Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Date: Monday, 14/Sept/2020
9:45am - 12:00pmSession 01A
9:45am - 10:30am

Leading the Change / How Candid Conversations Around Gender Create an Authentic and Empowered Workforce

Nicole Laughlin, Natalie Sierra

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;,

The projected future make-up of the industry shows a shift from male to female and non-binary people, potentially making up half, to more than half, of the workforce. While advances in supporting a more diverse workforce have been made, recent surveys show that we still have a major gap in diversity with leadership positions, and that we’re still struggling with female retention in the mid- to later-stages of careers. With most existing senior level leaders being male, current ways of doing business have not been enough to grow and retain female talent, and many of our assumptions as to why women are leaving the workforce are inaccurate.

This presentation showcases recent lessons learned from a women’s employee network group that dug deep into what women need to feel accounted for and supported in their career. From communication differences and psychological safety to sponsorship, many of the lessons learned thus far are tangible actions that every person within an organization can support to create a more desirable working environment for women.

This presentation will showcase the value of candid conversations and thoughtful listening that help an organization understand and embrace the inherit inequality that exists but also provide guidance on what diverse populations need to succeed. It also recommends a small list of personal commitments that leadership can hold themselves accountable to, which could have a big impact on organizational health and retention. This presentation will demonstrate the importance of individual empowerment while allowing for thoughtful organizational change.

10:30am - 11:15am

Sharing Your Privilege – the Criticality of Advocacy in Diversifying the Pacific Northwest Water Industry

Rob Lee1, Nicki Pozos2

1Leeway Engineering Solutions; 2The Formation Lab;

The face of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) movement here in the PNW has largely been women and people of color, and rightfully so in many cases. But this can and has led to cases of fatigue, frustration, and even challenging accusations such as “self-promotion”.

As the topic of diversity has become more prominent and as the numbers are starting to be documented about the genuine benefits of diversity, a challenge that has become evident is the critical role that must be played by those who have privilege and the power to enact change.

This session will begin with an introduction of the importance and benefits of diversity and a brief recap of the history of Asian-Americans and how advocacy by those with privilege enable greater successes for that racial group. The remainder of the time will be given to a panel discussion by advocates in the industry and representatives from several municipalities. This panel will provide numerous viewpoints regarding privilege and how anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or orientation, has an important role to play in progressing our industry for positive change.

11:15am - 12:00pm

How to be an Inclusion Champion

Amy Dammarell, Joslynn Hon

HDR, United States of America;,

It’s the little things that mean the most. That’s true in so many ways, including our efforts towards creating inclusive cultures and workplaces. While most people rarely experience radically, aggressively prejudicial behavior, many people often experience small, seemingly tiny acts of injustice or intolerance. These offences can cause conflict, misunderstandings, and resentment, which impacts a team’s ability to perform and deliver results, as well as damaging relationships in and out of the workplace.

Using scenarios and small group discussion, participants will explore real-life situations and determine appropriate actions when injustices are detected weather they are the subject, the offender or observer.

Participants will create action steps and practice “conversation tools” to effectively handle some common situations and the courage to become an Inclusion Champion.

9:45am - 12:00pmSession 02A
9:45am - 10:30am

Digital Age Expands to Pump Station Asset Management for Utilities Big & Small

Scott Duren1, Mike Szwaya2, Brittany Park3, Tim Gross4

1Water Systems Consulting, Inc., United States of America; 2Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; 3City of Bend, Oregon; 4City of Newport, Oregon;,,,

Many large, medium, and small wastewater utilities struggle with optimizing the maintenance, repairs, and replacements of aging pump stations within their collection systems, striving to get the most value from limited funds. In addition, many agencies, over the years, have conducted condition assessment using a wide variety of methods and ranking scenarios. This lack of standardization for pump stations adds uncertainty to prioritizing facility and system improvements. Today, innovations in monitoring equipment and communications infrastructure provide infinite possibilities for monitoring a tsunami of performance and condition data to drive more informed asset management decisions.

This panel discussion will compare the unique pump station asset management approaches used by three Oregon communities of differing sizes; Portland (population 650K/100 stations), Bend (population 95K/380 stations), and Newport (population 11K/25 stations).

Following a brief overview of each community’s unique collection system, panel members will discuss questions common to many modern utilities, such as:

  • How are innovative software and IT solutions being integrated cost effectively?
  • What indicators are most helpful in prioritizing capital spending or maintenance actions?
  • How are you prioritizing pump station work compared to other system needs?
  • How are agencies managing data and technology expansion while operational staffing levels have remained constant?
  • What are the biggest risks and/or challenges to maintaining these facilities?
  • What strategies have been successful in adapting habits and workflow to new technology?
  • How is data helping to tell the story of successes and challenges to stakeholders?

Attendees will be encouraged to bring their own questions to the panel. Participations will benefit from new ideas, success stories and lessons learned from large, medium, and small wastewater utilities that have used new digital tools in unique ways to address pump station asset management.

10:30am - 11:15am

The City of Vancouver Addresses Risk and Charts a Path for the Future With a Major IT Infrastructure Upgrade

Jeff Kanyuch1, Frank Dick2

1Jacobs, United States of America; 2City of Vancouver Washington;,

IT infrastructure is at the heart of automated monitoring and control of critical facilities - including wastewater systems. The City and its contract operations partner, Jacobs, are nearing completion of a major Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system upgrade of the City’s two Wastewater Treatment Plants. The SCADA upgrade included a complete redesign of the IT systems at the City’s facilities to reduce major risks, improve access to data, and give operators more visibility, security, reliability and process control than ever before.

The new core network and computer equipment includes virtualized servers with automated backups to reduce physical space and facilitate disaster recovery, ring networks for improved reliability, a DMZ for protected access of shared system data, updated computer hardware with current operating systems and software to accommodate supportability and reliability, and new fiber optic cable infrastructure. The project will also network-connect large Variable Frequency Drive motors for monitoring of voltage and current, and remote resetting of drive failures. The SCADA system will be linked to the computerized maintenance management system to allow work orders to be automatically triggered based on equipment alarms or runtimes from the SCADA system.

Operators can now monitor and control the entire wastewater system from workstations at either treatment plant or from any remote station. Jacobs support staff provide troubleshooting and maintenance via secure remote access and are notified of problems in real time to provide faster response.

This presentation will include video interviews with plant operations staff describing what has changed, current operational practices and lessons learned.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Taming the Three Headed Beast: People, Processes, and Information in Asset Management

Elizabeth Lowell1, Alden Wyma2

1HDR; 2King County Wastewater Treatment Division;,

King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is similar to many utilities working to drive their asset management program toward success, and they grapple with the same challenges as many agencies:

The People: overcoming constrained resources, buy-in, and resistance to change.

The Process: defining, standardizing, and implementing best practices while learning from failures.

The Information: using data to drive decision-making and draw a connection from tactical plans to strategic goals.

This presentation will showcase specific examples of how WTD is focusing on people, processes, and information to address long-range strategic goals, implement a “work plan”, and manage workload and resources.

In 2017, WTD experienced a major failure at one of its treatment plants. As a result, WTD commissioned a third-party assessment of its asset management program. Using the results, WTD updated its strategic asset management plan (SAMP) and its Work Plan and created a “Work Plan Dashboard” and a performance assessment program.

This presentation identifies four ways to better embed asset management into the people, processes and information sources of organization though such a program:

  1. An initial assessment and recurring check-ups can identify opportunities for improvement, facilitate buy-in, and address needs in a tactical, executable way.
  2. Business process mapping to document critical asset management processes. This demonstrates to staff where they fit into the organization and establishes or formalizes processes so that there is consistency in application.
  3. A metric-based dashboard to track progress and performance and allow ALL staff to see their role in making asset management (and their own work activities) a success. It also serves as a critical communication tool for setting budgets, schedules, and workloads.
  4. Using failures as learning opportunities. Total elimination of unexpected failures may be cost-prohibitive. However, failures can be a learning opportunity when they drive review, assessment, lessons learned, and improvements.
9:45am - 12:00pmSession 03A
9:45am - 10:30am

River Reborn: 50 Years, 20 Minutes

John Gonzalez

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland, Ohio;

The 1969 Cuyahoga River fire wasn't the only one in its history. But it became the last, thanks to an alignment of local and national realities that changed the future of not only Cleveland but the environmental movement across the country.

The river's rebirth took 50 years and it isn't finished yet. We'll look closely at the river that unites Cleveland more than divides it, and how a sewer utility used the story to celebrate people, policies, and projects that brought a once-dead river back to life.

Presented by Communications Manager of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District John Gonzalez, the River Reborn story looks back on the crooked river's past, how the utility developed the campaign, and how they wove the story into materials and messages all year long.

  • History – How the Cuyahoga River went from neglected to protected
  • Its story – Crafting the 2019 River Reborn campaign
  • Our story – Connecting with our community with creativity and authenticity

10:30am - 11:15am

Lure With Lizard Brain Lingo: How To Get What You Want Through Mindfully Crafted Messages

Karen DeBaker1, Stephanie Zavala2, Arianne Shipley2

1Clean Water Services; 2Rogue Water;,,

As water scientists, we’re flooded with data exposing how everyday human actions such as flushing wipes or rinsing paint brushes over storm drains impact our conveyance systems and waterways. We head straight to traditional outreach materials of billing inserts and brochures and scold customers. We plunk in a variety of confusing charts from our water quality tests. We then provide a long list of alternative actions through a one-size-fits-all lens. Now that they have all of the facts in front of them, why don’t people do the “right” thing?

Scientists believe that our decisions and behaviors are steered by our lizard brain rather than our rational brain. The lizard brain is quick, always on and requires 90% of our brain’s energy in its default, survival mode. While our rational brain controls language, it is slow, lazy and only uses 10% of our brain’s energy. We’re under the illusion that we can go straight to the rational brain to change behavior. Our messages are text-centric, cognitive, heavy, and they fail to engage the true human behavior pilot–the lizard brain.

In this skills-building session, you’ll learn how to speak to and stimulate the lizard brain to move people to desired action or understanding. You’ll learn Brain 101, its basic functions and how it responds to our crowded and fragmented communication landscape. You’ll walk away with the key stimuli and tried-and-true messages from the field to help you engage ANY human from ratepayer to elected official to your own Uncle Jerry.

11:15am - 12:00pm

What If? Building An Effective Storytelling Team

Greg Wukasch

San Antonio Water System, United States of America;

What if...every person in your community believed that water was the most important resource and that your organization was the most important organization within your community? Sound impossible? By bringing together a group of capable ambassadors, providing them with a compelling story and adding a vision for work that truly matters-it is possible. Join our discussion on the importance of assembling an effective storytelling team who connects to, communicates with and ultimately helps transform the community.

9:45am - 12:00pmSession 04A
9:45am - 10:30am

Full-scale Digester Micro-Aeration Study to Reduce Hydrogen Sulfide in Biogas

Terri Prather2, Bart Kraakman1, Matt Kennelly2, Matt Noesen1, Paul Jue2

1Jacobs, United States of America; 2LOTT Clean Water Alliance;

Biogas generated from anaerobic digestion typically requires gas conditioning before it is used to generate energy. The H2S concentrations in the digester gas at the Budd Inlet Treatment Plant typically range from 950 to 1,050 ppmv, which is approximately double the average inlet design concentration of the existing H2S removal system, resulting in increased O&M costs.

Full-scale piloting of micro-aeration technology (MA) was undertaken to test its feasibility to reduce H2S from the biogas, as limited experience is available of this new technology in full-scale digesters at wastewater resource recovery facilities (WRRF). The full-scale tests were undertaken during a one-year period under different configurations and generated the following findings:

  • Reducing the H2S concentration to 200 ppmv (or a removal efficiency of approximately 80 %) is technical feasible in the current digesters.
  • Injecting micro-aeration air in the sludge heating recirculation stream is more effective than injecting in the bottom of the digester.
  • Measuring the ORP of the sludge continuously was reasonably successful after several installation modifications but is not recommended for MA process control because of accumulation of debris on the ORP sensor requiring frequent (daily) cleaning.
  • The biogas production and sludge volatile solids reduction are not negatively affected by the MA process, while there is some evidence that the dewaterability of the digested sludge may slightly increase as a result of micro-aeration.

In summary, the full-scale pilot tests showed that this new process-integrated MA technology has potential using minimum plant upgrading while contributing to the sustainability and economic efficiency of the energy recovery process of waste sludge digestion at WRRFs.

10:30am - 11:15am

A Tale of Two Cities: The Quest for Sustainable Biogas Use

Alan Johnston2, Jared Buzo3, Dave Parry1, Kristen Jackson1

1Jacobs, United States of America; 2The City of Gresham; 3Oakland County;,

The City of Gresham Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) currently beneficially uses their biogas to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) system to achieve energy neutral status and is evaluating how to go beyond energy neutral. The Clinton River water resource recovery facility (WRRF) conducted an evaluation on how to beneficially use the biogas they flare. Both facilities evaluated using biogas to fuel a CHP system, using it to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles on-site, or through injection into a natural gas (NG) pipeline.

The City of Gresham has achieved energy neutral status in large part by operating a biogas fueled CHP system. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) or brown grease is accepted and codigested with primary and secondary sludges to produce more biogas. Gresham is considering going beyond energy neutral by accepting food waste and is evaluating options for beneficially using the additional biogas for biosolids drying as well as some of the RNG/CNG options previously mentioned. Producing RNG from the biogas derived from digesting source separated food waste is problematic because it would not qualify for the more valuable D3 RINs unless it is digested separately from the municipal sludges.

The Clinton River WRRF solids processing is transitioning from conventional mesophilic anaerobic digestion (MAD) to thermal hydrolysis process (THP) followed by MAD, which is anticipated to increase average biogas production by 125 percent. Three steam boilers were installed to provide steam for the THP-MAD system and space heating in the winter. Although most of the biogas will be used in the winter, excess biogas will be flared in the summer, and the evaluation sought a solution for its beneficial use.

The commonalities of the findings of these two evaluations provide information for other utilities considering opportunities for additional resource recovery.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Challenges and Rewards of Implementing Oregon’s First Municipal Renewable Natural Gas Facility

Josh Newman1, Vu Han1, Darin Wilson1, Paul Suto1, Brent Cline1, Danny Grady2, Karen Bill3, Shashi Menon4

1City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services; 2City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability; 3HDR; 4Ecoengineers;,,


The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services’ (City) recently completed construction of a biogas upgrading facility located at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) to upgrade digester gas (biogas) to pipeline quality renewable natural gas (RNG). The RNG facility was sized to process all the CBWTP’s current biogas production into RNG for utility pipeline injection and subsequent sale into the transportation fuel market.

Problem statement:

The new RNG facility at the CBWWTP is the first at a municipal wastewater plant in the state of Oregon and while a favorable return on investment is anticipated, the project team encountered unforeseen technical and administrative challenges on their path to project success as a result of being first out of the gate. In addition to several design changes executed during the construction process; site constrains, permitting, coordination with the natural gas utility’s (NW Natural’s) construction of receipt point facilities, commissioning, and planning for maximum uptime all came with challenges requiring collaboration among stakeholders and thinking outside of the box. In addition, the generation of revenue to offset capital and O&M expenditures (CAPEX and OMEX) hinged on successful registration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for participation in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the California Air Resources Control Board (CARB) for participation in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the Oregon Clean Fuel Program (OCFP), not to mention the ongoing monitoring and reporting obligations that are required for continued participation in these programs. Finally, essential elements of the City’s RNG program include management of contracts with NW Natural, the City’s RNG off-taker (Clean Energy Renewable Fuels), and an ongoing maintenance contract with equipment manufacturer (Greenlane Biogas North America).

Presentation highlights:

This presentation will describe the key challenges encountered during project construction, commissioning; project O&M issues; and challenges associated with facility registration and compliance with state and federal governmental fuel programs. Presenters will discuss the strategies used to mitigate these challenges and lessons learned on the project.

9:45am - 12:00pmSession 05A
9:45am - 10:30am

Using Transmissive Acoustics to Prioritize Sewer Cleaning and Reduce SSOs

Gene Hallum, Alex Churchill

InfoSense, Inc, United States of America;,

Effectively deploying resources to reduce sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) is a tricky challenge. If cleaning resources are deployed to pipes that are functioning properly, then time and money are wasted. But if a blocked pipe is overlooked, SSOs may occur. For the average utility, determining where the 10-35% of pipe segments with blockages in the entire network is difficult and results in cleaning already clean pipes.

For this reason, hundreds of utilities have started using transmissive acoustics to rapidly screen small diameter gravity-sewer lines before deploying cleaning resources. The technology called the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool, or SL-RAT, uses sound waves to quickly assess for blockages. The SL-RAT can provide an assessment in three minutes or less, meaning a two-person crew can inspect 10-20,000 ft/day.

This very fast and low-cost method of assessment is a powerful tool for wastewater collection system managers to gain understanding of their entire system. The quick insight helps focus resources to segments with identified need. Therefore, rapid acoustic assessment has become a helpful and economically attractive tool in helping utilities to stop cleaning clean pipe and transition to a condition-based maintenance program.

This presentation will examine numerous utilities that have effectively implemented acoustic inspections and discuss implementation strategies, cost-savings analysis and program results to demonstrate application. Furthermore, limitations of the technology will be discussed to give a comprehensive overlook of acoustic inspection technology. This presentation will be based on operator training courses performed around the country and will summarize a recently published ASTM Standard developed for acoustic pipe inspection.

10:30am - 11:15am

The Seduction of Depth-only Measurement for I/I Work

Patrick Stevens

ADS Environmental Services, United States of America;

The advent of the Infiltration Inflow (I/I) discipline in the U.S. in the 1970’s virtually ended the use of the Manning equation for flow measurement in sanitary sewers. A pipe flowing full looks the same as a pipe backed up from roots and debris. Both conditions are interpreted as high flow and perhaps severe I/I.

New depth-only devices on the market have cellular communications, devoted web pages and alarms. They are very good at spotting sewers that are developing a blockage, for monitoring CSO overflows or bar racks and a new generation of management and operations staff consider them ‘new technologies’. These new depth-only technologies are finding their way into three areas of sewer flow metering; 1) ‘chasing I/I’, 2) combining with Area Velocity (AV) meters as ‘micro-metering’, and 3) conversion of a network of AV meters to depth-only devices.

This paper will provide real-life case studies of how depth only data has been applied to each of these three categories. Citizens Energy Group of Indianapolis, Indiana evaluated the ‘chasing I/I’ concept by installing 6 AV meters and 12 depth-only devices in the study area. It revealed that 6 of the 12 micro-basins exhibited zero or negative I/I.

A second case study will show the results of four depth-only devices installed between two AV meters in an attempt to determine which of the four side branches contributed the most I/I. More I/I was measured upstream that appeared downstream.

A third case study looks at an Agency that converted a network of AV meters to depth-only devices. The Manning equations were calibrated to the slope in the incoming lines in which the AV meters were installed. Most of the measured flows changed by 50% to 100% and none of the sites were within 20% of the AV meter flow rates.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Preventing Flushable Wipes Clogs in Smaller Collection Systems: City of Saginaw, Michigan Drake Pump Station Case Study

Steve Dill

Duperon Corporation, United States of America;

With many wastewater collection systems dating back 100 years – with most more than 50 years old - aging infrastructure is being barraged by our modern conveniences. Lift stations, which are often just wet wells with pumps are being fouled by wipes, rags and flushables for which our last-century infrastructure was simply not designed. While screens for lift stations do exist, the models that are currently available have disadvantages for smaller applications: they are too large to fit into smaller wells/manholes; they do not provide clean and dry screenings; and they have components that require servicing and/or replacing.

A new technology currently in the final stages of development effectively protects pumps and removes debris at the point it enters the collection system. With this new solution, operators no longer have to compromise between manually cleaning clogged pumps or using maintenance-intensive grinders that send debris downstream to re-weave and become problematic again. This new solution removes rags and other pump-fouling debris while keeping organics in the collection system. It has an extended discharge chute that compacts, stores and transports screenings up to 40 feet vertically without additional augers or mechanics.

This presentation will consider field data from the City of Saginaw, MI (0.1 MGD flow rate; 26-foot vertical discharge chute; 100º elbow), where the new technology has been in alpha testing. The City had been experiencing flushable wipes clogging pumps at the lift station. The City had been servicing the lift station’s clogged pumps two to three times per week in a confined space, manually removing rags from the check valves. After four months of running the new technology, the City of Saginaw has had zero instances of clogged pumps. After 68 days of run time, screenings in the discharge extension chute were nine feet of a total 26-foot capacity.

9:45am - 12:00pmSession 06A
9:45am - 10:30am

Brewery Wastewater: Understanding Source, Mitigation, and Alternative Use

Casey Gish

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Over 300 new breweries have opened in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon in the past five years, a majority of which are small, producing less than 7,500 barrels, or 2.3 MG, of beer per year. In most cases, brewery wastewater is discharged to the local water reclamation facility, taxing the treatment capacity and destabilizing the treatment process.

The brewing process produces high strength wastewater, with composite biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) concentrations up to 5,000 mg/L. Assuming an average BOD strength of 3,000 mg/L, a microbrewery making 3,000 barrels of beer is capable of producing a BOD load equivalent to 50 or more single family homes. In this presentation, we will walk through the brewing process and learn the source of the high strength constituents found in brewery wastewater. Understanding the individual sources of waste within the brewery is vital to assess discharge mitigation options and alternative uses for brewery waste.

This presentation will equip the listener with the tools necessary to discuss wastewater mitigation with the breweries in their community through an understanding of why breweries produce such high strength waste, how breweries of all sizes can mitigate their wastewater discharge, and what alternative uses are available for brewery waste.

10:30am - 11:15am

Septage: Regional Water Quality and Practical Considerations in Managing and Treating High-strength Wastes

Pat Roe

HDR Engineering;

In Washington State, there are nearly 950,000 individual on-site wastewater disposal systems, primarily septic tanks connected to drain fields. Recommended practice is for the septic tank contents to be removed for disposal every 3 to 4 years. Historically, septage collected from septic tanks has been treated in publically-owned treatment works (POTWs). This presentation will address septage characteristics, water quality objectives, vehicle management, and in-plant handling of septage.

A large number of septic systems exist in the Puget Sound basin in western Washington. On-site sewage system management areas have been formed in basins with critical water quality considerations to ensure the proper management of septic systems to protect water resources. Septage treatment in municipal treatment plants is therefore consistent with regional water quality objectives.

However, there are also drivers away from septage receiving at POTWs. Due to declining water quality in Puget Sound, nutrient loading caps will soon be implemented, and nitrogen limits will follow. An individual utility could chose to restrict septage receiving to meet near-term nutrient discharge loading caps, contrary to regional water objectives. Also, microorganisms in biological nutrient removal systems are sensitive to heavy metals which are typically prevalent in septage. Future restrictions on septage receiving may be necessary to protect biological nutrient removal processes.

Septic tank effluent pump (STEP) collection systems have become common in some areas. The disadvantages and disadvantages to a utility of accommodating STEP systems will be discussed.

The final part of the presentation will review practical considerations for managing vehicles on treatment plant sites and designing septage receiving facilities at municipal wastewater treatment facilities. At many facilities, septage is introduced into influent wastewater, but other facilities have had success with feeding septage into solids handling processes. Alternate methods of introducing the septage into the treatment process will be discussed and examples presented.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Dairy Cows Speak a Different Language: Jerome’s Journey to Wastewater Compliance

Jason King1, Eric Roundy1, Dade Pettinger2

1Keller Associates, Inc.; 2City of Vancouver;,,

Jerome's wastewater treatment plant is unique in that several dairy products processing facilities deliver most of the loading to the treatment plant. This dairy processing brought significant revenue to the City, at the cost of large fluctuations and high loading at the treatment plant. Seeking resolution to repeated discharge permit violations caused by the high loadings, the City and the Environmental Protection Agency entered into a consent decree. The City of Jerome and Keller Associates worked quickly to assess the treatment system and evaluate compliance options for the best treatment of the high-strength wastewater. A phased approach to improvements allowed the City to promptly reduce additional non-compliance risks while further upgrades were designed and constructed.

Phased upgrades at the treatment plant were completed in 2019. These upgrades incorporated approximately five years of construction and a total cost of about $35 million – the largest project in the City's history. This wastewater treatment project successfully reused/rehabilitated a significant portion of the existing plant and included the construction of 24 new treatment/conveyance structures. Plant compliance during construction was challenging as all unit processes were disrupted. This presentation will focus on the approach – both during design and construction – that addressed Jerome's high-strength dairy wastewater and prepared them for sustained compliance.

9:45am - 12:00pmSession 07A
9:45am - 10:30am

Sidestream and Mainstream Deammonification for Innovative Nitrogen Removal

Li Lei, Tim Constantine, Paula Sanjines

Jacobs, United States of America;

Removing nitrogen through partial nitritation followed by anammox, deammonification has been the most significant breakthrough in wastewater treatment in decades. Compared with conventional nitrification/denitrification, deammonification allows approximately 60% aeration saving and eliminates the need for organic carbon. Sidestream deammonification treats high strength dewatering centrate and has been successfully implemented in over 100 full-scale applications worldwide. Incorporating deammonification into the mainstream process is well recognized as promising for substantial energy and chemical savings and viable for achieving energy neutrality. This presentation will review in detail two full-scale facilities that have implemented both sidestream and mainstream deammonification, the 60 mgd Ejby Mølle Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Odense, Denmark, and 54 mgd AlexRenew Water Resources Recovery Facility (WRRF) in Alexandria, USA.

Both facilities embarked on an energy optimization program to promote nitrogen removal through the anammox pathway and reduce aeration requirements through implementation of DEMONTM sidestream deammonification and induction of mainstream deammonification, by operating the bioreactors in transient aerobic/anoxic conditions that yield low DO concentrations through ammonia-based aeration control (ABAC), bioaugmenting with ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and anammox granules from the sidestream deammonification reactors, and retaining the granules by waste activated sludge (WAS) hydrocyclones.

At Ejby Mølle WWTP, the hydrocyclones coupled with sidestream anammox granule seeding successfully retained large organic granules, with the highest anammox population concentrated in larger granules ranging from 250 µm to 500 µm in diameter, resulting in a significant decrease in SVI by approximately 40 percent. The plant now operates at approximately 115 percent energy self-sufficiency in terms of electricity. The upgrades at AlexRenew WRRF have reduced the methanol consumption by 50% and aeration by 30%, while better meeting the more stringent 3 mg/L effluent TN.

Nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOBs) were also retained in the hydrocyclone underflow, indicating that opportunity exists to further improve deammonification by out-selecting NOBs.

10:30am - 11:15am

Expansion or Modification of Existing Basins to Achieve More Capacity and Lower Limits: A Tale of Process Intensification

Raj Chavan

Stantec, United States of America; RAJ.CHAVAN@STANTEC.COM

Gap between available fresh water and demand is widening due to explode in population growth, the existing available water/wastewater treatment-technologies are challenged to treat tougher waters and meet more stringent water quality goals at reasonable costs. Well at least we may fill this demand gap partially by direct and indirect potable reuse. Conventional treatments can successfully remove/recover and treat constituents to certain limits. However, we need holistic approach to manage this crisis, thus, there is a general interest in process intensification to reduce costs and improve efficiency within smaller footprint for nutrient removal.

This presentation will focus on new intensification technologies that provide several advantages such as ease of operation, and robustness to fluctuations in influent and process operations and be retrofitted easily to increase capacity within the same footprint. Finally, some case studies will be presented.

11:15am - 12:00pm

A Phased Approach to Improve Nitrogen Removal and Energy Efficiency

Li Lei, Bruce Johnson

Jacobs, United States of America;

Increasingly, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are striving to enhance nutrient removal while improving energy efficiency, even achieving energy neutrality. New technologies such as integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) using kenaf mobile carrier, membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR), and mainstream deammonification hold promises for these goals, but require pilot testing to implement successfully. Mangere WWTP in Auckland, New Zealand took a highly flexible approach to adopt a combination of mature and new technologies, to meet pressing nutrient removal deadline while allowing progression toward energy neutrality.

The plant aims for 6 mg-N/L monthly average effluent TN and energy neutrality by 2025. Various process alternatives were evaluated on a whole plant basis to ensure recycle impacts considered, using modeling tools Biowin, Sumo and Jacobs’ proprietary Pro2D2.

Mature technologies were selected for early implementation to achieve the required capacity and effluent TN, and optimize energy efficiency, including a) carbon diversion with chemically enhanced primary treatment to minimize secondary loading and maximize energy recovery through anaerobic digestion, b) thermal hydrolysis process and cogeneration to assist in achieving energy neutrality, c) sidestream deammonification to minimize carbon and aeration needs in the mainstream treatment, d) step-feed upgrades to fully automate flow distribution and implement ammonia-based aeration control (ABAC) to help reduce peak loading and optimize process air supply, since high SVIs associated with long-term high flows or COD load have limited secondary clarifier capacity, and e) improvements to energy dissipating inlet and flocculation well of secondary clarifiers to increase clarification capacity.

