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).

Filter by Track or Type of Session 
Only Sessions at Location/Venue 
Session Overview
Location: Room 430AB
East Building
Date: Monday, 13/Sept/2021
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 03A: Wastewater Process: Planning & Compliance - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
10:30am - 11:15am
ID: 178 / Session 03A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater Treatment Process, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Treatment, Capacity, Planning

What? When? How Sensitive? Evaluating Capacity At King County’s Three Regional Plants

Patricia Tam1, Henryk Melcer1, John Conway2, Tiffany Knapp2

1Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; 2King County Wastewater Treatment Division, United States of America;

Virtual Speakers

To protect public health and deliver reliable clean water services while accounting for changes in the service area, King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) updates its projections of wastewater flows and loads every 10 years and evaluates their impact on overall treatment plant capacity. In 2014, WTD noted that influent loads were increasing more quickly than flows. Recent water conservation efforts have reduced the amount of potable water used on a per-capita basis. These reductions in water use directly impact wastewater flows, but not loads. As a result, influent concentrations are higher than the design values. Comparing the flow and load projections with the current rated capacities for each of the County’s three regional plants (South, West Point and Brightwater) shows that the rated flow capacities will be reached after 2035 whereas the rated loading capacities will be exceeded within the next 10 years.

To identify potential capacity limitations and their timing by process within the three plants, WTD undertook an in-depth capacity evaluation for all major processes. The evaluation accounts for plant-specific wastewater characteristics, existing regulatory requirements, operating configurations, and process performance. Sensitivity analyses were conducted for each plant to assess the influence of various critical parameters on unit process capacities. Some unit process capacities were found to be highly sensitive to changes in certain parameters. For example, at West Point, capacity of the aerators in the high-purity oxygen aeration basins could change significantly at different target dissolved oxygen concentrations. At both West Point and Brightwater, taking one digester out of service for maintenance was found to have significant impact on the timing of the digester capacity limitation. This analysis provided WTD with an understanding of the timing for when unit process capacity limitations may be experienced to inform system-wide treatment planning.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Patricia Tam is a chemical engineer with 25 years of professional environmental engineering experience. She focuses mainly on process design of biological treatment systems in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Patricia has extensive experiences in plant capacity assessment, facility planning and aeration system design. She also has experiences in disinfection and tertiary system design, odor control, and hydraulic modeling.

11:15am - 12:00pm
ID: 190 / Session 03A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Treatment/conveyance structures, Environmental Protection Agency

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

Jason King1, Eric Roundy1, Dade Pettinger2

1Keller Associates, Inc., United States of America; 2City of Vancouver, Washington; , ,

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 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 approximately a year ago. 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 and results – during design, construction, and post-construction – that addressed Jerome's high-strength dairy wastewater and prepared them for sustained compliance.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Jason King, P.E., Project Manager for Keller Associates, Inc.
Jason is a licensed professional engineer in several states, including Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering with an emphasis on wastewater treatment design. Jason has extensive experience in wastewater collection, conveyance, and treatment system design and construction. In the past five years, he has led the design and construction of over $50 million in water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Eric Roundy, P.E., BCEE, Senior Process Engineer for Keller Associates, Inc.
Eric has nearly 20 years of experience in the design and evaluation of wastewater treatment systems. He has a master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and a master's degree in business administration from Mississippi State University. He is a licensed professional engineer in five states, including Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

Dade Pettinger, Associate Engineer for the City of Vancouver, Washington
Dade, often referred to as Dave or Dale, prefers restaurants where orders are called out by number. Currently, he provides support to Vancouver's wastewater treatment facilities capital and regulatory programs. He is a licensed Washington Class III Wastewater Treatment Operator and Engineering Intern. Dade's experience includes work for the City of Jerome, Idaho, assisting in the operation, maintenance, and planning of Jerome's wastewater treatment facility.
1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 03B: Wastewater Process: Nutrient Removal - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
1:15pm - 2:00pm
ID: 267 / Session 03B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Chemical Phosphorus Removal

How a Full-Scale Pilot Guided a WRRF Path to Chemical P Removal

Chris Machado1, Jamie Safulko2, Greg Farmer2, Shelley Trujillo1, Nicole Stephens1

1Stantec, United States of America; 2City of Englewood - South Platte Renew;

South Platte Renew (SPR) is the third largest water resource recovery facility (WRRF) in Colorado, with a capacity of 50 million Gallons per day (MGD). SPR’s discharge to the South Platte River is regulated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). CDPHE set a regulatory roadmap for nutrient removal with intermediate steps for compliance including a 10-year Voluntary Incentive Program (VIP). This program allows the SPR to voluntarily treat nitrogen and phosphorus to levels below permit requirements and to earn compliance credits (i.e., years) towards future more stringent regulations.

To take full advantage of the VIP, SPR is implementing a chemical phosphorus removal (Chem-P) process to achieve effluent total phosphorus below 0.7 mg/L. SPR took a comprehensive approach to evaluate design options for Chem-P implementation including full-scale piloting. The pilot used existing ferric sulfate storage/dosing facilities. The ferric sulfate dose was varied in three phases through five months: (I) initial baseline, (II) ramp-up, (III) stabilization at optimum dose. The pilot was conducted by a team of operators and engineers. Close collaboration and monitoring were critical for the successful completion of the pilot. Plant profiles of phosphorus, nitrogen, total suspended solids, alkalinity, and pH were monitored. Spot sludge samples were collected for vivianite analysis through x-ray diffraction.

