Pennichuck, N.H., water line to expand; serve Litchfield residents

CONCORD, NH, AUGUST 25, 2016 — The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics are today announcing that Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has arranged with Pennichuck Corporation to secure bids to extend the Litchfield Public Water System to allow for the connection of up to 360 Litchfield homes and businesses that are currently on private wells. The cost, phasing, and timing of the project will be dependent on the bids received and the construction firm selected.

The private drinking water wells serving 124 residences and businesses in the Litchfield area have tested at or above 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is the New Hampshire Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Health Advisory level for PFOA in drinking water. The State of New Hampshire has adopted that level as the state’s Ambient Groundwater Quality Standard under emergency rulemaking. Due to the close proximity of the remaining 236 private wells, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has agreed that the scope of the project bid should include water line extensions so that all residences and businesses in that area can be connected to municipal water.

“We appreciate Saint-Gobain’s willingness to collaborate with the state to achieve our mutual goal of assuring clean drinking water for all area residents despite the fact that we have not concluded our investigation,” said Tom Burack, Commissioner of NHDES. “We will continue to work with Saint-Gobain and all of the affected towns to ensure ongoing access to clean drinking water throughout the investigation process.”

In May 2016, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics agreed to fund the engineering design work by Pennichuck Corporation for the potential expansion of the existing public water system in Litchfield in addition to funding the provision of bottled water to homes having elevated PFOA levels in their private wells in the vicinity of the company’s Merrimack plant.

“Our primary concern has been to ensure the residents of Litchfield have access to clean drinking water and we remain committed to making that happen,” said Tom Kinisky, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. “We are pleased to be moving forward, under agreement with the state, to help provide permanent public water supply connections for all of the affected residents of Litchfield.”

Settlement reached in Kentucky American Water rate case

LEXINGTON, KY, AUGUST 25, 2016 — The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has announced its approval of a settlement granting Kentucky American Water a rate adjustment for water bills that will increase its annual revenue by $6.5 million, which is slightly less than half the amount the company requested when it filed the case on Jan. 29 of this year. As a result of the rate adjustment, the monthly bill for an average residential water service customer using 4,136 gallons of water per month will increase from $34.41 to $37.38 – or $2.97 more per month – effective Aug. 28.

All parties involved in the rate case proceeding – Kentucky American Water, the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and the Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties – reached a settlement in the case in July, which was subject to PSC approval.

The company requested the rate adjustment primarily due to the $79 million in capital improvements it has made since 2012. These improvements include projects such as replacing aging water mains, upgrading pumps to more efficient models, and constructing a new $15 million filtration building at the Richmond Road Station water treatment plant in Lexington to replace a 90-year-old structure. Before the 2016 case, the last time the company requested a rate adjustment was in December 2012.

“Ongoing investment in water system infrastructure is absolutely essential in order to maintain quality, reliable water service for our customers,” said Nick Rowe, president of Kentucky American Water and senior vice president of American Water’s Central Division. “While we continue to make prudent investments in the water systems that serve our customers, we are also cognizant of the need to maintain affordable rates, which is why we are also committed to performing as efficiently as possible. We have maintained essentially flat operational expenses since 2012, and our teams continue to work harder and smarter to stay on that same path.”

Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately half a million people. The company was recognized as a Best Place to Work in Kentucky in 2014, 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.kentuckyamwater.com.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. Marking its 130th anniversary this year, the company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.

DC Water awards CH2M/Parsons joint venture team major water and wastewater capital improvement program

DENVER, CO, AUGUST 24, 2016 — CH2M and Parsons, as part of a joint venture team, have been selected by the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) to perform program management services for the development and implementation of DC Water’s capital improvement program (CIP)—a $1.3 billion water and wastewater infrastructure program focused on repair and replacement of mostly underground infrastructure in Washington, D.C., and neighboring jurisdictions.  

The three-year contract, with options for renewal up to two years, combines two separate program management contracts into one large program – providing greater efficiencies in delivery and cost. The CIP includes the planning, design and construction of linear and vertical infrastructure in the water and wastewater service areas, including piping, pumping, storage and other appurtenance structures, such as hydrants, valves, inflatable dams, diversion structures and manholes. The program includes rehabilitation or replacement of small- and large-diameter water mains; rehabilitation of water, sanitary and storm pumping stations; rehabilitation of minor and major sewers and storage facilities; and condition assessments of water and wastewater buried infrastructure, pumping stations and storage facilities.

