Innovative Water Treatment Planning in Greensboro NC


  • Scott Alpert PhD, PE, Jay Jackson PE, Gary Iversen PE, Allison Reinert, Colleen Geohagan PE - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Barry Parsons - City of Greensboro

As regulations become more stringent and raw water supplies more stressed, utilities must take a holistic approach to planning for the future. Selection and implementation of innovative treatment approaches can provide solutions to utilities looking to maintain the highest finished water quality while also operating in an efficient and cost-effective manner. By evaluating strategies across the treatment train, utilities have the opportunity to save money, increase operational efficiency, and maintain compliance and public acceptance.

This presentation will focus on several planning studies, piloting projects, and design work being completed for the City of Greensboro’s two water treatment plants. The holistic water treatment approach includes several different innovative treatments at pilot- and full-scale installations to help support decision-making and design. The water treatment plants and surface water sources are located in well-developed areas and, as such, variability in source water quality, including seasonal algal blooms, must be considered as part of the evaluation of advanced and alternative treatment processes. At the pilot scale, the utility is evaluating granular activated carbon adsorption (GAC) with and without raw water chlorination to investigate operation of activated carbon for DBP precursor and preformed DBP removal. The City is also completing a series of pilot testing using dissolved air flotation (DAF) under both cold- and warm-water conditions. The DAF process is intended to meet or exceed the existing clarified water quality while helping the City achieve improved algal cell removal, lower DBP precursors, and improve filter run times. One of the facilities also is currently participating in the first full-scale testing of ceramic media to improve filter performance in the United States. The ceramic media is expected to improve filtered water quality as well as increase filter run times. Pending the success of the installation of the ceramic media, additional filters could be converted to the ceramic media. The overall goal of these studies is to develop a roadmap at the treatment plants that comply with a series of water quality and performance objectives identified by the City as part of a recent master planning study.

Overall, this holistic management approach to water treatment provides multiple opportunities to maintain regulatory compliance as well as preparing for future regulatory challenges. Through this presentation, utilities will gain an understanding of several potential strategies that can help in both short- and long-term planning for water treatment facilities.

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Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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