge blanket is scoured and carried to the filters. d. none of the above. 9. When the settling velocity of the particle is less than the surface loading rate a. the particle will be able to settle out. b. the particle will be unable to settle out. c. the particle will settle faster. d. the particle will settle slower. 10. The motion of colloidal particles that enables them to overcome gravitational settling forces is called a. Newton motion. b. Brownian motion. c. Stokes motion. d. Hazen motion. Answers on page 50 References used for this quiz: • California State University Sacramento, Volume 1, Seventh Edition • John Crittenden et al., Water Treatment: Principles and Design Second Edition

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

12 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Continued from page 11 CECs, GAC may be reactivated and reused for future applications, while IX resins are disposed of through an incineration process. Tenet 4: Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Total cost of ownership (TCO) of the adsorption system—including capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX)—should be considered in the design phase. While CAPEX and OPEX both contribute to TCO, OPEX cost contributes more over the design life of the system. The return on investment for a pressure vessel is defined by its long-term O&M requirements. It’s important to choose a system that does not require confined entry space access or complicated maintenance scenarios, such as removal of media for internal or underdrain maintenance or repair. The system should also allow easy access for internal maintenance and include an underdrain system that meets the vessel’s pressure rating. A simpler design enables easier inspection during service events and streamlined operations over the system’s lifespan, leading to greater plant operator satisfaction.

Improving Water Safety and Sustainability The CECs treatment effectiveness depends on multiple factors, including the water source (wastewater versus drinking water), type and concentration of CECs, flow rate, and other variables. It’s important to work with a solutions provider with the expertise to help engineers understand the unique challenges posed by CECs and deliver a tailored solution— from concept to commission—that achieves treatment cost-effectively. There are multiple design considerations for the removal of CECs, and all of the basic design options will meet water quality and water treatment goals. Not all of the designs, however, meet the design considerations with industry standards in corrosion control, media optimization, hydraulic engineering, and long-term operability and maintenance considerations. Protecting water users and the environment from harmful impacts of CECs will lead to more-sustainable water infrastructures and healthier communities. S Geoffrey Burdick, P.E., is southeast sales and business development engineer with Aqueous Vets in Huntersville, N.C.

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Happy Veterans Day! Welcome to the magazine’s sixth annual celebration of military service in the United States and the veterans who work in the water and wastewater industry. We’re proud to salute these selfless men and women who have served, and those who continue to serve, their country, both here and abroad. They are again serving their fellow citizens by working as water professionals. Along with medical personnel, police officers, firefighters, and first responders, those who work in the water industry provide a vital service and help protect the health and well-being of the community. They are especially vital in times of disaster and crisis, and they provide expertise and support for the recovery efforts that follow, often for weeks and months.

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We can’t live without water, and all of the workers in our industry play an important role in ensuring that everyone has all of the clean, safe water they need every day. This year’s section includes: S Hire a veteran toolkit S Work for Water flyer S Profile of the liaison to the Florida Section AWWA veterans program S Reader Profile highlighting an Air Force veteran S History of the Florida National Cemetery To the brave veterans who are and will soon be our colleagues: we thank you and salute you!

Recruiting, Hiring & Retaining


Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 15

16 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP ME HIRE VETERANS? The following guides will be beneficial to your utility when hiring Veterans. These documents will be referenced throughout this toolkit.

Employer Guide to Hire Veterans – U.S. Department of Labor Concise document detailing the benefits of hiring Veterans, Veteran demographics, and all-encompassing employer resource guide.

Guide to Hiring Veterans – Dept. of Veterans Affairs and Hiring Our Heroes In-depth detailed guide to the ins and outs of hiring Veterans.

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 17

HOW CAN I EFFECTIVELY RECRUIT VETERANS? Though Veterans often make excellent employees, many employers have difficulty recruiting and supporting them. This section will provide you with tools for recruitment and interviewing Veterans.

How Do I Appeal to Veterans? 

Veterans are often driven by purpose and having a mission – highlighting key components of your utility or organization will appeal to this mindset of Veterans.

HR Staff, recruiters and hiring managers should be trained on how to recruit, select, and onboard Veterans. Without training, good intentions fail because the HR team may continue to follow past procedures and systems that might unintentionally screen out qualified Veterans.

Including a Veteran in your HR team can greatly aid in the translation of military jargon on resumes. Veterans in HR could also assist in interviews.

Market Veteran recruitment –on website, social media, etc. This will make it easier for Veterans seeking a job to better understand how they would fit in to your utility.

Create a Veteran Affinity or Employee Resource Group (ERG) - A voluntary, employee-led group that fosters a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives. (Employer Guide to Hire Veterans – Dept of Labor, page 13)

What Organizations Can Help Me Connect to Veterans? Knowing where to find eligible Veterans can be difficult. This section highlights multiple job search sites for both employers and Veterans. AWWA Career Center – The largest organization of water supply professionals in the world. Employers can filter job candidates by Veteran status. Career One Stop – U.S. Dept. of Labor - Veteran and Military Transition website aids Veterans in finding jobs, and utilities and organizations in posting jobs targeted for Veterans. Hiring Our Heroes – U.S. Chamber Foundation - Hiring our Heroes website aids Veterans and employers in finding jobs or employees. Hire a Veteran – Dept. of Labor - Website that aids Veterans and employers in finding jobs or employees.

18 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

SHRM Foundation – Provides free resources that help HR professionals implement better employment practices for military families in their workplace, including a free certificate program geared toward HR professionals wanting to hire and retain Veterans. Other courses. Veteran’s Hiring Guide – U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs – PDF version of the 2014 Hiring Guide. VA for Vets – Dept. of Veterans Affairs – Website of resources for employers when hiring Veterans.

How Do I Draft a Veteran Friendly Job Description? 

Make your job descriptions competency based versus listing required years of experience. (Employer Guide to Hire Veterans – Dept. of Labor) Recruit Veteran employees to assist in the writing or review of job descriptions and skills required.

How Do I Successfully Interview Veterans? The Do’s and Dont’s of Interviewing Veterans – Employer Roadmap – USAA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation General Tips for Interviewing  The most effective interview styles for Veterans are behavioral and situational. 

Clearly describe the job role and its responsibilities, defining expectations upfront.

Avoid closed-ended questions by asking about an individual’s service experience and responsibilities.

Focus on transferable skills.

Ask – it is okay to ask Veterans what military terms mean.

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 19

WHAT ARE MILITARY RANK STRUCTURES AND RESPONSIBILITIES? Some Veterans may need assistance in writing resumes and relating their military responsibilities to civilian job responsibilities. Knowing what their M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty) and the associated duties can aid your utility in understanding the skills of each Veteran.

From M.O.S to J-O-B – United States EPA – Details of Military Occupational Specialties that translate to Water and Wastewater Operations.

Civilian-to-Military Occupation Translator: Career One Stop, U.S. Department of Labor Military-to-Civilian Occupation Translator: O*NET

HOW DO I ESTABLISH A VETERAN-FRIENDLY APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM? Military apprenticeship programs can train and build Veteran’s skills in specific job duties making them skilled workers for your utility and organization! The following resources can assist you in establishing an apprenticeship program that can meet Veterans’ needs. On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeships – Dept. of Veterans Affairs resource outlining the process of approval for employers wishing to establish on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs for Veterans. Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors – Dept. of Labor resource on how to receive GI Bill® approval for registered apprenticeship programs. DOD SkillBridge – Dept. of Defense program which connects Service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences.

