J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 0
I AWWANT YOU!
The Official Newsletter of the Texas Section AWWA • THE Water Professionals
exas AWWA is more than the membership card in your purse or wallet, more than the annual Texas Water conference, more even than the TEXASH2O in your mailbox. Texas AWWA is a wide network of water professionals grappling with the thorniest issues facing the industry – from water conservation to customer service, from rate design to regulation to workforce development. You’re encouraged to participate in divisions and committees dealing with these issues. For a list and contact information, see Pages 10-12. Texas AWWA is also the eight active chapters that bring local members together to exchange information. Click to the TAWWA website, www.tawwa.org, for a list of chapters and their officers.
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Letter from the Texas Section Chair
‘Know your water’
2 By Richard Talley
Texas Section American Water Works Association P.O. Box 80150 Austin, Texas 78708 http://www.tawwa.org RICHARD TALLEY, CHAIR 817-392-8203 DAVE SCHOLLER, CHAIR-ELECT 281-558-8700 BRENT LOCKE, VICE-CHAIR 254-562-5992 MARI GARZA-BIRD, IMM. PAST CHAIR 210-826-3200 MIKE HOWE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/ SECRETARY-TREASURER 512-238-9292 FAX: 512-238-0496 E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org This publication is distributed monthly to the more than 3,500 members and friends of the Texas Section American Water Works Association. Contributing writers can contact the editor: Cliff Avery Gilleland Creek Press PO Box 676 Pflugerville, TX 78691 512-251-8101 FAX: 512-251-8152 e-mail: email@example.com The publication name, TexasH2O: © 1996-2010 Texas Section - American Water Works Association, Inc. © 2010, Texas Section - American Water Works Association, Inc.
n a hot day, there’s nothing more refreshing than a tall cool drink of water. Most of us don’t think about the water we drink. We turn on a tap, fill a glass, and drink. But how much do our customers know about the water they drink every day? A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of any community. It creates jobs, attracts industry and investment, and provides for the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression. We often take water supply for granted until it is threatened, either by drought, water main breaks, or some other event. During Drinking Water Week 2010, AWWA and water utilities across the United States urged their customers “get to know your water.” As members of the Texas Section AWWA, we need to let our customers and local elected officials know more about the water that comes to their tap. The more our customers and elected officials know about their water sources and treatment facilities, the more they are able to support decisions that protect their water supplies and health. By July 1 of each year, water utilities are required to mail their customers an annual drinking water quality report. The report helps customers make informed choices about the water they drink, by providing a snapshot of their drinking water quality. Water quality reports also carry information on the source and treatment of a community’s tap water. It is exciting to know that more than 92 percent of public water systems in the United States had no violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act standards during the past year. Texas Section AWWA members are dedicated to safe water and public health protection. As the professionals of the water community, we have the daily responsibility of keeping our local water supplies safe and customers informed. Regulations ensuring safe and affordable water must be through a transparent process, be based on good science, and provide meaningful risk reduction. Safe public drinking water is one of the triumphs of the past century. This does not mean that there’s nothing to be concerned about. Constant vigilance, research, and new investment are essential. Keeping the water supply safe is an ongoing concern of all Texas water utilities—and of their customers. So just how safe is your tap water? Turn on your tap, fill a tall glass with cool water, sit down in a comfortable chair and read your annual water quality report.
Constant demand strains Edwards Aquifer By Liz Davidson TEXASH2O
Irrigation, thirsty cities put water source consistently on the brink
SAN ANTONIO – Despite recent rains from Hurricane Alex and a subsequent Tropical Depression, Texans need to remain aware of how quickly the Edwards Aquifer can fall below normal conditions. At the South Texas Chapter TAWWA monthly meeting May 20 in San Antonio, the deputy director of the USGS Texas Water Science Center said that population increases and irrigators pumping out of the aquifer keep constant pressure on the system. George Ozuna, who’s been with USGS for more than 25 years, provided more than 75 chapter members with an overview of the Edwards Aquifer, explained how water flows through the aquifer, discussed the pressures that affect the system and shared new information regarding the aquifer. The Edwards Aquifer is a karst aquifer that covers an area of about 4,000 square miles in south-central Texas. It is made up of limestone, a soluble rock,
Submit your TW11 abstracts
Abstract submittal for Texas Water – April 5-8 at the Fort Worth Convention Center – is available through the TW11 website, www.texas-water.com. Authors may chose from a variety of topics for development of papers to be at the conference. Deadline for submission is Oct. 1. The TW11 Program Committee will evaluate the abstracts and notify authors whether they have been selected by mid-November.