New technologies mobile carrier IFAS, MABR, and mainstream deammonification that are compatible with the early bioreactor upgrades were evaluated and found viable to further improve energy usage to achieve energy neutrality. They will be pilot tested in full scale in a later stage, to provide a high degree of confidence in the success of implementation.

9:45am - 12:00pmSession 08A
9:45am - 10:30am

Toxics of Interest: An Overview of PCBs in Wastewater

Valerie Fuchs1, Amy Sumner2

1Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; 2Spokane County;,

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are toxic man-made compounds with no natural sources that have become ubiquitous in the environment. PCBs are very slow to degrade in the environment and can bioaccumulate to high concentrations in species at the top of the food chain (e.g., orcas). Background concentrations alone could cause a water body to exceed the human health water quality criteria for PCBs, and they are commonly found in WWTP discharges. As regulators develop policies to reduce PCBs in water bodies, it is important for wastewater utilities to understand how PCBs can be produced, dispersed, and treated.

PCBs were commercially produced in the United States as standard mixtures bearing the brand name Aroclor, from about 1929 to 1979. Aroclors were used in a wide range of products and are still found in some equipment and materials currently in use. Though the EPA banned PCB manufacturing, distribution, and use in 1979, the Toxic Substances Control Act allows concentrations of 5 to 50 parts per million as manufacturing by-products.

PCBs can enter the air through volatilization and combustion, and can be deposited on land or water via precipitation or dry deposition. PCBs can enter wastewater collection systems in a variety of ways:

  • Wastewater discharge from residential, commercial, or industrial land uses
  • Storm flow runoff that enters the wastewater system via cross-connections or leaky manholes
  • Groundwater that enters the wastewater system via cracks or leaks

Proven methods for removing PCBs from high flow/low concentration scenarios at WWTPs include absorption through activated carbon, advanced oxidation using oxidants or ultraviolet radiation, and enhanced solids partitioning. We will provide an overview of PCB production, dispersal, and treatment relevant to wastewater and surface water management.

10:30am - 11:15am

PFAS in Wastewater and Biosolids Products

Todd Williams

Jacobs, United States of America;

Per- and Poly- Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a large family of organic compounds, including more than 3,000 artificial fluorinated organic chemicals used since the 1940s. They have been used extensively in surface coatings and protectant formulations for consumer products including paper and cardboard packaging products, carpets, leather products and clothing, construction materials, and non-stick coatings.

Recent studies have shown PFAS in WWTP influents to be in the tens to hundreds of nanograms per liter (ng/L). Conventional sewage treatment methods do not efficiently remove PFAS. Application of biosolids from WWTPs as a soil amendment can result in a transfer of PFAS to soil, which can then leach to groundwater or be available for uptake by plants and soil organisms and biomagnify to grazing livestock. PFAS have been detected in soils, groundwater, crops, and livestock near agricultural fields that receive PFAS-contaminated biosolids, fueling public concern.

As PFAS are recalcitrant and are not removed through conventional wastewater treatment, management of PFAS in WW effluent and biosolids streams is gaining increased concern and scrutiny.

This presentation will address the following questions related to PFAS in wastewater and biosolids:

  • What are PFAS?
  • Why are PFAS in wastewater?
  • What is the fate of PFAS in biological treatment systems?
  • What is the current status of regulations related to PFAS in wastewater and biosolids?
  • What technologies can be used to treat PFAS in wastewater and biosolids?

Data will be presented on PFAS measured in biosolids before and after various biosolids treatment technologies including digestion, composting, drying, and pyrolysis. This presentation will help utility planners, operators, engineers and administrators understand the nature of the PFAS issue, how these compounds are introduced into wastewater and biosolids, the rapidly changing regulatory landscape, and what technologies are being used to eliminate these compounds from wastewater effluents and biosolids products.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Pharmaceuticals and Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Washington’s Wastewater: Ecology’s Prioritization and Mitigation Strategy

Frances Bothfeld

Washington Department of Ecology, United States of America;

Pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PPCPs), and other contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) enter Washington’s state waters through wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The bioaccumulative effects of these contaminants can be damaging to aquatic life, especially apex predators like the Southern Resident Orca Whale Population. The Washington State Legislature and the Governor’s Office requested Washington’s Department of Ecology to investigate how to limit PPCPs and CECs from wastewater effluent. Over the next few years Ecology will prioritize contaminants of emerging concern, investigate source control alternatives, review different wastewater treatment technologies, and create recommendations to reduce CEC loading into surface waters..

The first two goals are to identify and prioritize a suite of CECs for monitoring and to develop management responses based on biological relevance. This information is critical to prioritize the limited resources to address the chemicals of greatest concern. Ecology’s other goal is to develop a directory of treatment technologies that includes removal rates for the priority suite of CECs. This directory will also provide information on the ancillary benefit of CEC removal from nutrient removal treatment processes. With this information, Ecology can begin to determine how to address competing regulatory priorities and reduce CECs entering the environment.

1:15pm - 2:00pmDemo
1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 01B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Respectful Workplaces for Leadership, Social Equity and Workforce Development

Sakara Remmu

Leggette ETI, United States of America;

Background: Workforce development and social equity are relatively new terms in the workplace. They are not only new terms, but new forms of engagement. Instead of one set policy that exists but is rarely enforced or embraced, businesses are recognizing the value in social equity as a corporate culture in the workplace. America’s workforce is changing in more ways than just ethnicity; various levels of physical disability, and gender identity and assignment are all seemingly new instances in organizations. The goal is for an organization to adapt to the new workforce and accept more diversity. Because of this, leadership must change, and in many cases, workplace culture must as well.

Methods: There are a plethora of ways to adopt workforce development skills for career and organizational success. Leaders must be accepting and lead the way to organizational change. Mentorship from those who also accept social equity should be engaged through formal policy and encouraged informally outside the workplace. The element of continuing education is also quite important. As the dynamics of the organization changes, the standard of training should only be improving. This holds true for the technical, professional, and cultural intelligence of the staff. Many industries are implementing Respectful Workplaces policies, procedures and trainings as the foundation for workforce development and social equity.

Results: A dynamic, multi-method approach for Respectful Workplaces has resulted in more efficacy and better relations for companies that seek social equity in and out of the workplace. Companies that customize their approach to these issues with professional assistance tend to be successful when leadership, policy, and investment in continuing education are implemented.

Conclusions: Organizations can be successful for social equity change with the appropriate cultural norms and interventions. This must be done from a top-down approach. Leaders must lead and provide the vision, and mentorship; policy delegation must be in place, and all employees must understand that they as individuals have some investment in the program.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Applying Universal Design to Cultural Differences

Darren Wood1,2, Carlyle King2,3, Carolyn Golden3

1Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; 2Autism Society of Treasure Valley; 3Boise State University;

People with autism and disabilities face a staggering unemployment rate, even when they are fully qualified and may have a lot to bring to table. These individuals may face difficulty in the hiring process itself, due to communications issues, which can continue to be an issue in the workplace. Employers also often see accommodations as a waste of resources.

After conducting a literature review and consulting with co-authors Carlyle King and psychologist Carolyn Golden, several conclusions were made.

Universal design is defined as design which is usable to the greatest extent possible by the greatest number of people. Some tend to assume that applying universal design principles will necessarily result in a design that is over budget. But when you involve the disabled community in the process, an interesting thing happens. They are used to having to think outside of the box in order to come up with solutions that work for them, and in finding a way to avoid their obstacles, they often come up with a solution that nobody else developed but is easier and more efficient for everyone involved.

Furthermore, it was found that the concept of universal design has never been applied to cultural differences before. For Autistics, certain things like mannerisms, slang, figures of speech, sarcasm, metaphors, and allegory are difficult to understand. It’s as if they’re walking around with perpetual cultural shock. Often times when they ask clarifying questions, people think they’re playing dumb, are dumb, or are being argumentative.

Applying universal design to this issue, the apparent solution is then to treat everyone as if they were a possible foreigner or immigrant, and to keep things as clear as possible and not assume a certain level of understanding. And when someone questions you, always assume the best intentions.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 02B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

360-Degree Cameras: A New Vantage on Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

Robyn Dawn Wilmouth, Mackenzie Hagan Capaci

Kennedy Jenks, United States of America;,

The operations and maintenance (O&M) of collection and conveyance systems and treatment facilities is challenging, especially as personnel encounter insufficient and/or inaccurate information from record drawings and O&M manuals. Often the sector faces the challenge of the loss of historical or institutional knowledge, which impacts our ability to ensure safe access into and out of our industry's infrastructure. As we move forward and “ReEnvision our Future,” we are tasked with identifying new operational approaches while holding safety paramount. Beginning in 2018, the presenters incorporated 360-degree technology into project work with large municipal clients in the Puget Sound area. Initial uses included: planning for confined space entry into wet wells of pump stations and conveyance lines; minimizing contractor’s confined space entry during construction; and post-construction documentation of facilities. The presentation will include a comparison of the Samsung Gear 360 camera versus the Insta360 OneX, as well as a comparison of the pros/cons of the two different types of 360-degree technology as they pertain to different needs of various types of system owners.

This presentation will include a series of case studies of uses for 360-degree technology to address the needs of the water and wastewater industry. This presentation will also discuss and highlight the challenges, successes and lessons learned during the piloting of these technologies. Lastly, the presenters will provide a facilitated discussion of future uses of the technology with the audience. For example, topics may include opportunities for incorporating 360-degree technology into: asset management, condition assessment and predictive maintenance, confined space registers, and integration into Building Information Modeling and 3D virtual model spaces.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Artificial Intelligence for Automated Sewer CCTV Defect Coding

Daniel Buonadonna

Jacobs, United States of America;

Converting hours of raw CCTV video footage from internal sewer camera inspections into usable data has long been a manual and time-consuming process. Inspectors typically must review the video and log observations into a database one at a time, following a particular protocol for what constitutes a "crack" or "debris," etc. Human error is unavoidable, and although industry training and certification programs have improved the consistency of these manual outputs, there is still an inherent subjectivity to the process based on the inadvertent bias of even the most qualified inspectors.

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) allows computers to assist in this process. Whereas prior efforts to roboticise sewer CCTV defect coding focused on trying to have a machine compare a sewer image against a library of pre-classified images in an attempt to find a "match," the new era of AI/ML focuses on teaching the machine the mechanics behind sewer pipe operation and failure modes. With AI/ML, a particular defect and its manifestations are first defined to the machine and then it is fed multiple images of examples to "train" it and enable it to predict them on its own.

The result of this effort would be a rapid (i.e., much faster than the video runtime itself), complete (e.g., machines never blink), and consistent data output (i.e., computers have no bias). This presentation will introduce a synthesis of prior work within the turbulent and foul realities of a sanitary sewer pipe, give a description of recent developments, and demonstrate a prototype of an AI/ML automatic sewer CCTV defect coding program.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 03B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

How to De-jargon Your Storyline to Earn Sustained Stakeholder Support

Tiffany Meyer, Holly Tichenor

WSC, United States of America;

Many industry leaders will argue that water reuse is the future of sustainable water management. It’s almost impossible to scale reuse initiatives without stakeholder support—from elected officials approving critical project milestones to the average resident seeing reuse as a beneficial resource, especially direct potable reuse. Here, perception is everything. Yet far too often, external-facing communications and public engagement initiatives are wrought with industry jargon and technical detail that can leave audiences confused and disengaged.

In this hands-on presentation, Strategic Communications experts Tiffany Meyer and Holly Tichenor pull from west coast Water Reuse success stories and broader engagement trends to make the case for de-jargoned outreach that meets audiences where they are. They’ll draw from before and after examples of successful Water Reuse outreach initiatives from Replenish Big Bear, Ventura Water Pure, and the San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility upgrade, empowering attendees with actionable tools to right-size their approach and earn sustained audience support.

Key takeaways will include:

  • Find your starting point — creating a perception map
  • Build your core storyline — a simple framework
  • De-jargon your message — 3 rules to keep your message accessible
  • Diving deeper — when/where the techy details matter

2:00pm - 2:45pm

What’s the Water Word? The Art of Storytelling

Travis Loop1, Steven Drangsholt2

1Water Environment Federation; 2BC;

Effective storytelling is an important practice as the water sector works to raise public awareness and build public support. Water stories should feature messages and words that resonate with the public. The session will present information on messaging and specific words that research has shown to be the most effective with people. This session will also explore the elements of an effective water story, including who tells the story and how it is distributed. In this session, participants will:

  • See messaging “dos and don’ts” that emerged from focus groups.
  • Discover the “water words that work” according to research.
  • Discuss elements of a compelling water story.
  • Sketch out content for a water story.
  • Identify effective platforms for telling water stories
1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 04B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Biogas to RNG: From Evaluation and Financing through Design and Startup

Tyler Dougherty, Becky Luna, Tom Mossinger

Carollo Engineers, United States of America;

As water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) strive to be increasingly financially and environmentally responsible, many are evaluating the use of biogas produced by anaerobic digesters. The majority of facilities operating anaerobic digesters use some biogas for heating and flare the remainder, wasting a potentially valuable resource. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems use biogas to produce electricity and heat at some WRRFs, however, the capital and operating costs of CHP equipment and relatively low electricity prices throughout much of the country means CHP is often not viable. Due to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, and potentially California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard or Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program, converting biogas to renewable natural gas (RNG) for vehicle fuel can be a long-term, environmentally friendly revenue source for WRRFs nationwide.
This presentation will outline funding opportunities and project delivery methods, and provide case studies illustrating the impact of project delivery and financing on long-term revenue. Sensitivity analyses will illustrate the impact of changing renewable identification number (RIN) values on long-term revenue projections.

Site-specific factors, including proximity to potential RNG consumers, utility size, and biogas quality, have significant impacts on biogas use. This presentation will present lessons learned and considerations for the design, construction, startup, and commissioning of two biogas-to-RNG projects. The first project, at the South Platte Water Renewal Partners, came on-line in October 2019 and is the first in Colorado to inject RNG into a natural gas pipeline. The second project, at the City of Longmont, came on-line in February 2020 and provides RNG fuel for the City’s sanitation fleet.

With the help of the RFS and other programs, RNG production is an attractive option to beneficially use biogas and reduce emissions. This presentation will provide considerations from planning and financing through commissioning and start-up of biogas-to-RNG facilities.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Novel System for Phosphate Sequestration and Biogas Capture from Anaerobically Digested Sludge

Mudit Gangal1, Ulrich Knorle2, Maria Dittmann2

1Ovivo USA; 2Eliquo Water Group;

Anaerobic digestion is a proven process for sludge stabilization which with optimized biogas production can enable a water resource recovery facility to move towards an energy positive operation. However the digestion process also releases substantial amount of nutrients which if left untreated can lead to extensive operational demands at the facility while also impacting permit compliance.

Treating digestate streams via controlled struvite precipitation and sequestration in the sludge prior to dewatering has become an established approach to not only remove excess Phosphorus but also help improve dewaterability of sludge and reduce polymer consumption for dewatering. Traditional sludge based struvite sequestration processes employed aeration to strip out CO2 from sludge to bring about the pH increase required for struvite precipitation. However a novel technology called the EloVac-P system, was installed at the Lingen WWTP in Germany, which offered additional benefits over the traditional approach. The low energy process uses vacuum degassing to bring about the requisite pH shift for struvite precipitation offering the additional benefit of biogas capture as well as helping offset the Carbon footprint of the facility.

This paper discusses operational performance of the full scale implementation of the EloVac-P system at the Lingen WWTP. The 4 MGD facility treats a mixture of municipal sludge mixed with industrial waste in its anaerobic digester system and prior to the upgrade, struggled with excess P in its digestate stream leading to poor dewaterability and nuisance struvite issues. Data from over 3 years of operation is presented where over 80%-90% Phosphate removal was consistently achieved in addition to improvement in dewatered cake solids by up to 5% (along with 20% savings in polymer). This was in addition to additional biogas capture helping the plant achieve net energy positive status along with helping offset GHG emissions and reducing the plant’s overall Carbon footprint by over 25%.

The EloVac-P process thus offers a comprehensive and cost effective solution for utilities looking to address Phosphorus/Struvite issues at their plant while also helping improve sludge dewaterability to reduce O&M costs at the facility while simultaneously offering additional biogas capture and offset of the plant’s Carbon footprint.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 05B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Pump Station Systems Design – How They Can Vary By Agency

Adam Crafts1, Phil Roppo2

1Murraysmith; 2Clark Regional Wastewater District;,

Building on the popular 2019 presentation on pump system curve and pump selection, this presentation will delve into each pump station system, breaking down the wet wells, valving, power service, backup power, pump drives, level sensors, odor control, force mains, and pigging stations. This discussion will be supported by case studies, tying together the lessoned learned for design criteria, material or technology options, reliability and redundancy, permitting, and easement acquisition considerations. Understand Clark Regional Wastewater District and other local agency policy considerations on redundancy, odor control, force main pigging, or control strategy for facilities of varying size and complexity. Attendees will gain an understanding of fundamentals for pump station systems operations and design considerations. Case studies from local agency facilities will be presented to provide real world examples.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Sewage Pump Clog Resistance While Handling Modern Wastewater Can Not Be Predicted Simply By Impeller Throughlet Size

Robert Domkowski

Xylem, Inc - Flygt, United States of America;

The number one requirement of a wastewater pump is its ability to pump unscreened sewage without clogging.

A wastewater pump's throughlet size is frequently used to specify clog resistance as for decades within the 10-States Standards, despite data that demonstrates the irrelevance of this measurement, especially when considering handling modern wastewater containing non-dispersibles and FOG. Clogging is a critical and highly undesirable operational problem in wastewater pumping, which results in increased operational and maintenance costs necessitating emergency calls from the end user utility. Clogging drastically reduces pump efficiency, causing pump, bearings, seal and shaft damage and pump motor control tripping.

This paper will review the historical impeller design perspective as well as discuss the successful modern-day design concepts. The presenter will also establish how a pump's throughlet size has been shown to be a very misleading parameter in specifying solids-handling pump unit clog-resistance. The attributes of various traditional solids-handling impeller type will be reviewed. Finally, attendees will be provided with guidance regarding the importance of a pump's wet-end design for achieving successful clog-free pump operation while enjoying sustained high hydraulic efficiency and low cost of operation.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 06B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Lessons from the Startup of Meridian WRRF’s New Primary and Secondary Treatment Systems

Zach Dobroth1, Clint Dolsby2, Dave Bergdolt1, Dan Berthe2, Rick Kelly1, Rick Murray2, Travis Kissire2

1Brown and Caldwell; 2City of Meridian, Idaho;,

To meet stringent effluent ammonia and phosphorus requirements, the City of Meridian recently expanded its Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) capacity to 15 mgd (maximum month flow) with the addition of an influent pump station, a headworks facility, two primary clarifiers, four aeration basins, two secondary clarifiers, a return activated sludge (RAS) classifying selector/anoxic basin, and sludge pumping stations. With the new facilities in place, the City planned to shut down the existing primary and secondary treatment trains until the trains could be retrofitted to meet the more stringent effluent limits. To commission the new facilities and quickly shut down the existing facilities, the City needed to plan for a complex transfer procedure of the existing mixed liquor into the new aeration basins. Our team envisioned three options:

  1. Slow: Transfer waste activated sludge (WAS) from the existing aeration basins to the new aeration basins over a period of days or weeks, operating both sides temporarily until the new basins are fully commissioned.
  2. Intermediate: Transfer half of the mixed liquor from the existing basins directly to the new basins, operating both sides temporarily. After the new basins are stable, complete the transfer.
  3. Quick: Transfer all of the mixed liquor from the existing basins directly to the new basins in one day.

The City selected a quick transfer as the preferred method and extensive planning began. Beginning over a year in advance, the City, engineer, contractor, and systems integrator held a series of meetings to identify critical connections and key tasks to be completed before, during, and after the transfer. The City developed a detailed startup plan, with staff assignments for each area of the WRRF. This presentation will discuss the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the planning and startup of the new systems at the WRRF.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

“Plan the Work, Work the Plan” Start Up of the Tri-City Solids Handling Improvement Project

Jeff Stallard

Water Environment Services, United States of America;

In 2015, Clackamas Water Environment Services (WES) kicked off a project to completely overhaul and expand the solids facilities at the Tri-City Water Resources Recovery Facility (TCWRRF). The project constructed a new 1.3 million gallon digester, dewatering facilities and a combined heat and power system. Two existing digesters are also being upgraded. During the project development, WES operations staff was integral in developing the construction constraints included in the construction bid package. To accommodate the constraints identified, the start-up of the project was separated into two phases. Phase 1 of start-up, scheduled for May 2020, will include the new digester, centrifuges, polymer systems, and dewatering feed tank. Phase 2 of the project, scheduled to begin in August 2020, will include making the upgrades to the two existing digesters, addition of a digester feed tank and replacement of the co-generation system.

Because digestion facilities must remain online and reliable during construction, significant coordination effort between engineering, operations and construction team members has been required throughout the project. This presentation will provide an overview of the project and the challenges there were being experienced prior to this project, it will cover in detail the approach to planning and coordination between the operations staff, contractor, and engineer during design, construction, and execution of the Phase 1 start-up. The presentation will include lessons learned from all three perspectives as well as an update on the operational performance of the new facilities and how the retrofit of the existing digesters is progressing.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 07B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Data-Driven, Long-Range Forecasting of Biological Phosphorus Removal (BPR) Stability

Keaton Lesnik1, Adrienne Menniti2, Luguang Wang3, Sylvia Gong4, Hong Liu3, Goran Bozinovic4

1Maia Analytica, Portland, Oregon, USA; 2Clean Water Services, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA; 3Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA; 4Boz Institute, San Diego, California, USA;

Biological phosphorus removal (BPR) is a critical process for Clean Water Services (CWS) to cost effectively meet a stringent 0.1 mg/L effluent total phosphorus limit. At the Durham Facility, BPR has historically been observed to operate stably over long periods, only to become upset during critical times of year. The ability to forecast likely BPR upsets weeks in advance would help operators proactively respond to instability decreasing reliance on chemical use and improving phosphorus recovery.

Recently, CWS assessed a wide variety of characterization methods to quantify BPR health and provide early warnings of BPR instability. Several strong correlations were found between data generated from those tools and BPR upsets. However, a challenge exists in efficiently incorporating these data into normal operational process decision making.

This paper will present the development of machine learning models as a way to take in a large volume of relevant process information to generate real-time long-range BPR stability forecasts.

The questions addressed are:

  1. Can machine learning models complement existing measurements of BPR health to improve the forecasted risk of BPR upset?
  2. Which of the BPR health measurements provides the highest impact on the accuracy of the forecasted risk of BPR upset?
  3. Does the incorporation of bi-monthly metagenomic sequencing data improve the forecasted risk of BPR upset?

Current efforts show that the machine-learning models can accurately forecast BPR stability over a 15-day period using 21 days of historical data. Based on this success, the machine learning models are being implemented in real-time so their performance and operational utility can be assessed. This presentation will include a summary of the online implementation for operational support and the observed accuracy of the forecast. The systematic evaluation of the benefit of different BPR health characterization methods and metagenomic data will also be presented.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Managing Capacity and Carbon in the City of Boise

Richard Kelly1, Adam Klein1, Matt Gregg1, Ron Gearhart2

1Brown and Caldwell; 2City of Boise, ID;,

The City of Boise (City) owns and operates the largest public utility in the State of Idaho, which includes two Water Renewal Facilities (WRFs): Lander Street and West Boise. The City recently evaluated the programmatic direction of its Water Renewal Services utility and determined the treatment capacity of each facility in preparation for planning capital investments to meet current and future service goals. This unique system-wide study allowed Boise to identify holistic approaches to improving the treatment performance in the system and maximizing capital investment dollars.

Both WRFs employ biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes to meet NPDES phosphorus limits. The 15 mgd Lander Street WRF is operated in a step-feed bio-P mode, with biosolids from its anaerobic digesters processed at West Boise. The 24-mgd West Boise WRF consists of two parallel BNR processes (North and South), each of which is operated in a Westside mode. The collection systems for the two facilities are intertied, with the ability to send flows from Lander Street to West Boise to prevent overloading of the Lander Street facility.
During capacity analysis, it was found that West Boise is carbon limited, preventing complete biological phosphorus removal. This prompted an investigation of their current carbon and nutrient (C&N) management practices, the system's C&N input streams, and a review of methods to control the C&N balance between their facilities. This was done using an innovative approach in modeling both WRFs in the system together to determine the optimal plant facility flow splits to maximize the use of carbon available in the system and minimize the need for external carbon addition.

This presentation will cover how the results of the capacity studies were used in the C&N modeling investigation as well as the approach taken, results, and recommendations of the C&N management study.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 08B
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Water Quality Trading as a Tool for Nutrient Reduction

Michael Ollivant, Ellie Ott, James Pletl

PNCWA Governmental Affairs Committee;,,

The PNCWA Government Affairs Committee (GAC) keeps abreast of regulations, proposed legislation, and guidelines related to clean water industry challenges and regulatory policies. As one focus area, the GAC has supported and developed a position paper for Water Quality Trading (WQT) which has been presented to Congress annually at the National Water Policy Fly-in for over five years. Water quality trading is an option under the Clean Water Act for compliance with water quality based effluent limits in a NPDES permit. Water quality trading can provide flexibility, reduce overall compliance costs, and encourage voluntary participation of non-point sources within the watershed.

On January 30, 2020, Washington State Department of Ecology announced the decision to move forward with developing a draft Nutrients General Permit in Puget Sound. The proposed Nutrients General Permit would apply to nearly 70 WWTPs discharging to marine and estuarine waters of Puget Sound. The nutrient reduction program will place additional demands on agencies to meet more stringent permit requirements and associated costs. While no water quality trades have yet occurred in Washington State, WQT may become a tool for water quality improvements and nutrient reduction in Puget Sound.

On February 6, 2020 the House passed unopposed the Promoting United Government Efforts to Save Our Sound (PUGET SOS) Act, H.R. 2247 sponsored by Congressmen Heck and Kilmer. Both Congressmen discussed their concerned over the impacts from non-point sources into Puget Sound during the National Water Policy Fly-in and the importance of the Act.

The PNCWA Governmental Affairs Committee has assembled a panel with Eleanor (Ellie) Ott Washington State Department of Ecology, the Director of Water Quality from Hampton Roads Sanitation District (Chesapeake Bay), and stakeholders to discuss possible use of WQT to address point and non-point pollutant reduction in Puget Sound.

3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 01C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Decision-Making Biases – Helpful or Hurtful?

Amy Dammarell, Joslynn Hon

HDR, United States of America;,

Our "intuition" is often something we lean on when making decisions- be it for hiring, developing market strategy, or pulling teams together for projects. While our intuition can be valuable, it can also be a reflection of our bias.

While bias is neither inherently good nor bad, it influences nearly everything we do and say—even at work. Bias is often a key component of our decision-making including hiring and promoting. Bias can limit our consideration of viable options and solution.

Discover how recognizing the signs and symptoms of 8 common biases can help you make better decisions at work, and at home.

Participants will delve into the 8 most common types of decision-making biases and uncover how they may see or experience them in their professional or personal life. Using large group activities and small group discussion, they will determine how biases can be helpful or hurtful and identify ways to counteract each bias.

Participants will create an action plan to take steps to counteract the biases they see in themselves.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Leadership Perspectives from the Future Workforce

Lara Kammereck

Carollo Engineers, Inc.;

A diverse panel of active, local leaders with vast combined experience in water issues will share insight and their vision of the future workforce. In 2019, the Diversity and Leadership Track focused on leadership success and challenges associated with a diverse workforce from the point of view of those in the later stage of their career. In 2020, we will pose similar questions to a panel who are in the first half of their career looking forward. The panel will answer questions on their vision for future leadership based on tomorrow’s workforce, diversity, and technology.

A panel of 5 will be developed with the Conference Committee and Leadership Committee. It is anticipated to include diverse gender and age leaders at both private and public agencies from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 02C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Creating an Electronic O&M Manual for Pierce County’s Chambers Creek Regional WWTP

David McBride1, Molly Bray1, Amanda Summers2

1Brown&Caldwell; 2Pierce County Planning & Public Works;,,

Plant operations and maintenance manuals are often voluminous, stored in cumbersome hard copy binders, or saved as a multitude of electronic files which must be separately opened and browsed, and often neglected because they are difficult to update contemporaneously.

The Pierce County Project Team collaborated to create an IT solution for the operation and maintenance documentation needs of the recent Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion (CCRWWTP). The team envisioned and executed an online electronic operations and maintenance (eO&M) manual. The eO&M consolidates and integrates all content related to the plant expansion, including engineer’s technical operations manuals, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) O&M manuals, record drawings, SCADA control modules, emergency response protocols, and plant related ancillary libraries. The eO&M is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and utilizes the OMS-Connect software platform. The CCRWWTP eO&M was structured as an evolving, living document designed to be appended by the County.

This presentation will provide an overview and online demonstration of the Pierce County CCRWWTP eO&M, discussing functionality, enhanced user experience, lessons learned, and tips and tricks for future eO&M authors. Modernizing O&M Manuals is important to sustained utility operations in the information age.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

A 4.0 Digital Process Solution; Your pathway forward; Our lessons learned!

