News Briefs: AWWA Seeks EPA Action on Cyanotoxin Guidance

In this week's water and wastewater news, the AWWA seeks more information on cyanotoxins, a Bakken town struggles to keep up with wastewater needs, and a plant studies high-rate treatment systems.
News Briefs: AWWA Seeks EPA Action on Cyanotoxin Guidance

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The American Water Works Association has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate its Recommendations for Public Water Systems to Manage Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water as a Significant Guidance Document as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.

“We believe that the EPA should reissue this guidance after completing the necessary procedures associated with an economically significant guidance document,” reads a letter from AWWA Director of Federal Relations J. Alan Roberson.

In the letter, the AWWA states its support in addressing cyanotoxins, but maintains the process and content used by the EPA to develop the recommendations are flawed.

“We believe that there are many opportunities to address both the causes of cyanotoxins (such as high nutrient loads in water bodies) and to work with the water sector to develop monitoring, treatment and other strategies needed to address these issues,” says Roberson in the letter.

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.

Bakken Lagoon System Overwhelmed by Growing Population

A booming population and a too-small wastewater treatment system could be the cause of fish die-offs near Williston, North Dakota. Some studies say treated wastewater from Williston’s lagoon system could be the source of high ammonia levels near the backwaters of the Missouri River.

According to an article, the city has had to empty its lagoons into the marsh more frequently because of population expansion. The best solution to the problem would be fast-tracking a $105 million wastewater treatment plant. The city hopes to have part of the plant operational by this fall, with the remainder up and running by 2017.

The current lagoon system is designed for a population of 10,000 to 15,000 people. According to a 2014 analysis by the North Dakota State University, Williston population had already topped 31,000.

“Lagoons are great for smaller towns where there isn’t a lot of growth,” says City Public Works Director David Tuan in the article. “But as the city has grown very rapidly, it’s quickly overtaken our ability to treat all that waste.”


Eliminating Discharges: Pilot Study Looks at High-Rate Treatment Systems

The City of Lakewood, Ohio, has partnered with Veolia Water Technologies to test a high-rate treatment system at the Lakewood Wastewater Treatment Plant. The system will be used when flows exceed the plant’s 40 mgd capacity. The study is part of an eight-year plan to eliminate discharges of untreated wastewater into the Rocker River and Lake Erie.

The pilot study will use Veolia’s Actiflo technology, which rapidly separates high-volume water and separates solids. The city’s mobile test unit will treat a portion of the plant’s wastewater. If successful, the city could buy the technology for about $20 million.

“This may be the most cost-effective solution, as we look to stretch our treatment dollars while dramatically reducing pollution and achieving better water quality,” says treatment plant division manager William Crute in a article.

The city has also considered expanding the capacity of the current plant. A second pilot program is investigating separating storm and sanitary sewers in about 100 homes.



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