and dissolution occurs when rainfall works as a mild acid to eat away at the rock, making it honeycombed and enabling water to seep through the cracks. “What’s unique about a karst aquifer as opposed to a sand aquifer is that it can get its water through three different ways,” Ozuna said. “It can move through the grains, the fractures and the conduits.” Three areas make up an aquifer: the catchment area, the recharge zone and the confined zone. The catchment area collects rainfall and directs it to the recharge zone. The Texas Hill Country serves as this region for the Edwards Aquifer. In the recharge zone, surface runoff enters the aquifer through the fractures and sinkholes, as well as from streams that go underground. Once in the confined zone, water is trapped between impermeable layers and pressure is applied to the existing water, forcing natural discharge into springs such as San Marcos and Comal. The faults in the Edwards Aquifer area occurred PLEASE SEE EDWARDS, PAGE 16
TCEQ gathers information on pharmaceutical disposal . TCEQ staff members are evaluating input received from an on-line survey to help draft a report to the Legislature on preventing pharmaceuticals from ending up in Texas drinking water. The survey measured 13 distinct groups – from veterinarians to law enforcement agencies, from water utilities to home health and hospice workers. TCEQ will compile the responses and formulate the draft for consideration by the Pharmaceutical Disposal Advisory Group. PLEASE SEE DISPOSAL, PAGE 8
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George Ozuna, deputy director of the USGS Texas Water Science Center, shares a PowerPoint presentation with South Texas Chapter members in San Antonio about hydrology and the Edwards Aquifer. He emphasized that although many other states handle ground and surface water separately, Texas needs to see it as one supply. “We’ve got to manage it as a single resource,” Ozuna said. “It’s just water. Surface water and groundwater. Look at it as one resource.”
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Executive Director Report
Chapter and verse By Mike Howe TAWWA Executive Director The other day someone asked me what was the most significant thing that the Texas Section has done for members in the last few years. Quickly I thought about the strength of the Texas Water conferences, and the teleconferences we do â€“ particularly those right after September 11, regarding security. As my thoughts flowed over the past 15 years, I started reviewing all the training and meetings we have had. But, just as fast as I zipped through all we have done, I stopped on the single one thing that has meant the most to our members, the Section and frankly, the Texas water community. Without question, the most significant thing we have done is create and support our Chapters around the state. From the humble beginnings of the first Chapter in Waco to the now-forming Chapter in College Station, we have provided our members with a place in their community where they can interact with their colleagues, friends and fellow water professionals. In a state as big as Texas with an organization of more than 3,300 members, finding the means for members to, on a regular basis, interact with the full support of the Section and AWWA â€“ well, how cool is that?
When we travel, my wife, Donna (our Membership Committee Chair) likes to remind people that Texas is so big that when you travel from Beaumont to Los Angeles, when you get to El Paso you are not even halfway on your journey. That impresses most people (Alaskans being the exception). When you consider the sheer geography of our state, for us to even attempt to provide meaningful moments of interaction on a routine basis for even a small Chapter formation portion of our members would take a much larger staff than just and growth required me, and they would be always on the road. Instead, we have success- officers with a vision. fully, with the incredible commitment of our members around the state, been able to leverage the time, expertise and good will of our members into vibrant chapters that are, frankly, the envy of other AWWA sections around the country. To successfully accomplish Chapter formation and growth, it required a group of visionary officers from the start. That vision continues today with leaders who realize that our success was not dependent on a centralized power structure. Instead the basis for PLEASE SEE HOWE, PAGE 18
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Water planning: Show me more than money t 6
By Liz Davidson TEXASH2O
AUSTIN – By looking beyond the dollar signs when evaluating water programs, utilities can often discover additional benefits and savings, specifically in terms of social and environmental impacts. In a presentation hosted by the Texas Water Development Board in Austin June 10, Dr. Robert Raucher discussed how to use “Triple Bottom Line” methodology to assess potential water projects, realize the full range of their benefits and decide whether they would be a cost-effective water supply choice. The Triple Bottom Line is usually used to help guide private enterprise in looking beyond cash flows to think more broadly about how their activities affect society and the environment. Raucher, a senior environmental economist at Stratus Consulting in Boulder, Colo., adapted this concept to fit on a project level, specifically in terms of water projects or programs. Looking at the three bottom lines—financial, social and environmental—he demonstrated how water agencies can apply the Triple Bottom Line using the example of a Chino Basin program in Southern California. Raucher analyzed the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s Chino Basin Optimum Basin Management Program, which encompasses several water supply options including groundwater desalination, direct nonpotable reuse, indirect potable reuse, stormwater harvest, conservation and aquifer storage. Raucher broke down this system, focusing mostly on desal and reuse, and adapted it to the Triple Bottom Line to reveal all of the financial, environmental and social benefits of the program. Reuse and desal are considered relatively expensive water supply options and the big question for many agencies is whether they are worth the investment for a community. Raucher said
Dr. Robert Raucher discusses the financial, social and environmental benefits of the Chino Basin water program in Southern California using the Triple Bottom Line methodology. “A lot of agencies get stuck in just the financials and they don’t really think systematically about the social and environmental aspects,” Raucher said.