Randy Chann

Environmental Dynamics International, United States of America;

Our industry is at a crossroad. Our rate payers want more; protect the watershed, reduce energy consumption, and get more from the utility’s fixed assets. The pathway to improved treatment and optimized energy use is greater operational control. Unfortunately, our historical approach to design and operations does not provide the utility with the tools necessary to get the most from the plant.

The future lies in a new approach to design, operations, and maintenance. The pivot point is the use of plant data; not as a historical reference, but in real-time. The reference facility uses an advanced software solution to operate the secondary plant. The system adjusts and optimizes process setpoints in real-time based on environmental conditions and operating objectives. The system also paces key equipment to maintain process setpoints.

The operating logic of the system is predictive. The optimization solution is a feedforward, ammonia-based aeration control system. The solution calculates process setpoints based on incoming load. The aeration controller adjusts the associated components using system wide operating adjustments. In all cases, plant data is used to continuously calibrate system algorithms and to account for environmental conditions.

The reference system was installed in 2012. The performance of the system is constant and does not require manual retuning. Operating data two- and seven-years post installation will be presented.

The algorithms installed at the reference facility are customized to the specific configuration of the installed assets. While this increases the first cost, the solution now supports outcomes beyond automation. The system is now being used to support fault detection functionality. Changes in equipment performance is being used to pace reliability-centered maintenance actions. And the utility now has plant specific process models that can be used for capacity evaluations and plant expansions.

4:30pm - 5:15pm

Use Of Unit Process Operations Dashboards At The City of Bend’s WRF For Daily Operator Process Situational Awareness

Chris Miccolis

City of Bend, United States of America;

The unit process operational dashboards used at the City of Bend’s WRF displays information in a one screen process status snap shot. The backbone of this dashboard is a customizable database that allows operators to create process variables from lab results, field instruments, and operator observations in the field. In addition, the database draws data from SCADA historians, lab analysis (LIMS systems) from the City of Bend’s onsite laboratory, and field measurements taken by the operators. The most important aspects of this software is its simplicity, support, and that is was designed for water and wastewater operations. These aspects have allowed the WRF to develop the dashboard with minimal support from IT. This dashboard has been created by one Operator III at the WRF with direction from the WRF Operations Supervisor.

Once the data is pulled over it can be displayed using customizable gauges and conditional value color coded cells to quickly assess unit processes needing attention. Buttons in the dashboard allow operators to call up trends of process variables over predetermined date ranges. Last dates of lab results or field observations are displayed to quickly assess the freshness of the data. Target values can be compared against actual values by using conditional coding where the cell changes color based on the parameters. Each unit process also has sub-dashboards that allow for more detailed tracking and trending of components in that process for troubleshooting each process. The presentation will focus on how this tool has been developed and then utilized to improve the situational awareness of unit process status in a timely matter for operators. Real-time demonstration of WRF dashboards will be possible is Wi-Fi is available in the presentation room.

3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 03C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Re-envisioning Strategic Planning for Community-Based Water Management – Innovative Stakeholder Solutions

Haley Falconer1, Colin Hickman1, Amanda Watson2, Matt Gregg3, Michael Comeskey1

1City of Boise, United States of America; 2Atlas Strategic Communications; 3Brown & Caldwell;,

Utilities today are expected to communicate more effectively, more often, and more

transparently with their customers before making important decisions. Boise’s Water Renewal Services created a robust stakeholder engagement process in the development of its strategic plan, the Water Renewal Utility Plan.

Boise flipped the typical stakeholder engagement approach on its head – asking for public input early in the process, without a predetermined outcome established, and involving ratepayers in defining acceptable long-term program solutions. This required careful planning on the push and pull of information so that we could educate stakeholders while also gaining valuable feedback.

Boise began the planning process by pulling information from stakeholders through a targeted, statistically-representative phone and online survey. The goal of these efforts was to understand the customers’ existing knowledge of and expectations for the utility. In total, more than 1,600 stakeholders provided feedback that guided the development of water, energy, and solids alternatives for the planning effort.

These alternatives were then refined through an iterative push/pull process with stakeholders. As the alternatives were defined in more technical detail, stakeholders provided feedback on the costs, risks, and benefits for the various alternatives. This was accomplished through four 10-person focus groups, an online survey with 995 participants, and a 24-person advisory group. The iterative development and testing of alternatives with stakeholders allowed for an efficient evaluation process and yielded a preferred approach that is aligned with stakeholder expectations.

The City is nearing the completion of this effort, which will culminate in a push of information to stakeholders and City leadership throughout 2020. This effort will leverage the information collected from the nearly 2,700 opportunities for feedback to demonstrate how the preferred approach supports an innovative water management approach. Boise’s process serves as a roadmap for utilities looking to more effectively engage with the community.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Looking Deeply to Evolve and Strengthen Education & Outreach Strategies

Susan Harper

Seattle Public Utilities, United States of America;

Seattle Public Utilities stormwater NPDES education and outreach programs are using analysis and research to improve services to all customers. Using logic models and maps, stakeholders can see each program in a snapshot and understand how the outcomes are being supported by the inputs, resources and activities. Experimenting with GIS mapping gives a spatial look at individual program’s geographic reach within the city.

The report compares Education and Outreach program trends of ten municipal utilities and highlights notable NPDES compliance strategies. For example, the storm drain inlet is a strong identifying element in most programs – stenciling and marking drains are common activities. Some programs are successfully using art and other creative ideas to increase visibility of inlets, their connection to natural areas and waterways. Many have Green Infrastructure incentive programs for trees and rain gardens.

The findings and recommendations are helping program staff refine and course-correct their programs. Knowing what other NPDES Phase 1 utilities across the nation are doing, including commonly used best practices, leads to better planning and targeted strategies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Find out how Seattle is using research to build effective education and outreach programming
  • Learn how the application of logic models and maps can guide program planning
  • Discover what other Phase 1 municipal utilities are doing for NPDES education and outreach programs
  • Review best practices for administering and evaluating education and outreach programs
3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 04C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Linking Anaerobic Digester Microbiomes with Resistance to Organic Overloads

Ashley Berninghaus, Tyler Radniecki

Oregon State University, United States of America;

Anaerobic co-digestion has become a popular option to increase biogas production, thus increasing recapture potential, with grease trap waste, or FOG (fats, oils, and greases), showing the highest methane production potential. In order to ensure reactor stability and optimal performance, the correct microbiome composition is essential. However, it is currently unknown what microbiome compositions are optimal for co-digestion nor what operational parameters are most effective at creating these optimal structures. This work monitored nineteen full-scale anaerobic digesters, at six separate facilities, monthly for one year to link operational characteristics with microbiome composition. Of the nineteen digesters studied, three perform FOG co-digestion, four perform co-digestion with biodiesel wash water, one is fed only TWAS (thickened waste activated sludge), and the remaining eleven are fed primary sludge and TWAS. Microbiome composition was analyzed using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Operational data from each of the full-scale facilities (including pH, alkalinity, volatile fatty acids, detention time, temperature, total and volatile solids, free ammonia, organic N, dissolved P, organic P, chemical oxygen demand, and gas production) was examined to determine their influence on microbiome compositions.

Batch resistance assays were created to link microbiome compositions with digester functionality in response to organic over loadings. For each full-scale anaerobic digester tested, twenty-five 100 mL batch anaerobic digesters were used for batch resistance assays. Five batch anaerobic digesters were ran as digestate-only controls, and the remaining twenty were fed 1 mL, 5 mL, 10 mL, and 20 mL of canola oil (in quintuplet). The rates of methane production and methane content of the biogas were used to calculate the functional resistance of each full-scale anaerobic digester. The batch resistance assays were performed in winter and summer to account for seasonal variations in full-scale plant operation and microbiome compositions.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Unexpected Side Effects: Reducing Biosolids by Boosting Biogas

Kathlyn Kinney

Biomethane, LLC, United States of America;

Problem: We set out to find ways to increase biogas and better position water reclamation facilities (WRFs) to make and sell biomethane. What we discovered instead was a way to solve something more ‘pressing’ - how to cut down on biosolids handling costs.

Approach: We visited 25 WRFs across Washington State and Oregon. We interviewed staff and toured each plant, examining their biogas systems as well as top money sinks such as aeration blowers, chemical use, and biosolids handling. Each plant has a laundry list of to-do items, but an almost universal challenge was the cost of disposing of biosolids. Biosolids hauling costs $500k annually for a medium sized WRF, and upwards of $1M at larger facilities. Many west-side Washington plants truck biosolids across the mountains, east-side plants truck them across town, and those trucks carry 70-80% water. This is not to mention neighbor complaints, and the permitting, health and safety concerns associated with other methods of handling biosolids.

Results: Meanwhile, looking for ways to increase biogas production at the Spokane County Regional WRF, we expected a 30% increase through digester nutrient balancing but were not prepared for the nearly 300% increase in gas production obtained in laboratory tests. One could ask, “if this works so well, why is no one else doing it?” A hypothesis is that most municipal wastewater plants aren't trying to make more biogas, and that few examples of nutrient balancing exist in the municipal wastewater sector. However, a 200-300% increase in biogas necessarily entails decreased biosolids output - by around 40%.

Conclusions: Could nutrient balancing be as big a deal as we think? Most plants would likely see less dramatic results - perhaps closer to a 30% biogas increase and 6% reduction in solids - but more data is needed at larger scale. Testing at wastewater plants in a manner that manages downstream effects while quantifying upside will be key to gauging biosolids savings, as well as the opportunity to allow smaller WRFs to play in the biogas market.

4:30pm - 5:15pm

A New Approach for Controlling Rich-Burn, Biogas-Fueled Engine Emissions

Michael Hyland

CDM Smith, United States of America;

King County’s West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant has been using biogas to fuel rich-burn internal combustion engines (ICEs) that directly drive their raw sewage pumps for many decades. Their critical pumping function has consistently been met by beneficially using biogas produced on-site through the anaerobic digestion process while backing up the system with propane. As 'point-source emission' regulations evolved, so did the need to lessen raw sewage pump engine emissions (especially for carbon monoxide and oxides of Nitrogen). Achieving reduced emissions to satisfy the air regulatory Authority having Jurisdiction (AHJ) without replacing existing rich-burn engines required a unique solution consisting primarily of: comprehensive biogas treatment; air-to-fuel ratio control; and non-selective catalytic reduction. This combination of technologies serving rich-burn engines is new to the wastewater industry and was determined to be both economically and technically feasible through a formal Best Available Controls Technology (BACT) analysis. Following the BACT analysis, a comprehensive alternative analysis and detailed design phase followed, culminating with construction of the engine improvements and an extended testing/trouble-shooting/commissioning campaign.

What first appeared as a foregone conclusion to switch to lean-burn engines to meet engine emissions instead became an opportunity to innovate and continue using a highly reliable asset (rich-burn ICEs). This presentation will cover the chronology of a seven-year journey through regulatory challenges and optimization of this first-of-its-kind installation.

3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 05C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Online Instrumentation for Dewatering Centrifuge Optimization

Adrienne Menniti, Mike Gates, Mike Idehara

Clean Water Services, United States of America;,

Dewatering is a major resource recovery facility operating cost. Therefore, dewatering optimization could provide a significant cost saving opportunity. At CWS, the historical approach for dewatering centrifuge operation is to set targets for dewatered cake dryness and solids capture. This approach encouraged increased polymer use with limited incentive to critically evaluate operational set points. Because of the costs associated with dewatering, CWS has moved toward cost-based dewatering centrifuge operation using a suite of analyzers from Valmet that allows cost-based dewatering optimization information to be available in real time.

The first of four new dewatering centrifuges installed at the Durham and Rock Creek facilities was commissioned in May 2019. The Valmet instruments were also commissioned in May 2019 with a pilot agreement to allow their performance to be evaluated for 60 days before investing fully.

  • The Valmet Total Solids (TS) analyzer was installed on the dewatering feed. 23 of 27 validation data points were within acceptable error.
  • The Valmet Dry Solids (DS) analyzer was installed on dewatered cake. 24 of 27 validation data points were with acceptable error.
  • Valmet Low Solids (LS) analyzer was installed on the centrate. While most of the validation data points were not within the acceptable error, the analyzer could systematically capture centrate TSS trends. Because of this, operators can use the information to make fine adjustments to the polymer dose to keep the centrate TSS relatively clean while avoiding polymer overdose.

Based on trial period performance, CWS has chosen to retain the Valmet instrumentation to support dewatering centrifuge operation and will install instrumentation on the remaining new dewatering centrifuges.

This presentation will provide a summary of the trial period performance, ongoing operational performance and an overview of our approach to validation and maintenance. The presentation will also present our implementation of real time cost-based dewatering optimization.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Effective Monitoring of Sludge Inventory to Optimize Activated Sludge Concentration

Benjamin Barker

YSI Inc, a Xylem brand, United States of America;

Maintaining a healthy activated sludge process is dependent on the solids maintained within the secondary treatment process. Although this process focuses on removing the dissolved contaminants, it is the solids within the process that help accomplish the goal of removing organics and nitrogen from the water. Currently, a large number of WRRFs still rely on operator experience to manually control solids inventory based on plant flow and loading. However, this usually leads to inconsistent sludge characteristics and settling which can impact not only the effectiveness of secondary treatment, but sludge treatment as well. Introducing a sludge inventory control strategy and online instrumentation can automate your sludge wasting and return flow to improve the stability of your process and create a more consistent sludge product. This paper and presentation will discuss the factors affecting sludge quantity and quality within the activated sludge process, the various control strategies commonly utilized, and the online instrumentation that monitors the necessary parameters. With the implementation of optical TSS sensors, sludge blanket monitors, and UV organics sensors, WRRFs can get the continuous data needed to control their WAS and RAS with precision. Controlling these WAS/RAS rates to maintain set points for variables such as F/M ratio, SRT, or MLSS can create a stable activated sludge process and produce the consistent settling sludge needed in your final clarifiers. Monitoring and control of sludge inventory could be the tool needed to take your WRRF to the next level.

4:30pm - 5:15pm

Optimizing Polymer-Coagulant Usage in Clarification and Dewatering

Aparna Garg1, Jeffrey Zahller1, John Barton2, Xiaomo Du2

1HDR Engineering, United States of America; 2Lakehaven Water & Sewer District, Federal Way, WA;

The Lakota Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lakota) currently has mixed liquor with a sludge volume index (SVI can be > 500), as well as anaerobically digested solids with poor dewaterability. Because of these issues, solids settling in the secondary clarifiers and dewatering of stabilized biosolids are challenging. Lakota uses both coagulants and polymer to aid secondary clarification and high doses of polymer for dewatering. The plant currently uses aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) as a coagulant in the secondary clarifiers and a cationic polymer for both secondary clarification and solids dewatering.

Bench-scale testing was conducted to optimize the polymer-coagulant usage in two phases. The first phase was jar testing to examine the effect of adding coagulants and polymers to the mixed liquor and finding the most effective combination of the two for achieving compact flocs with rapid settleability. The second phase, using a specialized solids dewatering press developed by HDR, was to test different polymers and combinations of polymers and coagulants to do comparative dewatering analysis on the digested solids and potentially reduce dosages.

The jar testing results validated the current approach of dosing ACH as well as adding a moderate amount of polymer. Multiple polymer vendors were found to be effective, allowing for competitive pricing and bidding.

Dewatering results showed that adding coagulants (pre-conditioning) did not have a significant effect in achieving drier cake solids. Dewaterability cost could be optimized to stay in the 45 to 75 lb/DT active polymer range with a less expensive polymer than currently used, but the solids dewaterability was not significantly approved with the tested chemicals.

The field work summarized that cost savings can be maximized by:

  • Optimizing daily polymer dosage (more regular adjustments), leading to an annual savings of approximately 12-15 percent
  • Opting for lower priced polymer that maintained performance standards, leading to savings of about 30 percent
3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 06C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Leveraging Collaborative Delivery Risk Management Approaches in Design-Bid-Build Projects

Michelle Green. PE. DBIA

Jacobs, United States of America;

As the use of Collaborative Delivery models (e.g. CM/GC, GC/CM, Progressive Design Build) expand, Owners and Engineers are becoming exposed to the risks that Contractors regularly manage and price. These models inherently require characterization and negotiation of risk allocation, with the goal of shifting risks to the party best able to manage them. This analysis of likelihood and consequence of failure, along with an understanding of the practical cost implications associated with simply shifting risk to the Contractor, results in better informed decision-making. A similar approach can be implemented in traditional Design-Bid-Build delivery models to support better project outcomes.

This presentation will first provide an overview of the risk management process utilized in collaborative models. Then, examples of how to apply these techniques in a traditional delivery model to manage project costs and reduce potential for claims will be discussed. Specific areas of focus include:

  • Actively managing scope growth during design
  • Use of a Risk Register during design development
  • Minimizing unknowns through additional pre-construction investigations
  • Good and bad examples of allocating risk to the contractor
  • Definition of constraints related to existing systems
  • Effective utilization of Allowances, Contingencies, incentives, etc.
  • Risks that Owners should retain

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Alternative Project Delivery Risks – a Panel Discussion

Bill Hawkins1, Wil Anderson2, Michelle Green3

1Stantec Consulting, United States of America; 2Mortenson Consruction; 3Jacobe Engineering;,,

As the use of Alternative Delivery approaches continues to expand, more and more professionals are becoming exposed to the risks associate with these approaches. A panel of Owner, Contractor, Engineer, Surety, and Construction Management Agent will be asked to discuss prepared questions by a moderator. Questions will be prepared in advance by the panelists. Questions can be answered by more than 1 panelist, but the moderator will be responsible for managing time to allow all questions to be asked and discussed. Time will be left for questions from the audience following discussion of prepared questions.

Risks discussed can include:

  • Approaches to allocating risk amongst the parties to the contract
  • Approaches to minimizing unknowns through additional pre-construction investigations
  • Collaborative efforts within the Owner/Contactor/Engineer team
  • Include controlling costs
  • Dealing with scope growth
  • Lack of collaboration between the teams
  • Timeliness of decision making
  • Flexibility allowed in design
  • Trade partner preconstruction involvement and expectations for subsequent project involvement
  • Clear expectations as it relates to scope, budget, buyout, and schedule
  • Lack of/poor communication between teams
  • Approaches to allocating risk amongst the parties of the contract
    • Contingencies, shared savings, etc.
    • Understanding the value of alternative delivery

4:30pm - 5:15pm

ReEnvisioning Project Delivery for Nampa’s Recycled Water Program

Matthew Gregg1, Nate Runyan2

1Brown and Caldwell; 2City of Nampa;

The City of Nampa (City) has committed to pursuing the development of a full-scale recycled water program in response to increasingly stringent regulatory requirements. The development of this program will require a nearly $190M investment in the Nampa WWTP during the Phase II Upgrades, which will be the largest project ever undertaken by the City. The City saw the delivery method selection for this project as the primary means of meeting established project goals and controlling project risks.

As part of the Phase II Upgrades preliminary design, the City’s Wastewater Program Management Team (WPMT) used an objective approach to evaluating project delivery methods. The WPMT used an anonymous, interactive polling methodology to force-rank project priorities relative to each other to understand the project-specific success factors and risk tolerances. Based on the identified priorities the WPMT developed an assessment of the effectiveness of each delivery model (from design-bid-build to fixed-price design-build) in addressing each identified risk or priority. Ultimately, Nampa selected the progressive design-build project delivery method as the preferred project delivery approach.

Nampa’s project is the first progressive design-build project used for water or wastewater in Idaho. As such, it is establishing the precedent for this collaborative delivery model in the state, including the integration of the State Revolving Fund program. Ultimately, by ReEnvisioning project delivery for large-scale projects, Nampa is looking to better serve the community in the delivery of the Recycled Water Program. This presentation will share the lessons learned from selecting and implementing a progressive design-build approach for Nampa Recycled Water Program.

3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 07C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

CFD Modeling for Trickling Filter/Activated Sludge Secondary Clarifier Optimization

Will Martin1, Alonso Griborio1, Victoria Boschmans1, Marc Solomon1, Jue Zhao2, Steve Celeste2

1Hazen and Sawyer; 2City of Salem;

Clarifier CFD modeling is relatively common, however, most secondary clarifier studies are conducted in an activated sludge application. Trickling filter effluent (TFE) has different characteristics than conventional activated sludge. To the knowledge of the authors, a similar case study to the one presented here for the evaluation and optimization of TF clarifiers has not been presented before. This study is unique and presents a detailed analysis of settling and flocculation properties of TFE and the application of secondary clarifier CFD modeling to establish clarifier capacity and identify optimization strategies.

The City of Salem’s Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility (WLWPCF) has a permitted capacity of 35-mgd average dry and 155-mgd design peak wet weather flow. The City budgeted for clarifier rehabilitation due to ageing mechanical equipment but desired to understand clarifier capacity limitations and evaluate whether modifications could expand existing available capacity.

Hazen conducted stress tests and developed calibrated CFD models for the secondary clarifiers. Model calibration was based on an extensive clarifier testing protocol to simulate peak clarifier loadings, characterize sludge settleability and flocculation properties, and evaluate performance. This work included field testing, zone settling, flocculation and dispersed solids testing.

After development of the CFD models, the clarifiers were evaluated to determine available capacity with the current geometry and mechanism type. Optimization strategies such as the addition of energy dissipating inlet wells, modifications to the flocculation well sizing, and the addition of baffling were evaluated. The City used these results to tailor capital planning for clarifier rehab projects and re-evaluate wet weather capacity and operating strategies at the WLWPCF. Based this work, improvements were identified to potentially expand the combined clarifier peak flow capacity from approximately 105 mgd to over 140 mgd.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Emerging Trends for External Carbon for Wastewater

Rick Allen

BioLynceus Biological Solutions, United States of America;

Emerging Trends and External Carbon for Wastewater contains an in-depth review of external carbon in the wastewater treatment processes. During this presentation, Mr. Allen will discuss many of the reasons external carbon may be used to optimize wastewater treatment processes. The class will include how and when these beneficial programs are to be used. Rick will discuss some of the accepted, well-known and marketed products. He will also cover more obscure but very beneficial carbon sources available today. Due to the diversity of applications for external carbon, Rick will be providing information on additional uses, such as F/M ratios, denitrification, phosphorous removal processes. Attendees will learn the what, where, when, why and how to use external carbon sources in wastewater systems.

Specific content covers; Biological Reduction using external carbon, the food to microbe issue and what some programs are costing utilities in their budget and operational process; reasons to consider breaking the methanol habit and how other external carbon sources benefit the denitrification process. Attendees will learn the programs that are currently in the market and discuss the history and background of the research and application of the standard applications and protocols.

4:30pm - 5:15pm

Building on North American Success in Aerobic Granular Sludge

Brett Quimby, Manuel de los Santos

Aqua-Aerobic Systems, United States of America;

This presentation will discuss Aerobic Granular Sludge (AGS) technology and the continued efforts to expand adoption of this process in the US. AGS has been quickly adopted around the world with over 75 plants providing a total treatment capacity of over 1.1 billion gallons per day. This innovative technology was launched in the USA in 2017, and there are now six plants operational or under design/construction across the country.

The 0.2 MGD AGS facility in Rockford, IL has been instrumental in demonstrating the technology’s viability for wastewater treatment in the US. Operational since 2018, this facility has demonstrated low total nitrogen and total phosphorus effluent under multiple loading conditions. Operation of the system has provided the opportunity to perform advanced studies of granular sludge in the US, including DNA analysis, study of sludge dewaterability, and operation at low depths. Efforts are currently underway to study granulation across a range of different influent organic loads, including effluent from primary clarification.

Another key step in introducing this technology to North America has been gaining approval from state regulatory agencies. Data provided from the demonstration facility in Rockford, pilot tests around the country, as well as data from currently operational plants around the world, has been effective in gaining acceptance for this process. This presentation will cover the details on efforts that have led to approval in several states.

Additionally, the presentation will provide a brief summary of the installations currently under design and construction in the United States, including an update on the Wolf Creek plant that began operation in Foley, AL in January 2020.

3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 08C
3:00pm - 3:45pm

ReEnvisioning Clackamas Water Environment Services - Building a Capital Program at a Wastewater Utility in Transition

Lynne Chicoine

Clackamas Water Environment Services, United States of America;

A well-conceived capital plan is roadmap for the future of a utility. It’s required so facilities are constructed and in place to accommodate growth and to assure that existing infrastructure is maintained to provide reliable service, all while maintaining stable rates. Ratepayers expect and deserve this standard of care that, for a period, Clackamas WES struggled to meet. However, new leadership at WES has this wastewater utility looking forward to a bright future with a defined path including a 20-year capital plan and newly-minted asset management program.

This shift has not been without challenges, both internal and external, and will require focus and discipline to maintain. New leadership, intent on working collaboratively and transparently with member cities, has built trust and overcome historically difficult local politics to allow WES to look to the future with confidence. WES recently completed a collection system master plan (CSMP) that identified $100M in required investment to address capacity and condition deficiencies. Importantly, the CSMP also identified nearly 20 basins with excessive I/I levels that must be addressed, giving WES a common platform on which to work with our member cities to control the level of need for future investments.

WES has over $100M of capital investment in projects currently under design or in construction to address immediate capacity and condition needs. Looking forward, our five year capital plan calls for approximately $45M of annual expenditures on new projects. By early 2021, Clackamas WES will have completed a facilities plan for our Tri-City and Kellogg WRRFs, which will complete our 20-year capital plan. Meanwhile, we are standing up a comprehensive asset management program to establish data-driven maintenance and equipment replacement schedules for our existing and new facilities.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Bridging the Funding Gap in Post Falls' Collection System

James Bledsoe, Larry Rupp

Keller Associates, Inc., United States of America;,

Post Falls, situated between Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is among the fastest-growing cities in this rapidly growing region. Forecasts anticipate the population to triple within the next 20 years. Preparing for extensive growth, while working within the City’s funding constraints, has been challenging. The City recently completed a collection system master plan which will be used as a guide for future funding and decision-making efforts. This presentation will discuss the phased approach taken in the master plan and provide details into the first phase of improvements currently underway.

Due to the topography, Post Falls’ sewer system includes approximately 30 lift stations and an extensive, complex network of pressure and gravity pipelines. One unique aspect of the master plan approach was lift station and force main design. New force mains will initially discharge to other areas in the collection system – then extend farther toward the treatment facility as development increases. This master plan analyzed storage within the collection system to maximize existing system use. Lift station designs will be phased by either adding pumps or increasing pump size, accounting for additional flow and head conditions. The City’s phased approach will allow them to stage improvements as development occurs and funding becomes available.

4:30pm - 5:15pm

Piloting a Mapping Approach to Plan for Multiple Benefits with CSO Investment

Brent Robinson1, Jennifer Schmidt2, Colleen O'Brien1

1Seattle Public Utilities, United States of America; 2Herrera Environmental Consultants;,,

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is changing the way we plan to meet the combined sewer overflow (CSO) standard to ensure our investments provide our rate payers with benefits beyond just an overflow reduction. SPU’s prior assessment of the potential effects of climate change indicate that all CSO basins are likely to experience overflow frequency and overflow volume increases throughout the 21st century, necessitating follow on work to ensure CSO basins continue to meet the performance standard. Given the reality of chasing small control volumes, SPU recognizes the need for CSO investments to add value beyond just achieving an overflow reduction by ensuring multiple community-centered benefits accrue as a function of our work. SPU intends to achieve these outcomes by reshaping the planning process to include identification of partnership opportunities that can best leverage SPU investments in CSO reduction. SPU is piloting a mapping approach to identify overlapping areas of SPU needs (CSO, sewer capacity, and drainage system) and City Family needs (such as green space, transportation improvements, public health investments, etc.) with areas identified as potentially feasible for SPU infrastructure to be installed. The overlap of several map combinations will highlight areas of opportunity for SPU to focus more detailed technical and partnership analyses in the most viable locations. This presentation will describe the map development process and the preliminary outcomes of the map layering, the subsequent creation of preliminary design options, and how community engagement has influenced the interpretation of the maps developed and options created. Lastly, this presentation will identify how this pilot approach will be applied citywide during SPU’s development and rollout of our Integrated System Plan, which will guide SPU investments through 2050.


Date: Tuesday, 15/Sept/2020
8:00am - 9:30amSession 09A
8:00am - 8:45am

SRSP:A Collaborative Effort to Address Water Quality Challenges & Regulatory Drivers

Rob Lindsay1, Lisa Dally Wilson2

1Spokane County, Washington; 2Dally Environmental;

Founded in 2009, the Spokane River Stewardship Partners (SRSP) is a bi-state consortium of private and municipal organizations with a common goal of working collaboratively to improve the water quality in the Spokane River and Lake Spokane. The SRSP includes Spokane County, the City of Spokane, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, the City of Coeur d’Alene, the City of Post Falls, Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board, Avista Utilities, Inland Empire Paper and Kaiser Aluminum.