The full-scale pilot demonstrated that a dose of 40 mg/L is required to reach the desired effluent total phosphorus concentration of 0.7 mg/L as P. It also indicated an increase in solids production of over 10 percent for the current 18 MGD average flow. Furthermore, the results indicated that depending on the overall plant operation, the impact in alkalinity may be significant to meeting effluent pH limits. Nitrification was not significantly affected during the full-scale pilot, however a small reduction in performance during high load hours of the day was observed.

Conversion to full biological phosphorus removal can be a costly option depending on the overall existing facility process design. Chem-P is still a common and cost-effective alternative to many WRRFs. This presentation will describe the approach and lessons learned in the full-scale chemical P removal pilot at the SPR WRRF.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Chris is one of Stantec’s Wastewater Practice Leaders with 20 years of experience. His work includes wastewater treatment process design, facility assessment and planning, process optimization, design management, engineering services during construction, research, and development. Chris is specialized in biological nutrient removal (BNR) and has participated in a number of BNR design, planning, and evaluation projects involving both nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

2:00pm - 2:45pm
ID: 238 / Session 03B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Treatment Innovation and the Future, Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Nuvoda, nitrification, denitrification, nutrients

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

Tom Giese1, Pamela Randolph2, Li Lei3, Jason Calhoun4, Dr. Mari Winkler5, Bao Nguyen Quoc5

1BHC Consultants; 2City of Edmonds, WA; 3Jacobs; 4Nuvoda; 5University of Washington; ,

Like many other WWTPs in the Puget Sound region, the Edmonds WWTP will be facing nitrogen limits under the Nutrient 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, BHC Consultants, Jacobs, and the University of Washington worked together to first assess the feasibility and potential effectiveness of this technology, followed by conducting a full-scale pilot test. 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
  • Overview of pilot system performance
  • Future application at the Edmonds WWTP
Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Tom Giese is a registered professional engineer with over 25 years of consulting engineering experience focused primarily on wastewater treatment including facility planning, evaluation and design; process modeling; pilot testing; and construction management. Mr. Giese received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University.

Pamela Randolph is the Manager of the Edmonds WWTP and is a Certified Group 4 Operator with 36 years of experience. Her team has recently been recognized for their work in energy savings and applying innovative solutions to help the City meet its goals. She received her BA in Business, has Certificates in Human Resources and Project Management and completed the UW Management Program. She relies on these in fulfilling her role as Manager of the City of Edmonds WWTP.
3:00pm - 5:15pmSession 03C: Wastewater Process: Biological Intensification - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
3:00pm - 3:45pm
ID: 247 / Session 03C: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Treatment Innovation and the Future, Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: CFD, Granular Sludge, solids separation

CFD Modeling Provides Insights into Granular Sludge Separation Devices

Ed Wicklein1, Beate Wright1, Sudhir Murthy2, Charles Bott3, Bob Angelotti4, Haydee De Clippeleir5, Christine deBarbadillo5, Prarthana Pradhan1, Tanja Rauch-Williams1

1Carollo Engineers, United States of America; 2NEWhub; 3HRSD; 4UOSA; 5DC Water;

VIrtual Speakers

Granular activated sludge (GAS) consist of dense particles with stratified microbial colonies that provide efficient organics, nitrogen and phosphorus removal along with improving liquids/solids separation in activated sludge systems. GAS has gained broad interest and traction in recent years A growing number of water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) in the U.S. and abroad have implemented inDense, a technology that uses hydrocyclones to select for GAS by separating it from lighter mixed liquor flocs. While hydrocyclones are an established approach to classify and separate particles in many fields, their application to GAS leaves key questions yet to be answered. Hydrocyclones have been designed, tested, and operated primarily based on empirical field performance data. To date, no group has successfully modeled GAS separation in AS systems by hydrocyclones despite the broad benefits this would bring to many WRRFs, until now. A team comprised of technical experts from equipment inventor, VA and DC utilities, and a consulting team collaborated on this effort to combine inDense installation and performance data from current full-scale inDense U.S. installations, state-of-the-industry understanding of GAS and inDense systems, and state-of-the-art CFD modeling capabilities. Project findings will be presented, illustrating that CFD modeling developed in this project simulating hydrocyclone GAS separation is a useful tool to inform the design and operation of external selector systems. This will lead to clear visualization of internal separation process, expanding our understating of how to adjust operations to different process and seasonal conditions.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Ed Wicklein is a principal technologist with Carollo Engineers who's been evaluating water and wastewater problems with numerical models for over 21 years. He studied Civil Engineering at Washington State University, focused in computational hydraulics. Ed is Carollo’s national practice lead for computational fluid dynamics modeling, and has been involved in many projects to evaluate and optimize solids separation.