that to find the answer, you have to look at the full perspective of the benefits and costs of reuse and desal, particularly in the broader context of regional water resource management. Raucher said the Chino Basin program costs $1.25 billion over a 30-year period, but using the Triple Bottom Line, it turned out that the savings were greater than the cost. The financial savings of $1.9 billion over 30 years in Chino Basin is enough to see the value of the project, but looking at the social and environmental aspects adds to its worth as well. “A lot of agencies get stuck in just the financials and they don’t really think systematically about the social and PLEASE SEE BOTTOM LINE, PAGE 14
Share Your knowledge with the Texas Water community
Submit your Abstract for Texas Water 2011sm TEXAS WATER to be a presenter 2011 April 5-8, 2011 Fort Worth DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTAL: OCT. 1, 2010 Convention Center For instructions and access to the Texas Water
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The advisory group was created by the 2009 Legislature to research the issue of pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater and to make recommendations for the 2011 session. The legislation identified at least eight stakeholder groups to be included on the panel: state and federal government; local governments; water utilities and suppliers; pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies; health care providers; solid waste service providers; ranchers and farmers; and end-users of pharmaceuticals. The TCEQ roster lists 206 names on the advisory panel. TAWWA Executive Director Mike Howe and TAWWA Legislative Committee Chair Donovan Burton of SAWS are among the water utility representatives on the advisory group. Other water utility representatives listed include Naila Ahmed, LCRA; Carol Batterton, WEAT executive director; Danelle Belhateche, City of Houston; Tony Bennett of AECOM and the Association of Water Board Dirctors; Raj Bhattarai, City of Austin; Amber Briggs, Cibolo Creek Municipal Authority; Brad Castleberry, WEAT and Texas Association of Clean Water Agencies; Ken Diehl, SAWS; Tom Duck, executive director of Texas Rural Water Association; Yvonne Forrest, City of Houston Drinking Water Operations; Merry Leonard, AWBD executive director; Randy Palacheck, Texas Water Conservation Association; Jack Ranney, LCRA; and Mark Zeppa, Independent Water & Sewer Companies of Texas. For information about the Pharmaceutical Disposal Advisory Group, click to http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/permitting/ water_supply/pdw/pdagroup#schedule.
The TCEQ has adopted revisions to the Texas Water Quality Standards (TWQS) and Implementation Procedures which will appropriately enhance and classify Texas’ rivers, streams, and lakes, according to an agency news release. The Texas Surface Water Quality Standards describe the chemical, physical, and biological conditions to be attained in the surface waters of Texas. Changes were needed to reflect the most recent scientific information. TCEQ commissioners chose to retain 126 E.coli per 100 milliliters as the standard for primary contact recreation, asked to continue to be informed about further scientific developments for nutrient criteria, and to consider mechanisms to streamline the process for determining what level of recreation use a water body supports, through a site-specific use-attainability analysis. Further, the Commissioners urged the staff to continue to collect data and evaluate proper protection levels and ensure the public is protected while state resources are utilized as efficiently as possible. These revisions establish criteria for nutri-
ents for reservoirs, update numerous toxic criteria, and create new categories for recreation standards so that Texas’ waters are protected and classified based on appropriate recreational uses. Before proposing the new revisions, the TCEQ analyzed extensive scientific information to determine the mechanisms that protect the environment and public health and promote efficient and effective water quality management. Under the previous rules, most water bodies in Texas—even intermittently flowing creeks, which are too shallow for swimming—must adhere to recreation standards that are often inappropriate and make it difficult to protect those water bodies in most need of correction. Consequently, the new rules establish several new categories of recreational water standards that more realistically classify water bodies. There are now four tiers of recreational standards which include primary contact, secondary contact 1 and 2, and non-contact. Public participation will be an integral part of the use attainability process for the classification of water bodies for secondary contact.