These individual entities actively participated in the development and implementation of the Spokane River and Lake Spokane Dissolved Oxygen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), using the SRSP as a venue to discuss and collaborate on approaches to address water quality challenges in the Spokane River. An example of this includes installation and optimization of state-of-the-art water reclamation technologies. Additionally, and along with other community stakeholders, entities within the SRSP participate in the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (Task Force) as part of a direct to implementation approach to address PCBs in the Spokane River. The goal of the Task Force is to identify sources of toxic compounds in the Spokane River and to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to bring the Spokane River into compliance with water quality standards. This presentation outlines the SRSP’s approach to navigate complex regulatory drivers and practical challenges of meeting water quality standards in the Spokane River and highlights the benefits of developing trust and a collective voice.

8:45am - 9:30am

Using Human Centered Design to Drive Water Supply Innovation

Tiffany Meyer

WSC, United States of America;

Water is a basic human need—it flows at the center of industry, communities, agriculture, and our natural environment. As water supply risks continue to rise (climate change, regulation, growing populations), so does the importance of supply innovation. In this interactive talk, engagement expert Tiffany Meyer shares how Human Centered Design (HCD) — a stakeholder engagement framework with roots in early urban activism — can empower water leaders to build a legacy of water resilience for their community.

Rooting back to the days of urban design activist Jane Jacobs, the use of HCD is expanding across the water industry as practitioners recognize the importance of bringing those most affected by water supply decisions to the design table. But this work isn’t easy—fears of stakeholders derailing timelines, or over-influencing decisions often keep us at arm’s length from our most important audiences. Here, Meyer empowers leaders to embrace engagement as a pathway to innovation.

Using stories from the City of Santa Barbara, California, to the Netherlands, to Australia, Meyer offers practical HCD-centered tools to:

  • Accurately define the problem (the risk of “we need more water”)
  • Meaningfully and efficiently engage your most critical customers
  • Build alignment between staff and policymakers at each project milestone
  • Add supply benefits into scenario analysis to drive deeper innovation
  • Reduce the noise of cost and regulatory compliance in the conversation
8:00am - 9:30amSession 10A
8:00am - 8:45am

Preparing Applcations for Funding

David Dunn1,2

1WA Department of Ecology, Water Quality; 2Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council;

Learn how to prepare funding applications that maximize your funding opportunities.

Infrastructure challenges are mounting; your ratepayers are facing increasing financial burden; costs for construciton keep rising; utility systesm are reaching the end of their useful life. In this environment, access to subsidized loan or grant funding can be the difference between building that infrastructure project or not.

De-mistify the application process by understandign your funding partner and what they need from you. Write strong, readable, and compelling applications for funding. Make your projects as competitive as possilble.

8:45am - 9:30am

Financing Projects with WIFIA and the State Revolving Funds

Alejandro Escobar1, MaryAnna Peavey2, Kathy Estes3, Rebecca Kramer3, David Dunn4

1Environmental Protection Agency, United States of America; 2Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; 3Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; 4Washington State Department of Ecology;,,,, DADU461@ECY.WA.GOV

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program is EPA’s newest financing opportunity for water and wastewater infrastructure projects. The WIFIA program accelerates investment in our nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low cost, supplemental loans under customized terms to creditworthy projects of national and regional significance.

In this session, the WIFIA program will co-present with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Washington Department of Ecology to provide an overview of the WIFIA and the State Revolving Funds’ (SRFs) programs, benefits, and provide a first-hand account of working through each loan process. WIFIA and the State Revolving Funds enjoy broad political support and expect to continue to get significant funding for water infrastructure investments.

By the end of 2019, WIFIA closed a majority of the loans from the first, FY2017, Letter of Interest selection round and closed three loans from the FY2018 round, providing support to over $3.5 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure projects. WIFIA is currently working with borrowers from the second (FY2018) and third round (FY2019), to close loans. Since inception, the Clean Water SRF program has provided $133 billion in assistance, mainly in the form of low cost financing, to a wide range of eligible borrowers.

8:00am - 9:30amSession 11A
8:00am - 8:45am

The Game Changing Role of Data in Force Main Networks

Bill Kelly

Syrinix Inc., United States of America;

Following a successful project of monitoring transients on water distribution networks, Syrinix worked with Anglian Water to transfer learnings across to wastewater.

The primary objective was to explore the capability of pressure monitoring to identify bursts on force mains, a problem which can have significant consequences for both customers and the environment, so increasing resilience by improving visibility and therefore time to respond is imperative.

As the project took to form a number of objectives were defined which took the scope beyond a simple alert system to a more sophisticated performance and diagnostic tool. These objectives included;

• Asset performance monitoring

o CHECK VALVE operation

o Force main failure/ burst

o Air valve operation

• Asset condition monitoring

o Force main deterioration

o Pump efficiency

o Impact of pump operation on rising main life

Initially, sensors were placed on poor performing assets which were known to be at higher risk of failure. The intention behind monitoring these assets was to generate reference data which would allow for understanding the patterns associated with bursts and poor performance.

Data collected from 120+ Syrinix pressure sensors deployed at pump station outlets translated to a visual representation of what good, bad and indifferent performance looked like.

Burst alert was alerted in the operational control center. This decreased the time to respond to asset failure significantly.

Further data analysis saw that it was possible to determine the system operating state such as ragging blockages and sticking check valves, giving predictive capabilities to asset owners and the proven ability to address underperformance before failure. This gave the project real commercial value.

The presentation will explain and extend how the project played out with specific examples of how money savings were made.

8:45am - 9:30am

Decoding Water Hammer: Comparing Real Measurements with Modeling Predictions

Brandon Billing

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Transient pressures can cause significant damage to force mains and pumping systems, leading to pump station down-time, sewage overflows or water loss, and costly repairs. Numerical modeling can help address the issue, but results can be difficult to understand or implement correctly. This presentation will use three case studies to help explain water hammer and how numerical modeling can be used effectively to avoid problems with transient pressures in pumping and pipeline systems.

In the first case, an existing sewage force main experienced damaging pressure. After monitoring data confirmed hydraulic transient presence, numerical modeling identified that installing a surge tank at the pump station would be the most effective mitigation strategy. Following installation of the tank, field measurements closely agreed with pressures predicted by the modeling.

In the second case, transient pressures were detected during startup of a new pump station. Using field measurements to calibrate a numerical model of the system, the team determined that the addition of flywheels on the pumps would address the issue. Field measurements closely agreed with pressures predicted by the modeling following installation of the flywheels.

In the third case, a numerical modeling study performed during design led to the recommendation that surge tanks be installed at the pump station. Transient pressure measurements obtained during pump station startup closely agreed with those predicted in the numerical modeling study.

This presentation will detail the convincing evidence that transient pressure numerical modeling is a critical step for developing resilient force main and pumping system designs. Numerical modeling can provide reliable data for developing a surge mitigation strategy, and reliably assess when a surge mitigation strategy is successful.

8:00am - 9:30amSession 12A
8:00am - 8:45am

ReEnvisioning the Future: Community-Based Utility Planning

Michael Comeskey1, Haley Falconer1, Matthew Gregg2

1City of Boise; 2Brown and Caldwell;,,

Our industry is fundamentally shifting from one focused on disposing of byproducts to managing and recovering resources. The City of Boise (City) embraced this paradigm shift and is completing a multi-year planning process that is founded in understanding community expectations and reflecting these interests in the products the City ultimately selects to produce. This deliberate five-year effort has taken a strategic approach to first understanding community needs and then identifying innovative solutions to meeting those needs. The Water Renewal Utility Plan (Plan), will create the long-term strategic direction for the City and reinforce the City’s position as a national environmental leader and innovator.

The Plan approach has followed a simple three-step process:

  1. Define the current state of the utility: challenges and opportunities, treatment capacity, financial capacity, ratepayer expectations, and external demands
  2. Develop and select the preferred outcomes for the 20-year planning horizon
  3. Prepare the implementation plan to achieve the preferred outcome

This step-wise approach to planning provides an opportunity to first define the challenge prior to developing solutions. Deliberately defining the current conditions and challenges before developing solutions ensures solutions meet the City’s goals. Each of the phases was rooted in a robust stakeholder engagement effort allowing the City to focus solutions with community interest.

The City iteratively refined alternatives from technical analysis, stakeholder feedback, and financial planning. For example, early stakeholder input showed broad public support for reusing water. Several technical approaches for reusing water, such as industrial reuse and supplementing irrigation, were developed and presented back to stakeholders. These presentations included the technical details on implementation, potential rate impacts, and the long-term benefits and consequences. Using this information, stakeholders provided feedback that led Boise to pursue a portfolio of water reuse approaches.

Boise’s innovative planning approach has allowed the City to develop a forward-looking approach to managing the City’s renewed water. This approach is framed by community expectations, financial capacity, and technical considerations – all of which must be considered for a sustainable and durable plan. This presentation will focus on how Boise has ReEnvision-ed the strategic planning process to establish a community-based plan.

8:45am - 9:30am

Regionalization for Economic Development and Watershed Protection

Peter Olsen

Keller Associates, Inc.;

Failing septic systems can be a significant health hazard to both the septic tank owner and downstream residents. Additionally, the amount of land needed for drain fields makes it difficult to attract new businesses and developers. For some communities, their financial situation prohibits the addition of a city sewer system. Moreover, for residents of the North Santiam Canyon region of Oregon, The Three Basin Rule (OR 340-041-0350), makes converting to a community-based sewer system even more challenging. This rule prohibits additional surface water discharges to certain rivers, including the North Santiam River, which supplies drinking water to the City of Salem.

In the past few years, a regional solution to address these regulatory and financial issues has gained traction. With the support of Marion County and the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments (MWVCOG), the communities of Detroit, Gates, Idanha, and Mill City have engaged in discussions regarding the possible incorporation of a regional system sewer system. In January 2017, a regional sewer system feasibility study was completed. A master plan is currently underway, and these entities are in the final steps of establishing a “sewer authority.” This presentation will discuss the difficulty in developing a regional sewer system in this mountainous area, the challenges of creating a sewer authority among the communities, and the steps needed to protect this critically important drinking water source.

8:00am - 9:30amSession 13A
8:00am - 8:45am

Tools to Enhance the Preconstruction process through Benchmarking and adapting

Josh Baker1, Tyler Resnik2, Jeff Hodson3

1City of Boise; 2McAlvain Companies Inc.; 3Jacobs;,,

The City of Boise recently embarked on a water renewal project to replace the Lander Street Water Renewal Facility’s Headworks and UV Disinfection facilities utilizing the CM at Risk (CM/GC) delivery mechanism. The project is located at the oldest plant in the City’s system, constructed in the 1940’s, and is the largest public works undertaking in City’s history. To add to the complexity, the site is very small with extremely limited access and numerous operational constraints. The team is comprised of four entities including the City of Boise, McAlvain Construction, and Jacobs teamed with Brown and Caldwell. From the onset of the project, the team embraced the following core values:

  • Risk belongs to everyone
  • There is nothing we can’t do better
  • Own each and every outcome
  • Continually learn by reflecting and debriefing
  • Succeed as a team or fail as a team

With these core values at the forefront, the team broke numerous stereotypical molds on executing the design and constructing the project. The team debriefed at all major milestones and had candid conversations about successes and failures. By continually refining the preconstruction process, outcomes became more predictable and teamwork flourished. This presentation will cover how the team broke down barriers, extracted each team member’s strengths, and optimized the performance of the preconstruction process through continual growth and development. Furthermore, best practices and lessons learned will be presented with practical examples.

8:45am - 9:30am

CM/GC or GC/CM and Progressive Design Build – What Are They, How Do They Work And Are They Right For My Project?

Michelle Green. PE. DBIA

Jacobs, United States of America;

Use of these collaborative delivery models is on the rise as Owners realize the potential advantages of quality-based selection, schedule acceleration and performance-based risk transfer of some of their most complex projects. While these models provide benefits, they are not right for every project or every client, and strong execution of any model is key to success.

This presentation will leverage Water Design Build Council training materials designed to educate Owners and Practitioners about collaborative delivery models, get beyond the high-level portrayal of the models, and dig into the nitty-gritty of project execution.

The presentation will compare and contrast the following for these two models:

- Fundamental risk allocation differences

- Project progression from selection of a Contractor/Design-Builder to authorization of construction

- How a Guaranteed Maximum Price Proposal is developed and negotiated

- Guaranteed Maximum Price Proposal (GMP) contents – what does it include?

- How Open Book Pricing works in practice

- Utilization of a Risk Register to create risk transparency

- Definition of the Off-ramp and when it is utilized

- Contract Fundamentals

- High level overview of state statues

A more detailed understanding of how these models are executed will help to refine an Owners’ and Practitioners’ understanding of whether these models are appropriate ‘tools in the procurement toolbox’ for a particular organization.

8:00am - 9:30amSession 14A
8:00am - 8:45am

Tertiary Filtration For P Removal And Reuse Application With Silicon Carbide Membranes

Ashwini Khare, Mike Snodgrass

Ovivo, United States of America; ASHWINI.KHARE@OVIVOWATER.COM

An extensive pilot study was conducted at the New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) plant in New Braunfels, TX to evaluate the feasibility of silicon carbide (SiC) membranes for use in tertiary filtration applications. While ceramic membrane technology has been around for decades, its use in water reuse applications is relatively new. Silicon carbide (SiC), a unique type of ceramic material, was tested for both water reuse and phosphorous removal capabilities.

Silicon carbide offers some unique material and performance properties that allow it operate within a much wider operating window than traditional ceramics. Through a combination of hydrophilic properties, chemical resistance, and mechanical durability, SiC membranes offer enhance operating performance in tertiary applications.

This paper presents operating performance and water quality data from the yearlong pilot at NBU. Data includes phosphorous removal efficiencies, disinfection capabilities, and sustainable flux rates.

8:45am - 9:30am

Ceramic Microfiltration Provides Durable Alternative to Polymeric Membranes at Three Municipal Wastewater Plants

Dave Holland

Aqua-Aerobic Systems, United States of America;

Many municipalities are discovering that reuse is often more economical than conventional wastewater and water treatment systems as these often have redundant equipment that can be eliminated with an integrated potable reuse configuration. A major setback to these reuse efforts, however, has been the (lack of) integrity of the applied low-pressure membrane systems, which now must pass daily direct integrity tests (DITs) in order to contribute their share of the required pathogen credits. One solution to this problem is to use membranes made of ceramic, which should not need the repair or replacement that polymeric membranes require.

This presentation takes a close look at three wastewater plants that have investigated the use of ceramic membranes. The first is the 1.8 MGD Shibaura Water Reclamation Center in Tokyo, Japan, where the membranes have been operating for over 10 years at fluxes consistently at and above 103 gallons per square foot of membrane area per day (gfd) at an average trans-membrane pressure (TMP) of 5 psi, with the system recovery exceeding 98% and no membranes being repaired or replaced (so far). The second is a pilot that was performed at Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s Regional Plant No. 5 in Chino, CA, where the same ceramic membrane was operated at 100 gfd with results nearly identical to those at Shibaura. The third site - a 15 MGD reuse plant in southern California – recently concluded a 10-month pilot in which the membrane was able to maintain stable operation at a recovery of 97% and a flux of 100 gfd, over 3 times the flux of the current polymeric membranes.

8:00am - 9:30amSession 15A
8:00am - 8:45am

Doing Our Part: The Role of Utilities in Advancing Equity

Nicki Pozos, Jessie Maran

The Formation Lab, United States of America;,

Equity seems to be everywhere these days, but what does it mean? How role should utilities have in addressing inequities based on race, gender, disability, others?

Clean water agencies understand their role in protecting the environment and public health. Fewer recognize themselves as engines of economic opportunity and shapers of their communities. From this broader perspective, new opportunities arise.

This interactive session will explore opportunities from the angles of influence and power, economic opportunity, and project benefits and impacts. The session will include a brief presentation with examples, followed by structured brainstorming and discussion.

The end result – new answers to the question of how utilities can contribute to advancing equity within their communities.

8:45am - 9:30am

19 and 1: Bridging the Workforce Gap in the Industry: Private to Public to Private

John Phillips1, Brian Bartle2

1Parametrix, United States of America; 2City of Bellevue, Washington, United States;,

Talent in the Water industry is wide spread. There are talented people in the public sector and talented people in the private sector. Traditionally, the workforce is dominated by the categorization of individuals that choose a career path as a consultant or as a public employee.

While the transition between the two sectors is not unusual, it would benefit our industry to talk about career transitions between private and public, the anxiety of moving from one sector to the other and understanding the difference between employer types.

More importantly, is to make sure talent stays in our industry and seeks out the best place for their individual development and long-term career growth and happiness.

Our intent is to have a guided interactive discussion with the audience around the differences of working for the public sector and private sector. Many industry leaders also venture out on their own and set up their own companies; we do not intend to discuss setting up your own company.

Some of the ideas we will discuss is the differences between the work; in the private sector where it is important to pursue work and develop relationships with clients versus the public sector where relationships are key to progression and innovation. We will also look at some business fundamental differences between working for a board of directors and a CEO versus leadership from elected officials. Understanding the day to day work differences of utilization versus budgeting. Discussing stewardship of public funds and profit motivation.

8:00am - 9:30amSession 16A
8:00am - 8:45am

Technologies for Nutrient Removal in Small or Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Plants

Raj Chavan

Stantec, United States of America; RAJ.CHAVAN@STANTEC.COM

According to EPA report nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems impacting water quality. Discharge of this nutrients in excess to our waters lead to a variety of problems including eutrophication, with impacts to drinking water, recreation and aquatic life. Therefore, more stringent effluent nutrient limits have been imposed on most of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and are coming to others. WWTPs have added or adding intensive treatment processes for extensive nutrient removal, but these upgrades are not affordable specially for smaller treatment facilities. WWTP have significant economic and environmental benefits associated with their construction and operation; however, like other similar infrastructure, the economic and environmental impacts of their construction and operation need to be minimized to make affordable to the smaller facilities. Worldwide, it has been acknowledged that small-scale WWTPs can be resource intensive when compared with larger plants. WWTPs have reduced their nutrient discharges by optimizing operation and maintenance practices without incurring large capital expenses. This paper presents economical ways the existing small utilities can retrofit/upgrade, optimize, and/or operate their facilities to meet nutrient effluent limits. Along with available technologies some case studies will be presented.

8:45am - 9:30am

Designing Lagoon-Based WWTPs for <1 mg/L Ammonia in <34°F Water: A Case Study of Council, Idaho

Cornelius {CJ} Strain1, Andrew Kimmel2

1Nexom, Canada; 2Great West Engineering;,

Ammonia management is an increasing concern within the wastewater industry as regulators seek to protect wildlife in receiving waterways. Not only is ammonia, in its un-ionized form, toxic to aquatic life in receiving waters, but as a nutrient, ammonia promotes excessive algae and plant growth leading to eutrophication in Idaho’s rivers, lakes and streams. Updated federal regulations now require effluent from wastewater treatment facilities to be non-toxic, and a major contributor to toxicity in treated wastewater discharge is un-ionized ammonia.

Lagoons are often the most economical and effective means for medium to small communities at removing BOD and Total Suspended Solids (TSS), but they struggle to remove ammonia and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. For smaller communities like Council, Idaho, who rely on lagoon-based wastewater treatment never designed for nitrification, upgrading to meet new requirements can be challenging - often coming with a hefty price tag in the form of proposed mechanical wastewater treatment and challenges associated with continuous sludge management.

Using the lagoon-based wastewater treatment facility in Council, Idaho, as a case study for small communities, this presentation digs into the technological and environmental factors that can influence technology adoption. Factors include the relevance of local climate impacts that limit lagoon-based nitrification, such as lack of dissolved oxygen, too much competition from BOD-consuming heterotrophic bacteria, lack available surface area or cold seasonal water temperatures.

The presentation will explore the technology selection exercises undertaken by Great West Engineering for the City of Council, the case history available for the considered technologies, as well as the options ultimately considered for wastewater treatment. We will then detail the solution chosen by Council for post-lagoon nitrification aimed at reducing ammonia to <1 mg/L in <1°C water, and what made SAGR technology the logical choice, as well as the challenges overcome in implementing the SAGR at the Council site, within their lagoons’ existing footprint.

The presentation will draw on the data sets collected from Council, ID, as well as other regional sites providing case history explaining why, even in the face of tight ammonia limits, lagoon operators can sleep easy at night.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 09B
10:30am - 11:15am

Piloting Power-Sharing with Community in Utility Planning

Brent Robinson1, Nicole Kistler2, Dylan King1

1Seattle Public Utilities; 2Nicole Kistler Studio, LLC.;,,

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is a community centered utility where solutions to our core business needs are driven by the communities we serve. SPU strives to embed equity, led by race, in all facets of our business to ensure our work elevates those who need our services most so we can all share in equitable public health outcomes. SPU is piloting an approach to operationalize these values through the formation of an Innovation Team for CSO planning in the Delridge neighborhood of Seattle. This team of community members was recruited through on-the-ground relationships to ensure that the lived experience of residents within the project study area was not only present at the planning table, but was integrated into the design process to develop concepts, build options, and set project priorities. The team members were paid a stipend for their time to honor their investment in the process. In addition to forming the Innovation Team, the project used creative placemaking and City Family coordinated outreach to cast a wide net throughout the study area to assess neighborhood level values and priorities. This two-fold approach ensured that the project’s design “north star” was defined both through comprehensive neighborhood-wide outreach strategies as well as intimate, trust-forming, relational outreach strategies. This presentation will focus on the formation of the Innovation Team, the successes of the team in guiding planning and navigating traditional risk and tradeoff conversations, the neighborhood-scale outreach strategy, how the two approaches complimented each other, and the ability of this piloted approach to help SPU achieve its equity and community-based goals. Most importantly, this presentation will identify where SPU seeded power to the community and how those moments affected the project’s trajectory.

11:15am - 12:00pm

When Stakeholder Complexities Exceed Technical Challenges

Adam Schuyler1, Scott Thomasson2, Sara Tannahill1, Erika Schuyler1, Tom Perry1, Mike Haley2

1Murraysmith; 2City of Redmond, WA;,

Pump stations can be technically challenging to design, but what happens when the pump station site is even more complex than the station itself? Together, Murraysmith and the City of Redmond, WA, (City) will present how the team addressed both the technical and stakeholder challenges for Wastewater Pump Station No. 3 (PS3). PS3 is in an affluent area on the western shore of Lake Sammammish near the southern boundary of Idylwood Park. The site has a Class III stream running through it and difficult access from West Lake Sammamish Parkway. The solution to the pump station replacement had to consider far more than the technical components of the design—successful replacement of the pump station required coordination with a myriad of stakeholders, including City engineering; operations, maintenance, and parks staff; the United States Army Corps of Engineers; Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife; adjacent homeowners; and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Murraysmith and City staff worked closely to develop numerous site alternatives that involved the stakeholders in every aspect of the design while keeping the park open to the public. Issues of concern for stakeholders were public safety, permitting, protection of the environment, aesthetics, noise levels for residents, the existing pump station’s operation, and constructability. The new PS3 will provide reliable wastewater conveyance to the King County sewer system, environmental protection, capacity for growth, and improved safety, access, and operation for City staff. PS3 is currently under construction with completion expected in late Spring 2020.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 10B
10:30am - 11:15am

Innovative Strategies Position a Small City to Secure $0.5 B in Low-Interest Loans

Anna James

Jacobs Engineering, United States of America;

The Cities of San Mateo and Foster City are implementing a significant capital infrastructure improvement program (~$1 billion over a 10-year period) to repair, replace, and upgrade the aging wastewater conveyance and treatment infrastructure system serving ~170,000 residents. This presentation focuses on the City’s successful strategies that other communities throughout North America could use in financing substantial wastewater infrastructure programs.

Even for agencies with healthy economic situations, the burden of funding is often on residents. To fund the Clean Water Program, the Cities of San Mateo and Foster City considered traditional funding models, and implemented rate increases and rate structures to meet its revenue needs ahead of entering the bond markets to finance the capital improvements.

Introduction of alternative funding mechanisms, such as low-interest loans, will eliminate $150 to 200 million in additional interest costs resulting from bond market interest rates.

Since both WIFIA and SRF are competitive programs, receiving significant interest from agencies all over the state and country, it is important that applications highlight the projects’ benefits and importance to the communities and bodies of water they affect. Several steps optimized the projects for funding opportunities, including:

  • Creating work plans to produce high-quality deliverables on schedule for loan application cycles
  • Creating a joint financing authority with the City’s partner agency to provide a single source of responsibility for the loan programs
  • Coordinating with funding programs to align application materials with their goals, and highlight relevant aspects of the projects
  • Taking advantage of opportunities offered by loan program sponsors to discuss project specifics and ask questions pertinent to the selection processes
  • Solicit political support for projects being considered for government funding, via letters from members of Congress and state senators
  • Produce high-quality application packages or letters of interest, soliciting and unifying input from internal and external stakeholders

This presentation will help decisionmakers by highlighting strategies for integrating these funding mechanisms into capital improvement program delivery and providing lessons learned on how to position for success in financing and implementation of capital improvement programs that other communities can use to improve their opportunities for favorable financing and optimized delivery schedules.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Your funding requires "American Iron and Steel": How do you comply?

David Dunn1,2

1WA Department of Ecology, Water Quality; 2Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council;

Funding from the SRF loan program, WIFIA, and USDA-RD are affordable options to fund projets in many communities. All these programs also include a requirement that all Iron and Steel products incorporated into the funded project must be manufactured in the United States. David is Washington state's lead on American Iron and Steel (AIS) requirements for the SRF loan program. Attend and learn:

- What products are covered?

- What are the documentation requirements for borrowers?

- When are waivers available?

- Strageties to manage and streamline compliance.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 11B
10:30am - 11:15am

Synchronizing Multi-Faceted Capacity Constraints using Hydraulic Modeling

Peter Cunningham, Greg Mockos

BHC Consultants;,

During the development of the Midway Sewer District InfoSWMM hydraulic model, multiple capacity related improvement projects were identified in the vicinity of Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, WA. The improvement projects identified included a capacity-limited pump station, an overflow connecting two pump stations, surcharging gravity sewers, and a combined force main/siphon prone to surcharging. Initially, the improvements were identified separately, but a holistic, system-wide analysis of the Saltwater State Park area, resulted in optimized and consolidated engineering solutions to address multiple capacity issues at ones. In addition to hydraulic constraints, multiple diverse site constraints were present. These included 40-foot deep gravity sewers running through backyards; steep slopes; and existing piping running through Saltwater State Park. The InfoSWMM calibrated hydraulic model was used to analyze multiple coordinated alternatives to address the system limitations with the goal of consolidating engineering solutions, wherever possible. The model was also used to determine optimal capital project phasing with the highest potential to reduce near-term hydraulic restrictions in the system. Two of the identified projects, a new pump station and a horizontal directionally drilled siphon, are currently in detail design.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Planning for Seattle’s Future – The Wastewater System Analysis Episode

Kevin Cook1, Andrew Henson1, Rizwan Hamid1, Annalisa McDaniel2

1Murraysmith; 2Seattle Public Utilities;,

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is currently undertaking an ambitious effort to integrate their wastewater and drainage systems planning efforts, bridging the needs of the wastewater and stormwater systems to achieve greatest environmental and community benefit. Continual growth and development have made providing adequate capacity a challenge throughout Seattle’s history, since it requires addressing challenges such as an aging system, growing population, densification, and climate change.

SPU serves a population of approximately 747,300 spread over 84 sq-miles and operates a complex network comprised of 1,423 miles of sewers, 68 pump stations, and 86 CSO outfalls. A system-wide capacity analysis was conducted using the latest hydraulic/hydrologic (H/H) model; the results were used to identify and prioritize risk areas using input from multiple stakeholders within SPU.

A primary objective of the Wastewater System Analysis (WWSA) was to identify and understand wastewater capacity needs. Performance Thresholds were selected to achieve performance goals of providing adequate capacity in the public wastewater system, minimizing the risk of sewer backups into private property and public right-of-way. Performance parameters of 1-ft pipe surcharge, maintenance hole flooding, and hydraulic capacity limitation of above 100% of existing pipe were used under one, two, and five-year, 24-hour design storms to evaluate system performance.

The modeling results were used in conjunction with community outreach results to identify and prioritize risk areas. 384 risk areas were delineated and categorized into critical, high, medium, medium-low, and low categories. The project team investigated and categorized critical priority risk areas further to identify capacity issues, providing a framework for programmatic solutions like Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) reduction, pipe and pump station replacement, operational and connected sewer agency constraints, and any combination of issues. This presentation will provide a sound approach to future planning efforts by incorporating technical and non-technical challenges in an expanding urban environment.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 12B
10:30am - 11:15am

The Circular Economy in Seattle: Water, Airplanes and Coffee

John Phillips

Parametrix, United States of America;

With a quickly growing global population and prosperity, the increasing consumption and related extraction of often scarce and finite resources is unsustainable. This prompts a shift from our current linear take-make-use-dispose consumption approach to a more circular economy. A circular economy where the use and utility of resources, products and assets is maximized, and virgin resource consumption and waste is minimized.
The transition to a circular economy not only conserves and reuses resources, but also reduces environmental and climate impacts. At the same time, it fosters innovation and thereby increases competitiveness and creates new jobs. While this approach may seem new and revolutionary, the "Waste Not" mantra of the circular economy was a central principle in our society until the industrial revolution introduced mass production, consumption and disposal. In a sense, the transition to a circular economy therefore involves going forward to the past.
Seattle is central to many of the consumption issues facing the global economy, major companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon are headquartered or have major production facilities in Seattle. Seattle has a long history of sustainable practices and codifying progressive goals on waste recycling and environmental protection.
The climate in Seattle is unique. For most of the year there is an abundance of water, but the region also experiences droughts during short dry periods as well. The region is suited for a more integrated strategy at managing water. The region is gaining more knowledge of the impacts of climate change and the future is becoming more uncertain, the linear thinking needs to progress to a different strategy.
This presentation was given to the Circular Economy Club in Seattle to raise awareness with other economic sectors on how water is managed in the region. Representatives from Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks had little knowledge of how the water system worked and saw a future of thinking more circular in the water sector thus sustaining the already strong economy through an uncertain future.