3:45pm - 4:30pm
ID: 188 / Session 03C: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Treatment Innovation and the Future, Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Aerobic Granular Sludge, Nutrient Removal

Experience With Densified Mixed Liquor And Nutrient Removal At Two WWTFs In Washington

Eric Smith, Tom Coleman

RH2 Engineering, Inc, United States of America; ,

The Cashmere and Peshastin WWTFs discharge to the Wenatchee River, which has a TMDL for phosphorus. The Cashmere WWTF was the subject of the article “Cashmere Quality – Experience with enhanced biological phosphorus removal, surface wasting, and aerobic granular sludge” which appeared in the July 2020 edition of the Water Environment and Technology magazine. This presentation will expand upon that article and share recent findings related to the densified mixed liquor and biological nutrient removal at both WWTFs.

The Cashmere WWTF is a plug flow modified Bardenpho process and the Peshastin WWTF is a sequencing batch reactor. The two WWTFs have significantly different influent characteristics. Cashmere has a moderate strength influent due to a large apple slicing facility that discharges to the City’s system. Peshastin has relatively weak wastewater as the community is served by a septic tank effluent system, which removes settleable solids prior to discharge to the WWTF. Additionally, the Peshastin WWTF receives widely varying flows throughout the year from two fresh fruit packing warehouses that discharge significant quantities of rinse water to the system.

Each WWTF is configured to favor biomass with good settling characteristics. Both plants exhibit significant fractions of aerobic granules as part of the biomass and each process achieves exceptional settling at relatively high mixed liquor concentrations. For instance, the Cashmere WWTF routinely has mixed liquor suspend solids concentrations in excess of 6,000 mg/L with SVIs below 50, in conjunction with a clarifier blanket below 2 feet.

The capacity of a WWTF is generally proportional to the mass of mixed liquor suspended solids that can be carried within the system. The settleability of these solids is a critical parameter as it can significantly affect the footprint necessary to support the process. Implementing bacterial selection processes through WWTF design and process controls can change the structure and function of the microbial communities to provide a densified mixed liquor, as can be found at the Cashmere and Peshastin WWTFs. Insights into these two WWTFs may be useful to other plants needing to increase treatment capacity relative to plant footprint while achieving biological nutrient removal.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Eric Smith is a Project Manager with RH2 Engineering and has 10 years of experience in the design, construction, and operational support of new and retrofit wastewater treatment facilities.

Tom Coleman is a Senior Process Engineer with RH2 Engineering. Tom has over 30 years of experience in environmental engineering related to municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities with a primary emphasis on biological nutrient removal.

4:30pm - 5:15pm
ID: 143 / Session 03C: 3
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Advanced aeration control, Intensification, Hydrocyclone

Advanced Aeration Control with Densification Achieves BNR Intensification: A Full-scale Demonstration of the Ntensify Process

Pusker Regmi, Jose Jimenez

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

VIrtual Speakers

Driven by stringent new nutrient standards and increasing costs of nutrient removal, utilities in the Pacific Northwest must look towards innovative approaches to solve the issue. Advanced aeration controls like ammonia vs NOx (AvN) or ammonia-based aeration control, lower the aeration energy while promoting a more carbon-efficient nitrogen removal via simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND). Low dissolved oxygen (DO) maintained by advanced aeration control is the key to aeration savings and SND but often leads to poor settling sludge. The Ntensify approach combines low DO operation with hydrocyclone based wasting to achieve continuous flow aerobic granulation and enhanced nutrient removal. This presentation will describe the results from the full-scale Ntensify installation at the James R. Dolorio Water Reclamation Facility (JRD WRF) in Pueblo, Colorado.

The JRD WRF is a 19 mgd biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility that operates a Johannesburg process. The recently upgraded facility includes hydrocyclones that feed a portion of the RAS to target lighter organism waste in the mixed liquor. Upgrades implemented AvN control, allowing DO setpoints to fluctuate between 0.2 – 2 mg/L while maintaining equal effluent ammonia and NOx concentrations.

Improvement results showed that hydrocyclone-based wasting helped improve settling characteristics [sludge volume index (SVI) < 100 mL/g values ranging from 130 to 300 mL/g before implementation] within weeks of operation. Phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAO) and nitrifiers are preferentially retained in dense flocs and granules, while lighter heterotrophic and filament-type organisms are preferentially wasted. The hybrid floc-granules combination at Pueblo achieved excellent effluent turbidity (effluent TSS < 6 mg/L, turbidity < 2 NTU). AvN control resulted in low DO conditions (< 0.4 mg/L) that reduced air demands by 50% while supporting excellent nitrogen [effluent total inorganic nitrogen < 11 mg/L] and total phosphorus (TP) removal (effluent TP < 1 mg/L)] at low influent carbon conditions (primary effluent COD/N <6) without supplemental chemicals.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Dr. Pusker Regmi is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Process Engineer with Brown and Caldwell in Washington D.C. area. He has wide-ranging experience in research and development as well as the design of innovative biological nutrient removal technologies. Pusker is the author of over 30 publications in peer-reviewed international technical journals and proceedings of national and international conferences.
Date: Tuesday, 14/Sept/2021
8:00am - 9:30amSession 09A: Resource Recovery - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
8:00am - 8:45am
ID: 153 / Session 09A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Collection and Conveyance, Recycled Water & Resource Recovery, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Energy recovery, sustainable development, integrated urban water infrastructure

Thermal Energy from Wastewater – A New Role of Wastewater Utilities in the New Energy Economy

James McQuarrie

Tetra Tech, United States of America;

The Pacific Northwest has become a key area of North America in the application of thermal enegy from wastewater (TEW) for indoor heating. The combination of GHG goals and buidling code requirements has motivated high-density development to look at its options for geo-exchange type heat pump applications for meeting heating needs but with out main reliance on fossil natural gas. Because of its subteranean proximty to high density development in urban landscapes TEW is increasingly becoming yet another resource to be extracted from wastewater. And hence, a new role is emerging for wastewater utilities to contibute towards a circular economy. In temperate and cold climates most of the residential energy requirement is for indoor heating and hot water.