Also, in the context of water quality management, TCEQ now extensively monitors surface waters in Texas, and the agency rigorously identifies and takes remedial actions to address water bodies that do not attain all assigned water quality standards. Consequently, the TCEQ is focusing efforts on water bodies that genuinely need restorative actions. Additionally, for the first time the TCEQ has established numerical nutrient criteria for 75 reservoirs in Texas. This new criteria will protect many major reservoirs by inhibiting excessive growth of aquatic vegetation. The TCEQ worked extensively with an advisory group to develop these nutrient criteria. These criteria are a major step to further TCEQ’s water quality management program to protect reservoirs in Texas. Texas is one of the leading states in evaluating water quality standards for individual water bodies. For this revision, TCEQ has devoted extensive effort to establish 119 tailored site-specific standards for aquatic life, dissolved oxygen, toxic criteria, and aquatic recreation.
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TCEQ adopts revised Water Quality Standards
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TAWWA WANTS YOU!
Now is the time to come be a part of the Section You’re a member of AWWA and the Texas Section. You know that it’s important to be a member of the most prestigious water organization on the continent, but you wonder: “Is there more? Could I open up new opportunities through my membership?” You know that TAWWA membership is more than going to Texas Water conferences – as important as that is – and attending chapter meetings. And you’re right: There is more. As with most things in life, you benefit from TAWWA membership in direct proportion to what you’re willing to put into it. One way to get more out of your membership is to participate in the Section’s divisions and committees. It is in those informal, but important, groups that you can learn more about your profession and develop professional relationships that will carry you through your career. Here’s a look at the charges of the various divisions and committees. At the AWWA level, committees are a subset of a particular division. In the Texas Section, that heirarchy is not as strict, and you can participate in any division or committee that you’re interested in. All you have to do is contact the chair of the group. TAWWA chairs will welcome your involvement. WATER UTILITY COUNCIL: Chair, Glenda Dunn, City of Waco, GlendaD@ci.waco.tx.us. Develops programs to initiate, evaluate, respond and comment on legislative, regulatory and other matters that affect water utilities and encourage provision of better water service to the public. Also supports TXWARN. DISTRIBUTION DIVISION: Chair, Tina Hanson, MWH, Tina.E.Hanson@us.mwhglobal.com. Advance and spread information to improve practices in the development of pumping, transmission and distribution systems, customer services and metering of public water supply and design, construction, maintenance and operation of these related facilities. EDUCATION DIVISION: Chair, Marilyn Christian, Harris County Health Department, firstname.lastname@example.org. Encourages water personnel training and certification and promotes water education in schools. Also facilitates support of Science Fair Programs with the Water Environment Association of Texas. MANAGEMENT DIVISION: Chair, Dean Sharp, Water Resources Management, LP, email@example.com. Advances and shares knowledge and information that improves water utility practices in financing, management, commercial and accounting procedures. Also supports TXWARN.
REGULATORY AGENCIES DIVISION: Chair, Elston H. Johnson, TCEQ, firstname.lastname@example.org. Improves and shares knowledge regarding federal, state and local regulations as they impact design, construction and operation of water utilities and products used in the water supply industry. Also serves as a connection for the drinking water regulatory agency to communicate with the community. WATER CONSERVATION and REUSE DIVISION: Chair, Roger E. Schenk, Jr., CDM, email@example.com. Advances and advocates the practices and benefits of water conservation and reuse and encourages research in these areas. WATER RESOURCES DIVISION: Chair, Wayne Owen, Tarrant Regional Water Water Conservation and Reuse Division Chair Roger Schenk and Division District, Member Karen Guz of SAWS met with firstname.lastname@example.org. Mary Ann Dickinson, executive Advances technical and institu- director of the Chicago-based Alliance for Water Efficiency. tional practices, influences public policy and advocates the sustainable development, protection and management of water resources for public water supply. Responsible for issues such as groundwater, water desalting, water reuse and water allocation and regulations. WATER QUALITY & TECHNOLOGY DIVISION: Chair, Steven V. Lynk, CDM, email@example.com. Advances and shares knowledge related to achieving the highest quality water for all municipal purposes. WATER SCIENCE & RESEARCH DIVISION: Chair, Charles Maddox, City of Austin Water Utilities, firstname.lastname@example.org. Identifies, communicates and encourages research needs related to water supply and treatment and shares any results to those in the water supply and treatment field. AUDIT COMMITTEE: Chair, Ronny Hyde, email@example.com. Secures an audit of the Texas Section’s books and accounts at the end of the fiscal year. Submits an audit report to the Board at Texas Water.