“CH2M has worked with DC Water for many years on capital improvement projects and most recently has been leading the utility’s Asset Management Program,” said Peter Nicol, CH2M Global Water Business Group President. “Aging underground infrastructure is a national problem and leads to disruptions in service and threatens water quality. We are excited to help DC Water tackle the complicated repair and replacement of its aging underground water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure local communities have access to safe drinking water and sanitation systems.”

Michael Walsh, Parsons Group President, added “Our team looks forward to working collaboratively with DC Water on this major program that will significantly benefit the DC community. We too have worked with DC Water on numerous projects, including the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility and the DC Clean Rivers Project.”

Repair and replacement strategies are complicated in dense urban areas with complex underground infrastructure, and therefore must be coordinated carefully with a wide variety of stakeholders. As the CIP program manager, the CH2M/Parsons JV team will also help DC Water coordinate with stakeholders throughoutWashington, D.C. neighborhoods.

About CH2M 
CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients in water; environment and nuclear; transportation; energy and industrial markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World’s Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and programme management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook.

About Parsons 
Parsons, celebrating more than 70 years of growth in the engineering, construction, technical, and professional services industries, is a leader in many diversified markets with a focus on infrastructure, industrial, federal, and construction. Parsons delivers design/design-build, program/construction management, and other professional services packaged in innovative alternative delivery methods to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as to private industrial customers worldwide. For more about Parsons, please visit www.parsons.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Xylem to highlight sustainable ozone treatment solutions at 2016 IOA-PAG Conference in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, AUGUST 24, 2016 — Xylem will share expertise and highlight cutting-edge, sustainable solutions to optimize the efficiency of ozone oxidation and disinfection processes at the International Ozone Association’s Pan American Group Conference taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada next week (August 28-31). The IOA-PAG Conference brings together industry leaders to share the latest insights on the application and performance of ozone. The event will feature technical presentations from Xylem’s senior treatment engineers and product development specialists, as well as a showcase of Xylem’s advanced ozone technologies at Xylem’s booth #36.

Achim Ried, chief engineer with Xylem’s treatment business, will examine “Oxidation-enhanced biologically active filtration for drinking water.” Chemical and biological contamination in drinking water poses a significant public health risk and plant operators require a treatment system that allows them to produce a safe and reliable supply of clean water. Xylem’s Leopold Oxelia is a multi-barrier solution; an oxidation-enhanced, biologically active filtration system that enables the production of a safe and reliable supply of clear and biologically-stable, treated water with no taste or odor issues.

“Leopold Oxelia’s oxidation step can include ozone, ozone-based advanced oxidation processes (AOP) or ultraviolet (UV)-based AOP,” explained Ried. “The system offers the flexibility to efficiently and effectively address a wide range of treatment requirements, producing biologically stable and safe drinking water.”

Achim Ried will also present on “Classic ozonation versus AOP for micropollutants in municipal wastewater for reuse applications.” This paper reviews several studies benchmarking the use of ozone, ozone with hydrogen peroxide (AOP) or UV-based AOPs for the treatment of secondary effluent to produce water that can be reused for irrigation purposes or in combination with membrane filtration for indirect or direct potable reuse. In addition to examining life-cycle costs and the treatment efficiency of these solutions, the presentation will also provide valuable insights on optimizing the efficiency of a reuse treatment train using ozone or AOP.

Xylem sales and application engineer for ozone, Wiebke Rand, will present a study entitled “A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for the estimation of ozone mass transfer in industrial scale reactors to support energy efficient reactor design.” The study aimed to develop a model capable of assessing the ozone mass transfer efficiency for drinking and wastewater applications in order to optimize the energy efficiency of ozone treatment processes.

“Computational fluid dynamics is a state-of-the-art tool designed to monitor factors influencing mass transfer efficiency including: liquid and gas flow, ozone dose, water characteristics and water-specific ozone kinetics”, said Rand, “This presentation will review the results of CFD simulations carried out in pilot testing and detail how mass transfer performance can be predicted in order to inform the design and optimization of ozone contact tanks.”

