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How One Local Water Treatment Plant Is Seeing Its Water in a New Light Submitted by Nathan Klinkhammer T he Catawba River Water Treatment Plant in Van Wyck, South Carolina is a joint venture owned and operated by Lancaster County Water & Sewer District in South Carolina and Union County in North Carolina. Built in 1991 and significantly upgraded in 2003, it currently operates at an average of 36 million gallons per day. When he was there, just over a year ago, plant director Mike Bailes worried about the integrity of his plant given the challenging position in which it has to perform and the critical decisions he must make in order to keep it operating safely while maintaining efficiency. “We are on the river channel below two major metropolitan areas of approximately 1.2 million combined. We also have coal ash ponds, fuel tank farms and other industrial sites above us,” said Bailes stressing the difficulty of managing such potentially volatile and difficult conditions. “I was looking for anything reagent-free that would monitor river quality on a real-time basis.” Mike had investigated several real- time water monitoring options. “There were some probe units we checked-out, but covering several parameters with those systems was pretty cumbersome and needed extra equipment to measure multiple parameters.” It was during this search for an appropriate real-time, multi-parameter monitoring solution that Director Bailes took the opportunity to consult with his longtime friend and colleague Chuck Kingston. Kingston served as Water Plant Supervisor for the Joint Water Commission based in Hillsboro, Oregon. He oversaw Oregon’s largest conventional WTP, which produces an average of 31 million gallons a day (MGD) for 400,000 residents of Washington County. He was the first Hillsboro/JWC employee elected to chair the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Waterworks Association (AWWA). Upon learning of Bailes’ concerns regarding lack of information about his plant’s influent and its potentially catastrophic effect on its process and security liability, Supervisor Kingston suggested looking into the LiquID™ stations developed by ZAPS Technologies. Kingston had employed ZAPS Technologies’ LiquID stations to monitor his plant’s influent in real-time for various parameters since mid 2011. ZAPS Technologies provides high- precision optical instrumentation and services for water quality monitoring and analysis. The company’s flagship product, the LiquID Station, provides reagent-free, multi-parameter detection capability, and is rugged enough for exposed field installations. To make these measurements, the LiquID Station uses Hybrid Multispectral Analysis (HMA), an optical approach developed at ZAPS Technologies specifically for online monitoring. Uptime/Downtime Status Group Functional Uptime HMA uses a combination of in situ fluorescence, absorption, and scattering measurements in a single flow-cell to continuously characterize chemical bonding and molecular structure. HMA is a unique combination of advanced optical, photonic, and statistical technologies applied to the challenge of providing synchronized high frequency data for complex water types. Such information is required to control and monitor treatment processes in real time. HMA is a ‘green’ technology in that it eliminates reagents and standards for sampling, eliminates sample preparation and storage, and requires only 72 watts to operate. The HMA methodology was developed through support in part by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Oregon State University, and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI). Based on Kingston’s experience with the performance seen by the Joint Water Commission with its LiquID station, Bailes approached ZAPS to present his case and to find out if their LiquID station might present a viable solution. After considering the challenges presented by the unpredictable state of the Catawba River Water Treatment plant’s influent, ZAPS ultimately helped Mike determine that his plant might best benefit from a LiquID station configuration similar to the (91%) Data Acquisition (1%) External Maintenance (5%) QA/QC (Automated) Downtime Click here to return to TABLE OF CONTENTS (3%) Error Handling www.scwaters.org JOURNAL | Winter 2015 33