BYLAWS REVIEW COMMITTEE: Chair, David Scholler, Brown & Gay Engineers, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org. Maintains the bylaws of the Texas Section and make any recommended changes as required. CUSTOMER SERVICE COMMITTEE: Chair, Joan Roberson, Tyler Water Department, Jroberson@tylertexas.com. Focuses on customer service, utility billing, metering services, collections and field customer service functions. Also responsible for management/administrative, operations and maintenance issues related to customer service. DIVERSITY COMMITTEE: Chair, Ronald K. Tamada, Trinity River Authority, email@example.com. Develops awareness effort and training/information materials to spread diversity at all levels of the water profession. GENERAL POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Chair, Jeannie Wiginton, CDM, firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviews proposed section policies and responsible for long range policy planning. Also plans for the annual Section Orientation after Texas Water and develops and implements Section Membership Satisfaction Survey. GROWTH SYSTEMS COMMITTEE: Chair, Brent Locke, Bistone M.W.S.D., email@example.com. For members from smaller to medium-sized water systems. Develops a technology transfer network for smaller systems and implements operator and management training programs.
Brent Locke at Bistone MWSD headquarters
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Chair, Javier Santiago, McAllen Public Utilities, firstname.lastname@example.org. Implements programs to assist water utilities and operators along the US/Mexico border. Also acquires grant funding and grant management or training programs to help utilities along the border and in Mexico. JOINT CONFERENCE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Chair, Dave Scholler, Brown & Gay Engineers Inc., email@example.com. Oversees and reviews annual conferences, selects their location and dates. LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Chair, Donovan Burton, San Antonio Water System, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advances legislative issues that the Section supports. Meets with legislators, proposing and tracking legislation and testifying before legislative committees. Also implements programs of the Water Utility Council.
LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE: Chair, Charly Angadicheril, City of Fort Worth Water Department, Charly.Angadicheril@fortworthgov.org. A joint committee established by the Texas Section and WEAT to manage all arrangements for Texas Water 2011SM, April 5-8 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. MANUFACTURERS/ASSOCIATES COUNCIL: Chair, Julie Shaffer, Alan Plummer Associates, Inc., email@example.com. Composed of representatives of manufacturers or suppliers to the water utility industry. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Chair, Donna Howe, Wells Branch MUD, firstname.lastname@example.org. Establishes ways to obtain new members and encourage, promote and retain individual, organization and utility memberships in the Texas Section. NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Chair, Mari Garza-Bird, CDM, email@example.com. Nominates members for office following a set of guidelines. PROGRAM COMMITTEE (for the Annual Conference): Chair, Brent Locke, Bistone M.W.S.D., firstname.lastname@example.org. Collects abstracts and develops program ideas for Texas Water. PUBLIC INFORMATION/ PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE: Chair, Mary Gugliuzza, Fort Worth Water Department, Mary.Gugliuzza@fortworthgov.org. Oversees TEXASH2O and other Section publicity initiatives, including teleconferences. Coordinates Watermark Award solicitation and judging. RATES AND CHARGES COMMITTEE: Chair, Nelisa Heddin, Water Resources Management, LP, Nheddin@wrmlp.com. Prepares and presents information regarding water rates and other financial issues to Section members and water utilities in general. Also informs and educates on rate issues, utility financial management and capital funding matters in the water industry. REGIONAL ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE: Co-Chairs, Bill R. Smith, Trinity River Authority of Texas, email@example.com; Gary Smith, Black & Veatch, firstname.lastname@example.org. Helps develop Chapters, encourages trustees to participate in Chapters and advises the Board on Chapter and Regional membership activities and development. RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE: Chair, Ronny Hyde, email@example.com. Determines and prepares all resolutions, generally in regard to the death of a member, expressions of sympathy regarding the health or related matter of a member and to commend members for exceptional contributions.