11:15am - 12:00pm

City and County Collaboration – Solving Wastewater Concerns Together

Eric Roundy1, Kyle Meschko1, Dennis Weed2

1Keller Associates, Inc.; 2Boundary Economic Development Council;,,

Moyie Springs, a northern Idaho city, has a compliance agreement with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to improve their wastewater treatment. Although their deadline was fast approaching, the City was without an affordable solution. Close to Moyie Springs, Boundary County residents realized the lack of sewer services was an obstacle to their community development. Recognizing their shared interest, Boundary County and the City of Moyie Springs joined efforts to conduct a regional Boundary County sewer study. Because of this study, Moyie Springs was able to identify and obtain funding for an affordable wastewater treatment option. Boundary County is creating a master plan to investigate further tying into the Moyie Springs' system.

Even though some steps remain, collaboration has provided them with a path to solve their problems. Keys to project success included close cooperation with each other as well as with other stakeholders in the area, developing innovative solutions, and acquiring affordable funding. This presentation discusses the approach the City and County undertook to collaborate on this project, their next steps (including structuring the combined system, additional funding acquisition, and construction), and the lessons learned along the way.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 13B
10:30am - 11:15am

Outfall Fallout – Using the CM/GC Process for A WRF Outfall Replacement

Chris Horgan1, Jon Baune1, Craig Borrenpohl2, Andrew Arbini2, Curtis Neibaur3

1J-U-B Engineers, Inc.; 2City of Post Falls, Idaho; 3McMillen Jacobs Associates;,,,,

Have you considered involving a Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) for your next water resources project? The CM/GC contracting method is a fairly new mechanism available for use by Idaho municipalities compared to the traditional design-bid-build process. This approach can be useful and successful when project complexities necessitate the involvement of a contractor early in the project process.

This presentation will discuss the use of the CM/GC process by the City of Post Falls, Idaho (City) for replacement of their Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) outfall in the Spokane River. Representatives from the City (Owner), J-U-B Engineers, Inc. (J-U-B, Engineer of Record), and McMillen Jacobs Associates (McMillen, CM/GC) will provide a project history and discuss how various project risks evolved a traditional design-bid-build approach to a CM/GC process. The CM/GC procurement approach will then be discussed, followed by the various roles and responsibilities of the City, J-U-B, and McMillen during project design, environmental permitting, bidding, and construction. A panel discussion on lessons learned and future best practices with all three entities will follow the formal presentation.

The goal of this presentation is to discuss the City’s project-specific experience with the Idaho CM/GC process, including why they chose the CM/GC process over traditional design-bid-build and lessons learned for each phase of the process (procurement, design, construction), and then provide a forum for discussion with the City, J-U-B, and McMillen about each party’s general experience with the project and the CM/GC process. This presentation will provide insight for municipalities and engineers on why they might consider an alternate approach to design-bid-build and how they might successfully use the CM/GC process on their next project.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 14B
10:30am - 11:15am

Digital Twin: Lessons Learned, Innovative Membrane Controls for Spokane

Stephanie McGregor1, Alex Yoffie1, Paul Mueller1, Lars Hendron2

1Jacobs; 2City of Spokane;

This presentation provides a case study where digital twin dynamic simulation was used to assist design of a 75 mgd low pressure membrane filtration (LPMF) system at the City of Spokane Water Reclamation Facility. Typically, membrane system suppliers (MSSs) provide the design services in addition to the equipment. As a result, engineering design teams often consider the membrane system as a “black box.” The digital twin was used to bridge this potential design gap and improve eventual operability.

The design team created a digital twin that accurately represents the hydraulics of the membrane system, along with the control logic for the feed pumps, rack sequencing, and cleaning equipment to evaluate the entire system.

Membrane fouling characteristics were incorporated into the model based on empirical equations derived from 15 months of pilot testing. This allowed the model to accurately predict transmembrane pressure changes between backwashes and chemical cleans. The model was then used to verify the hydraulic design and evaluate the proposed LPMF control strategies. A variety of opportunities for improved control strategies were identified, such as the strategy for handling low velocities in the membrane header at minimum flows.

The membrane system control logic is being finalized based on the recommended control strategies resulting from the digital twin analysis. The PLC logic and HMI screens will then be connected to the digital twin. The digital twin control logic and user interface developed during the design phase of the project will be replaced by the plant’s actual PLC logic and HMI screens. Thus, the digital twin will look and feel like the actual HMI and it can be used as an owner training tool.

Modeling the complete membrane filtration system has allowed for an improved understanding of system operation and will provide a tool for future hands on operator training.

11:15am - 12:00pm

A Pilot Scale Evaluation of Coagulant Selection and Dose on HF UF Membrane Performance at the West Boise Water Renewal Facility

Daniel Hugaboom1, Ryan Anderson2, Brad Jeppson1

1Carollo Engineers, United States of America; 2City of Boise;

In 2019, the City of Boise completed a pilot study of tertiary coagulation, hollow fiber microfiltration and ultrafiltration (MF/UF) membrane technologies at its West Boise Water Renewal Facility (WBWRF) for phosphorus removal. The work was done to support planning for plant improvements required to comply with anticipated reductions in phosphorus discharge limits from the WBWRF.

The pilot study investigated the performance of a wide range of coagulants and membrane technologies to achieve two primary process goals:

1. Tertiary treatment train effluent total phosphorous of less than 0.1 mg/L TP-P. Five coagulants were tested across a range of doses to meet the TP goal without overloading the membrane process with coagulated solids. Ferric chloride, ferrous chloride, alum, ACH and RE300 (cerium chloride, a novel rare earth type coagulant) were evaluated to achieve a treatment goal of reducing TP from approximately 1 mg/L in the secondary effluent to <0.1 mg/L.

2. Demonstrate reliable membrane performance. Membrane performance was evaluated using quantitative goals for maximum fouling rates, residuals production and off line chemical cleaning frequency. Three different membrane systems, each with unique design and performance characteristics were evaluated for this application. They include pressurized (cartridge style) UF membrane and two submerged (vacuum driven) systems. The experimental matrix allotted significant amount of time for optimizing backwash, air scour, cross flow and chemical cleaning strategies as well as a range of flux rates.

Below doses of about 5 mg/L (as product), membrane fouling was low and chemical cleaning cycles met goals for maximum allowable frequency; however, filtered effluent TP did not consistently meet the goal of <0.1 mg/L. As required dosages increased to meet filtrate TP goals, more energetic and frequent cleaning strategies were necessary to meet membrane performance goals. This presentation will include a detailed analysis of phosphorus removal across the range of coagulants, as well as membrane process performance.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 15B
10:30am - 11:15am

Opportunities at the Intersection of Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Workforce Development

Cari Simson1, Jesse Williams2

1Urban Systems Design, United States of America; 2Jacobs Engineering, United States of America;,

As the workforce ages, we need to recruit new staff, and must engage a broader population of recruits. Implementing a stormwater infrastructure capital program also requires a significant increase in workforce to deliver the necessary infrastructure assets and maintain them in perpetuity. A challenge facing program development is finding and training the workforce to deliver cost-effective, quality work. This, however, also presents an opportunity for workforce program development to drive economic growth, generate green jobs, address equity, and employ the communities where infrastructure investments are located. Green infrastructure operations and maintenance positions may also serve as a stepping stone to recruit for more traditional operations careers.

The panel presentation provides engaging, diverse perspectives on how to develop curriculum to meet workforce needs, recruit training program participants, and provide mentorship pathways for graduates. Examples from Seattle, King County and Los Angeles will be presented as case studies that can be implemented by municipalities, organizations or other entities across the Pacific NW. Panelists will provide sample lesson plans, program budgets and demonstrate workforce training pathways to viable careers.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Inclusion and Diversity – The Secret Ingredient for Agency and Consulting Success

Sherrill Doran, Jilma Jiminez, Kimberly Kelsey, Kelsey Hu

Jacobs, United States of America;

Planners, scientists, and engineers in the water
industry are in short supply, with new hires looking join a culture that allows
them to belong, thrive, and innovate. At it’s core, our industry is about
people making our communities a better place, and we can only do that from a
place where we feel accepted and where we accept others. Focusing on inclusion and diversity means that we can each bring our whole selves to our projects and work. By surrounding ourselves with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and thinking, we drive more innovative solutions and better outcomes for our communities.

This panel discussion will provide practical actions and
examples that can be lived and implemented to achieve these results. These actions include how to learn about personal biases; how to provide fair
and equal leadership opportunities and compensation; and how to increase the talent pools at all levels to reflect women, people of different ethnicities,
veterans, LGBTI+, and people with disabilities. By shifting personal and
professional behaviors, we can change our mindset to thrive and innovate in our
personal and professional lives.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 16B
10:30am - 11:15am

Characterizing EBPR Processes With ORP

Nicole Brower, Erik Coats

University of Idaho, United States of America;,

Municipalities throughout the Pacific Northwest as well as other areas of the country are increasingly challenged with strict NPDES permits on effluent phosphorous limits from water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs). Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) remains the most environmentally sustainable option for excess P removal. However, while there is a generally good understanding of successful process configurations to remove phosphorous from waste streams, much remains to be understood regarding the internal processes and the organisms that remove the phosphorous. In particular, EBPR could benefit from enhanced real-time process control. In this regard, research into the relationship between oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and EBPR process stability and success is being conducted at the University of Idaho, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. ORP has been evaluated as a mechanism to control the length of the anaerobic period (i.e., the anaerobic mass fraction). Two batch reactors were operated and studied extensively at different ORP levels. One reactor was operated in the standard AO process, and was fed a combination of screened wastewater (low solids content) and fermenter liquor from a primary solid fermenter. The second reactor was operated in the West Bank configuration and was fed the same wastewater and fermenter liquor but not combined and at different times in the cycle. The effect of ORP on process performance was thoroughly evaluated; additionally, ORP control was applied to evaluate process recovery from induced process failure. Observations about the observed relationship between ORP and EBPR, as well as broader interpretation of the results of this research, will be presented and discussed.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Nutrient Removal Optimization Part 1: Fundamentals

Bryce Figdore

HDR, United States of America;

The proposed sessions will present findings of the ongoing Water Research Foundation (WRF) project 4973 “Guidelines for Optimizing Nutrient Removal Plant Performance.” The goal of the project is to develop guidance on approaches to optimize existing plants for nutrient removal, utilize full scale examples of how it is done, and to produce a guide on how to do it.

Two PNCWA sessions are proposed to cover this material, but alternative arrangements can be considered. The first session will present the fundamentals on conventional and emerging approaches for nutrient removal optimization. The second session will present case studies and “decision tree” guides for optimization. This session will provide unique learning opportunities for attendees regarding opportunities to optimize the process and achieve some nutrient removal at existing WRRFs that currently only provides secondary treatment for BOD and TSS removal. Optimization opportunities to reduce cost and improve performance will be discussed. Finally, these sessions will also allow feedback from the audience to shape the research for the Water Research Foundation project 4973 in developing practical guidelines for optimizing WRRFs to improve nutrient removal more efficiently and more reliably.

Three key learning objectives for this session are:

1. Participants will comprehend the fundamentals of nutrient reduction and the focus areas to optimize the process (for example, while conventional thinking is to maintain a DO above 2 mg/L in biological treatment, lower DO concentrations can be used under appropriate conditions to achieve both nitrification and denitrification).

2. Participants will learn how to identify opportunities for optimizing WRRF operation to reduce operating costs and to improve process performance (these two may be mutually exclusive in some instances).

3. Participants will learn about new and emerging strategies and their development status.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 17A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Stakeholder Engagement Strategies to Coordinate and Deliver a Successful Cured-in-Place Pipe Project.

Jeff Moss, Nathan Bemis


Proactive stakeholder engagement is a key component of successful Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) projects. Murraysmith partnered with the City of Kent to provide construction management (CM) and on-site observation services to support a sanitary sewer CIPP project. Our CM team served as a single point-of-contact for many stakeholders involved in the project. Murraysmith will discuss the multifaceted approach to stakeholder management that was implemented to facilitate communication between the public, the contractor, various City departments, and other construction projects. This approach employed practices that laid the groundwork for a successful project and streamlined CIPP installation. Additionally, Murraysmith will discuss how this approach encouraged contractor accountability and facilitated timely identification of solutions to project challenges, resulting in our project team meeting schedule and budget targets, while minimizing public impacts, and ensuring reliable sewer service for years to come.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Using the Entire Community Outreach Toolbox & More: Building Trust on the King County North Mercer Enatai Sewer Upgrade Project

James Chae1, Kristine Cramer2, Grizelda Sarria3

1Jacobs; 2King County Wastewater Treatment Division; 3Tetra Tech;,,

King County’s Mercer and Enatai Interceptors were built in the 1960s and extend over 14,000 feet from northern Mercer Island into the Enatai neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington. The interceptors receive flows from North Mercer Pump Station, as well as the City of Mercer Island and City of Bellevue sewer systems. Some parts of the system are reaching the end of their useful lives, and future peak flows are projected to soon exceed the system’s capacity.

The new $58 million Mercer Enatai project includes two upgraded pump stations and a 4-mile sewer alignment that passes underneath residential streets, a major arterial, a regional bicycle and pedestrian trail, a navigable waterway, the Enatai hillside, a swim beach and park, and an environmentally-sensitive wetland. The numerous and varied stakeholders needed to be appropriately engaged with the right information at the right time, and in a way that is meaningful for each stakeholder group.

To uphold King County’s goal of being a good neighbor, the project team worked collaboratively, utilizing traditional outreach methods such as open houses, fliers, community events, and small group meetings. The team also used less common methods such as “walk and talks,” bike rides, online open houses, digital presentations, and targeted outreach for specific populations.

This presentation will review the entire toolbox of outreach methods the project team used during the different phases of the project, and share thoughts on the lessons learned, varying degrees of success, and potential future approaches to engage communities on projects from cradle to grave.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 18A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Effect of Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) on Digested Sludge Dewaterability

Ornella Sosa-Hernandez, Peter Schauer

Clean Water Services, United States of America;

Clean Water Services investigated the impact that co-digestion with Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) has on the dewaterability of digested sludge. Over the past 4 years, a deterioration of the dewatering performance has been observed while the volume of FOG that is handled has increased at the Durham Advanced Waste Water Treatment Facility (AWWTF). In addition to a possible decline in centrifuge performance from equipment age, the FOG load and its variable composition had been suspected to cause dewatering issues as the cake solids dryness and solids capture have steadily decreased despite little change to the polymer dosing.

The anaerobic digesters at the Durham AWWTF have independent FOG feed lines allowing for different loadings to either digester. During this 4-month evaluation, more FOG was fed to one of the two anaerobic digesters while both received equivalent indigenous sludge loading which is composed of thickened primary and secondary sludge. The digester feed, FOG stream and digested sludge were characterized by measuring parameters such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, orthophosphate, and cations concentrations. Dewaterability was assessed through analysis conducted by Dr. Matthew Higgins at Bucknell University.

This presentation will include an analysis approach that can help recommend FOG management strategies whereas the lessons learned from this evaluation are:

  • FOG addition had no negative impact on digested sludge dewaterability.
  • The polymer demand was more affected by indigenous sludge VS loads than FOG loading.
  • The presence of charged compounds in the digestate such as phosphate and cations impacted some of the dewatering characteristics.
  • Although VS loads above 0.25 lbs/ft3/d and up to 50% FOG were fed for a short period of time, digestion stability was maintained. The time to perceive instability and the impact to other parameters such as alkalinity should be investigated.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Demonstration of Polymer Optimization in Dewatering Processes with Three Case Studies

Yong Kim1, David Oerke2, Brian Hawley3, Mike Whitaker4

1UGSI Solutions, Inc., NJ; 2Jacobs Engineering, CO; 3Fairfield-Suisun Sewage District, CA; 4Neshaminy Water Treatment Plant, PA;

According to a recent survey, over 30% of biosolids management cost is spent for purchasing polymer. Well-designed polymer systems that optimize polymer usage has become more important than ever. This paper presents the case studies in which the benefits of polymer optimization are illustrated with different dewatering equipment at three treatment plants.

The concept of two-stage mixing (very high mixing energy followed by low and uniform mixing energy) has been well accepted in polymer mixing as well as the latest findings of the importance of sufficient residence time in emulsion polymer system. Both concepts are discussed in depth with theoretical consideration and lab data prior to case studies.

Case Study 1: Benefit of two-stage mixing and sufficient residence time is clearly shown with a several month long trial at Neshaminy WTP near Philadelphia. The plant operates at the capacity of 15 mgd to serve about 40,000 population. Two mixing chambers were evaluated side-by-side in dewatering alum-carbon sludge with two belt filter presses running simultaneously. It was striking to observe that an enhanced mixing chamber performed 35% better than the other, while yielded to 4% drier cake.

Case Study 2: Related to optimizing polymer activation/mixing, Jacobs Engineering performed a pilot testing at 60-mgd F. Wayne Hill WRC of Gwinnett County, GA. Three different polymer systems were evaluated by monitoring polymer dose required, polymer solution concentration, cake solids, and TSS level of centrate. Several-month long pilot study demonstrated that an optimally designed two-stage mixing system was able to reduce polymer consumption by 25%, while produce better quality centrate without sacrificing cake solids.

Case Study 3: Dry polymer system design also requires very-high energy initial wetting followed by low-energy uniform mixing in mix tank. Mixing energy distribution is related to the ratio of impeller to tank diameter. Larger impeller generates more uniform mixing intensity, which is ideal for polymer solution. Dry polymer system developed based on this principle was installed at Fairfield WWTP in California. After one-year operation of upgraded dry polymer system, the plant realized 42% less polymer usage in dewatering by screw press and 18% increase in sludge throughput

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 19A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Challenges and Opportunities Presented by Diversion Pump Stations

Mike Carr1, Frank Dick2, Jeff Hart3

1Murraysmith; 2City of Vancouver; 3Clean Water Services;,,

When downstream sewage conveyance piping reached capacity, agencies have on occasion elected to install a pump station to pump past bottlenecks rather than to upsize the line or build a parallel pipe. This is typically due to the higher capital expense of a trunk sewer due to pipe depth, environmental mitigation requirements, and traffic disruptions. A diversion pump station can provide a more expedient installation to meet upstream development demands or reduce risk of overflows, while also adding flexibility in conveyance operations. A diversion pump station offers new challenges for Operations through increased maintenance time and cost. However, the facility can also offer opportunities to address operational concerns elsewhere in the system, through automation, flow control, and redirection of flow to underutilized infrastructure.

This presentation will provide two recent case studies in diversion pumping: the City of Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek Pump Station, a 7-mgd diversion pump station that was mothballed 20 years ago because of maintenance-related issues; and Clean Water Services’ Dawson Pump Station, a 20-mgd facility built to increase conveyance capacity for supporting industrial growth, hampered by constituents in the industrial wastewater. Discussion will include the projects’ origins, the operational issues encountered along the way, the solutions engineered to optimize the facility’s operation, and the opportunities to use the diversion to further improve overall conveyance system performance and reliability.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Pump Performance Assessment; A Panacea for Predictive Maintenance?

Jennifer Murphy, Brandon Moss


Assessing the condition of pump stations can be a significant undertaking for many utilities, and the specific approaches and techniques of assessment can vary widely. Among the many working components within the pump station, its namesake, the pump, is often a key focus. Significantly reduced capacity or excessive vibration are easily identifiable signs of a failed pump; however, quantifying the specific degradation of an individual pump can be difficult. However, if accurate quantitative data is available the useful life of a pump can be prolonged by targeted maintenance, and premature rebuild or replacement can be avoided.

Methodology for field testing pumps and the differing approaches in testing both flood control and wastewater pumps will be presented. The technical requirements and constraints of instruments and data logging equipment will be reviewed. Some of the common and uncommon insights into centrifugal pump performance and specific indicators of wear on various components will be discussed.

A specific case study will also be presented detailing how results from pump testing can be applied to make predictive maintenance and capital improvement decisions. Over the past few years the Multnomah County Drainage District in Portland, OR, has conducted a variety of condition assessments for its 13 flood control pump stations and has performed testing to confirm the flood control pumping capacities of most of the pumps it maintains. The specifics of testing flood control pumps will be covered, in addition to how the resulting test data, in combination with operational data, has been used by the district to perform target rebuilds and prioritize replacements.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 20A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Positive displacement, Single Stage and Multi-Stage Centrifugal and Turbo Blowers Can Play Nice Together

John Koch, Karen Bill, Kenny Packard

HDR, United States of America;

With the advent of “turbo” blowers in the last 15 years, there has been some misconception that different blower types are nearly impossible to operate in parallel. Initial observations during commissioning and troubleshooting several installation with different combination of positive displacement, centrifugal, air-bearing and magnetic bearing blowers this was true. Examining the performance curves and performance limitations of the different machine types, allows one to better understand each of their limitations and how the overall blower control program should function.

What has been found with some of the turbos is their operating pressure has significantly narrow pressure limits. Some of the air-bearing blower having a design pressure of 7.0 psig, will not function at 5 psig nor higher than 9 psig; whereas, some of the magnetic bearing turbos can operate as low as 2 psig. Understanding the individual blower’s limitation is necessary to incorporate them into an existing aeration system.

Aeration systems are dynamic as the dissolved oxygen demands changes throughout the day and night. Typically blower field startup technicians start their equipment with the contractor’s personnel and only operate if for a few hours during the day when air demands are fairly uniform. The true test is to observe the system operation not only during the high air demands but also during the low diurnal demands. This is where “they are not playing well” can originate. This presentation will review the application of air-bearing and magnetic bearing machines where they have been incorporated into existing blower system with different types and combination of blower types.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

How Low Can You Go? Secondary Clarifier Capacity and Nutrient Removal

Casey Gish, Adam Klein

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Secondary clarifiers are a critical step in activated sludge treatment facilities meeting permitted discharge levels. Elevated nutrient regulations will require longer plant solids retention times (SRTs) resulting in higher solids loading to secondary clarification. Understanding the capacity of a treatment plant’s secondary clarifiers is critical in defining the facilities overall treatment capacity and nutrient removal capabilities.

The tools used to model the capacity of secondary clarifiers have evolved over time. Surface overflow and solids loading rates gave way to state point analysis which has been followed by the currently preferred method of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling. Surface overflow, solids loading, and state point analysis provide a snapshot of clarifier operation while CFD models consider factors like sludge flocculation, sludge blanket accumulation, and clarifier hydrodynamics, which offers a dynamic look at secondary clarifier loading and capacity.

This presentation will analyze the evolution of modeling tools used for the design and capacity analysis of secondary clarifiers; discussing how accurate clarifier modeling is central in defining a plant’s treatment capabilities and a critical planning tool for utilities.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 21A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Lessons Learned Using Design-Build for “Just an Exposed Pipe Replacement Project” at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant

Muriel Gueissaz-Teufel1, Jennifer Coker1, Peter Hesford1, Trent Dyksterhouse2, Hunter Bennett-Daggett3

1City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; 2RSCI; 3Tetra Tech;,,

The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) was commissioned in 1952, with the washwater system installed in the early 1970’s when secondary treatment was added. The washwater system is a backbone system supporting critical process operations such as chemical and polymer makeup water, seal water, and spray water. The pipes were likely the first ones installed as they are 25-feet up in the utility tunnels, behind a lot of other piping. The 1800-feet of black iron/steel pipes were severely corroded and needed replacement, as well as simplification in the routing. In addition, the 1800-feet of cPVC piping for hypochlorite disinfection in the tunnels was leaking, also requiring replacement. Big challenges were seen due to the need for continuous operation of the two systems, difficulty in accessing the pipes, and the lack of actual record drawings.

It became evident through pre-design that there was significant risk of construction changes in the project, even though it was “just an exposed pipe replacement project”. The project team evaluated alternative delivery methods and selected the lump sum design-build delivery method to mitigate project risk.

During execution, the design-build team comprised of RSCI and Tetra Tech, proposed an approach that combined the design and submittal process, which saved both time and money. The design for the pipe was schematic in nature, but the structural components were fully designed. This allowed for the design to obtain permitting approval, while giving the contractor the flexibility to layout the system to meet field conditions. Double walled fused HDPE was selected for the hypochlorite system, facilitating installation and extending the life of the piping.

This presentation will give an overview of the drivers for selecting fixed-price design build, a tutorial on the innovative materials selected for the piping, and summarize lessons learned on CBWTP’s first experience with design-build project delivery.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Finding the Silver Bullet – Complex Design in Extraordinarily Constrained Facility Space

Randy Mueller1, Jeff Maag2, Dave Green1, Gregg Thompson1, Bhargavi Ambadkar2

1Jacobs Engineering Group; 2City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services;,

Expansion of existing wastewater treatment plants is often complicated by the need to address complex constructability and sequencing issues. A program to expand the secondary treatment wet weather capacity at the City of Portland’s Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant is currently under design. At the heart of the program are several modifications and improvements to the Silver Tunnel. In operation for 50 years, the Silver Tunnel is packed with piping, electrical gear, mechanical equipment, power and control cabling, and other ancillary systems necessary to support plant operations. Modifications and improvements to the Silver Tunnel are designed to replace aging equipment, increase electrical and seismic resiliency, and provide better access, lighting, and communication. However, the key driver is the installation of large diameter process piping (mixed liquor, return activated sludge, waste activated sludge, and scum) required to service two new secondary clarifiers. With some pipe diameters exceeding 4 feet, much attention will be given to tunnel access, material handling, clearance requirements, and pipe supports. Additionally, the existing piping, cabling, and equipment currently present in the proposed routing zone will require significant relocation activities. Finally, limitations on process shutdowns and the need to maintain plant operations will complicate the construction sequencing.

To assist with addressing these challenges, the program will utilize a CM/GC delivery approach. Consulting with the CM/GC early and often will help identify viable solutions early on during the design process. Additionally, interviews and site walks with plant staff will assist in understanding current plant operations and the requirements that must be met during construction. Finally, the use of advanced design tools such as three dimensional modeling will aid with pipe routing and clash detection. This presentation will discuss in detail how these strategies will be used to ensure project success.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 22A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

A Vision for the Future on Mercer Island: SCADA Master Planning to Design

Brian McDaniel1, Mike Karl2

1City of Mercer Island; 2Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;,

The City of Mercer Island is replacing the legacy telemetry systems with a new unified control system to meet operational needs and set the foundation for a Smart Utility platform. This project will result in an integrated, reliable, and robust system with a set of tools that enable City staff to provide reliable and safe water and sewer services to Mercer Island's customers.

The City has completed a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Master Plan to address current and future challenges for both the water and sewer utilities. The Master Plan identified substantial challenges that are associated with the sewer collection system, including the challenges of a Lakeline. The City and Brown and Caldwell team is developing a design for a new control system that looks to answer critical operational concerns of the Lakeline and overall health of the collection system that leverages "Smart Utility" or digital strategies.

Over the last two years, the City worked to develop a Master Plan for an advanced SCADA system building the foundation to integrate Smart Utility functions. The Master Plan and design addressed the City’s outdated water and sewer system technology and established a clear direction for the next 10-15 years.

This presentation will discuss the planning, design, and overall challenges and opportunities this new approach will provide in protecting the environment and serving the community.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Asset Management and the Progressive Design-Build Process

Michael Pokorny1, Shannon Johnson2

1Brown and Caldwell; 2City of Nampa, Idaho;

The Nampa, ID Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is undergoing a series of multimillion-dollar projects in order to meet new discharge limits. These projects involved adding hundreds of pieces of equipment, including pumps, valves, electrical equipment, and other assets.

Nampa defines an asset as equipment that has a replacement value of $10,000+, with a useful life of 5 years or more. Assets are also defined to require preventative or regular maintenance. Existing asset data is not comparable in the level of detail to that of recent projects. A common asset organization strategy is needed to integrate data from recent projects, with assets in use before these projects began. All assets need to be accounted for, and maintained periodically, ensuring they fulfill their function and allow the plant to operate efficiently.

Brown and Caldwell completed a facility plan for the WWTP, identifying the long-term vision of the plant and outlining the framework for future modifications to achieve this vision. Within this framework, as recent construction projects progressed, assets were assigned a replacement cost, a likelihood of failure, and a consequence of failure, leading to a “risk cost.” The relationship between risk cost and replacement value drives the decision making strategy to maintain, repair, or replace certain assets over time. This approach allows the City to allocate funds effectively, in order to mitigate risks to the plant. Asset information is tracked by the City’s software program, allowing staff to view information for each asset, model its maintenance schedule, and track life cycle costs.

