Project your future water demands. It's not enough to know your city's present water demands; you must also project its needs for the next five to 10 years. Create a model of available land, identify which industries may settle there, and estimate these industries' annual water demands over time.
Know EPA regulations. EPA compliance is a top concern for every water treatment facility. Each plant needs to ensure proper water sampling and testing processes, as well as:Types of contaminants presentCurrent levels of active contaminantsEPA-required standards and reportsRequired frequency of sample collection and testingCost differential between in-house testing and outsourcing.
Prepare for a lengthy approval process. After you create your plant's engineering drawings, it can take time to obtain all of the necessary approvals. The plans need to meet all OSHArequirements and get approval from your state EPA agency. For the plant in Huber Heights, this process took nearly six months.
Plan to maintain your current water supply. If you're enhancing your only water treatment plant, you will need a strategy for pumping clean water during renovation.PHASE TWO: ENHANCING O&M PROCEDURES
Once your treatment plant is up and running, you can focus your attention on building in improvements for safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Here are a few issues to consider.
SCADA technology. In recent years, public safety and homeland security have attracted more media attention than ever. To protect themselves, many plants in large metropolitan areas use supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). A growing number of smaller communities, including Huber Heights, are making the transition.
SCADA gives facility managers around-the-clock, remote access to plant controls. This enables managers to respond quickly to plant emergencies and, if necessary, shut down the plant to protect public safety.
Preventive maintenance. Regular preventive maintenance is vital to the operation of every water treatment plant. This practice not only reduces the risk of equipment breakdowns, it also frees up money for upgrades, personnel, and security measures. In addition, preventive maintenance helps ensure regulatory compliance, which keeps cities from paying large fines.
Environmental protection. Supplying the safest drinking water to the community is our plant's No. 1 priority. But a close second is protecting our environment. This can be accomplished through:Proper disposal proceduresPublic awareness signage around the plant and nearby areas (e.g., signs stating “no dumping” or “wellhead protection area”).
Emergency response plan. Safety is a critical issue when handling hazardous chemicals. Establishing an emergency response plan is a must for every treatment plant. An effective plan covers every possible contingency, including water supply contamination, chemical spills, and natural disasters, such as tornadoes, fire, and floods. The plan also should contain detailed instructions for periodic disaster drills, a disaster recovery command center, a recovery site, and a treatment resumption plan. This plan should contain a complete list of emergency numbers, including local fire departments and hazardous material teams.