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HOW DO I MAINTAIN A VETERAN-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE? Before hiring new Veteran employees, consider surveying current employees and asking Veterans to voluntarily self-identify. Current Veteran employees could serve as mentors to new Veteran employees and help with Veteran recruitment. Examine these aspects of your organization to determine if it is a Veteran-friendly environment: 

Culture of company

Clear and open communication

Engaging opportunities

Encouraging self-direction

Clearly stated expectations

Increasing levels of responsibility

Known pathway for advancement

The impact the Veteran will have on the organization

Having Veteran mentors

(For more details on retention of Veterans visit Employer Guide to Hire Veterans – Dept. of Labor – page 15)

Understanding Veteran Retention and Performance in the Workforce – Center for a New American Security: In-depth document that details the data of hiring and retention of Veterans and provides recommendations for retention of Veterans.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation offers a free Veterans at Work Certificate Program that is open to all. This training helps you learn the value Veterans bring to the workplace, and how to demonstrate that value to attract, hire, and retain Veteran employees.

What About Employees in the Reserve and National Guard? Supporting Your Employees in the Reserve & National Guard - This employment toolkit from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs provides resources for supporting reserve and national guard members. Planning for Military Leave for Employees In the Reserve or National Guard - Guidelines on creating company policies regarding military leaves and understanding employer rights and responsibilities.

How Can I Make Accommodations for Veterans with Disabilities? Below are links that will provide tips for assisting and supporting Veterans with Disabilities Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Guide to Hiring & Retaining Veterans with Disabilities Job Accommodation Network – Free consulting services about all aspects of job accommodations processes. Veterans Employment Toolkit – Dept. of Veterans Affairs – Challenges and ways to help your Veteran through the accommodation process. Education and Employment Initiative (E2I) – Department of Defense – Program that assists wounded, ill and injured Service members early in their recovery process to identify their skills and match them with education and career opportunities.

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HOW DOES MY ORGANIZATION GET RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE IN HIRING VETERANS? HIRE Vets Medallion Program – Unites States Department of Labor - Program that recognizes and shines a light on employers who exhibit excellence in recruiting, hiring and retaining Veterans. There are multiple tiers of awards based on percentages of veterans hired and retained and efforts by your employer to provide Veteran assistance.

LOCAL RESOURCES? AWWA sections are developing guides with local resources that will assist in connecting employers with Veterans. Please check with your AWWA section for available resources.

Job Fairs? The following are resources that will connect you to local resources. Many Veterans use Military Placement Firms (aka Headhunters) to find a position. Consider connecting with national or local firms that fit with your organization’s needs. 

Service Academy Career Conference – National job fair exclusively for service academy alumni.

Hire and Recruit - Career One Stop – Multiple resources for posting jobs, job fairs and training programs at a local level.

Local Hiring Fairs – Hire Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – List of hiring fairs by location.

Local Job Fairs – Recruit Military – List of Veteransonly career fairs by location.

Career One Stop’s American Job Center Finder – Nearly 2,400 AJCs nationwide help people search for jobs, find training, and answer other employment related questions.

Local Contacts?


The AWWA/WEF Volunteer liaison network is made of volunteers from AWWA and WEF sections who serve as the critical connector between local water industry employers and separating military members interested in the water industry.

OAOS: One AWWA Operator Scholarship – A great opportunity for veterans transitioning to the workforce. AWWA awards over 40 scholarships per year and applications are open throughout the year for award to members and non-members.

To reach your local section contact, Email: veterans@awwa.org

Recipients are also awarded a one-year free membership to AWWA.

22 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal


FOR WATER Veterans have the skills and drive to serve their communities.

The water sector needs you!

With a career in the water sector, you can continue your public service by working to provide safe and clean water for your community. Careers in the water industry are stable and provide good salaries. Due to retirements of current water employees, many positions are now available for people new to the industry.


of the water sector workforce will be eligible to retire in the next ten years

The list below provides examples of water industry jobs along with their requirements and average salaries.




Administrative Assistant

HS diploma or equivalent


Civil Engineer

Bachelor’s degree and/or graduate degree


Environmental Engineer

Bachelor’s degree or graduate degree


Environmental Specialist

Bachelor’s degree in environmental science or related


GIS Specialist

Bachelor’s degree in land survey, geography, civil engineering, or related


Pipe Fitter

On-the-job training or a trade school degree


Public Information Specialist

Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Communications, or related


Water Meter Reader

HS diploma


Water and Wastewater Plant Operator

HS diploma, state certification program requirements vary


* GI Bill® may aid you in achieving this

** Via Dept. of Labor

Learn more and connect with employers! AWWA Career Center - careercenter.awwa.org WEF Career Center - jobbank.wef.org

Connecting you to water sector jobs across the United States.

Work for Water - workforwater.org - Military Second Career guide for Veterans interested in the water sector. OAOS - One AWWA Operator Scholarship - Great scholarship opportunity for veterans transitioning to the workforce. We have volunteers in your area who can provide you with a warm welcome in the industry. They can answer your questions about education and training requirements, connect you to networking and volunteer opportunities, and introduce you to employers hiring in your area.

If you would like to connect with a local volunteer, please email veterans@awwa.org Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 23











Arthur Bides: FSAWWA Veteran Liaison Puts His Military Experience to Work What is your background in the military? My background in the military includes: S U.S. Marine Corps/ U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1991-1997 S Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, Calif.; Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Fla. S Florida Army National Guard, 2004-2012 S 153rd Engineer Detachment, Lake City, Fla; 686th Engineering Co., Live Oak, Fla. List your rank and any service recognition. I achieved the rank of corporal. I received the following commendations during my service: S National Defense Service Medal S Global War on Terrorism Medal S NATO Medal - Afghanistan What jobs have you held in the water industry? I’m currently senior project manager with Jones Edmunds. I was a water/

wastewater engineer with JEA from 2014 until this year. I’ve been in the water industry for 10 years now. How did your military service help your water career? It has helped me know how to handle difficult situations and challenges that come up at work. The biggest thing I think that has helped me is learning how to overcome challenges in life. As an engineer and project manager you are always tasked to come up with solutions to complex and difficult problems, and my time in the military taught me how to face those challenges and handle them successfully. Veterans are trained to adapt to changing circumstances and solve problems under pressure, which can be especially valuable in addressing the unexpected challenges that often arise in engineering projects. Describe your work with veterans in the Florida Section. I am the military/veteran liaison for the Florida Section of AWWA, Region II. My primary responsibility is to assist veterans

Arthur in Marine Corps boot camp in 1991.

