Source Water Protection and Innovative Treatment - Planning for the Future


  • Scott Alpert PhD, PE, Jay Jackson PE, Colleen Geohagan PE, Allison Reinert, Ben Wright PE - Hazen and Sawyer

Examining water management and treatment from a holistic perspective is gaining ground as water utilities aim to meet increasingly stringent regulations with more impaired water sources and tighter operating budgets. Source water protection and innovative treatment approaches can be combined to provide solutions to utilities looking to maintain high water qualities and efficient treatment. By evaluating strategies from source to tap, utilities have the opportunity to save money, increase operation efficiency, and maintain compliance and public acceptance.

This presentation will focus on several planning studies, piloting projects, and design work being completed for a 30 million gallon per day drinking water treatment plant in the southeast. The holistic water management approach includes both increased source water protection planning as well as several different innovative treatments at pilot‐ and full‐scale installations. The water treatment plant and its surface water source are located in a well‐developed area, and as such source water protection has become a focus for maintaining a consistently high source water quality to maintain treatability.

Engagement with stakeholders, increased use of best management practices, and a source water protection plan have provided the facility with increased public acceptance as well as an increased overall source water quality. However source water protection, alone, is not enough.

Evaluation of advanced and alternative treatment processes are also part of the holistic approach. 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. This facility 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. Additionally, the facility is also evaluating full‐scale hyperbolic flocculation designs. Hyperbolic flocculation is anticipated to save energy and optimize flocculation and sedimentation basin design while integrating into the existing facility and providing improved treatment.

Overall, holistic management approaches to water treatment provide a wealth of different 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.

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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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