Tapping into TEW for campus and district scale heating in the built envrionment can can be particularly attractive due to the proximity of interceptor sewers in areas where high-density development tends to occur and the fact that by its nature, wastewater is warm. Traditional ground-source heat pump systems are challenging due to the lack of land area for horizontal systems and the challenges of drilling deep systems in urban settings. While much attention is already given to energy recovery from biogas at Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs) it is only recently that more attention is being given to TEW. The energy recovery potential from TEW is several times greater than the amount of energy that can be recovered through biogas. In the full submission, the author will provide the audience with knowledge transfer based on case study examples of the technical, financial, and partnership opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed in order to bring a TEW campus or district scale system from concept to reality.

The full presentation will provide an overview of the technical as well as the partnership components that must come together in order to deliver a campus scale TEW system.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Jim McQuarrie is Tetra Tech's One Water Innovation Leader responsible for helping utilities evaluate and manage the risk involved in incorporation of the ever more integrated roles in resource stewardship and sustainability that wastewater utilities are now providing to its rate payers.

8:45am - 9:30am
ID: 106 / Session 09A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Climate change, Biochar, Biosolids

Truly Sustainable Biosolids Management For a Waste Free Future

Valentino Villa, Elizabeth Bridges, Garrett Benisch

Bioforcetech Corporation, United States of America;

Since its founding in 2013, Bioforcetech has been working to prevent carbon emissions from the wastewater treatment process, and create a valuable product from its solid ‘waste.’ In 2018, 18% of the emissions generated in the United States came from organics breaking down in landfills. While this number alone is overwhelming, it doesn’t even begin to capture the total emissions released during the processes of drying and transporting solids from wastewater treatment.

Our proprietary two step process of drying and pyrolyzing biosolids utilizes our patented Bioforcetech BioDryer and P-Series Pyrolysis machines. These two technologies work together to reduce material volume and weight by 90%, lock available carbon in place for centuries, and produce a clean, valuable biochar at net-zero energy.

The biochar produced from our process is called OurCarbon™, and we’re using this material to develop sustainable replacements for petroleum based materials and to close the loop on waste streams both in the municipalities where our plants are installed and in products that are sold across the country. The Parks Department in the community where our California installation is located has begun incorporating our biochar into their local parks and plantings. Our first suite of products, called Den™, is a set of soil mixes showcasing our biochar as its main ingredient formally called OurCarbon™. Other empirical testing in pigmentation, fabric dyes, paint colorants, and material additives to concrete show promising opportunities to expand the use of biochar into these markets. The promise of this investigation allows us to offer a no-cost biochar off-take agreement to municipal clients with a profit share back to our client for any biochar sales made in profitable applications. At no cost guaranteed, our off take agreement ensures that excess biochar will never be a future issue for our clients.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Valentino Villa is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Bioforcetech Corporation. He earned the status of “Perito Industriale Capotecnico per l’Elettronica e le Telecomunicazioni,” an Italian professional designation for an industrial expert in the field of engineering that is recognized as an industrial engineer outside of Italy. Since co-founding Bioforcetech, Valentino and his team have been rethinking every step of biosolids management to prepare for a carbon free future. Valentino believes that Bioforcetech’s biochar is a resource, which is why he and his team are investing in research and development to expand the applications for biochar far beyond soil amendment. Their system results in a deeply carbon negative and cost effective management plan for any resource recovery facility.
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 09B: Climate Science & Stormwater - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
10:30am - 11:15am
ID: 116 / Session 09B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater 101, Collection and Conveyance
Keywords: I&I, Monitoring, Smart, Sewer, Savings

Pinpointing and Prioritizing I&I Impact with Climate Change

Brogan Quist1, Mike Fritschi2

1SmartCover Systems, United States of America; 2South Suburban Sanitary District, OR; ,

The Klamath Falls South Suburban Sanitary District encompasses roughly 10 square miles and serves a population of approximately 25,000 people in Klamath Falls, Oregon. SSSD owns and maintains over 100 miles of sewer pipe and over 1000 manholes. Most of the sewer mains were installed in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

One of the key focus areas for SSSD is the management of Inflow and Infiltration (I&). Excessive I&I can overwhelm a collection system’s capacity creating overflows. Climate change indicates more severe weather in the future. These changing weather patterns and frequency of severe weather is more and more relevant to sewer operators. I&I increases wastewater treatment plant flows unnecessarily increasing treatment plant processing costs.

SSSD started monitoring in 2012 by installing four initial monitoring units for a cost of $50,000 but, when the need arose for expanding our efforts to more locations, they required a more flexible, easy-to-install and cost-effective solution.