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who are interested in entering the water/ wastewater industry. To achieve this, I collaborate with Jay Madigan, an FSAWWA trustee, to obtain leads on potential job opportunities. Once I have the leads, I help the veterans navigate through the job-search process by guiding them toward companies and municipalities that are hiring. To ensure that the veterans are competitive job applicants, I also review their resumés and provide suggestions on how to tailor them to specific jobs in the industry. Additionally, I share job description resources with them to help them understand the skills and qualifications required for different roles. My goal is to equip the veterans with the knowledge and tools they need to secure a job. This’s why I also offer insights based on my personal experience of transitioning from a veteran to a water/wastewater professional. I believe that this helps the veterans to better understand the challenges and opportunities that come with a career in the industry, and to prepare them for a successful transition. S

Arthur in the Florida Army National Guard.











FWRJ READER PROFILE South Florida. My experience is strongest in wastewater treatment. What do you like best about your job? I like being an environmental steward and ensuring public health and safety in our water treatment. I enjoy helping to change the water space culture to a more integrated approach we are now calling “One Water,” looking at projects from a multiple-benefit aspect and managing the entire water cycle more holistically.

Lynn Spivey

City of Plant City Work title and years of service. I’ve been the director of utilities at City of Plant City for seven years. Give some details about your service in the U.S. Air Force. I joined the USAF in 1986, and spent seven years in the service. My first career field was with the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and electromechanical maintenance when I was stationed in Grand Forks, N.D. I crossed-trained into satellite communications and was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, and then transferred to the USAF Guard. I was activated for the first Gulf War (I went from guard to full time).

What professional organizations do you belong to? I belong to WateReuse Florida, Florida Water Environment Association, Water Environment Federation, Florida Section of American Water Works Association, and Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association. How have the organizations helped your career? Well, this environmental stewardship thing is a team sport! I enjoy the inspiration

I get speaking with my peers in the water space—this is very much a large community of practice. What do you like best about the industry? The sense of community and commitment we have toward protecting our water and protecting public health. How did your time in the Air Force affect your career in the industry? I have a very strong work ethic and sense of protection for my country and the associated protection of public health. What do you do when you’re not working? I love gardening, traveling, and golf, and in general, being out in nature. I volunteer often to educate about the water space and S environmental stewardship.

What does your job entail? As director, I oversee the operation and maintenance for our city’s water and wastewater treatment. We have a staff of just under 100 employees. What education and training have you had? I have a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 25











Florida National Cemetery Enhanced by Its Forest Setting The Florida National Cemetery is located in the Withlacoochee State Forest, approximately 50 miles north of Tampa in Sumter County. This state forest was acquired by the federal government from private landowners between 1936 and 1939 under the provisions of the U.S. Land Resettlement Administration. The U.S. Forest Service managed the property until a lease-purchase agreement transferred it to the Florida Board of Forestry in 1958. Currently, the forest is the second-largest in Florida, divided into eight distinct tracts of land.

History In 1842, Congress encouraged settlement in the area by establishing the Armed Occupation Act. The law granted 160 acres to any man who kept a gun and ammunition, built a house, cultivated five acres of land, and remained there for at least five years. Many people moved in to take advantage of the generous offer. The area contained abundant timber and suitable farmland, appealing attributes to frontier settlers. In 1980, the Department of Veterans

Affairs (VA) announced that it would establish a new national cemetery in Florida—its fourth. Two major locations for the cemetery were studied: Cross Florida Barge Canal and Withlacoochee State Forest. The Withlacoochee site, though more environmentally sensitive, was supported by government officials. On Feb. 15, 1983, the state transferred land to the VA for the development of the cemetery. The first interment was in 1988 and a columbarium, which is a structure of vaults lined with recesses for cinerary urns, was opened in November 2001.

Monuments and Memorials The cemetery features a Memorial Pathway that is lined with a variety of memorials that honor America’s veterans. As of April 2018, there were 51 such memorials at the cemetery—most commemorating soldiers and veterans of 20th century conflicts. The American Veterans (AMVETS) donated a carillon on Oct. 9, 1993, which is located in the open meadow adjacent to the original administration building. The

26 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

main assembly area is adorned with an open colonnade where Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies are held.

Expansion In 1999, federal officials asked the Florida Cabinet to grant land for the cemetery’s expansion, providing 65,000 to 100,000 grave sites for veterans in the state. Environmentalists argued that Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Forestry Division officials did not state whether the 179 acres of land within the Withlacoochee State Forest was surplus in accordance to a Florida constitutional amendment concerning the acquisition of land for conservation. Before the Florida Cabinet meeting on Oct. 26, 1999, the VA and the Cabinet agreed that 42 acres would be removed, as they served as the habitat for several endangered species. Jeb Bush, then the Florida governor, and the Florida Cabinet voted in favor of selling 137 acres of land to the VA for the cemetery’s expansion. S

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Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 27


Water Disinfection, Water Quality, and Access Greg D. Taylor, P.E. Chair, FSAWWA


hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Halloween. In the United States we benefit from the freedom to express our thoughts, communicate with each other, and share knowledge and experiences like never before. The water industry has benefitted from this freedom to communicate to develop standards, enhance practices, and share knowledge to create access to safe, clean drinking water across our nation. While we have thrived in spreading access to clean water, there are still people around the world without available drinking water or sanitary facilities. Some of our American brethren have to worry about their water quality due to contamination of the source, distribution system issues, or lead plumbing in the home. The FSAWWA supports Water Equation, a philanthropic organization committed to providing clean water to North America. The section also supports Water For People, which works with locals around the world to provide access to safe drinking water and sanitary facilities to preserve life. Our local leaders work with our Florida water utilities to

provide the budgets, tools, and talent needed to keep our industry thriving. Remember: no water, no life. On a personal level, I am proud of the work our Florida utilities have performed over the decades I have lived here. Growing up in St. Petersburg (or anywhere in Florida), you don’t think about how water gets to your tap, only that it does and it’s safe. Since entering the water industry, I have a greater appreciation of how we produce our water and how it gets distributed. I’ve enjoyed listening to water professionals across the state and learning that each utility has different challenges and solutions to continuously deliver safe water.

Water is Life Access to safe drinking water should be declared a fundamental human right. It’s an essential resource for all living things, playing a vital role in sustaining life and promoting overall well-being; however, a significant portion of the global population still lacks this basic necessity. The lack of drinking water remains a pressing issue in many parts of the world, particularly in developing regions. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, approximately 2 billion people worldwide still lack access to clean drinking water and services. The consequences of inadequate water access are dire, as it leads to the spread of waterborne diseases, malnutrition, and overall poor health outcomes. Women and

28 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

children usually bear the burden of walking long distances to collect water (often from unsafe sources), impeding their educational and economic opportunities. Addressing the lack of drinking water requires concerted efforts from governments, organizations, and communities to implement sustainable solutions that ensure everyone has access to safe and reliable water sources.