Earlier WWTP projects have been delivered using the traditional, design-bid-build format. However, the largest upcoming project in the series will be delivered by progressive design-build. Asset management tools, created and sharpened during recent projects, will be leveraged as the scale of work vastly expands in the coming years.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 23A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Spokane’s CSO Program: Making Strides towards a Cleaner River

Marcia Davis, Duane Studer, Raylene Gennett

City of Spokane, United States of America;,,

The City of Spokane has completed the construction of combined sewer control facilities to meet their NPDES permit requirements. The first facility was completed in 2003 and the final construction will be wrapped up in 2020. Over the course of the 17 years construction, lessons were learned and the program was adjusted to improve outcomes. This presentation will focus on lessons learned for financing, design, construction, and maintenance.

Originally, the City planned to fund the CSO program with pay as you go from reserves and rate increases. However, the increase in rates required to fund this and other wastewater programs were not affordable for the community. The program was funded from reserves, rate increases, a “Green” bond, revolving fund loans, stormwater grants, and from savings in the cost of the overall program through acceptance of slightly higher risks in certain facility aspects.

The City developed a design storm, but after the first 5 facilities were constructed, goals and regulations evolved and we determined the facilities were oversized. A refined approach was selected to size remaining facilities. The basic design of the storage facilities is to control overflows with minimal maintenance. Design enhancements included alterations to combined sewer inlets, motorized flow control, self-flushing integration with smart pumps, and safer worker access.

With the construction of over 24 new control facilities, maintenance staff needed to determine time and skills needed to maintain each one. By having design engineers involved in construction and operation, each facility's nuances after wet weather events were observed and aspects of design that did not work as intended were identified. Lessons learned were communicated back to design teams for revisions to the next facilities.

This presentation summarizes how problems became lessons learned and resulted in facilities that were affordable, functional, and more easily maintained.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

An Innovative Way to Detect and Quantify CSOs in Tidal or Free Discharge Conditions

Patrick Stevens

ADS Environmental Services, United States of America;

Measuring overflow in either tidally-influenced water bodies or free discharge conditions is considered by many as the simple task of installing a flow meter in the outfall pipe. In practice, data from a normally-stagnant pipe (tidal influence) or a normally-dry pipe (free discharge) is highly uncertain, making it difficult to determine when the overflow event started or ended, let alone to determine the overflow volume.

Experience with newer metering technologies has revealed a more reliable and less expensive technique for detecting and quantifying overflows. The method relies on a scattergraph of depth and velocity data of a flow meter installed in the sewer entering the CSO regulator structure. In regulators with tide gates the technique includes a ‘trigger’ indicator such as an inclinometer or closed switch. No meter is required in the overflow pipe.

At its simplest, the method works best where:

  • There is one sewer coming into the regulator
  • There is one continuation sewer conveying flow to an interceptor
  • There is a well-defined overflow weir or structure.

A depth and velocity scattergraph of data from the meter on the incoming line includes Iso-Q lines or lines of constant flow rate. The Iso-Q lines are read like elevation contour lines on a topographic map except that any point on an Iso-Q line reflects a certain flow rate instead of a certain elevation. The shape of the Iso-Q lines is based on the geometry of the metered pipe. The data points on the scattergraph from a storm or two will follow the Iso-Q line matching the capacity of the continuation sewer.

Once the capacity of the continuation line has been established, the task of quantifying overflow is straightforward: Overflow = Incoming Flow – Continuation Flow.

The paper will include the graphics need to explain the technique

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 24A
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Nutrient Removal Optimization Part 2: Case Studies and Operation Guide

Bryce Figdore

HDR, United States of America;

The proposed sessions will present findings of the ongoing Water Research Foundation (WRF) project 4973 “Guidelines for Optimizing Nutrient Removal Plant Performance.” The goal of the project is to develop guidance on approaches to optimize existing plants for nutrient removal, utilize full scale examples of how it is done, and to produce a guide on how to do it.

Two PNCWA sessions are proposed to cover this material, but alternative arrangements can be considered. The first session will present the fundamentals on conventional and emerging approaches for nutrient removal optimization. The second session will present case studies and “decision tree” guides for optimization. This session will provide unique learning opportunities for attendees regarding opportunities to optimize the process and achieve some nutrient removal at existing WRRFs that currently only provides secondary treatment for BOD and TSS removal. Optimization opportunities to reduce cost and improve performance will be discussed. Finally, these sessions will also allow feedback from the audience to shape the research for the Water Research Foundation project 4973 in developing practical guidelines for optimizing WRRFs to improve nutrient removal more efficiently and more reliably.

Three key learning objectives for this session are:

1. Participants will comprehend the fundamentals of nutrient reduction and the focus areas to optimize the process (for example, while conventional thinking is to maintain a DO above 2 mg/L in biological treatment, lower DO concentrations can be used under appropriate conditions to achieve both nitrification and denitrification).

2. Participants will learn how to identify opportunities for optimizing WRRF operation to reduce operating costs and to improve process performance (these two may be mutually exclusive in some instances).

3. Participants will learn about new and emerging strategies and their development status.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

Design and Operation of Biological Nitrogen Removal Systems at High Flows

Richard Kelly, Don Esping, Adam Klein

Brown and Caldwell;

Strategies for mitigating the adverse effects of high wet-weather flows on biological nitrogen removal and nitrification are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Biological nutrient removal systems, especially those that need to complete nitrification and denitrification, are sensitive to high flows that can occur due to I&I issues from rain, snowmelt, and irrigation. Nitrifiers are especially sensitive to washout during peak flows, and most often occur during cold-temperature seasons in the Pacific Northwest. Regulatory agencies, like the Washington State Department of Ecology in the Puget Sound, are contemplating stringent ammonia and nitrogen limits in permits more communities look to groundwater recharge and reuse that can carry stringent nitrogen limits. Designing and operating effective nitrogen removal systems capable of handling these high flow events is vital to meet permit limits.

Solutions must consider the permit limit, limit type (daily max, monthly average, seasonal average, etc.), and wastewater characteristics (concentrations and diurnal variation) to combat violations. Additionally, the mitigation employed may vary significantly depending on the magnitude and duration of the high flow event. For example, short term events (<1 day) could be mitigated using biological contact treatment, shutoff of mixed liquor recycle, or polymer addition to the clarifiers. Longer term (weeks long) events may require spare tank capacity or alternative treatment configurations like step feed.

This presentation will cover plant case studies where mitigating factors have been designed or operated at the treatment facilities, including newly operating facilities in the Puget Sound region and older systems in the upper Midwest.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 17B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Designing Input That Matters

Jessie Maran, Nicki Pozos

The Formation Lab, United States of America;,

Today’s utilities face demands from multiple stakeholders – internal department, elected officials, partners and the general public. Now there is increasing interest in engaging with underrepresented groups including communities of color. Unfortunately, in an effort to “meet people where they are” input can end up disconnected from the technical realities of a project. The result – input that fails to impact project outcomes, frustrated stakeholders, and poor return on the funds invested in engagement.

This interactive presentation provides engagement examples designed to empower stakeholders to impact project outcomes. Examples include structuring decisions on community values, using level of service outcomes to challenge internal stakeholders, working with communities of color as advisors, and empowering local communities within phased, focused engagement processes. The result – realistic projects with improved community outcomes.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Innovative Plan Coordination to Build Stakeholder Relationships and Public Education

Caroline Mellor, Jon Baune

J-U-B ENGINEERS / The Langdon Group, United States of America;,

Learn about the stakeholder involvement and public communication successes of Imagine Hayden, the effort of Hayden, Idaho to update the City’s Wastewater, Comprehensive, Transportation and Parks and Recreation Master Plans in one coordinated effort. Hayden catalyzed on the need for all four plans to be updated into an innovative opportunity to build trust with stakeholders and educate the public. Through a coordinated public involvement effort, Hayden illustrates the power of bridging strong relationships, internally, externally and with the public at large.

This session will highlight the tactics and takeaways from the success of Imagine Hayden. The wastewater plan provided a true opportunity to integrate community education into public engagement, to create an informed public that is able and eager to participate in wastewater planning and to build internal and external relationships that can support the plan beyond the planning effort. Imagine Hayden provides an important example of the multiplier effect that can come from understanding the issues at play in a community, using a strategic, relationship-centered combination of in-person and online engagement techniques and keeping education at the forefront of all internal discussions.

This coordinated planning effort built transparency and trust with the public through an education campaign that seamlessly integrated within the public involvement plan that enabled community members to better understand the sewer system and its constraints and opportunities. Education included the role of the wastewater plan and the role of community input. Educational graphics shifted the energy at the Open House from boring public meeting to an interactive experience that valued community members interest to understand the wastewater plan process. This increased understanding of the wastewater system allowed residents and stakeholder to ask questions that helped to inform the plan process and additional public engagement.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 18B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Meeting Stringent Ammonia and Disinfection Byproducts Limits Using Preformed Monochloramine Disinfection

Jennifer Chang1, Rachel Golda2, Peter Schauer2, Matt Noesen1, Larry Schimmoller1

1Jacobs, United States of America; 2Clean Water Services;,

The Rock Creek Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility (RCAWWTF) must balance low effluent ammonia limits, disinfection requirements, and potential low disinfection byproduct (DBP) limits.

The ammonia and disinfection limits are currently met through stable nitrification and use of sodium hypochlorite (SHC) disinfection, respectively. Effluent characterization identified the presence of two trihalomethane DBPs of potential regulatory interest - bromodichloromethane (BDCM) and chlorodibromomethane (CDBM) when effluent ammonia concentrations were low. Initial estimates suggest that future discharge limits for CDBM and BDCM may be as low as 1.1 µg/L and 1.5 µg/L, respectively.

Preformed monochloramine (PFM) disinfection was identified as an operational strategy for reducing DBP production. This method utilizes monochloramines which are formed by mixing ammonia and sodium hypochlorite in carrier water prior to mixing with process water, greatly reducing the opportunity for DBP formation. Bench-scale testing followed by pilot testing was conducted to determine if utilizing a PFM disinfection approach could be an effective solution.

Preliminary bench-scale testing of insitu monochloramines (ISM) versus PFM indicated that PFM was a promising option to meet the disinfection and DBP formation goals; therefore, pilot-scale testing was pursued.

A flow-through pilot system was constructed at the RCAWWTF to receive tertiary effluent where a PFM solution could be added. Testing evaluated:

  • Effects of varying PFM dose at a constant chlorine-to-ammonia ratio of 4:1, and
  • Effects of varying chlorine-to-ammonia ratio.

Testing demonstrated the benefits of using PFM over free chlorine and ISM by meeting disinfection permit limits and significantly reducing DBP formation potential while still maintaining effluent ammonia concentrations that met permit limits. These results show the viability of implementing PFM disinfection as a solution to more stringent DBP limits. Other clean water utilities may benefit from modifying existing chlorine disinfection to PFM disinfection as a much more cost-effective alternative relative to converting to another disinfection technology.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Advances in Wastewater Disinfection: A Summary of Experiences with Peracetic Acid and Modern UV Systems

Scott Weirich

Parametrix, United States of America;

Chemical disinfection and UV disinfection of wastewater have been around for a long time, but technology in these areas is still advancing. This presentation will cover recent advances by focusing on several recent installations in the northwest.

Peracetic acid was used for full scale temporary disinfection during an upgrade at a large wastewater treatment plant. During the operational period, it was found to be an effective though difficult to control disinfectant. However, the side-effects the sampling apparatus and reclaimed water system presented operational challenges. Lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid will be covered along with the benefits of peracetic acid relative to chlorine-based disinfection.

Recent advances in UV disinfection technology include the development of improved lamps allowing better control and energy efficiency, reduced maintenance time and costs, and the growth of closed-vessel UV systems. The experiences from a municipal wastewater plant which recently upgraded from 25-year-old UV disinfection equipment to a modern open-channel system will be covered, including simplified maintenance and improved control. Also covered will be lessons learned from installation of closed-vessel UV systems at several small tribal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 19B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Between a Lake and a Hard Place: Constructability Constraints & CIPP Lining

Brendan O'Sullivan

Murraysmith; Brendan.O'

The City of Fairview’s Interlachen trunk sewer, constructed in 1966, is a 12-inch-diameter concrete sanitary sewer along Fairview Lake’s northern shoreline. To extend the service life of their system, the City decided to rehabilitate approximately 12,000 linear feet of the degraded concrete trunk sewer.

The trunk sewer is located predominantly in private backyards routed through backyard easements of nearly 70 private properties along the lakeshore within an existing easement, presenting a unique set of construction challenges. Any excavation along the Fairview Lake shoreline would trigger floodplain permitting and likely an archaeological investigation, as the project area was once the site of a large Multnomah Native American village known as ničáqʷli. Since development of the land in 1911, an abundance of artifacts and burial remains associated with ničáqʷli have been uncovered.

These challenges provided the opportunity for an innovative solution. In the case of the Interlachen Trunk Sewer, constructability constraints presented the perfect opportunity to use UV-CIPP lining. The small construction footprint helped minimize impacts to residents, requiring less equipment to install the liner than steam or water cured CIPP methods.

This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges faced during the Interlachen Sewer Rehabilitation Project and the advantages of using UV-CIPP lining to minimize private property impacts.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Sewer Rehabilitation In A Lake – Access, Testing And Design To Extend Useful Pipe Life

David Scott1, Grizelda Sarria1, Kimberlie Staheli2, Courtney Schaumberg3

1Tetra Tech, United States of America; 2Staheli Trenchless Consultants; 3King County Wastewater Treatment Division;,,,

King County’s Mercer and Enatai Interceptors were built in the 1960s and extend over 14,000 feet from Mercer Island into the Enatai neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington. In addition to aging considerations, future peak flows are projected to exceed the system’s capacity. To address these deficiencies, the County developed a plan to construct additional conveyance and rehabilitate the existing Enatai Interceptor. The Enatai Interceptor is a 27-inch sewer reinforced concrete pipe buried in, or adjacent to, Lake Washington and Mercer Slough. Due to its routing, access for condition assessment and rehabilitation is constrained and in critical areas of environmental significance.

Predesign identified approximately 1,000 feet to be lined with Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP), and 1,700 feet of previously lined sewer to be re-lined due to signs of deterioration. However, prior to final design, additional inspection and testing of this existing lining was implemented.

The multi-sensor inspection of the pipe was conducted in April 2018. Samples of the existing liner were collected and evaluated for condition. Laboratory results were sufficient to demonstrate extended useful life. The design team therefore decided to retain the existing linerand perform spot repairs where holes were identified.

In conclusion, the design team developed an approach that accounted for difficult shoreline and in-water access, took advantage of sampling, analysis and recent research on liner longevity, and reduced construction cost.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 20B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

2020 PNCWA Ops Challenge Competition Process Control Event Written Test Review

Paul Krauth1, Chris Miccolis2

1Statepoint Engineering; 2City of Bend, United States of America;

This presentation will cover the correct answers for the multiple choose and process calculation problems in the 2020 PNCWA Ops Challenge Competition Process Control Event Test given at the 2020 PNCWA Annual Conference. The Process Control Event test is a comprehensive review of all aspects of wastewater treatment plant operation skills and is a great challenge to all levels of operators. Paul Kraft P.E. veteran wastewater educator and the writer of the test will lead the presentation. The presentation will cover all the questions in the 2020 Process Control Event and give a detailed descriptions of how to solve reach process problem. Hard copies of the test will be provided to those interested at the presentation.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

2020 PNCWA Ops Challenge Competition Process Control Event Computer Model Challenge Review.

Paul Krauth1, Chris Miccolis2

1Statepoint Engineering; 2City of Bend, United States of America;

This presentation will cover any introduction to the process model
simulator used in the Process Control Event for Ops Challenge Competition given
at the 2020 PNCWA conference. The backbone of the process model simulator is
the wastewater industry software modelling program created by GPS-X
Hydromantis. Attendees will have access to laptops with the Ops Challenge
Process Event test’s challenges loaded on the laptops. Attendees will be
instructed on how to make changes to the model parameters and run the model to
see if they are able to meet the process challenges in each scenario. Three (3)
to four (4) scenarios will be introduced to the attendees to solve depending on
time. Five (5) to ten (10) minutes will be given for each group to solve the challenges presented. Paul Krauth P. E.the Process Control Event coordinator for the PNCWA Ops Challenge Process Event will do this presentation and present one (1) approach to solving each challenge.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 21B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

State Of Practice In Chemical Procurement

Chris Maher, Bruce Cordon, Heidi Blasingame

Clean Water Services, United States of America;

While there has been an intense focus on energy efficiency, production, and neutrality in the wastewater industry in recent years, little to no attention has been paid to the use and cost of treatment chemicals. At Clean Water Services, operation of two medium advanced facilities and changing regulations at two small secondary facilities have led to escalating chemical costs, to the point they have outpaced energy costs and become the second largest operational expenditure after labor. This precipitated an effort to review the state of practice in chemical procurement including specifications, bidding and contracting, as well as an exploration of unique alternatives to traditional processes.

The effort involved a literature and resource search into existing guidance, interviews with all currently contracted chemical vendors, and interviews with numerous other water and wastewater utilities in northwest Oregon. The interviews provided insight into the various procurement practices employed and the major cost drivers for chemical manufacturers and vendors.

Among the findings to be presented are:

  • Chemical Specifications:

Existing Specifications from AWWA, NSF, ANSI Discovery of alternative chemical products

  • Chemical Bidding

Competition Bid format (single chemical, multiple chemicals) Bid advertisement

  • Chemical Contracting

Optimal contract length, renewal periods Price adjustment language (intervals, indexes, other methods) Operational considerations (delivery times, backup suppliers, training) Process considerations (chemical analysis reports, contamination)

  • Other processes

Open market purchases Formation of chemical purchasing consortiums The future of water resource and recovery is in tighter regulations, and an increasing number of regulated constituents. This will lead more facilities to begin using chemicals, more chemical, and different chemicals to comply with permits. Already Clean Water Services is investigating the use of liquid ammonium sulfate to mitigate the formation of disinfection byproducts. This is an issue on the immeadiate horizon and should begin to receive attention. The speaker will be prepared to facilitate the Q&A component to discuss unique situations faced by those in the audience.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 22B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Risk Management and Resilience -- Improving Wastewater Asset Management

Forrest Gist

Jacobs Engineering, United States of America;

Increasingly, risk assessments provide a means of identifying risk and ensuring resilience within a wastewater utility. For a 50 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant in central California serving approximately 450,000 residents, the results of a recent enterprise-wide risk assessment were incorporated into their strategic asset management program and geographic information system (GIS) map database.

This presentation describes a process to allow consistent and formal documentation of assets, threats, consequences, and vulnerabilities. This helps utility management identify critical risks and facilitate long-term resiliency relative to accidents, natural hazards, and malevolent acts.

The results of the risk evaluation and the subsequent mitigation measures can then be incorporated into a strategic asset management program and GIS map database. Some of the risk assessment elements and program objectives included:

  • Risks to the system from malevolent acts and natural hazards.
  • Resilience of the pipes/conveyances, physical barriers, collection, treatment, and electronic/computer systems (including security).
  • Identification of a variety of ways to mitigate risks, with corresponding cost-benefit analysis of the potential risk mitigation measures.
  • Means of entering the results of the risk assessment into the GIS mapping system and keying of risks to assets for entry into an asset management database.
  • Tagging of security assets into GIS and asset management.

The processes and tools shared are applicable to any City-wide infrastructure assets, including wastewater, water, power, transportation, and communications. Attendees will learn how the this approach can be tailored to address risk and resiliency needs, and how risk reduction improvements can be entered into an asset management program and GIS mapping system for better tracking and greater effectiveness.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

We’ve Come a Long Way Baby- How Change Management Made MSD’s Asset Management Program a Success

Anne Kennedy1, Catherine Politte2

1Brown and Caldwell, Inc.; 2Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District;

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) has been implementing asset management (AM) for over a decade at their seven wastewater treatment plants, 274 pump stations, and throughout their extensive wastewater and stormwater collection system. Their formalized AM program was initiated for the collection system and expanded to include the plant and pump station assets. AM became the new normal for MSD and has produced tangible benefits that resulted in better operations and maintenance of the District’s assets. The success of the program hinged on the extensive attention the District paid to the human side of the effort. MSD’s strategy was based on the certainty that successful AM is about people taking on new business practices and methods.

The true challenge to success with any asset management effort lies with staff acceptance and MSD realized the importance of winning both hearts and minds early in their program development. MSD developed their program with the understanding that they would be the long-term stewards of their assets and that staff engagement at all levels of the organization was vital to ensure that their program would succeed in the near term and be sustainable well into the future. In essence, an AM philosophy had to become part of the DNA of the organization.

The presentation highlights the role that change management plays in the success of an AM program from development through implementation. The MSD experience demonstrates that holistic organizational engagement has ensured buy in and support for their program. Engagement of staff in various divisions including Operations, Engineering, Finance, IT, and HR encouraged an understanding of the value that AM brings to the entire organization. Change management and the methods that were used to engage, communicate, educate, and implement program initiatives will be shared and lessons learned during MSD’s AM journey will be highlighted.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 23B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Addressing Spokane’s Wet Weather Challenges With Real-Time Controls

Marcia Davis1, B Fredrickson1, Santtu Winter2

1City of Spokane; 2Jacobs;,

The City of Spokane’s stormwater and wastewater collection systems have historically been operated with minimal data collection and supervisory or remote control capabilities, primarily because the assets and facilities have generally been achieving their desired performance. However, the City has long recognized the potential for improved performance of the collection system through the implementation of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for the collection system. To that end, the City and Jacobs prepared a Collection System SCADA Master Plan that lays the foundation for building a SCADA network for the collection system, and eventual implemention of real-time control (RTC) to address wet weather challenges.

The collection system SCADA would allow for increased monitoring and alarming, improved data management, and the potential application of RTC at CSO control facilities. These improvements could result in reduced CSOs, reduced risk of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), more efficient operations and maintenance (O&M), and an increased understanding of how the system operates.

As part of the Master Plan, the project team updated a system model of the City’s sewer system, and simulated possible RTC scenarios to manage wet weather events. The model results indicated a reduction in CSO volume of between 10 to 50%, depending on the storm and level of RTC implemented. Not only did RTC reduce CSO volumes, but it also allowed for better protection of critical points in the interceptor system that are susceptible to surcharging.

This presentation will focus on describing the gaps and solutions identified in the Master Plan, discussing the RTC analysis and results, and presenting the anticipated O&M impacts of making the improvements.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Optimization of Smart Sewers and Innovative Advanced Control for CSO Reduction

Josh Thompson

Jacobs Engineering, United States of America;

Digital Twins provide a tool for operators that simulates collection and treatment systems to optimize the operation of existing infrastructure, thus reducing or eliminating the need for new treatment facilities to meet updated CSO regulations. The tool relies on distributed wireless instrumentation and data analysis, which allow advanced process control techniques to be used. A case study for the City of Cincinnati will be presented, where a wide network of more than 500 instrumentation sites was implemented and monitored, resulting in avoiding significant infrastructure investment. The project was effective because the delivery team used active control of the collection system and dedicated wet weather facilities in real-time, which maximized existing infrastructure usage and minimized releases to the environment consistent with regulatory drivers.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 24B
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Operator Insights on Maintaining and Recovering Biological Phosphorus Removal

Brent Deyo, Erik R. Coats

University of Idaho, United States of America;

Engineers and academics have many things to teach about theoretical and idealized approaches for achieving and sustaining successful BPR. However, it is operators who know the realities of creating requisite environments wherein BPR can best succeed, and who have critical insight on causes of, and recovery from, process failure. In order to gain valuable insight from operational leadership on their strategies for maintaining stable BPR, a survey was sent out to over 40 water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) practicing BPR. Reponses were analyzed to find overlapping themes, consistencies, and contradictions. Follow up interviews were conducted over the phone and through email to further examine and understand key comments within the responses. Analysis of results indicate that while every BPR facility is unique, there is substantial overlap between facilities that succeed and those that fail. This presentation will share and discuss insights, feedback, and operational strategies for sustaining and recovering BPR. While these approaches may not be suitable to every facility, the results of this survey highlight the issues operators most need solutions to, and those they have already solved.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

The Day I took Control of My Struvite Problem, or the Benefits of a Whole Plant Nutrient Balance

Adam Klein1, Rick Kelly1, Henryk Melcer1, Ron Gearhart2, Shannon Johnson3, Phil Heck4

1Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; 2City of Boise; 3City of Nampa; 4Central Valley Water Reclamation District;

Introduction/Problem Statement

The current bloom of phosphorus management approaches has been driven by two major factors. First, increasingly stringent phosphorus regulations have driven utilities to investigate ways to reduce effluent total phosphorus (TP) concentrations. Second, sophisticated asset management tools have highlighted the ongoing cost of struvite-related maintenance, causing utilities to seek solutions to mitigate struvite accumulation.

Utilities now have an extensive selection of options to manage phosphorus. These include physical, chemical, and biological processes targeted towards the liquid treatment train, biosolids processing train, and dewatering return stream. The diversity of alternatives calls for an assessment method which is honest, simple, and straightforward.


The tool is a spreadsheet-based mass balance, which tracks nutrients through the treatment plant. Although the tool was calibrated using extensive characterization data, it can be applied to almost any utility, and loaded with data typically collected as part of the routine daily monitoring record.

Calculation Outputs

The presentation will include figures and tables depicting the nutrient mass balance across three test facilities. Balances will be presented for total phosphorus, soluble ortho-phosphate, ammonia, and TKN.

Concluding Statements

The tool presented in this paper uses a simple mass balance to project risk, and compare mitigation alternatives. In addition to evaluating add-on struvite precipitation processes, it has been used to compare impacts of chemical precipitation approaches at primary and secondary clarifiers to biological phosphorus removal, and has also been used to assess the impacts of food waste acceptance and co-digestion on nutrient loadings and struvite potential.


Date: Wednesday, 16/Sept/2020
8:00am - 10:15amSession 25A

Inherited Pump Stations, Inherent Risk – What to Watch for During Upgrades

Kelly Wood, Robert Bacon

City of Portland, United States of America;,

With expansion or consolidation, wastewater utilities may find themselves assuming responsibility for pump stations that were owned and operated by another service districts or jurisdiction. The new owner may operate inherited stations for years prior to initiating an upgrade. Upgrade projects must overcome several challenges unique to inherited stations, including missing record drawings, absent, inaccurate or inadequate easements, non-conformance with land use regulations and zoning, undocumented utilities from private development under prior jurisdictional standards, and completing work within the broader context of an outside agency project like the I-5 bridge replacement under ODOT. The Bureau of Environmental Services owns and manages several pump stations that were inherited from a utility district when Hayden Island was incorporated from Multnomah County into the City of Portland. The presentation will describe the issues faced and lessons learned during a seven-year project to upgrade the Safeway pump station and how the lessons will be applied to future projects to upgrade stations inherited from other jurisdictions.

Planning to add value to your Capital Projects

David Dunn1,2, Buck Lucas3, Janet Cherry4

1WA Department of Ecology, Water Quality; 2Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council; 3WA Department of Comerce, Public Works Board; 4WA Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water;,, Janet.Cherry@DOH.WA.GOV

One results of sewer system planning is the capital improvement plan; the list of construction projects your utility must build in order to allow for growth, to maintain reliable service, and to meet regulatory requirements. That list of projects will take years to complete, involve major changes to how you do your job and likely have significant impacts to user rates. Value planning is a process to ensure that your community finds the right project, builds it at the right time, uses the right technology, and designs it to be the right size, with the right amount of complexity to fit your community. Take steps today that will ensure your capital projects solve the root cause problems in a way that will make your utility stronger.

Journey to Performance Excellence - Clean Water Services Experience So Far

Ryan Locicero, Mark Poling

Clean Water Services, United States of America;,

Clean Water Services in Hillsboro, Oregon, has a long-standing history of breaking new ground and pioneering new ways of working together to accomplish transformative outcomes, recognized nationally as a Utility of the Future and globally as a Leading Utility of the World. After the retirement of its long time, Executive Director, and the selection of its new CEO, Diane Taniguchi-Dennis, the Board of Directors asked Clean Water Services to lead structural and culture change processes, emphasizing internal communication and each employee's sense of meaning in their work.

To meet this charge, Clean Water Services has embarked on a Performance Excellence Journey. So precisely what is Performance Excellence? Performance Excellence is a nationally recognized framework administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology that oversees the nation's only Presidential award for Performance Excellence, The Malcolm Baldrige Award. Performance Excellence is a systems approach to improving an organization's performance. It helps organizations address a dynamic environment, focus on strategy-driven performance, achieve customer and workforce engagement, improve governance and ethics, societal responsibilities, competitiveness, and long-term organizational sustainability.

The framework is nonprescriptive and asks you to explore strengths and opportunities to improve in several critical aspects of managing and performing as an organization. These seven categories are 1. Leadership, 2. Strategy, 3. Customers, 4. Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management, 5. Workforce, 6. Operations, and 7. Results.