To address I&I monitoring expansion plans, SSSD designed a smart sewer system with SmartCover technology.

By leveraging SmartCover patented design and deployment, SSSD has been able to both expand I&I monitoring and enhance the granularity and detail of information compiled. SmartCover flexibility has proven to improve existing I&I monitoring processes at a much lower cost than the alternatives. Deployment is turnkey because no confined entry is required, allowing a collection system to get up and running fast without a lot of wasted staff time or traffic management.

SmartCover customized the solution to aggregate flow information from multiple locations, thereby enabling more flexibility to analyze relationships between sites and to better understand the dynamics within sub-basins.


It is anticipated that ROI on the first round of SmartCover deployment will yield better information on I&I and provide a more refined capital improvement decision making process, while also controlling costs and enhancing usage of valuable staff and resources.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Mike Fritschi: Mr. Fritschi has 20 years of experience in the management, operation, design, and inspection of wastewater systems. Mr. Fritschi is a licensed Civil Engineer and holds a Grade IV wastewater facility and collections system operations license. Mr. Fritschi received a B.S. degree in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University.

Brogan Quist: Brogan has a Bachelors of Science Degree from Westmont College, located in Santa Barbara, CA. Brogan has over 10 years of experience in the wastewater and technology sector. Brogan first started in the industry by installing and maintaining monitoring devices in the field, beginning in 2008. He has completed over 500 site visits, troubleshooting, and installations. Currently, Brogan works with customers in the Western/Central region of the United states to help solve their challenges by providing remote monitoring systems. The Goal of SmartCover Systems is to assist wastewater utilities by helping them make informed decisions, based on data collected in the field.

11:15am - 12:00pm
ID: 302 / Session 09B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Stormwater, Risk Assessments and Emergency Response, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: resilience, flooding, climate, rainfall, risk

And the Rains Came: Characterizing Rainfall for Climate Impacts

Nathan Foged1, Sierra Gawlowski2

1Brown and Caldwell, United States of America; 2City of Shoreline, Washington, United States of America;

Virtual Speakers

Prolonged wet weather and extreme storms can overwhelm drainage systems, cause urban flooding, or potentially lead to uncontrolled discharges of contaminated waters. While we understand these as potential impacts, quantitative risk-based analyses can be challenging given the natural variability of rainfall and the uncertainty associated with changing climate conditions. As the City of Shoreline (Washington) plans for a resilient future, the Surface Water Utility has recently compiled and analyzed precipitation data to create a library of rainfall time series and design storm events for use in stormwater planning and design studies. These data include observed storm events, updated intensity-duration frequency curves, and synthetic design storms—based on both historical conditions and adjusted for future climate conditions. This presentation will not only describe the development of these data, but also discuss appropriate use, uncertainty ranges, and how results should be interpreted for stormwater management decisions.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Nathan is the Innovation and Technology lead for Brown and Caldwell’s Water Resources practice. He is an engineering consultant with over 20 years of experience, specializing in hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of natural and urban systems. Nathan focuses on climate adaptation and resilience planning for the water sector, working with private and municipal clients to make decisions under uncertainty.
1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 16A: Facility Operations & Lessons Learned - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
1:15pm - 2:00pm
ID: 251 / Session 16A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Wastewater 101, Facility Operations & Maintenance
Keywords: Project Management, Virtual, Remote

Remotely Designed: Lessons Learned Designing during a Pandemic

Oskar Agustsson1, Kip Summers2

1HDR; 2LOTT Clean Water Alliance;

Virtual Sessions

This presentation will share lessons learned from the design of a complex WWTP upgrade project performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing all parties to work remotely. It showed the importance of existing project management tools and the development of additional tools. In March of 2020, HDR was contracted to design and install new turbo blowers at the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Martin Way Reclaimed Water Plant. Due to stay-at-home” orders our team quickly pivoted to advancing the project with the use of remote tools to facilitate collaboration and communication among consultant team members as well as LOTT staff. Clear meeting topics and agendas are always key to project management and even more so with remote or virtual connections. The presentation will include a discussion of the following elements which contributed to this project’s success:

  • Data gathering up front such as 360-degree photographs were taken and linked on a site plan at the beginning of the project which allowed for the design team to go on “virtual plant walks” to orient themselves.
  • As Built Verification relied on plant staff, that was already on site to operate the plant.
  • Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanning eliminated the need for continual visits to the plant for field measurements.
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) used in conjuncture with LiDAR minimized known conflicts with field conditions.
  • Succinct presentation materials to ensure clear sharing of project details and decision making.
  • Polling features on virtual platforms was useful during meetings and helped project stakeholders make key decisions by guiding the conversation about what the Owner stakeholders agreed on and what needed further discussion.
  • Documentation with traditional meeting minutes, decision logs, comment logs.
  • Virtual pre-bid meetings and walkthroughs scheduled separately for each contractor.

The project is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed by June, 2021.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Oskar Agustsson, P.E. - Has over 19 years of experience in the wastewater field and is a senior project manager in the wastewater group at HDR. He has a degree in electrical engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and California. He was the HDR project manager for this project case study.

