Table of Contents

July 2013


New England AWWA's water quality symposium
Article: Monitoring DBP precursors
Article: Getting Optimized series from June's Opflow
Partnership contacts

Partnership & AWWA Sections

NE AWWA section's 15th annual water quality symposium features the Partnership

The New England Water Works Association’s 15th Annual Water Quality Symposium was held on May 8 in Milford, Massachusetts.  A variety of relevant topics were covered, with a focus on the Revised Total Coliform Rule and operational best practices to ensure effective microbial control.  The program included two presentations pertaining to the Partnership for Safe Water.  The Partnership wishes to thank the following presenters for their contributions to this symposium:

  • David Paris, Manchester Water Works – Plant Optimization: Lessons Learned from Participation in the Partnership for Safe Water
  • Gregg Kirmeyer, HDR – Expanding the Partnership for Safe Water to the Distribution System

Additionally, representatives from Champlain Water District, an Excellence in Water Treatment Award-winning utility and Distribution Program subscriber located in Vermont, attended the symposium and staffed a Partnership for Safe Water booth to share information about the Partnership and their experiences as a long-term program participant.

M Barsotti

Mike Barsotti,
PEAC Chairperson, represents Champlain Water District and
the Partnership at the New England AWWA Water Quality Symposium in May.

The Partnership can help – Attending a conference?  Partnership staff can help!  Whether you would like to submit an abstract about your Partnership experience, prepare a presentation, or need handouts to distribute, we are happy to provide you with materials to use at a conference.  Are you an award winner?  We can also work with your local section to organize a local awards presentation, typically held at your local section AWWA conference.  Contact the Partnership to  learn more.

Section services

Many Partnership subscribers and AWWA members are active contributors to AWWA at the section level.  Now, Partnership staff can help you share your enthusiasm about the Partnership's programs with your local section.  Whether you are interested in receiving recognition for your Partnership award during a local section conference, publishing an article in your local section newsletter, or putting a Partnership speaker on your conference program AWWA's Partnership staff is happy to work with your Section Services Relationship Manager to make it happen!  If you have realized the benefits of Partnership membership, help your neighbors follow suit.  Talk to us about how we can bring Partnership to the local level.  

Treatment & Distribution System Best Practices

Disinfection by-product precursor monitoring helps balance turbidity and organics removal

Contributed by Annie Pinet, Business Development Manager, RealTech

Chlorine has long been used as a primary disinfection method in many water and wastewater treatment applications. However, there is growing concern about the harmful DBPs produced by the use of chlorine, which has been the basis for regulations limiting their concentrations in water.

DBPs, such as triahalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), can form when the natural organic matter (NOM) that is present in the water combines with chlorine. More specifically, the portion of NOM in the water that is aromatic is the most reactive with chlorine and therefore possesses the most potential for DBP formation.

Water treatment plants with high levels of NOM in their source water often find that they must remove organics in order to reduce DBP formation to comply with regulations such as the USEPA Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products Rule (D/DBPR).  Enhanced coagulation is a common means of achieving organics removal.  In the enhanced coagulation process, a coagulant dose higher than required for optimal turbidity is used in order to properly remove NOM, and it is often applied at a depressed pH.  Under these conditions, plants must use caution not to compromise turbidity performance, particularly if striving to meet the Partnership turbidity goals.

Process control testing plays an important role in balancing the need for both turbidity reduction and organics removal.  Jar testing is a critical and necessary component of the enhanced coagulation process, but completing a jar test takes time.  Online monitoring can provide real-time water quality information, allowing operators to immediately react to changes in turbidity or organics.  Online turbidimeters are widely used to measure turbidity throughout the treatment process.  Organics can be monitored using an online total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer; however use of such an analyzer may be cost prohibitive for many small utilities. 

Monitoring UV254 absorbance is the most cost effective option for monitoring organics and can provide valuable information about the aromaticity of the organic content in the water and its likelihood to react with chlorine to form DBPs such as TTHM and HAA5.  As cited by the USEPA - Stage 2 D/DBPR Operational Evaluation Guidance Manual "...UV254, which is generally linked to the aromatic and unsaturated components of NOM, is considered a good predictor of the tendency of a source water to form TTHM & HAA5."  The relationship between UV254 absorbance, dissolved organic carbon, and DBP formation can be system specific, so developing a relationship between UV254 absorbance and DBP formation that works for your plant is an important part of using UV254 absorbance as a process control measurement.

Monitoring UV254 absorbance in a water supply and after coagulant addition can be an invaluable tool for providing a surrogate measurement for organics removal and indicating the potential formation of DBPs.  The real-time data provided, combined with real time information from online turbidimeters and historical trends can help plants to achieve the delicate balance of optimizing removal of both turbidity and organics when using an enhanced coagulation process.  Data from Real Tech's Real UV254 series of continuous monitors and portable meters can be used to monitor raw water, settled water, and in many other applications.  More information about RealTech’s analyzers for online monitoring can be found at Real Tech.

New lead free plumbing regulations from the US EPA will be effective on January 4, 2014

In about five months the EPA will require all pipes, pipe fittings and fixtures that come into contact with drinking water to be lead-free. The legislation, titled the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, defines 'lead-free' as 0.25% - a significant reduction from the previous SDWA requirement of less than 8% of lead contained in pipes and fittings.

The good news is that the Partnership's Distribution System Optimization program offers tools that are designed to help utilities develop action plans to meet lead-free regulations and other requirements that affect operations.

To learn more, visit AWWA's regulations page and the information on lead & copper.


Distribution phase III self-assessment report example - available soon!

AWWA staff has been receiving numerous inquiries from utilities with teams that are in the process of completing a distribution system self-assessment to fulfill Phase III requirements for the Distribution System Optimization Program.  The most recent versions of the Phase III checklist outlining the required materials for submission, can be found on the requirements and reports page of the Partnership web site.  Charter members and earlier program subscribers are encouraged to confirm that they are using the current versions of the Partnership's data reporting software and self-assessment tools. Contact Partnership staff via e-mail if you are in need of a software update.

A Phase III submission is more than just checklist materials.  Completion of Phase III culminates in the development of a comprehensive self-assessment report that is submitted to the Partnership for review.  The report provides utilities with the opportunity to describe, in their own words, their optimization status and provide background information specific to their utility. 

To help utilities structure and develop a narrative self-assessment report, an example Phase III report and Report Template has been available for the treatment program for several years.  These same tools are currently under development for the distribution program.  Look for an example report on the Distribution Program web page coming this August!

Partnership's 'Getting Optimized' Article Series

"Distribution system optimization starts with data"

From AWWA's Opflow magazine - June 2013

Partnership subscribers may recall the "Getting Optimized" series of articles that was published several years ago, focused on optimizing treatment plant performance.  Archived articles can be accessed on our News and Media page.  Readers of these articles will be happy to know that the "Getting Optimized" series is back - this time with a focus on distribution system optimization.

The first article in the series is devoted to data and the importance of having the right data available to assess distribution system performance.  Many thanks to Tom Ries from Aurora Water for his contributions to the series!  Access the article and learn more. (PDF)

Look for the next installment of "Getting Optimized", focusing on distribution system disinfectant residuals, in the September issue of Opflow.

Partnership Contacts


Robert Cheng
Partnership Steering Committee Chair

Michael Barsotti
Partnership PEAC-Treatment Chair
802.864.7454, Ext. 102
Partnership for Safe Water
6666 West Quincy Ave.
Denver, Colorado  80235

Barb Martin
Partnership Program Manager

Tom Schippert
Partnership Program Coordinator

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