Tony Zhang, product development with Xylem’s Leopold brand will present a paper entitled “Integrated ozone enhanced biofiltration system for municipal water reuse – Design & advanced system control considerations.” Wastewater reuse applications today look beyond non-potable usage treatment requirements to advanced treatment processes for direct and indirect potable reuse. The removal of micropollutants from wastewater using physical separation processes can be energy intensive however.

“This presentation will look at how an alternative treatment train incorporating ozone and biological activated filter (BAF) can significantly reduce capital and operating costs while effectively controlling effluent by-products,” explained Zhang.

A technical session exploring ozone and biofiltration applications will be moderated by Keel Robinson, North America water reuse leader at Xylem. The session will run from 2-5.15pm on Monday 29th August.

About Xylem
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology provider, enabling customers to transport, treat, test and efficiently use water in public utility, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. The Company does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands, and its people bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on finding local solutions to the world’s most challenging water and wastewater problems. Xylem is headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, with 2014 revenues of $3.9 billion and approximately 12,500 employees worldwide. Xylem was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last four years for advancing sustainable business practices and solutions worldwide and the Company has satisfied the requirements to be a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series each year since 2013.

The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all – that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit www.xyleminc.com

EPA Honors Fairbanks, Alaska High School Students for Working to Protect Water Quality and Salmon Habitat

News Releases

News Releases from Region 10

08/24/2016

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing ten high school students in Fairbanks, Alaska for their work to help restore and protect water quality and salmon habitat in the Chena River. The students participated in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fairbanks Youth for Habitat program and were awarded regional first runner up in the 2015 President’s Environmental Youth Award competition. The award will be presented this Friday at an event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tanana Valley Watershed Association to debut a film featuring the winning students, “Voices of the Chena.”

Fairbanks Youth for Habitat is a two year program that offers students experience with hands-on habitat restoration in the Fairbanks area. The students participating in the program directed two projects from design through implementation. The first group of students restored a stretch of eroded stream bank along the Chena River, using techniques learned in a habitat restoration workshop to stabilize eroding soil and buffer growing plants from boat wakes. The second group of students designed and created a rain garden and filtration planter boxes at a public building to catch and filter stormwater run-off. The students also produced a video to educate the public about the importance of stream bank habitat for salmon and an interpretive sign to educate visitors about the value of rain gardens to improve water quality.

Both projects help improve water quality and habitat in the Chena River for Chinook salmon and other native fish. The projects also benefit Fairbanks residents by adding visual appeal to the community. The stream bank restoration project took an area of badly eroded bank and replaced it with a vibrant community of native plants. Along with filtering run-off, the rain garden and planter boxes house native and ornamental plants that bloom throughout the season, adding beauty to a previously neglected area of lawn outside a public building.

Learn more about environmental education at EPA: https://www.epa.gov/education

EPA closes Pflueger stormwater case after successful restoration of Kauai property

News Releases from Region 09

08/24/2016

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HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the successful conclusion of its case against James Pflueger for construction activities that damaged his former property and the beach and coral reefs at Pila’a on Kauai. The consent decree settling the Clean Water Act violations was closed after Pflueger stabilized and restored the slopes and streams.

“Thanks to the work completed under this settlement, this once-degraded land has a healthy population of native trees and shrubs and restored stream channels,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With continued care by the new owners, these restoration efforts can be sustained for the future.”  

EPA initiated its case after Pflueger conducted extensive grading and construction at the 378-acre coastal site without obtaining necessary Clean Water Act permits. Those activities included excavating a hillside to expose a 40-foot vertical road cut, grading a coastal plateau, creating new access roads to the coast, and dumping dirt and rock into three perennial streams. As a result, massive discharges of sediment-laden stormwater flowed to the ocean at Pila’a Bay in November 2001.

The settlement required Pflueger to build a wall to stabilize the road cut adjacent to the shoreline, remove dam material in streams, install erosion controls on roadways and trails, terrace slopes to slow runoff, use native plants to control erosion, and control invasive plants and animals on the property. He was also required to reconstruct natural rock-lined stream beds and reestablish native plants along the banks.