2:00pm - 2:45pm
ID: 198 / Session 16A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Facility Operations & Maintenance, Wastewater Treatment Process
Keywords: Major expansion startup and operation

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

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

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. This presentation will discuss the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the planning and startup of the new systems at the WRRF. It will also include WRRF performance data from startup and from a year into operation.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Zach Dobroth, P.E. (Idaho), is a senior wastewater engineer in Brown and Caldwell’s Boise office. Zach has experience designing municipal wastewater treatment facilities and with process modeling of advanced biological nutrient removal systems.

Clint Dolsby, P.E. (Idaho), is an Assistant City Engineer for Meridian. He served as one of the City's project managers for the liquid stream capacity expansion project at the Meridian WRRF.
3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 16B: Collection & Conveyance - Intelligent Collection Management - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
3:00pm - 3:45pm
ID: 220 / Session 16B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Collection and Conveyance, Utility & Assessment Management
Keywords: Sewer inspection, artificial intelligence, technology, innovation, efficiency

Artificial Intelligence, Real Solutions. Identifying Sewer Defects with AI

Joshua Ford, Molly Loucks

Burgess & Niple; ,

Traditional sewer inspection methods such as internal CCTV can be time-consuming and can overlook defects due to inaccurate identification and subjectivity in how people code. When assessing the future degradation of a sewer line or determining which asset to prioritize for rehabilitation, the difference and accuracy of coding is critical.

The goal of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) with sewer inspection is to supplement workers in the field, not to replace them. AI takes on the more common defects allowing field workers to focus on work at hand (access, MOT, cleaning) and codes that are more difficult and less frequent.

As with any project, the more accurate the data that goes in, the better quality of data that comes out. It is necessary to capture clear and unobstructed video, whether a field technician or an AI-based platform performs the assessment. When provided clear video, B&N’s AI has an accuracy rating of approximately 90%.

Our AI captures and recreates the workflow in coding and performing the quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) of sewer inspections. With this technology, we have substantially reduced the time required to review sewer inspection data, increased the number and accuracy of defects identified and coded, and supplemented the human element that is prone to bias. Removing the burden of coding all defects from the contractor allows them to inspect more footage in a day and reduce the cost-per-foot for the owner. Utility providers can quickly move through existing video to provide a database that shows the condition of their storm and sanitary infrastructure, allowing them to make data-driven decisions that are transparent and repeatable.

This presentation will demonstrate the benefits of using AI as a low-cost way to evaluate systems and better maintain assets to prioritize rehabilitation and coordinate with other work such as roadway improvements.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Joshua Ford, PE, PACP has experience in flow monitoring and Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Surveys for systems across the nation. He is a trusted resource for I/I issues and currently serves as the Village Engineer for the Village of Marble Cliff, Ohio. This experience makes him a valuable part of project teams because he is aware of challenges inherent with buried infrastructure and can work through them to find practical solutions. Joshua's design experience includes storm sewer improvements, utility relocations, wastewater collection systems and water transmission and distribution systems. He is an Ohio Northern University graduate with a B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering.

Molly Loucks, PE is a transportation engineer with experience in roadway design with projects typically focusing on drainage, ADA, urban design, roundabouts, bikeways, and complete streets solutions. Molly is routinely involved as the lead roadway and drainage designer for Burgess & Niple’s complete streets projects. Molly holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho

3:45pm - 4:30pm
ID: 138 / Session 16B: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Collection and Conveyance
Keywords: Digital Twins

Real Time – Decision Support Systems For Intelligent Watershed Management

Alex Puryear

Xylem Inc., United States of America;

Technological advances have enabled Real-Time Decision Support Systems (RT-DSS) to dynamically optimize collection system operations using a stream of data from sensors placed in the network, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and real-time weather ensemble forecasts.

Giant leaps forward in computing power, combined with advances and cost reductions in sensor and telemetry technologies, have made it possible to go far beyond the status quo and break into a new echelon of opportunities. We can now run high-resolution models in real-time, with real-world precipitation data, while correcting critical downstream model nodes with observed sensor data. The outcome is perpetually calibrated digital copies of the urban watershed designed for operators providing far more effective real-time operational decision making and control.

The RT-DSS provides operational intelligence, including:

  • Active, automated, and continuous monitoring of the sensor network.
  • Real-time collection system condition assessment identifying hydraulic anomalies.
  • Guidance providing consistent actions that are continually updating to achieve designed objectives such as reducing energy consumption, minimizing overflows, and balancing diurnal curves to treatment plants.
  • Real-time models infused with artificial intelligence and probabilistic weather forecast to predict future outcomes in the collection systems.
  • Realize capacity in existing assets that otherwise could not be achieved using traditional control methods.

The RT-DSS output is actionable information provided to the operation staff, engineering, and leadership using web-based dashboards.