The framework poses a provocative question to senior leaders: Is your organization doing as well as it could? How do you know? And what and how should your organization improve or change? So, what are we learning so far, and what can you learn from this process? We will discuss these questions and the progress we are making on our journey, including some of the organizational benefits and lessons learned.

8:00am - 10:15amSession 26A
8:00am - 8:45am

Procuring Equipment For Goldilocks

Dan Garbely1, Brett Reistad2, Rob Bechtloff3, Jeff Stallard4

1Clean Water Services; 2Jacobs; 3Slayden Constructors; 4Water Environment Services;,,,

A panel that includes two owners, a consulting engineer and a contractor with years of experience specifying, buying and operating equipment. The panel will discuss equipment procurement options and weigh the pluses and minuses of each different option from their different perspectives. Owners are trying to balance costs, O&M staff preferences, and limiting stocks of parts. Engineers have to pick a vendor and model to base the design around while maintaining a competitive specification for bid. Finally, a contractor has to find the equipment at the right price to win the job, while still meeting the design specifications. These conflicting demands can make for a challenging environment where often no one is perfectly happy with the end result. This panel will explore different options for equipment procurement such as owner procure, owner procure and assign, open bid, and bid alternates and discuss the pros and cons of each option from the varying points of view, and discuss ideas on how to improve collaboration to get the right equipment, at the right price, to meet the design objectives.

8:45am - 9:30am

Transforming Design-Bid-Build to Improve Collaboration and Teamwork

Jason King, MIchael Schulz

Keller Associates, Inc.;,

The design-bid-build procurement process can limit the chance for collaboration between the owner, engineer, and contractor. This drawback has been a driving force toward non-traditional delivery methods such as traditional design-build, construction manager-at-risk, and progressive design-build. However, there are tools to improve collaboration, which can make the design-bid-build process remain the best option. Some of these tools include prequalifying contractors and providing a detailed construction constraint specification. The construction constraints section of bidding documents offers engineers a unique way to communicate challenging project aspects to contractors. When well thought out and detailed, construction constraints can help contractors understand anticipated shutdowns, required bypass pumping provisions, and limitations in the existing equipment’s operational capabilities.

Utilizing these and other tools to improve collaboration can also lead to an aggressive competitive bidding process. Recently, the City of Lewiston awarded a contract for the construction of wastewater treatment plant upgrades. The majority of their existing processes were being upgraded and expanded, which created an immensely complex project. Using collaborative tools, the contractors understood the project and had greater confidence in their costs, such that all bids were within ~5% on this $34M project. This presentation will introduce and discuss collaborative methods for improving the design-bid-build procurement process.

9:30am - 10:15am

Panel Discussion of GC/CM Delivery for Spokane Riverside Park WRF

Kristen Griebel1, Lars Hendron2, Andrew Pharis3

1Jacobs Engineering, United States of America; 2City of Spokane, Washington, United States of America; 3MWH Constructors, United States of America;,,

The City of Spokane is undertaking a $192 million GC/CM project at the City’s Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility (RPWRF) to implement its Next Level of Treatment (NLT), which is a 50-mgd membrane filtration tertiary treatment process. The delivery team includes the City, the Contractor (MWH Constructors), and Engineering Consultant (Jacobs Engineering). This panel will provide input from each party regarding organization of the contracts and how the GC/CM model is also being used for pre-selection of major equipment and collaboration for startup and commissioning. Key topics include contractual relationships, advantages and disadvantages, identifying and resolving issues, and preconstruction activities. In addition, lessons learned will be discussed, along with how this delivery model influences design, construction, and plant operation.

GC/CM panel discussion will address the following topics:

  • Contracting
  • Early packages and GMP timing
  • GC/CM model details and issues resolution
  • Pre-selection of major equipment
  • Additional collaboration for startup and commissioning planning
8:00am - 10:15amSession 27A
8:00am - 8:45am

Effectiveness Studies 101

Taylor Hoffman-Ballard

Osborn Consulting, Inc., United States of America;

Eastern Washington municipalities are currently conducting eight separate effectiveness studies as a result of a 2014-2019 Eastern Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit requirement. The permit required municipalities to collaboratively select, propose, develop, and conduct the studies approved by the Washington State Department of Ecology to assess effectiveness of permit-required stormwater management program activities and best management practices. The results of the studies will ultimately be applied to improve stormwater management plans or to justify potential changes to permit requirements for Eastern Washington municipalities.

In order to develop the studies, permittees submitted individual study ideas as part of their annual reports. Following the submittal, the permittees worked together to rank study ideas and select 12-15 of those ideas, of which eight were approved by Ecology. Study designs for each of the ideas were summarized in detailed study design proposals, followed by Quality Assurance Project Plans, which were submitted to Ecology for approval. Permittees are now in the process of conducting their effectiveness studies.

Of the effectiveness studies being conducted, Osborn Consulting is performing data collection or providing technical assistance during data collection for four of the studies. The studies and goals include:

  • the Bioretention Soil Media Study, which compares the effectiveness of a 12-inch depth of media to the Ecology-approved 18-inch depth;
  • the Sand Filter Sidewalk Vault Study, which assesses the effectiveness of a sand filter designed for built-out urban areas;
  • the Street Sweeping versus Catch Basin Cleaning study, which compares the effectiveness of catch basin cleaning with a combination of catch basin cleaning and street sweeping to limit transport of pollutants downstream; and
  • the BMP Inspection and Maintenance for Privately Owned Facilities study, which compares the effectiveness of different approaches taken by municipalities to inspect, maintain, and enforce maintenance of BMPs on private properties.

Each study and goal listed above were designed with the intent to inform municipalities’ stormwater management plans or potential changes to municipal permit requirements. Current status of the studies at the time of the conference will be summarized as allowed.

8:45am - 9:30am

Municipal Stormwater Separate System Circuit, NPDES Receiving Waters and Urban Stormwater Catchment (USC) Mapping Project

Tim Hagan, Austin Jennings

Pierce County WA Planning and Public Works Department;,

The Municipal Stormwater Separate System (MS4) circuit is a delineated network of stormwater conveyance infrastructure discharging to a single point, such as an outfall, infiltration BMP endpoint or connection to another jurisdiction’s MS4. Adjacent circuits can be aggregated into a single urban stormwater catchment (USC) when those circuits share similar topography, land use and percent impervious cover, among other variables. USCs incorporate two features which improve their utility as a stormwater management compartment and pollutant reduction accounting platform. First, the natural landscape (microtopography) has experienced significant soil grading, filling and excavation whereby stormwater runoff now drains (collects, concentrates, disperses) in observably different patterns across the modified urban landform. And second, runoff drainage patterns have been significantly modified by the collection and routing of stormwater through man-made conveyances (MS4). The USC is a more accurate depiction of the drainage basin configurations and MS4 connectivity to receiving waters, which are the NPDES program’s point of compliance.

Using new guidance released by ESRI’s Arc Hydro team in January 2019, Pierce County has developed a state-of-the art platform for spatial analysis of stormwater in the Clarks Creek watershed. This tool brings together high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM), updated stream features, and open-channel and piped stormwater asset data to deliver unprecedented accuracy in the delineation of USCs.

Unlike typical delineations, which rely almost exclusively on topography and surface features, this new system accounts for man-made alterations to the landscape by accounting for subsurface drainage infrastructure. While other accepted methodologies exist to approximate stormwater catchment areas in an urban setting, most rely on professional judgement and generalizations that ultimately limit their applications. The Arc Hydro toolset provides for a standardized workflow that is scalable and robust, and that opens the door to new analyses that will benefit planning, outreach, and pollution control programs across the County.

9:30am - 10:15am

"Industrial Strength" Green Infrastructure for Commercial and Industrial Business Applications

Cari Simson

ECOSS, United States of America;

ECOSS and Equinox Studios collaborated on the design and construction of a large-scale green infrastructure (GSI) demonstration site in an industrial area in South Seattle's Manufacturing and Industrial district. Equinox Studios is an artist-owned complex, offering over 225,000 square feet dedicated to creating space for artists and artisans such as welders, glass blowers, blacksmiths, and sculptors. Located in the industrial heart of Seattle's Manufacturing and Industrial district, Equinox attracts over 18,000 visitors per year and is ideally situated to promote GSI to local industrial businesses and communities. ECOSS is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that provides GSI engagement, NPDES Industrial Stormwater Permit workshops and technical assistance, spill kit outreach in mulitiple languages, and other confidential business support to help businesses and municipalities reduce impacts of stormwater runoff, and comply with local and State stormwater permits.

The Equinox multi-building installation is designed to collect stormwater from 62,000 sf of roof and paved space, and passively filter 1.3 million gallons of water annually. The site raises awareness of innovative, nature-based solutions that manage rainwater runoff and flooding in heavy-duty industrial and commercial locations. The first phase installed four Grattix systems (rain gardens in large boxes) and two cisterns filled with oyster shells as roof downspout filters, which remove zinc, copper and other pollutants from runoff. Additionally, three examples of permeable paving were installed, and 2020 phases include a large rain garden in a box and vegetated walls irrigated from stormwater cisterns. These GSI solutions are not yet part of Industrial Stormwater Permit compliance, but can remedy other site conditions such as flooding or site recontamination from air deposition that falls on roofs.

ECOSS will share results from the South Seattle business assessments that were conducted, and examples of technical assistance provided to encourage local businesses to adopt GSI solutions.

8:00am - 10:15amSession 28A
8:00am - 8:45am

Beyond Internal Communication: Bridge-Building Through Employee Engagement

Jessica Bucciarelli

Clean Water Services, United States of America;

Employee engagement is related to both stakeholder involvement and communication strategies and techniques. An effective employee engagement strategy creates the conditions for employees to build bridges across organizational gaps – or even transform them.

What is employee engagement? There exists a range of definitions, including:

  • The extent of employees’ emotional and intellectual commitment to accomplishing your organization’s work, mission and vision. (Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework)
  • The mutual commitment between your organization and the employee, in which your organization helps the employee meet their potential and the employee helps your organization meet its goals. (Bob Kelleher)
  • Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their employer. They drive innovation and move the organization forward. (Gallup)
  • The extent to which employees are personally involved in the success of your organization. (Emma Bridger)

At Clean Water Services, the employee engagement strategy places a firm emphasis on the importance of employees seeing how their individual efforts connect with the organization’s mission, vision, promise and values.

The session will include an overview of the employee engagement toolbox at CWS, including the popular peer-to-peer learning program, CWS Passport; a series of focused but informal conversations known as Project Spotlight with the CEO; the internal components of this year’s “Celebrating 50 Years of Clean Water” campaign; and Clean on Screen, a series of one-minute video profiles of employees. We will also discuss the role of metrics, surveys and focus groups in measuring the impact of internal communication and employee engagement strategies.

Clean Water Services has been recognized as a Leading Utility of the World and a Utility of the Future. This presentation will touch upon the role of employee engagement in those achievements, as well as the connections among employee engagement and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework; integrated planning; Effective Utility Management; and One Water.

8:45am - 9:30am

How to Successfully Utilize the Envision Rating System as a Sustainability Framework: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Southeast Plant Headworks

Kathleen Mannion

Carollo Engineers, United States of America;

The Southeast Treatment Plant New Headworks Facility Project (Headworks Project) is a critical infrastructure project for the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The new and improved 250-mgd headworks facility will process approximately 80% of the City's wastewater, increasing the overall resilience of the San Francisco community. This project has many recognizable long-term positive impacts on the community including but not limited to, local community economic development opportunities, improved odor control, facility aesthetics project, flood prevention, and waste reduction.

SFPUC leadership favored a way to both evaluate and publicly recognize the Headworks Project's focus on sustainability and did so by utilizing the Envision rating system. Envision is a sustainability and resiliency rating system and planning guide for infrastructure projects developed and implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). A project's sustainability level is evaluated by meeting high achievement levels of sustainability and resiliency indicators called (credits) arranged into five categories: 1) Quality of Life, 2) Leadership, 3) Resource Allocation, 4) Natural World, and 5) Climate and Risk. Each Envision credit explains the criteria's significance to sustainability and lists up to five levels of achievement that a project can achieve for this credit. Each level of achievement outlines necessary performance required to meet that achievement level, as well as a point value for each level. If a project chooses to pursue an Envision award, the level of achievement is awarded based on the percentage of points the project achieved. The rating system can also be used as a resource to projects not interested in pursuing an award, but want a “gut-check” on the sustainability of their project. The SFPUC chose to use the Envision rating system to evaluate the project, recognize its achievement in sustainability, and ultimately receive an Envision Gold Award.

9:30am - 10:15am

The Digital Water Cooler: Tools for Innovative Collaboration of Remote Teams

Ben Nelson, Isaac D'Auria

Jacobs, United States of America;,

How do teams communicate and collaborate in the digital space? Modern projects are often made up of teams from multiple agencies or firms who may or may not be in the same geographic areas. Online collaboration has become an essential piece of successful project delivery. Choosing appropriate platforms and then building systems and workflows that allow real time collaboration are key to success. It is important to understand the range of tools are available and when they should be applied on a project-by-project basis.

We’ll take a closer look at the digital landscape of available resources and how they can act as digital file cabinets, host project documentation in cloud storage; become digital notepads, serve as a central and organized location for teams to store their thoughts, actions, and project background information; and be digital markup studios that bring real-time collaboration into design, review, and quality control. This presentation will provide some philosophy of online collaboration, talk about platform selection, and summarize the application and benefits of several specific tools that presenters regularly use such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft OneNote, and Bluebeam’s Revu (additional/alternative platforms will also be discussed). Information will be presented from the perspective of everyday users of these tools with the goal of providing an entry point for delivering projects in an increasingly more digital work space.

8:00am - 10:15amSession 29A
8:00am - 8:45am

Pilot Testing Nuvoda’s Mobile Organic Biofilm at the Edmonds WWTP

Tom Giese1, Pamela Randolph2, Justin Bell3

1BHC Consultants; 2City of Edmonds; 3Nuvoda;,,

Like many other WWTPs in the Puget Sound region, the Edmonds WWTP will be facing nitrogen limits under the forthcoming general permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology. The City of Edmonds WWTP is a conventional activated sludge process originally designed for oxidation of BOD with a mean-cell residence time typically between 3 and 5 days. A large amount of additional tankage would be required to upgrade the conventional activated sludge process for nitrification and denitrification at considerable expense and would present major challenges in creating space for such an addition. Rather than wait until forced to face this challenge, the City has decided to proactively explore promising alternatives. One such alternative is Nuvoda’s MOB™ (Mobile Organic Biofilm) process. The City of Edmonds, Nuvoda and BHC Consultants worked together to first assess the feasibility and effectiveness of this technology using process modeling, followed by conducting a full-scale pilot test that is currently ongoing. Topics of this presentation will include:

  • Overview of the Edmonds WWTP
  • Why Nuvoda MOB™?
  • Overview of Nuvoda MOB™ technology
  • Overview of the full-scale pilot system
  • Review the assessment of feasibility and effectiveness
  • Review pilot system performance to date

8:45am - 9:30am

Innovative MABR Process for Resilient Nitrogen Removal Performance

Amit Kaldate, Dwight Houweling

Suez Water Technologies & Solutions;

Wastewater plants are facing major challenges of achieving low effluent nutrients at low operating costs. Upgrades of WWTPs for nutrient removal using traditional technologies require large aeration tank volumes and very high energy demands. This paper presents an innovative biological technology which helps achieve nutrient goals at low energy consumption. Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) facilitates process intensification in two distinct ways. First, it increases the capacity of existing secondary treatment infrastructure, without any need for new bioreactor volume i.e. no new construction to increase capacity to achieve nitrogen removal goals. Secondly, it minimizes process aeration demand due to the creative manner in which oxygen is delivered for nitrogen removal. The MABR process employs media that is gas permeable to deliver oxygen to a biofilm that is attached to the surface of the media. The media is arranged in cassettes for very compact design. These cassettes are installed in existing aeration basins to augment treatment capacity without the need to build new tanks. The availability of oxygen at the media surface encourages attachment of nitrifiers. Preferential growth of nitrifiers versus heterotrophs in a counter-diffusional biofilm is a key differentiator of MABR. Due to the unique counter-diffusional properties of the MABR biofilm, oxygen transfer is primarily directed to nitrification when the MABR is located at the upstream end of an activated sludge bioreactor. In contrast, conventional co-diffusional biofilms typically require removal of BOD before a nitrifying biofilm can be established. As a result, the energy required for MABR process is significantly lower as compared to suspended growth (conventional activated sludge) and attached growth (IFAS) processes. This paper presents system performance data from full-scale and pilot-scale plants of MABR technology. The results include field data combined with process model simulations which demonstrate consistent performance under variable diurnal conditions.

9:30am - 10:15am

Evaluation of an Integrated Tertiary Treatment System for Ultra-Low Level Phosphorus Removal in Hayden, Idaho

Dan Dye1, Ken Windram2, Libbie Linton1, Brett Boissevain1

1WesTech Engineering, Inc, United States of America; 2Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board;

The Hayden Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) process consists of a headworks, equalization, enhanced biological nutrient removal, oxidation ditches, and secondary clarifiers. The facility produces typical effluent total phosphorus concentrations in the range of <1.0 mg/L as P. However, during upset conditions, these effluent concentrations can often increase to values upward of 5 mg/L TP.

In 2022, the WWTP will be subject to a more stringent NPDES permit standard, which correlates to a new target effluent value of 0.035 mg/L TP. Various physico-chemical based unit processes were considered for their ability to consistently meet these requirements, and the selected Integrated Tertiary Treatment (ITT) System process includes solids contact clarification (SCC) and ultrafiltration (UF). The ITT System and a unique collaborative design approach was selected following evaluation of existing infrastructure and current plant conditions, with consideration of the future NPDES permit target.

The SCC is a combination treatment unit that achieves low shear mixing for flocculation followed by gravity sedimentation for clarification, with internal solids recirculation for efficiency and reduced hydraulic detention time. Additionally, low-pressure UF is used to remove particulate phosphorus and suspended solids.

An 18-week pilot was used to verify phosphorus removal by SCC and UF under a wide range of influent phosphorus conditions. Additional scenarios were also tested to evaluate the impact of pretreatment on UF system operation, as well as overall phosphorus reduction. These included SCC upset conditions, UF without SCC pretreatment, and varied doses of coagulant. Notably, this pilot demonstrated that the targeted effluent phosphorus concentration of 0.035 mg/L as P was achievable under all feed conditions, including total phosphorus as high as 8.44 mg/L as P. Final average filtrate phosphorus values were achieved with and without SCC pretreatment as 0.016 mg/L TP and 0.024 mg/L TP, respectively.

In addition to phosphorus, this pilot study was used to assess full-scale system parameters. This paper discusses the pilot study, equipment and process design concepts, and aspects of the unique collaborative design approach between owner, integrated process equipment supplier, and engineer, as well as ongoing and future work.

8:00am - 10:15amSession 30A
8:00am - 8:45am

A MBR Approach to Class A-1 Effluent Reuse in Montana

Eric Blanksma

Morrison-Maierle, Inc., United States of America;

The primary consideration for wastewater effluent requirements has been evolving from pollution prevention to include beneficial uses as water resources are optimized. Reuse of effluent following wastewater treatment is available in Montana under Class A-1 standards and allows for beneficial unrestricted irrigation, industrial, non-potable water uses, dust control, groundwater recharge, stream flow augmentation, indirect potable reuse, or snow-making to name a few.

The Big Sky resort area in Montana is home to Moonlight Basin. A new 0.1 MGD wastewater treatment facility was selected to handle growth with the need for environmental protection and reuse potential of the effluent. Our approach to implementation of a treatment system to meet strict turbidity, total nitrogen, and total coliform limits included a MBR facility with fine screening; pre-anoxic, aerobic, and post-anoxic bioreactor trains with chemical addition; ultrafiltration membranes, and UV disinfection. The MBR facility completed in 2019 will allow Moonlight to implement effluent disposal through golf course irrigation initially and explore other options such as groundwater recharge, supplementing surface water, and snowmaking.

Topics of discussion will include design, permitting, and construction of the MBR treatment plant to produce Class A-1 reuse effluent. The MBR process and equipment is specialized from each manufacturer, so a pre-selection was completed early in the design to determine structure, piping, and equipment requirements. Since this project was the first Class A-1 reuse design reviewed and approved by DEQ in Montana, there was coordination with regulators during the course of design. Some of the specific construction challenges included the mountain location, short summer season, and access to labor and materials. Since the Moonlight project began in 2015, we are observing that other facilities are exploring Class A-1 effluent and expect that it will become a more prevalent practice.

8:45am - 9:30am

Strategically Balancing Effectiveness and Implementation of Water Reuse Options to Manage Water Consumption

Christopher Stoll1, Adam Storey1, Karen Galt2, Joelle Hammerstad2

1Kennedy Jenks, United States of America; 2Seattle Parks and Recreation, United States of America;,,,

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) operates and maintains around 485 parks over 6,414 acres across the City of Seattle including swimming pools, wading pools, golf courses, spray parks, community centers, and other recreational facilities. SPR was started in 1884 and has continued to increase the open space and facilities available to the public since then. As part of ongoing operations and maintenance, SPR has seen their cost for potable water increase because of three reasons: 1) increase in potable water prices and 2) longer and more intense irrigation seasons due to more frequency drought conditions, and 3) rapid population growth in Seattle since 2010. As SPR desires to continue to use local resources sustainably and reduce long-term operations cost, this Study had three main objectives to help achieve these desires: 1) to assess the effectiveness of SPR’s existing water reuse and conservation systems and 2)to evaluate other reuse and conservation systems that SPR could implement, and 3) to determine a high-level implementation plan for the reuse and conservation systems examined to decrease long-term operations and maintenance cost. This Study analyzed and scored various systems for water reuse and conservation (including recycled water, grey water, stormwater and pool water) based on the systems’ effectiveness (ability to meet the Study objectives such as decreasing water use and decreasing reliance on potable water) and ease of implementation (level of effort needed to implement a specific system). Based on the analysis and evaluation, the water reuse and conservation systems were broken into categories to assist with focusing efforts for implementation.

9:30am - 10:15am

Novel Alternative Management of Data Center Industrial Wastewater

Brett Converse1, Shae Talley1, David Stockdale2, Scott Coleman2

1J-U-B Engineers; 2City of Umatilla Oregon;,

Data centers offer economic drivers attractive to communities able to meet utility demands. These industries have large electrical demands to power associated computer equipment which are converted to heat and must be evacuated. Data centers using evaporative cooling require large amounts of water which is evaporated or discharged as industrial wastewater when constituent concentration or temperature prohibits continued use in cooling towers. The volume of water used, the volume of water evaporated, the volume of water discharged, and constituent concentration therein will depend on the quality of source water, climatological conditions and internal management. Water and wastewater service providers must understand the demands of data centers and plan for meeting those demands prior to agreeing to serve. In 2013, the first data center was constructed within city limits at the City of Umatilla, Oregon. After the data center became operational, industrial wastewater was discharged to the City’s wastewater treatment plant when the ambient temperature began to climb in the springtime. When the temperature reached over 100 degrees, the City experienced a 65 percent increase in wastewater flow and corresponding dilution of most influent constituent concentrations. As the industrial development continued, the City had concerns over managing projected flows from future data center expansions and began planning to meet service demand. After investigating alternatives, the City decided to pursue discharging the industrial wastewater directly to a water of the state via a national pollution discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit. The presentation will focus on the City’s experience collecting, treating, permitting and disposing of the data center industrial wastewater and associated benefits: additional irrigation water, lower fees and sustainability.

8:00am - 10:15amSession 31A
8:00am - 8:45am

Navigating Numeric Nutrient Criteria with Public Education, Water Quality Modeling and Data Gathering on the Yellowstone River

Amanda McInnis1, Dave Clark1, Dave Mumford2, Louis Engels2, Bruce Sugdon2, Michael Kasch1, Coralynn Revis1

1HDR, United States of America; 2City of Billings, Montana;

The City of Billings Water Reclamation Facility recently was upgraded provide nitrogen and phosphorus removal (~$70M capital costs) to meet a performance cap included in their permit. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) indicated that they intend to develop site specific nutrient criteria for the stretch of the Yellowstone River that the City of Billings discharges to. MDEQs preliminary estimates indicate further significant reductions in both nitrogen and phosphorus may be needed.

MDEQ had developed numeric criteria in the downstream reaches of the Yellowstone River with a very limited dataset. The City of Billings decided to take a proactive approach and develop a more complete nutrient dataset for their reach of the Yellowstone. The City developed a sampling and analysis plan to provide data to MDEQ. In addition, the City requested a copy of the preliminary QUAL2K model that MDEQ was using from the downstream reach. Data collection took places in the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The City of Billings used this data along with several discharge scenarios to develop a sensitivity analysis and gain a better understanding of impacts on algae, dissolved oxygen, pH and nutrient concentrations in the Yellowstone. The model indicates the Yellowstone is phosphorus limited. When the upgraded WRF concentration are simulated, the model shows the river becoming more strongly phosphorus limited.

In addition, the City developed a video released on its Facebook site and on youtube to show to its City council and to State legislators as they make the case for a practical solution to the water quality challenges they face.

This City has reaped the benefits of having a proactive strategy for owning the science on its receiving water body and by setting the tone with release of its video. As a result of this work, the City of Billings understands as well as MDEQ the impact they are having on the river. By using the model as a technical tool, the City was able to have meaningful participation in the science used to develop the criteria that will impact their facility.

8:45am - 9:30am

Integrated Planning at the Intersection of Nutrients, Toxics, Unregulated Compounds, and Climate Change

David L. Clark1, Haley Falconer2

1HDR, United States of America; 2City of Boise, Idaho;,

Wastewater utilities face a combination of challenges to effective planning that transcend silos in regulatory frameworks, span multiple constituents, and emanate from a changing planet. Planning must embrace this dynamic combination to be effective in guiding decisions, prioritizing investments, and adequately preparing utilities for the future. Ignoring the multiplicity of challenges in pursuit of absolute certainty about a single factor (CSO/SSO or nutrients or toxics) may sacrifice the opportunity to capture the synergy from collateral benefits that satisfy a combinations of requirements despite uncertainties. Now that Integrated Planning has been codified in the Clean Water Act in 2019, managers have a new tool to leverage permit negotiations and competing compliance requirements with realistic schedules that consider local priorities and affordability. This suggests that an improved planning approach will define incremental implementation steps in an adaptive management framework because it provides better information to guide subsequent decision making over time, balances customer cost impacts, and improves future outcomes.

Since many, if not all aspects wastewater systems are interrelated, grouping recommended studies and capital improvements into programs with common goals that align individual projects, may better address uncertainty and competition for limited resources. Coordination in programs allows for evaluations of technology studies, pilot testing, receiving water monitoring/modeling, and implemented projects for better information to reduce uncertainty and optimize operations and capital improvements over time. Recognition that climate change is altering fundamentals in wastewater characteristics and receiving water quality necessitates the need to tune actions and expectations over time. Opportunities created by phased implementation may address multiple challenges, aid in risk management, and reduce overall costs. An Integrated Plan that articulates this approach to implementation provides the additional benefit of informing permitting and regulatory compliance. Cost savings resulting from this approach flow entirely to the benefit of the local utility and its customers.

9:30am - 10:15am

Pioneering TMDL Reassessment in the Clarks Creek Watershed

Valerie Fuchs1, Tim Hagan2, Mike Milne1

1Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; 2Pierce County Surface Water Management;

Pierce County (County) is implementing the Clarks Creek Dissolved Oxygen and Sediment TMDL under a Dispute Resolution Agreement (DRA) with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). The 5-Year Reassessment Project was specifically negotiated under the DRA. The project is a purposefully-designed, diagnostic water quality monitoring and modeling study performed with Ecology’s participation and guidance. This unprecedented study is reexamining the original TMDL’s data, models, metrics, and waste load reduction targets to better inform water quality improvements for Clarks Creek.

The County and its consultant, Brown and Caldwell, have complete two initial project documents to set the stage for the TMDL reassessment and gain approval from Ecology on the approach. The Modeling Approach and Data Needs Memorandum describes the study’s design based on the data gaps limiting the original analysis, while the Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP provides the operational details for conducting the monitoring and modeling efforts of the project. Monitoring elements include flow gaging, automated sampling, continuous datasondes, synoptic grabs during storm events and baseflow, sediment oxygen demand, time of travel, and Elodea sampling. By using the monitoring data to fill identified data gaps, the County will significantly enhance the accuracy and reliability of the TMDL model outputs using QUAL2Kw, Hydrological Simulation Program-Fortran (HSPF), and Hydrologic Engineering Centers River Analysis System (HEC-RAS).

The results of the study will assist the County and Ecology to both confirm and better understand the current water quality impairments found in Clarks Creek. This will support a more focused adaptive management process to meet the water quality challenges currently found in the Clarks Creek watershed. This presentation will provide insights from the first TMDL reassessment in the State.