The 2006 stormwater settlement was the largest for federal Clean Water Act violations at a single site, by a single landowner, in the United States. Pflueger paid $2 million in penalties to the State of Hawaii and the United States, and was expected to spend approximately $5.3 million to conduct the required restoration efforts.

The State of Hawaii was a co-plaintiff in EPA’s case against Pflueger, and the settlement was joined by the Limu Coalition and Kilauea neighborhood organizations, which had also filed a lawsuit against Pflueger.

EPA and local community organizations involved in the settlement conducted oversight inspections throughout a ten-year restoration effort that was slowed by funding obstacles and the necessity of adapting the restoration projects to changing field conditions.

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BPA can disrupt painted turtles’ brain development could be a population health concern

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in many consumer products including water bottles, metal food storage products and certain resins. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for BPA, affecting turtle habitats. Last year, a team of researchers led by the University of Missouri determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function in painted turtles, causing males to develop female sex organs. Now, the team has shown that BPA also can induce behavioral changes in turtles, reprogramming male turtle brains to show behavior common in females. Researchers worry this could lead to population declines in painted turtles.

“Previously, our research team found that BPA and ethinyl estradiol (EE2), a hormone found in birth control pills, could ‘sex-reverse’ turtles from males to females,” said Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center. “Painted turtles and other reptiles lack sex chromosomes. The gender of painted turtles and other reptiles is determined by the incubation temperature of the egg during development. Studies have shown that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as BPA, can override incubation temperature and switch the sex of males to females. In our latest study, we found that BPA also affects how the male brain is ‘wired,’ potentially inducing males to show female type behavioral patterns.”

Researchers applied a liquid form of BPA and ethinyl estradiol to painted turtle eggs and incubated the eggs at a temperature that typically results in males. Five months after hatching, turtles were tested with a spatial navigation test that included four food containers, only one of which was baited with food. Each turtle was randomly assigned one food container that did not change over the trial period.

Researchers predicted that male turtles exposed to BPA and EE2 would exhibit improved navigational ability — similar to behaviors observed in female turtles. Results showed that developmental exposure to BPA and EE2 improved spatial navigational learning and memory in males, as evidenced by increased number of times spent in the correct target zone and greater likelihood of solving the maze compared to control turtles, who were male based on the lower incubation temperature.

“Previous studies have found that female turtles are much more adept at spatial navigation — think of female sea turtles that return many years later to the same beaches where they hatched to lay their own eggs,” Rosenfeld said. “We found that developmental exposure to BPA essentially overrides the brain development of male turtles as indicated by the enhanced navigational ability of the turtles we studied. While improved spatial navigation might be considered a good thing, it also may suggest that when they reach adulthood male turtles will not exhibit courtship behaviors needed to attract a mate and reproduce, which could result in dramatic population declines.”

Rosenfeld notes that this is the first study to show that these harmful chemicals not only reverse the physical sex-characteristics but also affect the brain in a turtle species. Turtles are known as an “indicator species” because they can be used as a barometer for the health of the entire ecosystem. By understanding the possible effects EDCs have on turtles, researchers might be able to understand the possible effects the chemicals have on other wildlife species and humans, Rosenfeld said.

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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

DIPRA appoints Tom Holliman as western regional engineer

GOLDEN, CO, AUGUST 23, 2016 — The Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) has appointed Thomas R. Holliman, PE, as regional engineer in the western continental states as well as Hawaii and Alaska. Holliman brings more than 35 years of experience in planning, management, operations and consulting in water and wastewater engineering services.

With DIPRA, Holliman provides engineering support and services to water and wastewater agencies, municipal departments and engineering consultants. His technical support includes training for engineering staff; field training for installation of corrosion protection methods, such as installation of polyethylene encasements; pipe excavation examinations; and advisory services to public and private sector water and wastewater leaders.

“In my years as water and wastewater pipeline design engineer, an engineering and operations manager for agencies, and as an engineering consultant, I have always specified Ductile Iron Pipe because of its strength, durability and long term performance,” said Holliman.

Holliman is based in California, and is responsible for providing technical services and support in states fromNorth Dakota on the east to Hawaii on the west, with north to Alaska and south to western Texas. He can be reached at tholliman@dipra.org.