Attendees of this presentation will benefit by better understanding what a Real-Time Decision Support System (RT-DSS) is and how they can help utilities better manage their collection systems. This presentation will discuss the development and implementation of several RT-DSS for utilities here in the Pacific Northwest and across the Country.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Alex’s time within the water industry has focused on solving utilities biggest challenges using digital solutions. Alex holds a B.A. from Arizona State University, School of Technology and Innovation and a MBA from Gonzaga University, School of Business.
Date: Wednesday, 15/Sept/2021
8:00am - 10:15amSession 23A: Construction & Alternate Delivery: Collaboration & Communications - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
8:00am - 8:45am
ID: 299 / Session 23A: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Construction & Alternate Delivery, Leadership, Social Equity, Workforce Development, Resiliency, Planning, Climate Science
Keywords: Change, Resiliency, Teamwork, COVID, Communication

Building Resilient Communities Through Building Resilient Teams

Josh Baker1, Jeff Hodson2, Mike Zeltner3, Tyler Resnick4

1City of Boise; 2Jacobs; 3Brown and Caldwell; 4McAlvain Companies, Inc.; , , ,

Four years ago, the Lander Street Water Renewal Facility Phase 1 Improvements project team set out to create a resilient team that could deliver the City of Boise’s largest construction project in recent history. The project was well under way replacing deteriorating infrastructure when the global pandemic hit. This presented many different challenges which have changed the way we all work. Throughout this experience, our patience has been tested, relationships strained, and processes challenged, but the work put into developing the team paid dividends throughout those difficulties.

The City selected the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) delivery model for this project and elected to bring the CM/GC into the project at the start of the engineering effort. This allowed for early team chartering and branding to prevent tripartite silos from forming. The project team quickly adapted the mindset of “we are protectors of infrastructure and of the Boise River.”

One of the key attributes of the project team’s approach is their willingness to challenge the status quo and modify a process if it is not working as intended. An example of this is the design coordination log (the process formerly known as requests for information). This use of this log has resulted in issuing early engineering clarifications that have outpaced subcontractor questions and allowed work in the field to progress without delays.

The project team has also enhanced communication by using multiple, real-time methods between engineering and field staff while leveraging asynchronous communication to manage the project narrative with stakeholders. The result has been optimized teamwork and collaboration, better informed management, increased communication with subcontractors, and decreased risk of miscommunication.

The project to date has not lost any schedule (even considering COVID) and has a deductive change order value while being almost halfway complete. This is attributed to the strong relationships that have formed and the resilient team approach that has been taken. The lessons that have been learned are being applied to the next phase of improvements in an effort to continue to overcome difficult situations and create our future.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Josh is a project manager for the City of Boise’s Water Renewal Engineering Department. He is currently the project manager for the Lander Street Phase 1 improvements project. He has been in the water/wastewater industry for the past 8 years working on projects across Idaho focusing mostly on wastewater design and construction. He graduated from Boise State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Josh prefers a hands-on approach to engineering spending time in the field.

Jeff is a project manager in Jacobs’ Boise office with more than 20 years in the engineering profession. His experience includes managing a variety of projects in the water, wastewater, and facilities markets, with emphasis on multi-discipline delivery of complex projects. He is a graduate of Utah State University (go Aggies!) with BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering. When not in the office or at a construction site, he loves getting into Idaho’s backcountry with his friends and family.

As a Construction Manager and General Contractor, Tyler Resnick has had the opportunity to work on numerous water and infrastructure projects. He has experience as an early preconstruction collaborator and construction manager on interesting water, urban and infrastructure projects in the Treasure Valley such as the Dixie Drain Phosphorus Removal Facility, Grove Plaza Renovation, and the Lander Street Water Renewal Facility Improvements Program. Throughout his career, he has had an emphasis on planning, handling and treating of water and wastewater infrastructure that drives his passion for responsible development.

Mike is a senior project manager and design engineer with experience leading and supporting multidiscipline and multi-consultant teams throughout the planning, design, and construction of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. His expertise includes project management, process mechanical design, and construction support for new and improved facilities. Mike also leads BC’s Project Management Office efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

8:45am - 9:30am
ID: 233 / Session 23A: 2
Main Technical Program
Topics: Construction & Alternate Delivery, Collection and Conveyance
Keywords: Progressive Design Build, Collection System, mitigate impacts on operations, evaluation of alternatives

Pumping Up Communication Through Progressive Design Build

Katie Spilker1, Amanda Mesick1, Jessica MacClanahan2

1Kennedy Jenks Consultants; 2City of Bend; ,

The City of Bend’s North Interceptor Sewer Project (NISP), identified in the Collection System Master Plan (CSMP), consists of design and construction of a sewer transmission system to accommodate the City’s growth plans, policies, and incorporate redundancy into the system. Along with serving an expanding UGB, the proposed alignment also allows for the decommissioning of up to ten (10) lift stations as an added benefit.

At the confluence of the existing Plant Interceptor and the newly planned NISP, a critical deficiency in hydraulic capacity for future growth was identified. It required the evaluation of alternatives for pipeline sizing, configuration, and routing, with an overall goal to set the City of Bend up for success long into the future. Through a collaborative decision-making process, our team leveraged a broad range of City stakeholders and arrived at a consensus to add an influent pump station at the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). As a result, a significant challenge emerged with how to limit impacts on WRF operations during start-up and testing of the pump station.

