News Briefs

Sept. 1, 2015
News from around America concerning the water industry.

Utility methods guidance published for Radionuclide Rule compliance

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has announced that it is releasing a document, titled "Radionuclide Rule Compliance: Utility Guidance on Analytical Methods," which provides criteria by which utilities can:

  • Evaluate performance of laboratories as pre-qualifications for bids when maximum accuracy is important
  • Set requirements for bid documents to ensure that laboratories understand the requirements
  • Let utilities evaluate the data upon receipt to ensure that the laboratory met the requirements

Utilities in many parts of the U.S. are challenged by compliance issues associated with the federal Radionuclide Rule, in large part due to the performance limitations associated with the existing approved analytical methods for radionuclides, such as gross alpha activity, radium-226 (226Ra) and radium-228 (228Ra).

The AWWA guidance also provides flow charts and tables that should assist utilities in obtaining the best quality data, given limitations of existing methods, when radionuclide activity is near various compliance points. The Environmental Protection Agency also has information available to help utilities understand the compliance requirements associated with this rule.

The American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world's most important resource.

Upgraded corporate credit rating given to American Water, subsidiary

American Water Works Company recently announced that Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the long-term ratings of the company and its financing subsidiary, American Water Capital Corp., from 'Baa1' to 'A3.'

Moody's stated that the upgrade "reflects [the company's] improving financial profile, which we think is sustainable" and that its "financial profile continues to improve from a growing utility rate base ... and the strong margin contribution from unregulated water and wastewater services."

"We are pleased with Moody's upgrade, which recognizes our disciplined approach to investing and the strength of our balance sheet," said Linda G. Sullivan, American Water senior vice president and chief financial officer. "Having access to capital at lower debt cost reinforces our ability to make needed investments in our water and wastewater systems while balancing the impact it has on the 15 million people we serve across the country."

American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,400 professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 45 states and parts of Canada.

Super Bowl 50: Santa Clara's new SCADA system to improve water for big game

In an effort to better manage its water and wastewater services before Super Bowl 50, the City of Santa Clara -- the host city for the big game -- has awarded an $8.6-million contract to Trimark Associates to deliver a working supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system as a solution.

The City of Santa Clara Water and Sewer Utilities has contracted with Trimark to deliver the SCADA Renovation project, which includes constructing, configuring and commissioning a range of improvements to its SCADA system and a new wireless telecommunications network. This system is responsible for controlling processes related to potable water treatment and distribution, recycled water and sewage treatment.

The utility is responsible for water supply and wastewater removal for Santa Clara, which includes Levi's Stadium, where NFL teams will play the Super Bowl. The portion of the project that directly impacts the stadium must be replaced before the game.

The SCADA improvements will be deployed at 27 potable water well sites, seven sewer pump stations, four booster pump stations, one turnout, three operational control centers, and a kiosk at city hall to display real-time system data.

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