Live Blogging from the California Nevada Section Conference 2012 – Water Quality Presentations

I spent the morning sitting in on classes presented by the Water Quality Division of the CA-NV Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).  The Water Treatment Committee, chaired by Joy Eldridge of Napa, coordinated a series of presentations that focused on removing organic contaminants from water sources in an effort to reduce the formation of Disinfection Byproducts.  Joseph M Wong with Brown and Caldwell began the meeting with a presentation on the subject of Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) technology.  His discussion focused on the history and current use of high rate DAF technologies as a means of removing organics and other contaminants contributing to turbidity in source waters.  His informative talk included case studies and examples from treatment facilities in California as well as other parts of the world.

Alex Mofidi of AECOM followed Mr. Wong with a presentation dramatically titled Attack of the Zooplankton: DAF to the Rescue.  He characterized the Zooplankton as the evil villain, and the DAF unit as the Knight in shinning armor who rode in on his white horse to save the day. (Not really…but his presentation was very well put together and involved some humor. Thanks for keeping it real Alex!)  He showed how DAF technology can help a surface water treatment plant dealing with issues associated with a high Zooplankton population in their water source.


The next presentation I attended was given by Karen Pappas with HDR Engineering Inc. Her talk, which was titled Achieving Organics Removal with the 3Rs: Reduce, Recirculate, Reuse!  covered the use of ACTIFLO®as a possible solution. This process is described here.

I presented next on the topic of using Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) to meet the current Stage 2 Disinfectant/Disinfection Byproducts Rule.  My presentation covered the “GAC Experience” of the Palmdale Water District, where I am the Water Quality Supervisor.  I pointed out that GAC was not the silver bullet that could single handedly slay the TTHM dragon, but rather it took changes in Treatment Plant operational strategies, Distribution system operational strategies as well as Engineering solutions within the distribution system.  GAC is an integral part of the overall strategy, but cooperation and coordination among several departments was required to obtain the results achieved by the Palmdale Water District.

Todd Reynolds of Kennedy/Jenks Consultants followed me with a very good presentation covering multiple strategies that systems can and have used to reduce DBPs.  His presentation titled Evaluation of DBP Reduction Improvements for Surface Water Treatment was a good follow-up to the previous talk as he confirmed that there isn’t a single best solution that is applicable to all systems dealing with DBPs. Kudos to Mr. Reynolds for sharing insights gleaned from treatment plant operators as he has worked with many water agencies to develop solutions to their DBP woes!

Special thanks go to the Water Quality Division and the Water Treatment Committee for putting together lineup of high quality presentations addressing this timely issue.

For now,

Joe Kerschner


American Water College