Conference Agenda

Session Overview
Location: Room 410ABC
West Building
Date: Tuesday, 14/Sept/2021
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 12B: Collection & Conveyance - Pumping Systems
Location: Room 410ABC
10:30am - 11:15am

Decoding Water Hammer: Comparing Real Measurements With Modeling Predictions

Brandon Billing

Brown and Caldwell, United States of America;

Virtual Speakers

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 explain water hammer and how numerical modeling helps to avoid problems with transient pressures in pumping and pipeline systems.

In the first case, an existing sewage force main experienced pressure damage. 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 the installation of the tank, field measurements closely agreed with pressures predicted by the modeling.

In the second case, monitoring equipment detected transient pressures during the 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 the flywheel installations.

In the third case, a numerical modeling study performed during design led to a recommendation to install surge tanks 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 provides reliable data for developing a surge mitigation strategy and reliably assess when a surge mitigation strategy is successful.

11:15am - 12:15pm

Challenges and Opportunities Presented by Diversion Pump Stations

Mike Carr1, Frank Dick2, Jeff Hart3

1Murraysmith, United States of America; 2City of Vancouver, WA; 3Clean Water Services; , ,

When sewer trunk systems reach capacity, agencies occasionally elect to install a pump station to pump past the bottlenecks rather than upsize the line or build a parallel pipe. This is typically due to the higher capital expense of a trunk sewer caused by environmental mitigation requirements, pipe depth, and traffic disruptions. On the upside, constructing a diversion pump station can often be the more expedient way to meet upstream development demands or reduce risk of overflows. Conversely, a diversion pump station also provides new challenges for Operations through increased maintenance time and cost. However, the facility can also offer flexibility to an agency’s overall operations, providing opportunities to address operational concerns elsewhere in the system through automation, flow control, and redirection of flow to underutilized infrastructure in the conveyance and treatment facilities.

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.

1:15pm - 2:45pmSession 19A: Workforce Development
Location: Room 410ABC
1:15pm - 2:00pm

Who is in Your Circle of Trust?

Amy Dammarell, Joslynn Hon

HDR, United States of America; ,

It is natural to seek out friends and colleagues with whom we share common interests, experiences, background, thoughts and feelings. We tend to surround ourselves with people we share “like” characteristics with. In fact, the more like us someone is, the more apt we are to trust them. What affect does this have on our ability to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace?

Approach: Through large group activities and small group discussion, participants will explore the composition of their “Circle of Trust”. These activities will allow participants to understand how who they choose for their Circle may impact diversity of thought, perspective, decision-making, hiring, and promotion within an organization.

Results: Participants will create practical action steps to form connections, add to their “Circle of Trust” and think differently about diversity.

Conclusion: Participants will build awareness of how to be more intentional to build diverse teams.

2:00pm - 2:45pm

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 prejudice, referred to as micro-aggressions. This 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.

Approach: Using scenarios and small group discussion, participants will explore real-life situations and determine appropriate action whether they are the subject of the micro-aggression, the offender or and observer.

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

Conclusion: Participants will learn the signs of micro-aggressions and steps to counteract.

3:00pm - 4:30pmSession 19B: Workforce Development
Location: Room 410ABC
3:00pm - 3:45pm

Stepping into Management During a Pandemic: What have we learned?

Adam Schuyler, Nichole Kruse

Murraysmith, United States of America; ,

Nichole and Adam both took on new roles within the organization as the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread in early 2020, significantly disrupting the status quo. Nichole was promoted to Group Manager and Adam to Puget Sound Regional Manager and Corporate Management Team member. They were both charged with unifying and growing the Puget Sound Region that operates in four offices, and improving regional performance across multiple metrics (i.e., revenue, sales, profit). At the end of 2020, the Puget Sound region had met and, in certain areas, exceeded its performance goals, making significant strides towards operating as a cohesive region.

During the presentation, Nichole will share what she has learned as a first-time staff manager. Adam will share his experiences stepping into new roles and what has changed or shifted from his previous experience managing staff during “normal” non-pandemic circumstances. The presentation will include a discussion of lessons learned, and how they plan to apply their experiences moving forward in the era following the COVID-19 crisis.

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Developing New Tools for Virtual Outreach

Joanne Lind, Siri Nelson

LOTT Clean Water Alliance, United States of America; ,

Virtual Speakers

Problem Statement

The LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s active education and outreach program helps forge strong connections with the community. LOTT has invested in their WET Science Center, partnerships with local school districts, and public outreach that includes providing tours to community groups. When LOTT’s treatment plant and WET Science Center had to temporarily close to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly changed our focus to develop strategies and tools for connecting with our community virtually. Using a collaborative process, we began creating new programming and outreach tools, including a virtual plant tour and virtual field trip.


A team of LOTT staff worked with a video production company to create a virtual tour and related videos to explain the wastewater treatment process, resource recovery, clean water careers, and what not to flush.

LOTT’s education staff quickly shifted gears to produce a new live web-based program to continue serving our three partner school districts within LOTT’s service area, and to continue to support science teachers and reach middle school students.


Joanne Lind, LOTT’s Public Communications Manager, worked with LOTT staff and a video production company, Twisted Scholar, to create an engaging and accurate portrayal of the treatment process. Staff were encouraged to contribute ideas and input in each step of production, resulting in a series of videos that everyone is proud of. Even after in-person tours resume, these videos will be used to increase accessibility for community members to learn about the treatment process.

The education team, led by Siri Nelson, Education Program Manager, created a virtual wastewater field trip program that incorporated input and feedback from teachers and district staff to ensure the program met the rapidly changing needs of virtual classrooms while remaining effective. The virtual field trips have received positive feedback, and the education program is on track for meeting outreach goals for the 2020-21 school year.