Water Disinfection The availability of clean and safe water is not always guaranteed. Waterborne diseases and contaminants pose significant health risks, making water disinfection and water quality testing crucial steps in safeguarding public health. Water disinfection is the process of eliminating or inactivating microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, present in water sources. It’s a critical step in preventing the spread of waterborne diseases. Disinfection destroys or neutralizes pathogenic microorganisms, rendering the water safe for consumption and other purposes. Disinfection Methods Some common forms of disinfection used around Florida include chlorination, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, and ozone. Filtration is another method used by water utilities. Chlorination Chlorination is the most widely used Continued on page 30

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 29

Continued from page 28 method of water disinfection. Chlorine, in the form of chlorine gas or hypochlorite compounds, is added to water to kill or inactivate microorganisms. It’s effective against a broad range of pathogens, easy to apply, and provides residual protection to prevent recontamination. Ultraviolet Light Increasingly, UV light is being used as an alternative method for water disinfection. This disinfection system uses UV lamps to emit UV light, which damages the DNA of microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing. The UV disinfection is chemicalfree, environmentally friendly, and highly effective against a variety of pathogens. This is typically used in advanced wastewater treatment for effluent discharged to a waterbody to prevent damage to local fauna and wildlife, as well as for surface water treatment. Ozone Ozone is a powerful oxidant for water disinfection. It’s generated by passing oxygen through a high-voltage electric field, creating ozone gas. Ozone treatment kills microorganisms and also helps in removing taste and odor compounds from water. Filtration Filtration is a physical process that removes suspended particles and organisms from water, such as activated carbon filters, multimedia filters, and membrane filtration (such as reverse osmosis). Filtration can be used as a standalone treatment or in combination with disinfection methods to improve water quality. Surface water treatment facilities or

brackish water sources use filtration prior to disinfection to produce safe drinking water.

Water Quality Numerous factors can affect water quality, including natural contaminants such as minerals and organic matter, as well as human activities that introduce pollutants into water sources. Think about paint, oil, gas, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), litter, plastics, and other items that leach into our water supply. It’s crucial to maintain high water quality standards to protect public health and preserve the environment. Regular monitoring of water quality is essential and required to ensure that water meets regulatory standards and remains safe for distribution and consumption by our customers. Water quality monitoring involves testing for various parameters, such as pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, chlorine residuals, and the presence of specific contaminants or pathogens. Monitoring helps identify potential issues, ensure the effectiveness of disinfection processes, and enables prompt corrective actions, if necessary.

Emerging Challenges and Future Trends Despite significant advancements in water disinfection and water quality management, challenges remain. Aging infrastructure, workforce depletion, population growth, industrial pollutants, and emerging contaminants pose ongoing concerns for water suppliers and public health agencies. Additionally, climate change impacts, such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels, can affect water quality and require adaptive strategies.

30 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Looking ahead, the water industry is exploring innovative technologies, such as advanced oxidation processes, nanotechnology, and remote sensing, to enhance water disinfection and water quality monitoring. Furthermore, improving public awareness, promoting sustainable water practices, and strengthening regulatory frameworks will contribute to long-term water quality management. Regulatory agencies also have specific procedures to identify potential contaminants of concern, evaluate their proliferation and impacts, and develop rules for water professionals to follow. One of those chemicals on the forefront of impacting our industry is PFAS. The water industry is a “passive recipient” of PFAS, but we’re committed to addressing it to safeguard public health.

Final Thoughts On a final note, I was listening to a talk at the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition in June and it was stated that we, as water professionals, are also public health professionals. When you think about how important water is to all things, that statement begins to ring true. I would like us all to refer to our water professionals as defenders of public health. Again, remember: no water, no life. FSAWWA Fall Conference The FSAWWA Fall Conference will be at the Omni ChampionsGate, Nov. 26-29, 2023. I recommend that you visit www.fsawwa.org soon to register and see what we’re offering for another amazing conference! S

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 31

34 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 35

Water Equation Investing in the Water Workforce

Young Professionals Over $100,000 in events and scholarships impacting nearly 1000 young professionals in the water community


of your donation funds programs to promote employment for the next

60 projects in 29 states benefitting 55,810 residents of the USA

generation of water professionals.

Water Equation provides funding

$42k to 21 organizations impacting over 1200 families

for the water workforce through academic and operator scholarships, leadership programs for students and young professionals, as well as Community Engineering Corps projects in Academic Scholarships

the USA.

WE is committed to fulfilling the critical need to ensure that the water sector has the necessary workforce to provide clean and safe water to communities

$1.4M to students attending universities in North America and pursing careers in the water sector.

in North America. Operator Scholarships

Make an investment today in the water workforce!

36 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

$275k awarded since 2016 to water and wastewater operators


STEAM Education

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 article 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 Water Treatment. 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!


Meeting the Challenge of Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Four Tenets of Pressure Vessel Design Geoffrey Burdick (Article 1: CEU = 0.1 DS/DW02015428) 1. _ __________ is/are made up of more than 4,000 compounds. a. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) b. C ontaminants of emerging concern (CECs) c. P erfluorosulfonic acid (PFOS) d. D isinfection byproducts (DBPs) 2. W hich of the following is identified as a common pressure vessel manufacturing process chosen to save costs? a. Bonded corrosion resistant interior liners b. M onolithic casting c. I ncorporating welded elements d. A ttaching galvanized iron fittings 3. _____________ is/are not among the media identified as effective in removing PFAS. a. Cellulose acetate b. S pecialized adsorbents c. A ctivated carbon d. I on exchange resins 4. Th e design of a pressure filter must account for achieving a a. laminar flow. b. p lug flow. c. b ypass flow. d. h igh velocity flow.

SUBSCRIBER NAME (please print)

Article 1 ____________________________________ LICENSE NUMBER for Which CEUs Should Be Awarded

If paying by credit card, fax to (561) 625-4858 providing the following information:

___________________________________ (Credit Card Number)

___________________________________ (Expiration Date)

5. R ecently released U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance regarding the treatment of CECs requires compliance by all 50 states by the year a. 2025. b. 2 030. c. 2 033. d. 2 035.

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

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 37


Water Reset: Securing a Resilient Future for the Water Supply of Miami-Dade County Nelson Perez-Jacome, Huren An, Li Gurau, Arturo Burbano, Jayson Page, and Chance Lauderdale


ater and sewer utilities are tasked with the operations, maintenance, and upgrades of existing infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect public health. While the public discourse typically addresses hurdles, such as funding and resources allocation, utilities often face challenges associated with program definition. Developing a work program that adequately encompasses utility renewal and rehabilitation needs and future capacity upgrades, while remaining accountable to rate payers, is of paramount importance to any public utility. Even when performing a comprehensive condition assessment and master planning effort, the prioritization of projects and the development of a work program can be a difficult undertaking. This can be further exacerbated when relying on various technical evaluations and condition assessments that have been performed over long periods of time, are nonhomogeneous in nature, and may have some information gaps. The $1.75 billion water reset program, developed by the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD), endeavored to not only normalize various analyses conducted at different times, but also to set a methodology to effectively prioritize a capital improvement program (CIP), while simultaneously kickstarting program execution by implementing strategic projects of high impact.