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AWARDS COMMITTEE: Chair, Katie McCain, firstname.lastname@example.org. Responsible for Texas Section awards presented at Texas Water, notifies recipients of when awards will be given and ensures their names are published in TEXASH20.
From the preceding page
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Built Fast....Built To Last t
www.columbiantectank.com TAWWA members are welcome to contact Section officers â€“ from left, Immediate Past Chair Mari Garza-Bird; Chair Richard Talley; Chair-Elect Dave Scholler; and Vice Chair Brent Locke â€“ for more information on how to get involved. Their contact information appears on Page 2 of every TEXASH2O.
SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE: Chair, Christianne Castleberry, Castleberry Engineering & Consulting P.L.L.C., email@example.com. Develops rules for the selection of scholarship awardees and selects awardees each year. Also promotes memorial and other donations to the fund. SAFETY COMMITTEE: Chair, Rick Coronado, City of Austin, Rick.Coronado@ci.austin.tx.us. Promotes and provides training in practices, means, methods and processes to ensure water utilities are safe places of employment. Also helps coordinate the presentation of AWWA Safety Awards at Texas Water. YOUNG PROFESSIONALS: Chair, Alissa Lockett, San Antonio Water System, firstname.lastname@example.org. Develops programs for young professionals in the water industry and promotes the benefits of joining AWWA. Also develops ways to recruit YP members to Student Chapters and workshops for YPs. WATER FOR PEOPLE: Chair, Patrice Melancon, CDM, MelanconPA@cdm.com. Promotes Water For People, raises money for projects and programs and provides volunteer support. Also supports projects along the Texas/Mexico border area when possible. WORKFORCE COMMITTEE: Chair, Glenda Dunn, City of Waco, GlendaD@ci.waco.tx.us. Develops strategies to recruit and train new employees in water utilities, consulting firms and other fields that support the water industry, such as training programs with educational institutions and intern programs.
North Central Texas Chapter
Rio Grande Valley Chapter
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Chapters on the move across the state
The North Central Texas Chapter toured the Upper Trinity Regional Water District’s Tom Harpool Regional Water Treatment Plant April 22 after a presentation at a local restaurant from UTRWD’s Jody Zabolio. Above right, Larry Patterson discusses SCADA technology at the plant. Below, Hector Ortiz guides a tour. (Photos courtesy Malcolm E. Cowdin)
TAWWA’s re-energized Rio Grande Valley Chapter toured the City of San Benito’s Water Treatment Plant No. 2 May 20. Below, Water Plant Supervisor Romulo Garza explains operation of the microfiltration system during the chapter’s lunch. The plant can produce up to 6 MGD. (Photos by Cliff Avery)
Southeast Texas Chapter
The normally Houston-centered Southeast Texas Chapter shifted its focus to Lamar University in Beaumont June 17. Former Beaumont Mayor Guy Goodson, above right, addressed water issues facing the Texas Legislature. Chapter President David Dow presented Goodson with a small gift to commemorate his visit. (Photos by Jennifer Elms)
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environmental aspects,” Raucher said. The social benefits he identified included increased local control of the water supply, increased water supply reliability because it’s not weather dependent, improved groundwater quality and surface water quality both locally and downstream in the Santa Ana River and freeing import water supplies for other Southern California utilities. One more negative social aspect is that although Orange County benefits from better water quality in the Santa Ana River, they also lose a little because of reduced flows since some of the reclaimed water that would have been discharged into the river is no longer reaching them. There are also benefits in energy savings. Although desal and reuse are relatively energy-intensive options, in this case, they are an energy saver. Raucher estimated that by using desal as opposed to a long-range import supply, they are saving nearly 6 billion kilowatt hours over 30 years. Environmentally, the savings were more than $100 million and included reducing the agency’s carbon footprint and improving air, groundwater and surface water quality. Raucher said that this program reduced greenhouse gas emissions, with almost 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided, a $61 to $106 million value. Once the Triple Bottom Line method is applied to Chino Basin’s program, Raucher noted that it is easy to visualize the benefits. Raucher said that the cost savings, at a minimum, would be nearly $2 billon over 30 years and, looking at just the financial net, the benefits outweigh the costs by about $650 million or a 53 percent rate of return. He added that as water in Southern California becomes more expensive, the value of this desal and reuse program will only increase. “If we go all the way back to the beginning, we saw desal and reuse were pretty expensive compared to the other options,” Raucher said. “But when you package it all together in a smart way and address a regional problem, you can actually have a really large net benefit to be realized.” “In the end, the Triple Bottom Line approach is really a comprehensive benefit-cost analysis, it’s just repackaged in a different way,” Raucher said. “What we have found is that people really respond to the Triple Bottom Line approach. It resonates well with the public and with public officials. Rather than just saying I did a cost-analysis, you go in and show them a Triple Bottom Line analysis, and they tend to be a little more alert and receptive.” Raucher concluded that when an agency only looks at the cost of reuse or desal, those options might not appear to be a cost-effective water supply choice. However, if they view the project in a broader perspective, the potential benefits may prove that the added expense is worth it in the long run and they obtain a much more meaningful sense of all the benefits involved.
