Over the past two decades, the trend from traditional design-bid-build (DBB) construction project-delivery practices to design-build (DB) practices has grown. Is that merely a cyclical trend or a step change that is destined to be a fixture for a long time to come?
Despite my fascination with the adage, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result,” I still occasionally find myself — a creature of habit — falling into a pattern of repetitive unsuccessful behavior.
The National Municipal Stormwater Alliance recently released the 2018 State of Stormwater Report on municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits under the NPDES permitting program — the first-ever in a series that will publish annually. The Alliance also explained the somewhat distressing reason why the report is necessary: Stormwater is being largely ignored.
Not every city expects a dramatic growth spurt of 50,000 jobs, and only one metropolitan area will emerge victorious from the much-heralded Amazon HQ2 competition. Still, the prospects of water or wastewater system growth, or even escalating maintenance on aging infrastructure, raise important questions about your utility’s 10-year plan. Do you have one? If you do, how up-to-date is it? And if you don’t, isn’t it time to start thinking about developing one?
In the cash-strapped water sector, $5.5 billion doesn’t grow on trees. That is why, for drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities facing funding challenges due to regional growth, aging infrastructure, or other needs, the recent announcement of that amount of funding under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) is welcome news.
Inflow and infiltration (I&I) are ongoing concerns for many wastewater utilities. Even with diligent maintenance of infrastructure, there are limits to what can be controlled. One example of that is leakage in the lateral service lines connecting the sewer utility’s main to sewer customer buildings. Here is how one municipality took advantage of federal and local funding to encourage nearly 2,500 customers to upgrade deficient connections in their lateral service lines — to the tune of more than $4 million.
Any water utility that has to impose restrictions due to water scarcity appreciates the value of conservation. On the other hand, there are utilities that — knowingly or unknowingly — permit as much as 20 to 40 percent of their treated water to trickle away without collecting a cent for it. If you have experienced either extreme, but are not already using advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), what’s holding you back? Before dismissing AMI as being too costly, too technical, or too difficult to implement, consider the following cost-benefit opportunities.
According to the EPA, the volume of treated water lost annually through distribution systems is 1.7 trillion gallons at a national cost of $2.6 billion. Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is one way to uncover the “hidden” details behind that assault on water distribution efficiency. In addition, innovative use of AMI smart water solutions also creates cost-efficient ways to optimize performance beyond recouping losses due to leaks, theft, or incomplete billing.
Global Water Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ: GWRS), (TSX: GWR), a pure-play water resource management company, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Red Rock Utilities, an operator of a water utility and a wastewater utility with service areas in the Pinal and Pima counties of Arizona. The definitive agreement follows the Global Water’s letter of intent to acquire the utilities which was announced in June.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has approved and helped fund a more than $50M plan by West Virginia to implement key water infrastructure projects, including new and upgraded wastewater treatment plants to better serve residents, increase efficiency and reduce pollution.
Thames Water has recently submitted its five-year business plan to Ofwat, putting customers at the heart of its operations, prioritising affordability and unveiling a record spend on infrastructure.
Missouri American Water completed its acquisition of the Lawson water and wastewater systems today, adding approximately 968 new water customers and 913 new sewer customers to its more than 480,000 statewide customers. The purchase price for both the water and wastewater system is $4 million.
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has approved and helped fund a $105.7M plan by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to implement key water infrastructure projects, including new and upgraded wastewater treatment plants to better serve residents, increase efficiency, and reduce pollution.
The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) announced recently the formation of a Board-led Standing Committee focused on contract operations.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $699 million low-interest loan to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to help finance its innovative Southeast Treatment Plant Biosolids Digester Facilities Project.
The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) applauds the reintroduction of the “Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act” (S. 3358) by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
California Water Service Group today announced that it has withdrawn its revised proposal to acquire SJW Group for $70.00 per share in cash after it was rejected by the SJW Board. California Water will also terminate its tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of SJW common stock.
Connecticut Water Service, Inc. (NASDAQ : CTWS ) today issued the following statement regarding recent mischaracterizations of Eversource Energy's (NYSE : ES ) July 2, 2018 acquisition proposal.
It has long been established that predictive maintenance of existing equipment will reduce operating costs and help ensure safe operation.
Many utilities today are investing in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). However, many of these same utilities often don’t realize the breadth of capabilities that a smart utility network (SUN) now offers. In the past, AMI networks were typically used for accurate metering and billing. Today, a smart utility network builds upon traditional AMI to provide multiple advantages across the full water cycle — and beyond.
Many utilities are embracing the concept of smart utility networks to make their systems more efficient and enhance customer service. Smart utility networks provide the ability to improve every part of the water cycle. However, having the right metrology for each application is critical to ensuring the reliability and accuracy of the data being collected.
If A Pipe Leaks In A Forest, Does It Make A Sound? (Part I) addressed condition assessment and leak detection from the perspective of surprises that can arise when “hidden” problems are revealed by acoustic technology. This article introduces several more eye-opening experiences with permanent and mobile acoustic leak detection equipment, plus examples of just how expensive undetected leaks can become when they turn into full-blown water main breaks.
Utility managers are facing increasing financial and sustainability pressures regarding water loss throughout their systems. An American Water Works Association (AWWA) white paper titled The State of Water Loss Control in Drinking Water Utilities notes that “all utilities incur inefficiencies, or losses, in both supply- and customer-related functions of their operations.”
As need for efficiency expands, there is greater expectation for utility network performance and data reliability. Although having access to more data more quickly can be a benefit of a smart utility network, making the most of the optimization possibilities within a water system relies on having the right data for the right applications delivered at the right time. Such data becomes vital information, giving water professionals the ability to make better decisions.