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
Session 15B: Wastewater Process
Tuesday, 14/Sept/2021:
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Location: 110AB
East Building

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3:00pm - 3:45pm
ID: 257 / Session 15B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Treatment Innovation and the Future, Wastewater Treatment Process, Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development
Keywords: Primary Treatment Disruption Paradigm Goals

Disrupting the Paradigm of Primary Treatment

Ann-Marie Doerhoff

Lakehaven Water and Sewer Authority, United States of America;

How do you change paradigms? In his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” Thomas Kuhn explains one must keep pointing at the anomalies and failures in the old paradigm. Don’t waste time with reactionaries; rather work with active change agents and with the vast middle ground of people who are open-minded. Wastewater treatment operators, with their unique perspectives on treatment and large numbers in the industry, have the power to drive real improvement in primary treatment and be the change agents.

Misaligned goals led to the current paradigm.

WWTP Owners: Sustainably take in wastewater, remove the solids then return the separated water and solids to nature with a reliable, easy to operate system.

Consulting engineer: Make money by selling billable hours.

Clean Water Act Regulators: Restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters.

Equipment manufacturer: Sell the most equipment for the highest price by producing low maintenance, easy to operate equipment that needs replacement every few years.

I want to tell a story, through the example of an attempt at primary treatment disruption, of how misaligned goals of the various market players make disruption difficult. Clear Cove recognized primary treatment has not changed significantly since humans started building wastewater treatment plants and the industry solution to regulation has been adding in layers of treatment from secondary biological treatment to tertiary filtration. How about a solution that removes as much of the solids and carbon at the start of treatment? Clear cove built and tested this type of system starting in 2008 at small, medium and large WWTP’s but today if you go to their website you get “Not Found The requested URL /municipal/harvester-sewage-treatment/ was not found on this server.”

What happened to Clear Cove and what can we learn from their attempt at disruption? I will tell the story of their three pilot projects aimed at radically improving the separation of solids during primary treatment Reducing the treatment load on secondary treatment would make WWTP’s easier to operate and reduce energy use. This future is possible but only with operators' ideas and wisdom.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Ann-Marie Doerhoff, PE
OBJECTIVE: Make a difference in the world of water by joining a team for the next 20 years to work on planning, designing, building and improving sustainable water public works for current clients and future generations to help ensure economical, safe and resilient water infrastructure for all.

United States Air Force Civil Engineer Officer (8 years): Separated as a Captain and served at Los Angeles AFB, Kunsan AFB Korea, Ramstein AFB, Germany and Al Udied AFB, Qatar
Carollo Engineers (6 years): Construction on $150 to $200 million large water treatment projects
Tetra Tech (8 months): Energy use improvement study for 15 MGD wastewater treatment plant
Pennsylvania American Water (1 year): Pipeline and booster station permitting, design, construction
Water Project Engineer for Mott MacDonald (4 months): 50 MGD Pump Station Design
*Short employment periods: lack of work and ethics concerns…I want to work and value integrity*
Lakehaven Water and Sewer District (4 months) - Project Engineer Wastewater Risk and Resiliency Assessment, Primary Clarifier Equipment Replacement, Water main replacement projects, Inflow and Infiltration Pipe Lining Project

Pennsylvania Professional Engineer 23376373 : expires 09/30/21
Colorado Professional Engineer 0047634 : expires 10/31/21
Washington Professional Engineer: Pending reciprocity licensure, submitted August 17, 3-week’s
Drinking Water Operator test in Pennsylvania

BS Civil Engineering, University of Missouri, Rolla: May 99 , GPA 3.7/4.0 (Magna Cum Laude)
MS Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder: December 06, GPA 3.9/4.0
MA Economics Coursework, University of Colorado, Denver: finished 26.5 semester hours, GPA 3.6/4.0
Project Management Courses at Tetra Tech and Mott MacDonald

COMPUTER SKILLS: Expert in Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and SharePoint, intermediate at Microsoft Project and Stata (data analysis software) and beginner in BioWin and Arc GIS

PERSONAL STRENGTHS: Grit, energetic, hardworking, honest, organized, dedicated, optimistic, friendly

EXPERIENCE STRENGTHS: Project scheduling, budgeting and documenting, working with contractors and consultants, water infrastructure construction, design process, technical writing, reviewing technical information, non-revenue water reduction, meeting with stakeholders, communicating with utilities, quality control and assurance, process improvement, utility engineering, worn a lot of different shoes and boots

HOBBIES: Reading (recent books include The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World, How to Measure Anything and Into the Raging Sea), cooking foreign foods, listening to podcasts (favorites 99% Invisible, Freakonomics, Hidden Brain, Reply All, Conversations with Tyler, Econ Talk with Russ Roberts, The Indicator, In Deep), jogging, yoga, playing cribbage and other games, listening to live music, biking, self-improvement, home renovations (flipped four homes in Aurora, Denver, Pittsburgh and Frisco)

3:45pm - 4:30pm
ID: 124 / Session 15B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater 101
Keywords: Polymer

Optimizing Polymer Mixing and Activation: Following the Science

Jeff Rhodes

UGSI Solutions, United States of America;

Despite the wide-spread use of polymers in water and wastewater treatment and their associated high recurring expense, understanding exactly how to optimize polymer use in water and wastewater treatment is not well understood.  With many equipment options available to operators, it makes sense to start with the basics of polymer chemistry and then apply those principles to polymer activation equipment options.  This discussion will review the basics of polymer chemistry, goals of activation, the development of polymer mixing equipment and equipment configuration basics. 

 Factors such as charge site exposure, polymer hydration, application of mixing energy and the effects of dilution water will be detailed as they influence proper polymer activation.  Additionally, the impact of water quality attributes such as disinfectant residual levels and hardness on optimal polymer hydration are explored.  Given the industry trend of using reclaimed water for polymer mixing, it is crucial to understand the effects of residual chlorine, turbidity, and various dissolved ions.

Finally, the benefits of utilizing two-stage mixing - very high initial mixing energy followed by low and uniform mixing energy - are demonstrated by theoretical consideration and practical test data. Emulsion polymer systems with sufficient residence time have proven to provide a more efficient polymer solution. Lastly, both mechanical and hydraulic polymer activation systems will be analyzed to assess their efficiency and adherence to the principles of polymer activation previously discussed.  Included in this discussion are equipment features and the latest improvements that help ensure efficiency and reliability for utilities and treatment plant operators. 

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Jeff Rhodes serves as the Vice President of Commercial Development and as a technical specialist in chemical feed applications for the central United States. He maintains over 30 years of experience in chemical feed, analysis and control for water and wastewater treatment processes.  Jeff earned his industry experience serving in municipal, industrial and agriculture markets.  Additionally, Jeff is the co-inventor on three patents in the area of disinfection control and polymer activation.

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