About DIPRA
From its inception, the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) has provided accurate, reliable and essential engineering information about cast iron, and now Ductile Iron Pipe, to a wide variety of utilities and consulting engineers.

Founded in 1915, the organization’s initial role was to promote the superior qualities of iron pipe, but it evolved into a technically-based, research-oriented organization providing a variety of technical brochures and publications, representation on standards-making committees, technical research on a variety of applications-based topics such as corrosion control and design of Ductile Iron Pipe, and personal technical service through a regional engineer program.

While DIPRA member companies have different names and locations, they share a common commitment to produce and deliver the finest quality water and wastewater pipe material in the world, Ductile Iron Pipe, at the greatest possible value to its purchasers.

Emergency project brings water to East Porterville residents

SOURCE: ACWA

CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 23, 2016 — The first of several East Porterville neighborhoods that have been without a safe water supply for up to three years was connected to the Porterville city water supply Aug. 19, through a multi-phase project designed to provide a reliable water supply to an area called “ground zero” of the state’s severe drought.

The East Porterville Water Supply Project is a joint effort of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (EOS), the City of Porterville, and Tulare County.

As the drought worsened across California, the Tulare County community of East Porterville became the poster child for severe impacts. Many residents found that their wells had either dried up or contained a high concentration of nitrates due to the dropping water table. Since 2014, hundreds of homes without safe water have subsisted on water deliveries, estimated by DWR to cost the state $650,000 per month. Connecting these homes to the Porterville city water system will return their home taps to normal operation and end the unsustainable deliveries.

Phases 1A through 1E of the project will provide connections for approximately 500 homes. Phase 2, to take place in 2017, will connect up to another 1,300 homes.

To qualify for the city water supply, residents must agree to have their property eventually annexed by the City of Porterville.  They will not be charged the cost of connection, but will pay monthly water bills going forward. Property owners who need help completing the paperwork can get assistance from several non-profit organizations, including Community Services Employment Training, the Community Water Center, Self-Help Enterprises and Porterville Area Coordinating Council.

About ACWA
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) is the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country. Its 430 public agency members collectively are responsible for 90% of the water delivered to cities, farms and businesses in California.

Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s Jones Ferry Water Treatment Plant honored for plant performance


Orange Water and Sewer Authority.

CARRBORO, NC, AUGUST 23, 2016 — The Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s (OWASA) Jones Ferry Water Treatment Plant recently received the prestigious Phase IV 5-Year Excellence in Water Treatment Award from the Partnership for Safe Water. OWASA is one of only nine utilities to date to achieve this highly significant longevity award, honoring superior water treatment plant optimization and performance.
Phase IV represents the highest possible level of performance that can be achieved in the four-phase Partnership for Safe Water program and signifies fully optimized plant performance that produces water quality surpassing required federal standards. The OWASA has participated in thePartnership for Safe Water program since 2002, and the Jones Ferry Water Treatment Plant received the program’s Phase IV Excellence in Water Treatment Award in 2011. The plant has been recognized for its outstanding performance with Partnership awards several times over the past five years, most recently receiving the program’s 10-Year Directors Award in June 2015.

“Receiving the 5-Year Excellence in Water Treatment Award highlights our ongoing commitment to water quality by the entire utility staff. It’s a very significant achievement, and a key aspect of our ongoing efforts to optimize operations,” said Kenneth Loflin, Water Treatment and Supply Manager. “Ensuring public health protection by improving the quality of the water delivered to our customers remains a steadfast goal that we continuously strive to meet and exceed.”

The Partnership for Safe Water is a self-assessment program for water treatment plant and distribution system optimization. More than 250 utility subscribers, collectively serving more than 100 million people, commit to the Partnership’s goals of providing safe, high-quality drinking water by achieving operational excellence in water treatment or distribution. Partnership utility subscribers participate in a rigorous four-phase self-assessment and peer review process, developed by water optimization experts, and achieve recognition for their commitment to the delivery of safe water for their communities.


About the Partnership for Safe Water

The Partnership for Safe Water is an alliance of the American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, United States Environmental Protection Agency, National Association of Water Companies, and the Water Research Foundation.