Background The MDWASD is the entity in charge of providing safe drinking water to the residents of Miami-Dade County (county). It owns and operates the regional water distribution system in the county, which supplies more than 90 percent of the potable water consumed. Raw groundwater is sourced by MDWASD from the Biscayne and Floridian aquifers. It treats the water to meet or exceed all primary and secondary drinking water standards and distributes safe drinking water to residents and visitors. The water system at MDWASD consists of three regional water treatment plants (WTP):

S Alexander Orr Jr. WTP (Figure 1) S John E. Preston WTP (Figure 2) S Hialeah WTP (Figure 3) The system also includes the shared Hialeah reverse osmosis (RO) WTP, and five small auxiliary treatment facilities that service the southernmost area of the county. The total combined capacity of the three regional WTPs is 439 mil gal per day (mgd). The primary treatment regime for MDWASD takes source water from the Biscayne aquifer, softens the water via lime softening, passes the water through media filtration, and provides primary disinfection with gaseous chlorine. In addition to the primary treatment regime, air stripping towers are utilized in the Hialeah and Preston WTPs to remove volatile organic compounds and provide trihalomethane control. The water supply source consists of 14 wellfields comprised of a total of 95 production wells, 10 Floridan aquifer wells, and five aquifer storage and recovery wells. These wells supply untreated groundwater to the WTPs. Water distribution throughout a 400-sq-mi service area is performed via seven remote finished water storage and pumping facilities and nearly 8,600 mi of water mains ranging in size from 2 to 72 in. in diameter.

Infrastructure Needs The Hialeah WTP, the John E. Preston WTP, and the Alexander Orr Jr. WTP were constructed in 1924, 1968, and 1954, respectively. While all three plants have undergone multiple expansions and rehabilitations over the years, there are numerous critical deficiencies that require attention. These deficiencies can vary from deteriorating structures and antiquated electrical and mechanical equipment to redundancy and modernization needs. Figure 4 shows an example of a structure at the Hialeah WTP in need of rehabilitation work. Many of these deficiencies have been identified over the years through various reports that include, but are not limited to, condition assessments, facility work plans, and resilience assessments. Critical projects that were identified for

38 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

Nelson Perez-Jacome, P.E., is assistant director, utility engineering; Huren An, Ph.D., P.E., is engineer 3, utility engineering; and Li Gurau, Ph.D., P.E., is senior program manager, utility engineering, at MiamiDade Water and Sewer Department. Arturo Burbano, Ph.D., P.E., is client services director at Black & Veatch in Miami. Jayson Page, P.E., is vice president at Hazen and Sawyer in Miami. Chance Lauderdale, Ph.D., P.E., is drinking water market sector director and senior vice president at HDR in Tampa.

the water reset program correspond to assets that exhibited signs of distress or failure and are recommended to be replaced within 10 years from the time of the assessment. Other targeted projects were strategic improvements, such as capacity or system redundancy projects. Finally, all projects identified within existing condition assessments required to maintain the current treatment and pumping levels of service were also accounted for in the work plan of the program.

Data Gathering The building blocks of the program were numerous; previous evaluations covered different aspects including, but not limited to, condition assessments, risk and resilience assessments, capital plans, and engineering reports. These assessments were performed by different groups of professionals who were tasked with shifting objectives, depending on the needs and landscape of the utility at the time of the assessment. The complete list of documents can be found in the reference section. The review of these documents resulted in 185 projects, of which 42 were derived from condition assessments, 43 were defined as future capacity needs, 71 were derived as a result of risk and vulnerability assessments, and 29 were derived from engineering reports and capital planning documents.

Program Prioritization Criteria Effectively planning and implementing projects as part of a program requires defining

a sound scoring methodology to prioritize the projects of greatest impact (Husselbee, 2018). Such prioritization requires baseline evaluations for establishing comparative analyses. In cases where disparate analyses exist, it can be difficult to normalize the results for program development. Thus, without a common framework, the development of a methodical and justifiable prioritization is often unachievable. These situations, which can be commonplace among midsized and large water utilities, can be addressed with the utilization of a robust decision support system that allows testing the impact of implementing specific projects on key metrics of the utility (Ganjidoost et al., 2021). To better define the water reset program, a significant number of studies needed to be reconciled and normalized. Furthermore, this required a collaborative effort with MDWASD’s internal and external stakeholders. The intent was to develop an approach and methodology that objectively prioritized the multiple projects of the program, while also accounting for several conditions/issues that have not yet been fully defined. These include, but are not limited to: S Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – Estimating the impact of the recent regulations on the required upgrades of the WTPs. S Various capacity modification scenarios – Estimating future demand requirements prior to the development of the water system master plan. S Disinfection alternatives – Evaluating disinfection options (gaseous chlorine, bulk hypochlorite, and onsite hypochlorite generation) to increase safety, reliability, and autonomy for the utility, given recent supply chain constraints. The prioritization of the projects was based on MDWASD’s objectives, including: S Life, safety, and welfare of the public and employees S Current legal and regulatory compliance, including disinfection and the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) S Future legal and regulatory compliance, including groundwater under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI) and PFAS S Essential improvements S Strategic alignment S Infrastructure risk management and resilience S Financial and operational benefits S Shovel-ready status Uniquely, these objectives not only defined the program’s prioritization criteria, but when combined, they included triple bottom line analysis of the projects, which is an established

Table 1. Water Reset Prioritization Criteria



2 3




7 8

Criteria for Project Prioritization

Criteria Statement

Necessary to eliminate potentially imminent life, Life, Health, and health, or safety risks. Safety Example: repair of damages after a hurricane. Current Legal Needed to comply with Regulatory current regulatory Compliance requirements. Future Legal Needed to comply with Regulatory potential future regulatory Compliance requirements. Projects necessary for improvements to the Essential functioning, capacity, or Improvements preservation of facilities/infrastructure. Aging infrastructure. Projects that align with Strategic Alignment county and MDWASD strategic initiatives. Projects that improve resilience through Infrastructure Risk prevention or mitigation, Management and provide redundancy to Resilience prevent service disruption. Project has funding and/or Financial/Operational provides operational Benefits benefits. Projects designed and Shovel-Ready Status ready to go into construction.

Table 2. Correlation Factors

Correlation Factor Type of Factor Correlation 100% Correlation 1 Above Average 0.75 Average 0.50 Less than Average 0.25 No Correlation 0

practice and essential to maximize the overall benefit (economic, environment, and social) of these types of programs (Heselton and Hart, 2011). Based on the MDWASD objectives, individual weights were assigned to each criterion through an interactive and iterative process with internal and external stakeholders. Table 1 shows the prioritization criteria and the associated weights that were used to evaluate and rank the projects. Once these criteria were defined, each

MDWASD Objectives


• Life, safety, and welfare of the public and employees


• Disinfection • LCR




• Capacity • Repair and replacement (exceeded useful and economic service lives)


• Standardization


• Redundancy • Climate change • Hardening • Resilience Florida • Efficiency • Grants available • Has CIP budget



• Available design




Table 3. Shovel-Ready Factor

Shovel-Ready Factor Evaluation 0.25 Planning 0.50 Design 0.75 Procurement 1

project was assigned a correlation factor toward each specific criterion, which ranged from zero to 100 percent, depending on the specific degree of correlation between the project and the specific criterion. Table 2 shows the correlation factors for the first seven criteria. Finally, the eight criteria were evaluated based on a shovel-ready factor, which indicates the current stage of project, and is defined in Table 3. As an example of the scoring methodology, Continued on page 40

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 39

Table 4. Project Scoring and Prioritization Examples

Continued from page 39 Table 4 depicts the assigned correlation factors for project WRP-2.1, WTP Generators Replacements, and project WRP-9.1, Alexander Orr Jr. WTP Bulk Sodium Hypochlorite Feed and Storage Facility. For example, WRP-2.1 was assigned a 1 correlation factor for the life, health, and safety criterion, and given its critical importance during emergencies, it was determined to merit a 100 percent correlation. On the other hand, the shovel-ready factor was assigned a value of 0.25, as the project is in the evaluation stage and close to going to the planning stage. Once this project advances to planning, the score will increase to 0.50, in which case, the overall project score will increase accordingly and will move up its place in the prioritization list. It should be noted that WRP-2.1.1 through

WRP-2.1.3 are subprojects and were not prioritized individually.