Presenters will discuss how they created virtual tools to continue to provide public outreach without in-person contact. They will offer lessons learned, best practices, and ways to use virtual tools to reach members of your community.


Date: Wednesday, 15/Sept/2021
8:00am - 10:15amSession 26A: Reuse
Location: Room 410ABC
8:00am - 8:45am

Guiding Regional Reuse Options – A Distributed Systems Approach

Melanie Holmer, Jocelyn Lu

California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA);

Water reuse can be achieved through both centralized and onsite systems for non-potable and potable uses. With several reuse options available, utilities can apply a distributed systems approach, defined as a regionally optimized combination of water reuse, to produce an effective “fit-for-community” reuse strategy. The California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA), made up of 11 major water utilities in California, conducted research to understand the compatible system characteristics for reuse strategies. CUWA has led the development of a fact sheet that informs that distributed systems approach, which detail considerations around policy, community, environment, economics, operations, and treatment.

Case studies were conducted to understand the decision-making process of utilities that are evaluating water reuse. For example, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) optimized their regional reuse through a distributed systems approach. The west side of SF is home to large irrigation customers like the Golden Gate park. To capitalize on economies of scale, SFPUC is building a centralized recycled water plant to serve them. The east side of SF is more densely developed with fewer contiguous areas that could benefit from centralized infrastructure. In 2015, SF passed an ordinance requiring new development with footprints > 25,000 square feet to meet their own non-potable reuse needs through onsite reuse. With much of the City’s development boom captured under the ordinance, SFPUC found that recycled water demands were largely addressed on the east side.

This work also details the importance of expanding green building certification rating systems, like LEED, to include all sustainable reuse options. A building can employ multiple strategies to increase their water efficiency, and developers tend to opt for onsite reuse. However, LEED offers water efficiency credits for any type of alternative water source, including centralized reuse, and clarification of the rating criteria can improve awareness of this opportunity.

This work is intended to start a conversation with utilities, policy makers, and developers on what is considered sustainable in a given community. This presentation will provide an overview of the favorable system characteristics for each reuse strategy and summarize the key takeaways for stakeholders.

8:45am - 9:30am

Formalizing the Role of Urban Water Agencies in Distributed Water Infrastructure

Alexander Fairhart1, Lynn Broaddus2

1Isle Inc.; 2Broadview Collaborative; ,

Virtual Speakers

This submission continues a conversation from the latest edition of WE&T here.

Distributed water infrastructure projects, also called decentralized, onsite or hybrid, are emerging across the Pacific Northwest. Development of these systems is driven by private sector interest, but also government agency sustainability initiatives. These systems, designed for household, building or district scale, aim compact the efforts of traditional municipal waterworks to avoid the need for collection and conveyance. Major cities across the Pacific Northwest have projects underway that reuse rainwater and wastewater, and even generate fresh water from alternative sources.

Distributed water infrastructure brings a new paradigm to water system development and planning. The knowledge of local water agencies and professionals is often underutilized among the current stakeholder groups of developers, sustainable building groups, technology vendors and public health departments. The public interest would be better served by further collaboration between Pacific Northwest water agencies and the groups developing these projects. In the few cases where municipalities have taken a bold view of the future and adopted legislation for these systems, collaboration is mandated, and cross-benefits readily found.

Water utility professionals are well-suited for the review and approval of new distributed technologies, with the importance of reliability and safety being elevated beyond standard water infrastructure. Several case studies will be reviewed where such collaboration has been facilitated and prioritized by water agencies, to the benefit of new infrastructure developers, technology vendors, serviced ratepayers, and the public health. By taking an active role on behalf of the public, water agencies ensure a seat at the table in this infrastructure development of the future.

9:30am - 10:15am

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

Christopher Stoll1, Karen Galt2, Joelle Hammerstad2

1Kennedy Jenks; 2City of Seattle, Seattle Parks and Recreation; , ,

Virtual Speakers

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.

10:30am - 12:00pmSession 26B: Wastewater Process: Solids
Location: Room 410ABC
10:30am - 11:15am

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

Ornella Sosa-Hernandez, Peter Schauer

Clean Water Services, United States of America;

VIrtual Speakers

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.

11:15am - 12:00pm

The Future of Biosolids Handling

Tanner Hartsock

Biolynceus LLC, United States of America;

Sustainable biosolids handling strategies are becoming increasingly difficult to develop. For land applications, the most common biosolid disposal technique, wastewater facilities (WRRFs) must produce either Class A or Class B biosolids. Even if these requirements are met, some WRRFs are faced with local pressure, forcing them to alter the course of their biosolids handling program. Biosolids regulations have seen little change since the first regulations were established in 1993, and mounting pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency make future changes both likely and imminent. Additionally, contaminants such as per-polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are sure to complicate regulations moving forward. Even landfill applications are uncertain: recently, the state of California banned the use of biosolids as an alternative landfill cover. Now more than ever, WRRFs are considering innovative, even novel technologies for managing their biosolids. Bioaugmentation can be used to degrade volatile biosolids and should be viewed as a viable approach to reduce the amount of biosolids at WRRFs. Research has shown that microbes capable of producing amylase enzymes can hydrolyze cellulose, a primary component of wastewater sludge, and convert it to glucose, a form of soluble carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD). This soluble glucose is readily available as a food source to both the added microbiology and the existing sludge biomass, reducing sludge volumes by up to 40%. Probiotic additions are common in lagoon systems, reducing costs associated with dredging, dewatering and hauling and recently, biological sludge reduction at mechanical wastewater facilities has received attention as an alternative means to reduce costs associated with dewatering and hauling. As regulations become more stringent, the time to consider new technologies for biosolids reduction is now.