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.
Water conservation has long been a hot topic between water utilities and their end users for a variety of reasons — seasonal water scarcity, overextended treatment facilities, periodic maintenance disruptions, etc. But when it comes to managing data that can help control water losses and recover billings for non-revenue water (NRW), why is it so hard to practice what we preach? This article dispels some of the common myths related to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology that can help cut treated water losses and generate previously overlooked revenue.
It’s no secret that the U.S. EPA has changed course in the last year. But how have those changes affected local water and wastewater treatment operations? And how are those operations going to evolve along with the federal agency?
Water utilities are under constant pressure to run more efficiently, often with minimal staff. Utility managers must find ways to save time and money, while continuing to provide excellent customer service. A common area of inefficiency is found within water service shutoff and turn-on events. So how can utilities improve business operations in this area?
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) have announced the launch of the inaugural Transformative Issues Symposium on Affordability. The event will be held August 6-7 in Washington, D.C.
An audit by Baltimore officials has found that water meter readers wasted $120,000 through unproductive activities and slacking on the job.
American Water, the largest publicly-traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced that Linda Sullivan, executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), was recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a CFO of the Year honoree.
Themed “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Embracing the Future through Innovation and Collaboration”, the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum (WCSMF) 2018 held recently brought together 122 mayors and city leaders, and international organisations who participated actively at the Forum.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced recently that over 1,900 local governments around the country will receive $552.8M in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2018.
New cloud software is forming an easy bridge between water metering or usage software and accounting software, making it faster and cheaper for water suppliers to produce usage-based bills that integrate automatically with their accounting/ERP systems.
California Water Service Group (“California Water”) recently sent a letter to SJW Group (“SJW”) stockholders, along with a WHITE proxy card, in connection with SJW’s upcoming Special Meeting of Stockholders.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a $69.7M loan to the City of Omaha, Nebraska, to help finance its Saddle Creek Retention Treatment Basin. This marks the second loan to be issued under EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.
Design-build used to be considered an "alternative" way to build. New research shows it's now the fastest growing and most popular method delivering construction projects in America.
As industries expand, they typically need to increase the capacity of their wastewater treatment facilities. Increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, such as lower nitrogen limits, may also signal the need to boost treatment capacity. Installing additional tanks and larger equipment not only adds capital costs but increases operating costs as well.
From the largest metropolitan water treatment plant (WTP) or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operations to the smallest rural systems, the goals are essentially the same — achieve regulatory compliance and the most efficient results at the lowest practical cost. The most feasible (i.e., affordable) control solutions vary by process, plant size, and budgetary limitations. Here are several high-level guidelines to achieving a common strategy that works across virtually all applications: good data, properly analyzed, yields good results.
In an industry faced with around-the-clock operations and penalties for noncompliance with regulatory standards, it can be easy to lose track of periodic maintenance requirements whose impacts might not be noticeable until it’s too late. Ignoring the influence that measurement and analytic equipment maintenance can have on water treatment plants (WTPs) or wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can be costly. Fortunately, equipment suppliers who bundle after-sale services tailored to WTP and WWTP needs offer new opportunities for instrumentation users to stay ahead of the curve in terms of timely response to changing performance.
Just as different water utilities use different processes for turning raw source water into potable drinking water, so too do they take different routes to account for, and bill for, their output. Here is an overview of a cellular-based approach to collecting and leveraging data from water distribution operations that can achieve the greatest business advantage.
There are many types of water meters being used across the U.S. to measure water consumption. And even though the panacea for a water utility would be to equip each residence with the same meter — standardizing metering technique, data capture and maintenance — the reality is that a utility needs to be able to read and service the variety of meters that make up its metering portfolio.
This heated debate continues to rage on in boardrooms, online forums, and tradeshow floors around the world. It pits SCADA teams, seeking to maximize system uptime, against IT departments, working to keep their systems secure. What follows is a very brief overview of why water and wastewater utilities choose to allow remote access and what steps should be taken to minimize the risk.