Cost Estimates Cost estimates were developed and assigned to each project of the water reset program and, at a minimum, these were order-of-magnitude cost estimates (Class 5 per Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering [AACE] International). When planning, level cost estimates were available in previous assessment reports, and these were updated by adding an inflation factor based on the most recent Engineering News-Record Construction Cost Index (CCI) information. Finally, in the case of projects that started before the program prioritization was complete, the most recent engineer’s Opinion of Probable Construction Costs (OPCC), according to the

Table 5.Water Reset Prioritization Results

AACE International guidelines, was utilized as the construction cost. All projects account for the total project cost, which includes construction cost, design fees, and utility overhead, where applicable.

Results The water reset program combined 185 individual projects, as well as other needs identified by operational personnel, into 103 projects. The 103 projects comprise $1.75 billion in total project cost. Table 5 shows an excerpt of the highest-priority projects of the program. Approximately $248 million in projects is currently in development or being implemented. Projects started in tandem with the prioritization effort were identified as high-priority projects that would not conflict with future needs or require extensive rework when constructed. The MDWASD is already managing these projects through its project management system, which allows it to track project execution using earned value management, an effective tool to track schedule and costs (Storms, 2008). Table 6 shows the details of projects that are currently in development or being implemented as part of the water reset program.

Conclusions The water reset program benefitted from established prioritization methodologies that were applied to existing projects to create an optimized capital program. The program was developed through a highly collaborative effort where a significant number of MDWASD technical documents were thoroughly analyzed to extract key information to complete project information sheets that were later used for the prioritization exercise. The MDWASD analysis resulted in the identification of data gaps and/or data quality gaps that required subsequent discussion to address the missing or incorrect information in the best possible manner. Activities, such as reviewing

40 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

recent data, updating studies, and developing new cost estimates, were required to develop a baseline for the prioritization process. Proper development of prioritization criteria was essential to determining the impact of projects and to developing the overall program prioritization. While a subset of the defined projects may have been executed without prioritization, the prioritization allows for a defensible execution strategy that not only holds the utility accountable to rate payers, but also supports MDWASD’s communications to elected officials. Perhaps more importantly, the prioritization ensures that projects are implemented in an order that optimizes capital expenditures and triple bottom line benefits. Overall, the water reset program presents a sound methodology that can be implemented by utilities of all sizes seeking to create a prioritized CIP that maximizes a utility’s resilience.

References • Ganjidoost, A., Daly, C., and Baird, G. A Risk-Based Long-Term Capital Planning Program. Proceedings ASCE Pipelines 2021 Conference, ASCE, Aug, 3-6, 2021. https://doi. org/10.1061/9780784483602.001.

• Heselton, S., Hart, G. Effective Management of a Growing Capital Improvement Program. Proceedings WEFTEC 2011 Conference, Water Environment Federation (2011) 9, 6130-6146. https://doi.org/10.2175/193864711802766560. • Husselbee, B.W., Performance Measures to Improve Your Capital Improvement Program. Proceedings Utility Management Conference 2018, Water Environment Federation (2018) 1, 835-842. https://doi.org/10.2175/193864718823773995. • MDWASD, Adopted FY 2021-2027 Capital Budget and Multi-Year Capital Plan, 2021. • MDWASD, Alexander Orr Jr. Water Treatment Plant Facility Assessment (HDR), 2010. • MDWASD, Decommissioning of Hialeah Water Treatment Plant Feasibility Evaluation (Black &Veatch), 2014. • MDWASD, Evaluation and Risk Assessment of WASD’s Hialeah and Preston Water Supply and Treatment, 2015. • MDWASD, Evaluation Report - Preston WTP High Service Pump Station Electrical Upgrades – Technical Services (Black &Veatch), 2022. • MDWASD, Filter Evaluation Technical Memorandum Alexander Orr Water Treatment Plant (HDR), 2021.

• MDWASD, Generators Assessment Report (Black &Veatch), 2022. • MDWASD, Hialeah Water Treatment Plant Condition Assessment of Critical Infrastructure Components (Metcalf & Eddy/AECOM), 2009. • MDWASD, Interim Water Facilities Master Plan May (Tetra Tech – Hazen, MSA), 2020. • MDWASD, Preston Water Treatment Plan Renewal and Replacement Needs Assessment (URS), 2010. • MDWASD, Risk and Resilience Assessment (Hazen & Sawyer) 2020. • MDWASD, Technical Memorandum on Air Striping Tower Performance at Hialeah and Preston Water Treatment Plants (Black &Veatch), 2022. • MDWASD, Water Plants Infrastructure Improvement Program, 2021. • MDWASD, Water Supply Facilities Work Plan (CDM), 2008. • MDWASD, Water Treatment Plant Automation Study (Hazen & Sawyer), 2022. • Storms, K., Earned Value Management Implementation in an Agency Capital Improvement Program, Cost Engineering, (50), 12, Dec 2008, 17-20. S

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 41


Advances in Water Treatment Suzanne Mechler President, FWEA


he theme of his month’s magazine is water treatment. I touched on this a little bit in last month’s column, but I thought I would start with a story. I got my master’s degree working with Dr. John Zoltek doing all things wastewater. I worked for the Jacksonville office of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in the industrial wastewater treatment group, as an intern while at the University of Florida. I spent the first five years of my career at a wastewater treatment plant overseeing construction; I was a wastewater girl and I honestly loved it. At that time, I was a young engineer and I thought, well, this is all I know, so this is what I will do. Here I want to give a shout-out to any young engineer out there reading this column online (I know you don’t read the printed version). My advice is: learn it all, do it all, and enjoy it all. You can be and do whatever you want in this industry, so say yes to everything, because all learning is setting you up for the next thing.