There are still some slots open for TAWWA’s Customer Service Committee’s 8th Annual Hands-on Workshop Aug. 12-13 at the Crowne Plaza Suites, 700 Ave. H East, in Arlington. The workshop is designed to help utility personnel who react with customers deal with the many stresses they face. This year’s theme is “Looking Out for One Another – Health, Wealth and Sanity.” Workshop topics include delinquency and collections and dealing with difficult customers. Participants are encouraged to bring copies of brochures, door hangers or information packets their utilities use to communicate with the public and make the materials available through a share table. Please email photos of your Utility at work to Jroberson@tylertexas.com or email@example.com by Aug1. to have them included in the workshop slideshow. Include funny, unusual, hard-working, appreciations, or teamwork photos, for example. The workshop fee includes breakfasts both days and lunch Aug. 12. Cost of the workshop is $150 after July 31. Register on-line at www.tawwa.org.
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Still time to register for customer service workshop Aug. 12-13
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65 million years ago, some of them completely displacing the aquifer and compartmentalizing it. “Water coming in through the catchment area flows through the recharge zone and wants to follow the general dip of the rocks and move toward the southeast,” Ozuna said. “But what you have here is that the rocks above the aquifer, the upper confining unit, are less permeable than the rocks of the Edwards Aquifer, so now the flow falls along the faults, causing these unique flow paths that occur in the system.” Ozuna said that we would expect, as with the Trinity Aquifer, for the water to flow from northwest to southeast toward the Gulf Coast, but this does not occur with the Edwards Aquifer. “Initially it wants to come in and move from northwest to southeast but these faults, these barriers, actually start to control the flow and move it from west to east.” He noted that because of these flow patterns, 70 percent of the recharge that occurs in the Edwards system actually happens to the west of San Antonio. “Most of the water that we enjoy here, in Bexar County, actually originated from the west of us,” Ozuna said. “It’s important that we understand this connection and understand that we need to protect that recharge zone to the west of us.” Understanding the pressures that affect the aquifer, such as droughts, are also important to remember. Ozuna said that the drought of the last several years caused water levels in the aquifer to decline significantly and growing populations only put additional stress on the aquifer. Ozuna said that during the later part of the 1950s, San Antonio had a population of about half a million and west of the city, there was no irrigation so there was not any added stress from irrigators pumping out of the Edwards Aquifer. Now San Antonio is about 1.5 to 1.7 million people, plus there is now irrigation adding stress to the aquifer to the west. “We now understand how quickly we can get to below-normal conditions and with more stress on the system, it might not take long to get to situations that are pretty drastic,” Ozuna said. “We need to always keep that understanding.” Over the past five years, Ozuna said that research on the Edwards Aquifer has revealed two important pieces of information. One involves a deep volcanic source that has several pipes reaching the surface and piercing the Edwards Aquifer. Before this research was conducted, only 12 volcanic pipes were known to have existed in the aquifer, but researchers found that there are many more than 12. Some have reached the surface while others have not, but they are all penetrating the Edwards Aquifer and potentially affecting flow patterns and water movement. The other new information involves conduits in the aquifer. Ozuna said scientists had always known that conduits existed in the system, but were never sure how interconnected the aquifer actually was. A contractor for the Edwards Aquifer Authority found that it is a very connected system.
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From the preceding page
Save the date!
