Direct Potable Reuse – Getting Operations Ready for the Next Bold Leap


Troy Walker and Ben Stanford recently conducted a WRRF webinar on DPR operations.

Troy Walker accepting the award for Best Paper at the 2016 AWWA/AMTA Membrane Technology Conference.

Hazen and Sawyer is developing the training and certification programs to help ensure operations staff have the tools and information they need to produce high-quality, reliable water for their community.

(TEMPE, AZ – February 9, 2016) – Troy Walker of Hazen and Sawyer recently received the Best Paper Award for his presentation, Direct Potable Reuse – Getting Operations Ready for the Next Bold Leap, at the 2016 AWWA/AMTA Membrane Technology Conference.

Mr. Walker’s paper presents some of the work of a recent Watereuse Research Foundation Study (WRRF 13-13 – Development of Operation and Maintenance Plan and Training and Certification Framework for Direct Potable Reuse Systems), which outlines an Operations and Maintenance Framework for direct potable reuse (DPR). This paper also highlights some of the key components that must be considered in the successful operational planning DPR systems.

A key element of success of any water treatment system, including DPR facilities, relies on its operators and the ability of those operators to evaluate and respond to any issues that may arise There is little disagreement that the technology to successfully and reliably treat municipal effluent to a level suitable for human consumption. However, the success of any treatment facility relies on an effective operational team, the “human element”. Operations must have robust and reliable plans, systems, and processes to ensure safety and reliability – essential elements for the advancement of public acceptance of DPR. Relative to existing water and wastewater treatment systems, operations teams will be under much greater scrutiny for performance, and must therefore have adequate training and certification processes in place to provide a framework for developing and evaluating the necessary skills for successful operation and management of water recycling systems.

The framework addresses the key requirements necessary to ensure safety and reliability including:

  • Monitoring to ensure proper facility performance. Knowing when processes are working and when they require corrective action relies upon ensuring that the right things are monitored, analyzers are correctly validated and calibrated, and deviations from correct performance are anticipated and corrected. This includes on line monitoring, water quality sampling, and analysis and process performance monitoring.

  • Mitigating process or water quality non-conformances. Making sure communication protocols to stakeholders are timely and factual, ensuring corrective actions have been taken and ensuring lessons are learned to prevent the non-conformance from recurring.

  • Unifying operating protocols across the phases of DPR. Often, wastewater treatment plants and recycled water facilities are operated independently with inconsistent treatment goals and focus. For DPR, this protocol importantly will lay out agreed operating procedures, communications protocols, data sharing and other elements necessary to integrate the multiple entities of wastewater treatment, advanced recycling treatment and water treatment in one overall DPR scheme.

  • Identifying operating procedures to maintain high water quality. These parameters include dedicated response procedures at each critical process barrier or critical control point to ensure a reliable approach for protecting public health
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