Water Treatment Technologies Okay, back to water. When I started with CDM Smith, the “newish” membrane system technologies were being implemented all over at the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County. Many utilities in Broward County were also implementing this technology. The reasons for switching to membranes back then were typically the “clearness” of the water for color and other secondary compounds, aging lime softening infrastructure, or just a more consistent and dependable operation. Lime softening, however, offered many advantages: the low cost of treatment operations, good-tasting water if treatment is consistent, and the ease of managing quality and regulatory requirements. Today, we are seeing a transition in water treatment, so with my crystal ball, I offer the following trends: Advanced Technology and Water Sustainability This includes advancing the treatment systems at current water treatment plants, as well as incorporating advanced systems for recycling

and purifying the wastewater. Most of Florida is in a population-growth mode; I honestly can’t remember when we weren’t—oh yes, the housing crash in 2006 (see last month’s column). We have made great strides in reducing consumption—through education, consumer changes, using reclaimed water for irrigation, and improving our infiltration and inflow programs. We’re maxed out, however, on our ability to take more supply from our shallow aquifer systems, and in many places, the ability to take more from the Floridan system. Water reuse and recycling systems, as well as a continued push for water conservation plans, are tied into climate change and vulnerability assessments. What will be the next phase of technology in the water treatment and water reuse space? Come to the Florida Water Resources Conference in 2024 and find out! Smart Systems and Analytics Tools Smart technology is here, but what does it mean? We have already seen this technology in the water distribution system through mechanisms such as detection of leaks and optimizing water usage. With a more-consistent use of the real-time data being obtained, we will see an optimization of water sources, processes, treatment, and energy consumption. Many utilities and operations staff have been doing these types of optimizations for many years with their base knowledge of systems and spreadsheets. The use of smart systems and advanced monitoring using artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors will hopefully take that knowledge and apply it as decision-making support for future generations of operators. The current effort associated with the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions is jump-starting this with a heavy use of geographic information systems and machine learning. Decentralized Systems or Larger, Regional Systems? In the past, we’ve focused on one large, centralized treatment plant. With that said, it generally meant one centralized treatment plant at each municipality, or a couple of them associated with each county. There seems to be parallel trends going on right now: S A push toward more-decentralized water systems allowing for smaller-scale water distribution in areas where you are either replacing long-term neighborhoods on well systems or building new, generally large,

42 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

neighborhoods that can control their own destiny related to system resilience and utilization of renewable energy for treatment. S A massive regulatory shift (i.e., draft per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances [PFAS] regulations) for many local municipalities is causing them to evaluate the continued reinvestment in a treatment plant versus selling the system to an adjacent municipality (generally one that they are already connected with). While the PFAS considerations accelerated this trend, it already existed with issues related to hiring staff at all levels to run these facilities, as well as the difficulty of raising rates to support infrastructure improvements. I’m not sure I can write a column on water treatment with just one reference to PFAS. In reality, this is likely just the beginning. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the three technologies of membrane systems, ion exchange resins, and granular activated carbon, but what we are seeing is that each technology has its advantages and disadvantages and each reacts differently to the raw source water provided. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. As a result, the industry is likely to see new technologies, including new, optimized membrane filtration technologies, nanotechnology-based water treatment systems, and advanced oxidation processes. At the same time, most utilities are contemplating short-term solutions to maintain compliance with the draft PFAS regulations, as well as long-term solutions that may require more funding support for some of these new technologies. Last but not least, the PFAS concerns are requiring utilities to transition from only working behind the scenes to addressing the public’s concerns and listening to the comments made at commission and council meetings on the quality of the water.

Getting it Done I’m continuously impressed by our community and our willingness to deal with and adjust to outside forces that bring on change. What this industry does is get the job done. New treatment, new technology, and new regulations are shiny, but at the end of the day, the customers have healthy, safe drinking water because the “boots on the ground,” including operations and maintenance staff, got it done that day. S So, thank you!

Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 43

NEWS BEAT Florida-based Thompson Pump has announced that its distributor, Florida Pumping Solutions (FPS), has acquired American Sock & Dewatering. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition of American Sock, based in Edgewater, allows FPS to provide a full range of construction dewatering services from start to finish, including socking, which is a technique used to prevent water intrusion during excavation and construction. It’s an important phase of construction in north Florida due to the region’s low-lying terrain and heavy rain and flooding. “This move not only cements us as a leader in the pumping industry, but it ensures we are supplying even greater value to our customers, with more efficiency and faster project completion times, which helps to cut down on costs,” said Jay Friemark, FPS general manager. “With FPS and Thompson Pump’s products, our customers know they are getting the best service, most experienced crews, more-reliable equipment, and overall, the best value for their socking project.” David Martin, an American Sock manager who has run his company for over 25 years, and the rest of his team, will join FPS.

“We are so excited for FPS and its acquisition of American Sock, and we look forward to supporting the company in its growth,” said Chris Thompson, president of Thompson Pump.


Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the award of $300 million in state funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for 71 new resilience and adaptation projects—and three previously awarded projects—to help prepare coastal and inland communities for the adverse impacts of flooding and storm surge. Last month, Gov. DeSantis signed the Framework for Freedom Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24, solidifying Florida’s position as a national leader in resilience action. In the budget is $356 million for resilience, which includes $300 million for implementing statewide resilience projects, as well as $56 million for resilience planning and coral reef protection. “The Framework for Freedom Budget is a testament to our unwavering commitment to protect Florida’s communities and secure their economic vitality,” said Gov. DeSantis. “Florida

44 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

is a storm-prone state, and following two backto-back hurricanes, this funding advances Florida’s continuing efforts to strengthen our infrastructure and fortify against the impacts of storm surge and flooding.” The funding for this year’s statewide flooding and sea level rise resilience plan enables the state to prepare both inland and coastal communities for the risks of storm surge, rainfall-induced flooding, and hurricanes. It also underscores the importance of protecting Florida’s natural resources and critical infrastructure. By prioritizing infrastructure investments and leveraging nature-based solutions, this funding aims to safeguard communities, foster economic vitality, and build a resilient future for Florida. During Gov. DeSantis’ administration, the state has invested more than $1.4 billion to increase the coastal and inland resilience of Florida’s communities, including money for 75 resilience projects using previously appropriated funding through the Resilient Florida program. Additionally, FDEP announced the award of over $28 million to develop or update comprehensive vulnerability assessments. At the conclusion of the program, all 67 counties in Florida will have completed a vulnerability assessment. S

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www.fwrc.org Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 45

District Awards Grants to Schools for Water Resources Education Programs The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has awarded $108,304 in grants to 51 educators in its counties as part of the Splash! school grant program. The program provides up to $3,000 per school to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources in grades K-12. The grants encourage hands-on student learning through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities, as well as engagement of the greater school community through awareness campaigns. Each school district allocates a portion of its annual youth education funding provided by SWFWMD to support the grants in its county. The grants were awarded to the following schools and teachers in its northern region (counties are in parentheses):

S Brooksville Elementary School - Amanda Cunningham-Rud (Hernando) S Bushnell Elementary School - Jessica Hamilton (Sumter) S Central High School - Rachel Kingdom (Hernando) S Dunnellon Elementary School - Nancy Garvin (Marion) S Inverness Middle School - Deanna Hadley (Citrus) S Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School Ashley Davin (Sumter) S South Sumter High School - Thomas Allison (Sumter) S South Sumter Middle School - Tiffany Ward (Sumter)

S Webster Elementary School - Christiane Horn (Sumter) S Wildwood Intermediate School - Morgan Hansen (Sumter) S Williston Elementary School - Ashley Hart (Levy) S Wyomina Park Elementary School - Beth Lazar (Marion) Grants are available to support water education programs and activities that are focused on water cycle basics, freshwater or estuarian ecosystems, water quality, and water conservation. For more information visit www. WaterMatters.org/SchoolGrants. S

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Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 47

L ET’ S TA LK S A FE TY This column addresses safety issues of interest to water and wastewater personnel, and will appear monthly in the magazine. The Journal is also interested in receiving any articles on the subject of safety that it can share with readers in the “Spotlight on Safety” column.