Capital Area Chapter Fall Seminar set Sept. 23 The CAC TAWWA 2010 Fall Seminar, “Water Opportunities and Challenges: You Asked, We Listened,” will be held Thursday, Sept. 23 at the City of Austin’s Waller Creek Center. The seminar is expected to be of interest to water treatment professionals in the regulatory, public- , and private sectors and will focus specifically on topics identified to be of interest by last year’s seminar attendees (e.g., regulatory update and tools, emergency preparedness, asset management, challenges for small rural systems, and innovative technologies). Stay posted for the official seminar program and registration information. The chapter is accepting sponsors at the Silver ($200), Gold ($300), and Platinum ($500) levels. Contact Caroline Russell, 512-370-1203, with any questions.
Texas Water is a registered servicemark of Texas AWWA for the exclusive use in conjunction with the joint conference with the Water Environment Association of Texas. Any other use without the express written permission of Texas AWWA is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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“His research showed us that it is highly interconnected all the way from the recharge zone,” Ozuna said. “Therefore the recharge is moving very quickly through the system and out the springs. Hence, there may not be a lot of longtime storage.” He noted that this information is still theoretical, though, because the aquifer is under further research, with groups trying to map the region more thoroughly. Ozuna said that many other states across the nation have traditionally managed surface and ground water as two separate resources, but he believes this is not the best arrangement, especially with the Edwards Aquifer. “Let’s take our system for instance. We start off as surface water in Nueces County, it recharges, it becomes ground water and moves through the system,” Ozuna said. “It then discharges at Comal and San Marcos Springs and becomes the base flow of the Guadalupe River. We’ve got to manage it as a single resource. It’s just water. Surface water and groundwater. Look at it as one resource.”
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TCEQ water conference Aug. 10-11 in Austin
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TCEQ is inviting drinking water professionals to the 2010 Public Drinking Water Conference, scheduled Aug. 10-11 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 6505 N. I-35 in Austin. The event is a free, two-day seminar to provide information relevant to public drinking water systems and water utilities. TCEQ Water Supply Division representatives will give presentations on a wide variety of topics including drinking water regulations, upcoming rules, operations, rate making, CCNs, district applications and new technology. Water system operators can receive general training credit toward the renewal of their water operator license from the TCEQ. Attendees can participate in a variety of professional activities, including: • Presentations on water-related topics:. • Earning continuing education units (CEUs) towards your water operator license for the sessions attended. • The chance to talk to TCEQ staff one-on-one about your water system in the TCEQ chat room. • Visiting with exhibitors including governmental agencies, professional associations, and technical vendors to learn about other available resources. For more information and free on-line registration go to
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professional growth is found in collaborative processes that — with as few rules, policies and procedures as reasonably possible — have fostered and financially supported Chapters and their wide array of ideas, programs and training. These efforts have become so successful that some Chapters annually host their own workshops, social events and fundraisers for Water for People and are almost self-sufficient. While some once wondered if this would dilute the strength of the Section, the exact opposite has occurred. Without question, we are stronger, more influential and able to withstand even this economic downturn because of our willingness to recognize that there is strength in collaboration. Nearly fifteen years ago in a very unique interview situation, I assured a group of key water professionals in the state that if they hired me, I was going to “make the Texas Section AWWA the most influential water organization in the state.” Back then, I wasn’t sure where we would be fifteen years later and how we would get there. Today, while I can’t guess where we will be fifteen years from now, I do know that our Chapters will be the core strength of the Texas Section AWWA. And to those visionary officers then and now and to our Chapter leaders today and tomorrow, I say “thank you” for being such as significant part of the Texas Section’s success.
Want to share your event with the Texas water community? Contact Mike Howe, 512-238-9292; fax 512-238-0496. Check the Section’s website — www.tawwa.org — for the latest information on Section activities.
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Texas Section Calendar LOCATION
Public Drinking Water Conference (See story Page 18)
Doubletree Hotel 6505 I-35 North, Austin
Customer Service Workshop (See story Page 15)
Crowne Plaza Suites 700 Ave. H East, Arlington
Capital Area Chapter/ Cent. Texas Section of WEAT Summer Social 2010
Dell Diamond United Heritage Suite, Round Rock|
Capital Area Chapter Fall Seminar (See story, Page 17)
City of Austin Waller Creek Center
Caroline Russell, 512-370-1203
Deadline for TW11 Abstract submissions
TAWWA Board Meeting
6:05pm gates open
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Published on Sep 2, 2011
T exas AWWA is more than the membership cardin your purse or wallet, more than the annual Texas Water conference, more even than the TEXASH2...