Letters - November 2019

A Problem. A Magazine. An Expert. A Solution.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer of this letter has written many articles for Treatment Plant Operator magazine.

To the editor:

I wanted to share with you how TPO magazine recently helped a community.

I wrote an article for TPO some years ago about midge fly larvae in a small wastewater treatment plant (“Where Have All the Solids Gone?” June 2012 edition). A few weeks ago, I received an email from a person who works with a county agricultural extension office in northern Alabama who found my article online.

He asked if I could offer some help to the operators of a community treatment plant that was experiencing a trickling filter fly infestation. The surrounding neighbors were up in arms, the media was all over it, and the plant operators were at a loss for what to do.

After a few emails back and forth, I spoke on the phone to the plant supervisor, a very nice gentleman who just needed to talk to someone about the problem and bounce some ideas across. I shared my experience with trickling filters — some of the ones here in Florida that had similar problems and how we helped correct them.

He gave me some plant data; I ran a few calculations and offered some advice. He and his staff came up with a brilliant way to modify the trickling filter arms to slow down the rotational speed, providing more water volume over each square foot as the arm passes by. They used operator and mechanic ingenuity to overcome a problem using parts they had on hand.

I heard from him recently: The filter flies are about 90% gone. The neighbors are saying they do not see any flies and they are thanking him for his efforts. I’m so happy that I was able to help him, basically sitting at my desk here in Florida, crunching some data! That’s why we do what we do.

Thanks again for publishing a very useful and interesting periodical!

Ron Trygar, Certified Environment Trainer

Senior Training Specialist

University of Florida TREEO Center

Gainesville, Florida



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