This presentation will outline the vision and drivers for this project, along with sharing a success story on how utilities can use Progressive Design Build to deliver projects that mitigate impacts on operations. Attendees will learn about developing an integrated team, establishing the correct level of communication, and lessons learned that can be applied to future projects. Finally, the presentation will focus on creating a culture of change in project implementation that emphasizes integration of operations into the decision-making process. Pumping up Communication through Progressive Design Build resulted in a seamless transition from a gravity-fed treatment plant to one supplied by an influent lift station at the City of Bend’s WRF.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Jessica MacClanahan, PE, PMP:
Jessica has been with the City of Bend since 2016 and currently serves as a Principal Engineer managing the City’s Collection System Capital Improvement Program. Jessica is responsible for managing all aspects of the design and construction of City infrastructure projects including project scope, budget, schedule, quality and safety. She serves as Project Manager for the North Interceptor Sewer Line phases 1 & 2 that includes 28,000 LF of large diameter sanitary sewer pipeline, irrigation canal crossings, numerous trenchless crossings, and an influent pump station at the Water Reclamation Facility.

Amanda Mesick, PE:
Amanda has over 10 years of experience as a civil engineer, specializing in the planning and design of municipal conveyance systems, hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, and utility performance. Recent project work has been focused on municipal pipeline and pump station design. Along with design, Amanda also is experienced at managing projects under construction.

9:30am - 10:15am
ID: 248 / Session 23A: 3
Main Technical Program
Topics: Construction & Alternate Delivery, Wastewater Treatment Process, Recycled Water & Resource Recovery
Keywords: Collaboration, Reuse, Class A Biosolids, GC/CM, Cultural Resources, Construction, Membranes

Going Beyond Expectations: Collaborating to Deliver an Award-Winning Facility

Michael Borrero1, Brett Arvidson2

1Carollo Engineers, United States of America; 2City of Oak Harbor;

The City of Oak Harbor (City) completed construction of its new $125 million Clean Water Facility (CWF) producing Class A reclaimed water quality effluent to the Puget Sound. Two overriding project goals for the City were protecting the environment and constructing a facility that was integrated into the community. With the greenfield CWF located downtown and adjacent to the waterfront Windjammer Park, the City incorporated architectural features and park amenities with the CWF project to become a civic asset woven into the community fabric.

Getting the project permitted and completed on schedule was a complex task due to site constraints, environmental restrictions, and the likelihood of encountering cultural resources. The City became one of Washington State’s first wastewater projects to be delivered under the alternative project delivery approach of a heavy-civil General Contractor/Construction Management (GC/CM). The GC/CM’s suggested approach shortened construction by 2 years from a conventional design-bid-build project by including:

  • Early procurement and segmented work packages proceeding during design
  • Development and timing of design packages to always keep the GC/CM productive

Schedule related challenges were ultimately overcome by developing a genuine partnership with an eye to keeping quality expectations high. Implementation of these early design packages were successful and reinforced positive work relationships with the City, Engineer and GC/CM Contractor.

Presentation will include specifics on:

  • Lessons learned of the project challenges including start-up and commissioning
  • Collaborative efforts examples between the Engineer, City and GC/CM to integrate the CWF into the community
  • Results to the cultural resources approach

The efforts to bring the CWF to life have been recognized by the national American Public Works Association (APWA), American Council of Engineering Consultants (ACEC) and the Engineer-News Record (ENR) Best Projects for the Pacific Northwest region.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Mr. Borrero has 23 years of experience in the design and construction of water and wastewater facilities. He worked on the design of the Oak Harbor Clean Water Facility and served as its Resident Engineer.
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 23B: Construction & Alternate Delivery - Livestream
Location: Room 430AB
10:30am - 12:00pm
ID: 213 / Session 23B: 1
Main Technical Program
Topics: Construction & Alternate Delivery, Collection and Conveyance
Keywords: WRF Outfall Pipeline; Environmental Permitting; Construction Manager/General Contractor

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.

Brief Biography and/or Qualifications
Jon is a project manager and lead project engineer for J-U-B ENGINEERS, Inc. in their Coeur d’Alene, Idaho office. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Gonzaga University and has over 15 years of experience in the water resources industry. He specializes in water and wastewater system master planning, hydraulic computer modeling analysis, system evaluation, design, and construction.

Chris is a lead project engineer and project manager for J-U-B ENGINEERS, Inc. in their Coeur d’Alene, Idaho office. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho and has over 11 years of experience with water resources-related planning, funding procurement, design, and construction.

Craig is the City of Post Falls Utilities Manager responsible for supervisory and administrative oversight of the City’s potable, surface, and reclaimed water systems including distribution, collection and treatment. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Montana State University and Master of Public Administration from Idaho State University and has 11 years of experience in the municipal water industry.

Andrew is the City of Post Falls Utilities Project Manager and oversees capital improvement projects for the City’s wastewater and water division. He earned his B.S. in Construction Management from Eastern Washington University and has 10 years of experience in the construction industry.

Curtis is the lead estimator and director of preconstruction services for McMillen Jacobs Associates’ water resources division. He earned his B.S. in Construction Management from Boise State University and has 13 years of experience in the construction industry. He has over 10 years of planning, estimating, and scheduling for heavy civil construction projects, with a focus on work in the hydroelectric, dams, fisheries, and water resources markets

Contact and Legal Notice · Contact Address:
Privacy Statement · Conference: PNCWA 2021
Conference Software - ConfTool Pro 2.6.144
© 2001–2022 by Dr. H. Weinreich, Hamburg, Germany