Every city facing infrastructure or operational challenges or concerns about maintaining quality of life in the face of population growth or a changing environment has benefits to gain from a unified smart-city approach. Here are some concepts for promoting understanding and acceptance among utility and government decision-makers, plus several examples of benefits already being garnered by smart cities large and small.
Reasons for changing water or wastewater asset management practices include unacceptable process downtime, statutory requirements for documenting infrastructure integrity, or the desire to refine process cost-effectiveness and maintenance-budget ROI. Here are examples of strategic approaches that can better match desirable asset management outcomes to the real needs of water utility operations.
A variety of research indicates that industry loses 3 percent to 5 percent (and in some cases more) of its productivity annually to unplanned shutdowns due to equipment failure. With all the data and connectivity available through today’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology and SCADA systems, water and wastewater treatment operations can reduce those losses significantly…if management is willing to consider and adopt proven strategic approaches.
The cost of water delivered to customers is as much about the energy needed to move it as the chemicals required to treat it. Balancing water chemistry, infrastructure costs, and energy consumption is key to optimizing the overall cost of operation. Experience shows that some astute water suppliers are closer to achieving their ideal outcomes than most people realize. Here are some insights into how that works.
The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Stormwater Institute (SWI) reports on challenges and the annual funding gap for the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) sector.
To crib from an old commercial and tagline made famous by a certain stock brokerage firm, "When Reese Tisdale talks, people listen." That's because Reese is the president of Bluefield Research, a highly respected advisory firm that helps companies and organizations, including municipalities, address the regulatory, technology, business, and competitive trends impacting water.
It can be hard to go it alone, especially when times get tough. Many utilities are seeking support, as they deal with failing infrastructure, escalating contamination threats, extreme weather, and a retiring, difficult-to-replace workforce. These challenges could be overcome with a full set of resources — money, people, equipment, expertise — but many utilities, especially small-community systems, are not so complete.
With the proliferation of new sensors and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives now feeding SCADA systems, water industry managers lament how they are drowning in a sea of data yet starving for insights that really matter. With concepts like data democratization starting to bear fruit, advanced analytical capabilities are creating new opportunities for water insights without requiring a degree in computer science.
MWH Treatment and its joint venture partner Costain will continue their work to maintain and improve Southern Water’s water and wastewater treatment facilities over the next five years, from 2020.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $20.7M Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee to help finance a new drinking water treatment plant.
Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler spent the day in Indianapolis speaking to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Indiana Environmental Conference, closing a $436 million Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA), and touring Citizens Energy Group’s DigIndy project.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $436M Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan – the largest initial disbursement under WIFIA to date – to the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA).
Recently, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a Memorandum of Understand (MOU) with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, on behalf of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), that renews the agency’s commitment to collaborate with the IOGCC.
Today, as we continue to celebrate Children’s Health Month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler released the following statement on the Water Infrastructure Funding Transfer Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on Friday, adding flexibility to the State Revolving Funds (SRF) program to help finance projects that reduce lead in drinking water.
When it comes to critical drinking water infrastructure and treatment systems, the high price tags for construction can often be difficult to swallow. As the city of Portland, OR, just found out, it certainly doesn’t help things when these price tags are grossly underestimated.
American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced recently the recipients of the company’s 2019 Environmental Grant Program awards.
DC Water recently announced it has extended its customer assistance programs for another year.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $15M in funding for technical assistance and training providers to improve the water quality of small and private water systems that are often located in rural communities across the United States.
There are a variety of reasons for wanting accurate flow metering — e.g., billing purposes, precise proportioning of chemical injections, and other process flow decisions. That is why highly accurate mag meters are so popular in many applications. Now, new lightweight, corrosion-resistant mag meters provide the same advantages as plastic piping for harsh environments and flows that cover all the bases…and acids.
For many water-distribution workers and managers up to their elbows in muddy trenches and SCADA data, the drumbeat for ‘Big Data’ probably fades to background noise when dealing with immediate leaks and losses on the front lines. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, however. Many answers we truly want are probably accessible through current water distribution data. We just need an easier way to wring them out.
With a continuous flow of air required to maintain dissolved oxygen (DO) levels, the last thing a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operator wants is to come up short of the volume needed to sustain good microbial growth. With today’s ready availability of high-efficiency rental blowers, losing blowers to unplanned downtime or being unable to test new aeration systems before commissioning are no longer the threats they once were.
For most water utilities, maintaining existing infrastructure — whether planned or in response to emergencies — is a large part of physical plant costs. Being prepared to respond is half the battle. Here are several guidelines and options to consider for maintaining the most cost-efficient solutions to everyday pipeline problems. As with most good plans, they start with proper organization.
Today’s water/wastewater piping options offer numerous advantages in terms of cost, performance, and anticipated service life. Unfortunately, utilities must still deal with what’s already in the ground — steel, cast iron, ductile iron, asbestos cement, plastic, concrete, and even wood. Here are guidelines on making transitions between old and new pipes of varying sizes and materials as smooth as possible.
When one considers all the bell joints in a water distribution or wastewater collection system — caulk-joint or rubber-joint — and all the stresses to which they are subjected, it is a wonder there are not more leaks. Fortunately, bell-joint-leak clamps provide a reliable and relatively easy-to-install solution — if they are properly specified and installed. Here are some key points to consider when trying to remedy bell-joint leaks.