8:00am - 10:15amSession 32A

The Synergistic Benefit of Coupling Biosolids Drying and Pyrolysis

Jerod Swanson

Centrisys - CNP, United States of America;

With the changing regulation on both biosolid disposal options, and the phasing out of disposal methods such as incineration, wastewater plants are looking for new methods to not only dispose of biosolids, but to turn them into a resource for beneficial reuse as well. This presentation looks at the synergistic benefit of coupling Biosolids Drying and Pyrolysis as a cost-efficient solution, that also provides a sustainable and beneficial path for Biosolids disposal and reuse. Pyrolysis has been permitted and approved on municipal sewer sludge by the EPA and meeting clean air emission requirements in California and Washington State.

Low temperature belt dryers have the ability to dry solids to 90-95% DS for Class A disposal or to 70-80% for delivery to the Pyrolysis process. The Class A dried pellets and Pyrolysis biochar co-products from the system are well established green renewable product offerings that negate the cradle to grave risks associated with biosolids.

In this presentation we will look at the system configuration, flexibility, and redundancy; the energy and mass balance; and operation and operator requirements.

In the Thick of it: How Portland Leveraged Solids Improvements to Not Miss on Co-Thickening

Vu Han1, Bhargavi Ambadkar2, Muriel Gueissaz-Teufel3, Dave Green4, Brett Reistad5, Jamie Dooley6

1City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services; 2City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services; 3City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services; 4Jacobs; 5Jacobs; 6Jacobs;,,

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) has a need to improve its primary sludge thickening process at the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP). It is going through a major improvement of its solids handling facility at CBWTP and is opportunistically incorporating co-thickening of its primary sludge (PS) and waste activate sludge (WAS) to obtain higher and more consistent solids concentration to the anaerobic digesters.

The CBWTP currently thickens PS with deep sludge hoppers in the primary clarifiers before it is pumped to the anaerobic digesters. Thickened PS is approximately 3.5 percent solids on annual average. However, CBWTP is a combined sewer overflow (CSO) facility, and during CSO events, the PS concentration is lower and varies from 1.5 to 3.5 percent. Wet weather flows from CSO events bring into the system higher content of inorganic materials, which impact sludge pump out rate, and coupled with no reliable and accurate instrumentation for PS concentration, they result in thinner PS (1.5 to 3.5 percent) being sent to the digesters. Thinner PS leads to a reduction in digester capacity through lower hydraulic detention times and higher energy usage for digester heating. Long term, it will result in the need to add more digesters. Co-thickening of PS and WAS at CBWTP will minimize the overall sludge thickening footprint at the plant, provide consistent thickened sludge feed to the digesters, improve current digester capacity and gas production, and reduce energy consumption, resulting in capital and operational cost savings to BES.

This presentation will describe the advantages and disadvantages of co-thickening and the evaluation of alternatives. Presenters will discuss the key factors that influenced the decision to incorporate co-thickening at the CBWTP.

Climate Change Regulation provides Opportunities for WRRFs

Anthony Tartaglione

Black and Veatch, United States of America;

As regulations change, WRRFs are faced with challenges to meet them. California recently passed regulation to combat global climate change by reducing GHG emissions contributed by the methane emissions from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills. Organic waste is material that comes from organisms that were once alive or is derived from or produced through the biological activity of a living thing including food waste, green waste, wood and paper, organic textiles, manure, sludge, digestates and biosolids. California SB 1383 establishes a target of 50 percent reduction in the level of statewide organic waste disposal from the 2014 level by 2020 and increases this reduction requirement to 75 percent of the 2014 level for 2025.

Such was the case for a Southern California jurisdiction that engaged the services of Black and Veatch to solve the challenges they faced with SB 1383. This paper describes that project. As part of the project a plan was developed that provided an integrated approach to the management of organic waste and biosolids achieving the diversion of food waste from landfills to WRRFs for enhanced resource recovery and reuse. Capitalizing on the facility’s existing anaerobic digestion and cogeneration processes, this was achieved by planning for the co-digestion of sludge, food waste and FOG. In addition, the beneficial reuse of the biosolids were investigated through an extensive market assessment. A cost benefit model was developed to implement the programmatic and budgetary changes necessary for the plan’s success. Co-digestion piloting is part of this ongoing project to determine the system’s design criteria.

Utility managers and operational staff in the Northwest will be faced with similar challenges when such regulations coming our way. The Portland Metro area has recently adopted a practice of diverting organics from landfills. This paper will benefit them by providing guidance and lessons learned on how to plan for and capitalize on these future regulations while enhancing resource recovery and reuse at their WRRFs. And more importantly, helping them understand and develop a cost benefit model specific to their WRRF while meeting their jurisdiction’s goals and needs.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 25B

Understanding the Four Key Drivers for Capital Improvement Projects

Michael Comeskey

City of Boise Public Works, United States of America;

Today’s utility managers are called upon to help our organizations prioritize and optimize the deployment of our capital resources. Our communities need bigger projects to be delivered more frequently, all while keeping our utility rates as affordable as possible. Balancing the different needs of utilities is easier when you understand the primary reasons that we build capital projects. The four key drivers for capital projects are: condition, capacity, regulation, and level of service.

  1. Projects driven by the condition of assets are familiar to us all. All infrastructure assets eventually fail with time and use, so we need to deliver projects that repair or replace the assets that help us provide our current level of service.
  2. Capacity-driven projects are needed to support: increasing populations in our communities, increasing economic activity from our businesses, and permit changes that require new levels of treatment.
  3. Regulatory changes require us to build capital projects to continue to meet our permit requirements.
  4. Level of service projects are those driven, or informed, by the expectations of the customers, communities, and stakeholders of our utilities.

Boise’s Capital Improvement Program uses the identification of these drivers to better understand the “why” behind its capital projects and to refine the development and tracking of projects and costs from conception to completion. Initially, the need for projects are categorized with the driver(s) most-applicable to the need. These identifiers of the drivers then persist through the planning process and project prioritization. The drivers are integrated with the budgeting process and reported on as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the capital budget. Cost are allocated between the drivers as cost estimates are refined and used to identify the appropriate source of funding, as identified by the financial policies related to which funds are appropriate to each driver. Additionally, the drivers are used to better communicate with the community and stakeholders the story of why the utility is planning and building the projects in the capital plan.

WEF Operations and Maintenance Programs and Initiatives; An Interactive Discussion

Chris Maher

Clean Water Services, United States of America;

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) sets forth Critical Objectives and Strategic Goals in order to achieve its vision of “A community of empowered professionals creating a healthy global water environment.” One group of the envisioned empowered professionals is facility operations and maintenance (O&M) staff. A number of programs have been initiated by WEF to support and address the issues currently facing the O&M sector of the industry.

As a whole, these programs attempt to focus on recruitment and retention of operators, education and training for operators and operator trainers, recognition for operators, certification exams, and certification reciprocity. Programs are executed through WEF committees and task forces such as the Operators Advisory Panel (OAP), the Plant Operations and Maintenance Committee (POMC), and the House of Delegates (HOD).

The success of these programs can be limited in several ways. First, many O&M staff are only registered at the member association (MA) level, and therefore are unaware of and have no access to the resources available at Second, the activities of these committees are guided to some degree by the personal views and experiences of committee members, and may not necessarily align with issues prioritized by O&M staff. Third, O&M certification is handled by the states as are approval of continuing education units (CEUs) needed to maintain certification which devalues the national level education resources.

This session, presented by the current chair of the WEF POMC, will introduce the general structure of the WEF groups addressing O&M issues and highlight the major issues of concern. The resources and benefits of full WEF membership will be demonstrated. The session is then intended to proceed to an extended (15-20 minute) interactive discussion with the audience (hopefully dominated by O&M staff and managers) that will garner feedback about the value of various programs and initiatives and inform what issues truly are of high concern to O&M staff.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 26B
10:30am - 11:15am

Top Ramen Finally Dies

Michael Humm1, David Romilly2, Clayton Thompson3

1Kennedy Jenks; 2Clean Water Services; 3Slayden Constructors;,,

Reduced design periods, tight construction windows, and bringing projects online more quickly are becoming the norm as this industry tries to stay ahead of aging infrastructure demands. Proactive decision making, fostering relationships across the industry, and the inclusion of mandatory partnering were strategies used to mitigate these typical project challenges. This strategy fostered trust and collaboration and resulted in a design that moved from concept to bid documents in four months with construction completed within 3 months.

Affectionately known as the Ramen Box, a stagnant collection box within the fence line of the Hillsboro WWTP traps floatables, debris, FOG, and yes, Ramen packaging. This accumulation limits hydraulic capacity, generates odors, and requires routine vactor cleaning. With limited disposal options, a long-term solution was needed prior to the wet season when overtopping and limited hydraulic capacity would risk permit compliance.

With time short, a partnering approach was adopted to streamline design and construction. Work-in-progress design workshops resulted in design efficiencies such as real time equipment feedback, pre-purchasing long lead equipment, and discipline coordination. Meanwhile, informal project walkthroughs with potential bidders was occurring. This allowed contractors to be prepared for the upcoming work as well as incorporating constructability ideas into the in-progress design. Following contracting and NTP, reoccurring construction partnering meetings allowed the Owner, Engineer, and Contractor to better understand the needs and objectives of each team member, identify upcoming critical coordination needs, and provide an opportunity to course correct any issues. With an emphasis on making decisions as close to the work as possible, expediting construction communications, and collectively taking ownership for the success of the project, the team was able to complete construction prior to the wet season.

This presentation will showcase how a partnering approach through design and construction results in streamlined delivery and value added through final completion.

11:15am - 12:00pm

CWS Leads a Progressive Design-Build Effort for New King City Interceptor

Elliott Mecham1, Wade Denny2

1Shannon & Wilson, Inc; 2Clean Water Services;,

Clean Water Services (CWS) faced the potential for limiting development in the cities of King City, Tualatin, Beaverton, Tigard, and Sherwood due to the Tualatin Interceptor’s inability to meet future capacity demands. To address these concerns, CWS constructed approximately 11,200 linear feet of pipeline, including two trenchless crossings of the Tualatin River and one trenchless crossing beneath a wetland. Additionally, cut and cover gravity sewer pipe was constructed to depths between 10 and 25 feet below ground surface in or near mapped wetland areas. Due to quickly increasing demands, CWS used the Progressive Design-Build method to address the King City Siphon crossing of the Tualatin River and accelerate the timeline in which it could be brought online.

During the design phase, there was a vigorous and healthy debate about the level of dewatering effort required along the pipeline and at the launching and receiving pits. Shannon & Wilson was the geotechnical consultant for this project, providing recommendations for deep excavations through a wetland, dewatering, flow rates, wells, wellpoints, and trench stabilization. Considering the variability of the soils intended for dewatering and various pipe depths along the project alignment, a combination of internal trench dewatering (such as sump pumps) and active dewatering systems (such as vacuum wellpoints and dewatering wells) were recommended, depending on the subsurface conditions.

We estimated stabilized dewatering flow rates for active dewatering systems based on the soil and groundwater conditions from ten different explorations and developed specifications to determine under what field conditions external trench dewatering would be used.

This presentation discusses lessons learned during construction, including successes and unexpected project challenges, such as the discovery of unlicensed residential wells impacted by dewatering. The information can benefit owners, designers, and contractors in planning and executing projects involving deep trenching and excavating below the groundwater table.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 27B
10:30am - 11:15am

Consider Social Equity in Stormwater Retrofits

Kari Nichols1, Annette Griffy2

1Mead & Hunt, United States of America; 2City of Vancouver, Washington, United States of America;,

Communities benefit when social equity is a factor while prioritizing stormwater retrofits. Disadvantaged communities within large municipalities often have denser populations and less open spaces. Due to aging infrastructure, these areas can also be prone to flooding and sewer overflows. Stormwater retrofits that replicate natural systems to create open, green spaces revitalize and promote health within these disadvantaged communities.

We will look at a couple of case studies of areas where this has occurred within the City of Vancouver, Washington. These areas are generally lacking runoff treatment with poor drainage infrastructure and are prone to flooding. In addition to the environmental benefits of stormwater retrofits, residents also receive several sociocultural benefits as well. Green infrastructure not only improves community aesthetics and connectivity to area waterways; increased green space leads to improved air quality, increased physical activity and reduced stress. These spaces provide areas where people can come together as a community. With less stress and increased community cohesion comes the added benefit of lowered crime rates.

The areas that often suffer from environmental degradation and lack of green space tend to be areas with lower income and minority populations. Mapping these demographics within a community when evaluating green infrastructure retrofits can aid in project identification and prioritization, helping us mitigate this inequality. Disadvantaged communities often have greater need for green infrastructure—a disadvantaged community will benefit more from increased green space than a community that is already thriving.

It is important to actively engage community members in the process of planning and developing green infrastructure projects. This will help create long-term success for the projects. In disadvantaged neighborhoods, this can require a modified approach to standard community outreach efforts. Yet it is worth the effort. Green infrastructure is an important tool in creating more equitable and environmentally enhanced cities.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Stormwater Management Using Deep Infiltration Wells

Jim Bailey

Shannon & Wilson, United States of America;

The direct underground injection of stormwater is an effective and increasingly preferred method of managing storm runoff in urban areas. The use of underground injection control (UIC) wells allow water to be diverted underground on or near where generated rather than into combined sewer pipes. This results in fewer sewer overflow events, while contributing to local aquifer recharge.

Shannon & Wilson is currently working with a local school district near Seattle to manage the design, permitting, installation and testing of 16 deep UIC wells at a new elementary school. Each UIC well is about 110 feet deep and designed to handle a peak storm flow of 130 gpm. All of the UIC wells have been installed, tested and start receiving stormwater in the Spring of 2020.

The school is in a wellhead protection zone for a spring that supplies drinking water to the local City and the school itself. The water district was against the use of UIC wells which complicated the process and required significant technical support to address the concerns. A groundwater monitoring plan was developed to monitor any changes to downgradient groundwater quality, and included the installation of four new monitoring wells.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 28B
10:30am - 11:15am

Assessment of Critical Dependencies for Rapid Disaster Recovery

Wayne Gresh1, Dave Breitenstein2, Kent Yu3

1Carollo Engineers, Inc., United States of America; 2City of Eugene/Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission; 3SEFT Consulting Group;,,

The Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission (MWMC) mission is to protect the community’s health and environment by providing high-quality wastewater services to the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. In alignment with that mission, MWMC identified and assessed critical dependencies that could substantially impact its ability to respond and recover from a disaster. The effort was part of developing a Disaster Mitigation and Recovery Plan that assessed expected performance of conveyance and treatment facilities and outlined actions and upgrades needed to achieve Oregon Resiliency Plan level of service goals for the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake and MWMC’s internal goals for a catastrophic flood adjusted to reflect climate change effects.

To identify critical dependencies, staff used a matrix provided by its consultant team to explore and rank what was most needed for disaster response and recovery. This effort identified employee and family preparedness; City and regional roads; telecommunications; post-event structural assessments; up-to-date Emergency Operations and Continuity of Operations plans; power; data; vendor and shipping services; fuel; and post-event mechanical, electrical, and plumbing assessments as the ten most critical dependencies.

Each of the critical dependencies were assessed by the consultant team in partnership with staff members. This included (a) staff responding to a survey that assessed employee and family preparedness and (b) identifying critical materials and supplies and the respective vendors. The consultant team worked with staff and Eugene and Springfield Emergency Managers to develop actions that could be taken to be better prepared and minimize the potential for cascading failures.

MWMC has found this effort very valuable to gain a better awareness and understanding of the critical dependencies through staff engagement. The evaluation will serve as a good guide in developing the ability to respond and recover from disasters. This presentation will focus on the critical dependencies identified and the actions outlined to better prepare for disaster response and recovery.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Adding Another Level of Redundancy to Influent Pumps at Vancouver Westside Wastewater Treatment Facility

Bradley Eagleson1, Frank Dick2, Matt Noesen1, Dade Pettinger2

1Jacobs, United States of America; 2City of Vancouver, Washington;

Problem Statement: Aging infrastructure and community expectations for more resilient utilities prompted plant staff at Vancouver’s Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant to identify a vulnerability. The loss of both utility and emergency generator power caused loss of influent pumping, which resulted in raw sewage diversion to the Columbia River. The plant’s influent wet well and backup surge tank provide only a few minutes storage time before diverting influent flow to the Columbia River.


The City evaluated the following options to address this issue:

  1. Replace aging electrical distribution infrastructure and standby generator transfer controls.
  2. Install backup standby diesel pumps near the surge tank capable of transferring influent flow near though upstream processes.

The second option was selected to bridge near-term redundancy concerns and a turn-key project with Jacobs Engineering was constructed.

Unique features of the project:

  • Selection of two large diesel driven standby pumps capable of operating without plant power.
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to guide engineering design to ensure vortices would not hamper pump performance within a surge tank not designed to Hydraulic Institute (HI) standards.
  • Project footprint and existing underground utilities provided challenges for design engineers and contractors to install the pumps and connecting pipes.
  • Limited response time required close coordination with the vendor to ensure pumps could prime and pump within the necessary timeframe.


  • The project provides for a completely independent powered influent pumping system to serve in both unplanned and planned events.
  • The CFD analysis identified the need for a complex vortex breaker to improve pump performance. Installation of an early warning level sensor at the influent wet well provided additional reaction time for the pumps.
  • The system was installed and commissioned in less than 12 months and has performed as designed during several start-up tests.
  • The backup pumps are tied into the influent pump discharge header, which allows isolation of the existing influent pump station for maintenance.


Diesel backup pumps proved to be an innovative, cost effective way of bridging the gap between aging infrastructure and reliability and can be installed with little or no disruption to plant operations.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 29B
10:30am - 11:15am

New Integrated Primary and Biological Filter Acheives High-Rate Treatment of Wet Weather Excess Flows

Joseph Goergon2, Aaron Rivard2, Jon Liberzon1, Daewan Rhu1, Joh Kang3, Glen Daigger4

1Tomorrow Water (BKT), United States of America; 2Genesee County Drain Commissioner WWS; 3Water Energy Advisors; 4University of Michigan;

Wet weather poses significant risks to WRRFs, especially when inflow and infiltration cause plant flows to exceed design capacities. This abstract presents results from 7-months’ piloting of a new technology for rapid treatment of excess flows. The pilot, performed at the Anthony Ragnone Treatment Plant in Michigan, tested two distinct configurations of the Proteus™ up-flow media filter: a primary filtration (PF) reactor for removal of suspended solids (SS), and a biological (B) reactor equipped with aeration for biofilm growth and biological oxidation of BOD. Both utilize a new, X-shaped polypropylene media designed specifically to filter high-solids primary influent. In both reactors, sensors tracked flow rate, SS concentration, bed pressure, reactor DO, and temperature. Composite samples tracked total and soluble BOD, total SS, COD, soluble COD, TKN, total P, total and fecal coliforms. To emulate the variability of wet weather flows, some testing phases diluted raw water while others amended influent with primary sludge. This allowed for testing of influent SS from 50-1192 mg/l, total BOD from 40-663 mg/l and soluble BOD from 15-146 mg/l.

From April-October, the PF reactor processed up to 133 gpm, achieving average SS removal of 78%, BOD removal of 61% and COD removal of 67% at empty bed contact times (EBCTs) of 5-13 minutes.

The biological (B) reactor processed up to 64 gpm, achieving SS removal of 84%, BOD removal of 81%, soluble BOD removal of 74%, and COD removal of 78% at EBCTs of 10-30 minutes. BOD removal improved with increasing EBCTs. Higher SS removal in the B reactor likely resulted from biologically mediated adsorption. Fecal Coliform removals were 51% in the PF reactor and 79% in the B reactor, suggesting that contact with biofilms also improves fecal coliform removal. TKN and phosphorus removal were also higher in the B reactor. As expected, this pilot demonstrated consistent removal at a range of EBCTs, from 15-20 min in the B reactor and 5-15 min in the PF reactor.

These results demonstrate that a combined primary/biological filter can provide rapid treatment of excess flows, providing a new treatment option for utilities dealing with challenging wet weather conditions.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Emerging Technology: Adaptable Bar Screen Optimizes Hydraulics in Any Condition for Resilient Headworks Design

Bryce Funchion

Duperon Corporation, United States of America;

Wet weather events and 100-year storms are on the rise, challenging engineers and municipalities to design around - and mitigate risks for - increasing peak flow events while optimizing wastewater operations in normal conditions. As a result, headworks facilities are typically designed with larger screen opening sizes to accommodate peak flows. But this necessary design consideration can result in suboptimal screening during normal flows.

An emerging screening technology brings a new level of adaptability that adjusts to rapidly changing conditions while still allowing for maximum capture during normal flow conditions. The built-in safety factor allows an intuitive adjustment between a ¼-inch and ¾-inch screen, handling up to 40% more flow during peak events. With a minimized footprint, the new screening system can be retrofitted to improve efficiency while maintaining the safety factor even in aging infrastructure. Smaller bar opening allows for higher capture, reducing the need for extra downstream processes.

This presentation will explore how four unique features of the new screening system address today’s wastewater screening challenges: technology to better handle stones and grit; capacity to handle up to six times the amount of debris; an optional smart system that senses a flow surge and increases the speed to clean the screen every seven seconds with additional capacity by adapting the screen field; and a rapid re-engagement link system that adjusts to large debris.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 30B
10:30am - 11:15am

The City of Nampa and Pioneer Irrigation District Partner to Deliver Recycled Water with Precedent-setting Project in Idaho

Andy Weigel1, Matt Gregg1, Nate Runyan2, Mark Zirschky3

1Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; 2City of Nampa; 3Pioneer Irrigation District;,,,

Pressures on water resources in the Treasure Valley have been increasing for several years and studies show the trend is likely to continue. Water supply uncertainty due to changes in climate, increased demand coinciding with population and industry growth, and tightening restrictions on water-quality requirements intersect in Nampa, Idaho. In 2018, driven by input from the community, the City partnered with Pioneer Irrigation District to develop and implement the first stage of the City’s recycled water program, obtaining a first of its kind recycled water reuse permit from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

By 2026, Nampa will direct 100% of wastewater to recycled water production for five months out of the year. The high-quality recycled water will be reused in the community and surrounding areas, providing a reliable irrigation water supply and helping Nampa meet NPDES permit limits and TMDL goals. This first recycled water reuse permit also includes provisions for industrial and commercial reuse, marking a critical milestone for the City and their partners as they work to put the right water to the right use.

This presentation describes the nearly two-year permitting process undertaken by Nampa and Pioneer Irrigation District to obtain the first-ever recycled water reuse permit issued in Idaho for augmenting irrigation water supply through direct discharge to a canal. Challenges met and overcome will be discussed, including navigating the policy and scientific aspects of the permitting framework, determining a reasonable and defensible area of analysis extent, and proactive stakeholder engagement. We will also share lessons learned and next steps for this precedent-setting project.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Water Resource Recovery Facilities....It Isn't Simply Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Anymore

James Clark

Black & Veatch, United States of America;

This presentation will look at water scarcity including pressure from population growth and distribution; provide statistics about how much usable water there is available and how it is being used; discuss the importance of reusing water to the maximum extent possible; and beneficially recovering and using resources from wastewater including nitrogen, phosporous, energy, and organic biosolids. Examples of how and where this is being done will be presented. Roadblocks to potable reuse, such as compounds of emerging concerns and negative public perception will be explored.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 31B
10:30am - 11:15am

Headloss, Velocity, & Re-agglomeration of Algae, Hair & Fiber on Membrane Screening

James Impero

OVIVO USA, LLC, United States of America;

Water and Wastewater Membranes need to be protected against filamentous algae, fibrous & sharp debris that not only create excessive membrane cleaning cycles & labor intensity, but often abrade & damage membrane surfaces, as well as clog the aeration manifolds that scour the membranes. Fine & Ultra-fine Pre-Screening has become extremely important in protecting both membrane warrantees and membrane efficiency. This paper emphasizes the importance of fine screening with data showing how short fine cotton-wool fibers, hair & filamentous algae will pass through 3mm and 2mm aperture screens and “Agglomerate & "Recombine" downstream into stringy, rag type debris that increases the operating maintenance & membrane cleaning cycles. This presentation with supporting pilot plant & field data focuses on why velocity and headloss are the two most important characteristics in understanding how screens are properly sized, maintained & operated. CFD (computational fluid Dynamics) analysis with screenings capture data reveals the direct relationship velocity & headloss have on a screen’s capture efficiency & performance. The presentation will also emphasize the aperture requirement for removing 2 dimensional versus 3 dimensional solids, as well as explain & document how small size debris that passes through 3mm, 2mm holes, slots or mesh is capable of re-agglomerating (re-combining) into large clumps & bundles of fibrous debris, commonly known as ragging, that foul downstream processes requiring higher maintenance & increased cleaning cycles. A screen’s effluent quality affects the life-span and operation & maintenance of downstream membranes & their aeration manifolds. The laboratory & field data provided in this presentation will demonstrate the importance of aperture selection, as well as the direct relationship headloss & velocity have on the performance & effluent quality exiting a screen. Membranes can be expensive investments; therefore it is imperative that one understand how we can best protect that investment.

11:15am - 12:00pm

Dialing in the Butte, Montana, MBR for Removal of Nutrients and Metals

Rika Lashley1, Bill Andrene2

1Morrison-Maierle, Helena, Montana; 2Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent, Butte-Silver Bow, Montana;,

The Butte MBR has been in operation in its current configuration since October 2016. The biological process was designed to achieve effluent nutrient concentrations of 3.0 and 0.3 mg/L for total nitrogen and total phosphorous, respectively. These design targets are one order of magnitude higher than in-stream water quality standards but meet or exceed the current requirements of the Montana Nutrient Standards General Variance. No design target was set for effluent metals concentrations, but it was speculated that the membrane ultra-filtration would perform well for removal of particulate metals.

During the summers of 2018 and 2019, plant staff tested addition of alum and Micro-C at varying doses and in varying combinations to find the most cost-effective method for nutrient removal to meet anticipated limits. Sampling for influent and effluent nutrients was performed during the optimization period. Additional year-round sampling was also scheduled for influent and effluent metals in order to have sufficient data available to draw conclusions regarding process effectiveness for metals removal.

Analysis of the data included comparison of influent and effluent values, comparison of trends over time, and response, if any, to chemical addition. Results are presented in graphical format and illustrate better-than-designed performance for nutrient removal and good effectiveness for removal of some metals, noting enhanced phosphorous removal during periods of Micro-C addition but little response in effluent metals concentrations to alum addition. Effluent concentrations below 2 mg/L for total nitrogen and below 0.05 mg/L for total phosphorous were achieved and significant reductions in effluent copper and cadmium were observed when compared to the previous treatment process.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 32B

Being “Smart” Is Essential For The Utility Of The Future: Understanding What Is Hard To See In The Data

Kevin Stively

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Utility leaders find themselves caught in a paradox of working within a society that increasingly achieves benefits through smart technologies and the reality that their organizations remain unable to capitalize on large utility data storage across systems often referred to as “dark data.” Bringing this dark data into the light and leveraging past and future investments in digital technologies is essential for effective utility management. Of the nearly 60,000 water and wastewater utilities in the U.S., only a small percentage have tapped into existing data resources to achieve effective utility management.

Today’s utilities are challenged by increasing customer expectations, the need to continuously improve efficiency, loss of institutional knowledge, and managing an aging and complex infrastructure. Managers want to believe technology holds the promise of solving problems and improving service. Yet these same managers find themselves asking questions like, “Is my existing data any good”, “are smart solutions really going to improve my bottom line”, and “do I have the workforce to support more advanced technology solutions”. For many, smart solutions have the appearance of “supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) with a new coat of paint” or something that seems to over promise as many other new ideas have done.

Answering the questions above is possible by taking a phased approach customized to the utility’s vision and digital technology requirements to allow for building confidence in smart utility solutions. A phased approach allows the utility to explore the possibilities of smart solutions on specific use cases testing their efficacy in a practical manner.

This paper will present use cases implemented in various utilities using a phased approach that allows the utility to explore the possibilities of smart solutions on specific use cases testing their efficacy in a practical manner.

Data, Data Everywhere: Advances in Data Analytics and Visualization for Wastewater Design and Energy Management

Justin Irving

Hazen and Sawyer, United States of America;

Over the last two decades, computer technology has become ubiquitous in our world and the tools we use. In the water and wastewater industry, this has resulted in a massive increase in the amount of data that can be gathered from both the equipment we use and characteristics of our physical processes. However, without an effective means of processing and visualizing our data, these significant improvements in technology represent untapped potential at best, and additional headaches for maintenance and operations staff at worst.

More recently, the push in technology has shifted towards extracting useful information from our rapidly increasing banks of data. This branch of engineering, termed “data science” or “data analytics”, is one of the fastest growing fields of research and applied statistics across all industries. The overarching goal of data science is to help practitioners come to business-focused insights on data more quickly and accurately. Some of these tools use advanced data visualizations to display information in focused, logical formats that trigger critical-thinking and problem solving. Other tools utilize advanced statistics to identify relationships that could not be drawn by humans through simple data inspection.

This presentation will teach attendees about the tools typically used in this work, applications to water and wastewater problems, and case studies on the effective use and application of these techniques. The goal of this presentation will be to help engineering and operations staff understand how these tools can facilitate better decision-making and the basics for actual implementation.