Facing Up to Stress

ow much do you know about stress? Surveys and research reveal the following: S An estimated 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stressrelated complaints or disorders. S More than 40 percent of all adults suffer from stress-related adverse health effects. S Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of premature mortality, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory ailments, accidents, cirrhosis, and suicide.

S Muscle tightness or tension S Anxiety S Indigestion S Nervousness or trembling S Insomnia S Loss or increase in appetite S Grinding of teeth or jaw S General complaints, such as weakness, dizziness, headache, stomachache, or back pain S Trouble concentrating and making decisions

Stress, however is a normal part of life. Stress is typically associated with somber events, such as divorce or a death in the family. But, many events, even those that are happy and joyous—a new job, relocation, marriage, or the birth of a child—can be stressful. Even holidays or buying a new car can cause stress. Everyone responds differently to stressinducing events in their lives. What one person ignores or finds challenging may cause stress in another. So, do you suffer from stress?

Many of these symptoms may be caused by other health problems, such as the flu, but if you have one or more of these symptoms that last longer than a week, talk to your physician. You may be suffering from stress.

Symptoms Some of the most common signs and symptoms of stress are: S C onstant fatigue

Reducing Stress So, you’re under stress. How can you learn to reduce the stress or control its negative consequences? Here are a few simple tips that can help reduce or control stress: S Identify the causes of stress in your life. S Share your thoughts and feelings with someone else. S Avoid sad thoughts; try not to get depressed. S Simplify your life as much as possible.

S Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. S Learn to manage your time effectively. S Exercise regularly. S Eat well-balanced meals. S Avoid drugs and alcohol. S Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing. S Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. S Develop your sense of humor, and make time for fun. S Socialize with family and friends. S If necessary, seek professional help. Many sources of help are out there. Often, just talking to a friend can help, but if that doesn’t work, talk to a minister, priest, rabbi, or other spiritual counselor, or a licensed therapist. In addition, many companies provide access to an employee assistance program (EAP), which can provide a wealth of confidential professional counseling resources to help you, your family, or your fellow employees through difficult or stressful periods in life. Finally, remember: it’s your life. Successfully managing stress leads to a healthier, happier, and more productive you—at home and on the job.

Resources For more information, go to the following websites: • Mayo Clinic at www.mayoclinic.com/health/ coping-with-stress • Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc. gov/violenceprevention/pub/coping_with_ stress_tips.html • The American Institute of Stress at www.stress. org S Let’s Talk Safety is available from AWWA; visit www.awwa.org or call 800.926.7337. Get 40 percent off the list price or 10 percent off the member price by using promo code SAFETY20. The code is good for the Let’s Talk Safety book, dual disc set, and book + CD set.

48 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

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Clay County Utility Authority - Multiple Positions Available · Senior Design Engineer /project manager, · Water, Wastewater Maintenance Mechanic · Inventory Manager · Utility Mechanic · Retrofit Technician · W & WW Maintenance Forman · Superintendent Wastewater Treatment

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Superintendent Wastewater Treatment Senior Design Engineer/ PM Apply at WWW.Clayutility.org

Executive Director

Florida Rural Water Association (FRWA) is seeking an applicant to replace the existing Executive Director who is retiring after 35 years. FRWA is a non-profit organization that represents water and wastewater systems throughout the State of Florida. For more information, questions, job description, or to submit your resumé please contact FRWA Attention: Search Committee, 2970 Wellington Circle, Tallahassee, Florida 32309 or Search@FRWA.net, or visit https://www.frwa.net/executive-director-advertisement.

SCADA Operations System Administrator

The Broward County Water and Wastewater Services – Operations Division (WWOD) is seeking highly qualified candidates for: SALARY: $50.6462 - $80.8312 / $105,344.10 - $168,128.90 LOCATION: Water and Wastewater Operations Division, 2555 Copans Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33069 DEPARTMENT: Public Works To view and apply for this position, please visit: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/broward

Classifieds continued on page 50 Florida Water Resources Journal • November 2023 49



Continued from page 49

January 2016

Editorial Calendar 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.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator A Salary: $95,000/year

The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s WASTEWATER DIVISION is looking for a WWTP Operator with a Florida “A” license. You will perform skilled/technical work involving the operation and maintenance of a wastewater treatment plant. This requires technical knowledge and independent judgment to make treatment process adjustments and perform maintenance on plant equipment, machinery, and related control apparatus in accordance with established standards and procedures. Annual salary $95,000. Benefit package is extremely competitive! Location: Cudjoe Key, Florida located in the Lower Florida Keys. Must complete on-line application at https:// www.fkaa.com/212/Opportunities EEO, VPE, ADA, DFW

Test Yourself Answer Key Continued from page 12 1. C) gravity separation.

The oldest and most widely used process in water treatment is gravity separation.

2. C ) a long time.

The organic particles within the source water from the Mississippi River most likely will settle by gravity a long time.

3. D ) flocculation.

In a conventional water treatment plant sedimentation follows flocculation.

Display Advertiser Index AWWA Water Equation ������������������������������������������������������������������ 36 Blue Planet Environmental Systems ������������������������������������������� 51 CEU Challenge ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 37 Data Flow ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 44 Engineered Pumps ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 13 FJ Nugent ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 29 Florida Aquastore �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 14 Florida Water Resources Conference ������������������������������������������ 45 FSAWWA 2023 Fall Conference ����������������������������������������������� 32-35 FWPCOA Training Calendar ��������������������������������������������������������� 47 Gerber Pumps ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Heyward �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 2 Hudson Pump & Equipment ��������������������������������������������������������� 43 Hydro International �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Lakeside Equipment Corporation �������������������������������������������������� 7 U.S. Submergent Technologies ���������������������������������������������������� 27 Poly Processing ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 41 Smith & Loveless ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31 Water Treatment & Controls Technologies ��������������������������������� 46 Xylem ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 52

50 November 2023 • Florida Water Resources Journal

4. B ) never settle.

The St. Johns River contains small particles that without coagulation and flocculation will never settle.

5. D ) 70 percent.

Within a rectangular sedimentation basin that has efficient flocculation the percentage of the floc that will settle within the first one-third of the basin length is 70 percent.

6. A ) surface loading rate.

One of the most vital factors that influences the effectiveness of sedimentation is the surface loading rate.

7. B ) the smallest particle the basin will remove.

The surface loading rate (overflow loading rate) is equal to the settling velocity of the smallest particle the basin will remove.

8. C ) the settled sludge blanket is scoured and carried to the filters.

When the settling velocity of the particle is less than the surface loading rate the settled sludge blanket is scoured and carried to the filters.

9. B) the particle will be unable to settle out.

When the settling velocity of the particle is less than the surface loading rate the particle will be unable to settle out.

10. B ) Brownian motion.

The motion of colloidal particles that enables them to overcome gravitational settling forces is called Brownian motion.

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