EPA Proposes Standards to Protect Florida's Waters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing water quality standards that would set a series of numeric limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen that would be allowed in Florida's lakes, rivers, streams, springs and canals.

Feb 1st, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing water quality standards that would set a series of numeric limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen that would be allowed in Florida's lakes, rivers, streams, springs and canals.

Nutrient pollution can damage drinking water sources; increase exposure to harmful algal blooms; and form byproducts in drinking water from disinfection chemicals.

"Florida has led the way with rigorous scientific analysis and data collection needed to address nutrient pollution. By relying on the best science, we can set standards that protect people's health and preserve waterbodies used for drinking, swimming, fishing and tourism," said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "New water quality standards, developed in collaboration with the state, will help protect and restore inland waters that are a critical part of Florida's history, culture and economic prosperity."

A 2008 Florida Department of Environmental Protection report assessing water quality for Florida revealed that approximately 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, 350,000 acres of lakes and 900 square miles of estuaries are not meeting the state's water quality standards because of excess nutrients. These represent approximately 16 percent of Florida's assessed river and stream miles, 36 percent of assessed lake acres and 25 percent of assessed estuary square miles. The actual number of miles and acres of waters impaired for nutrients is likely higher, as there are waters that have not yet been assessed.

The proposed action, announced in January, also introduces and seeks comment on a new regulatory process for setting standards in a manner that drives water quality improvements in already impaired waters. The proposed new regulatory provision, called restoration standards, would be specific to nutrients in the state of Florida.

In August 2009, EPA entered into a consent decree with Florida Wildlife Federation, committing to propose numeric nutrient standards for lakes and flowing waters in Florida by January 2010, and for Florida's estuarine and coastal waters by January 2011. These dates are consistent with those outlined in EPA's January 14, 2009, determination under the Clean Water Act that numeric nutrient standards are needed in Florida. EPA also agreed to establish final standards by October 2010 for lakes and flowing waters and by October 2011 for estuarine and coastal waters.

EPA will hold three public hearings on the proposed rule in Florida to obtain input and comments on the direction of EPA's rulemaking. These hearings are scheduled for February 16, 17 and 18 in Tallahassee, Orlando, and West Palm Beach, respectively. WW


Abboud Joins WWEMA Board

Nadia Abboud, marketing manager, water purification for Severn Trent Services, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA).

WWEMA is a national trade organization representing the interests of North American-based companies that manufacture and supply technologies used in municipal and industrial water and wastewater applications worldwide. The election took place at the organization's annual meeting held on December 21, 2009, in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Abboud will be eligible for a second, three-year term in 2013.

As marketing manager, water purification, Abboud is responsible for marketing Severn Trent Services' disinfection, filtration and instrumentation technologies on a global basis. The company has designated her as its liaison with the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. She is an eight-year veteran of the water and wastewater industry and has been widely published in industry publications. Abboud earned a bachelor's degree in management with concentrations in international business and Arab and Islamic studies from Villanova University. WW


Firm Providing Construction Management Services for Key Stormwater Project

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has retained MACTEC to provide construction management services for a major stormwater project in South Florida. Allen Kibler, President of MACTEC Engineering and Consulting (www.mactec.com), made the announcement. Contract amount is $2.5 million.

The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state, covering 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys and serving a population of 7.5 million residents. Created in 1949, the agency is responsible for managing and protecting water resources of South Florida by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply.

According to MACTEC West Palm Beach Office Manager/Principal Scientist Bruce S. Schmitt, the company will also provide construction inspection, materials testing and verification surveying services for the Lakeside Ranch Stormwater Treatment Area North (STA), located in western Martin and adjacent Okeechobee Counties.

The project (construction costs are approximately $30 million) will encompass 2,700 acres and include a 3-cell STA, distribution/outlet canals and water control structures. It will also include improvements for the L-64 and L-63 canals, including excavating about 5,000 linear feet of canal below the control water elevation, partial reconstruction of more than 4,000 linear feet of the L-64 canal and replacing the culvert/road crossing at County Road 15B (structure S-667).

"The Lakeside Ranch North STA will ultimately provide additional treatment for nutrient laden waters flowing into the Florida Everglades," Schmitt said. WW


Company Merges Metering Divisions

Mueller Water Products is integrating its Hersey Meters business with its Mueller Systems division, reflecting the company's focus on advanced metering infrastructure. The combined entity will be known as Mueller Systems, while Hersey® will remain the company's brand for water meters.

Hersey Meters has been part of Mueller Co., one of Mueller Water Products' three operating units, since 1988 and has been in existence since 1859.

"We are committed to providing our customers with the infrastructure technology needed to optimize their operations," said Greg Rogowski, president of Mueller Co. "Integrating Hersey Meters into Mueller Systems will facilitate seamless operation with Mi.Net™ Mueller Infrastructure Network, our Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) solution."

"Consolidating our entire metering efforts will allow us to implement a unified strategy to help municipalities better manage their resources," said Hassan Ali, Vice President and General Manager of Mueller Systems.

As the needs of municipal utilities evolve, Mueller Systems is introducing more robust solutions. The company has developed true two-way capabilities for AMI, which gives utilities the ability to manage their systems remotely. Additionally, the company's Mi.Net™ Mueller Infrastructure Network for Utilities goes beyond conventional AMI systems, enabling utilities to deploy newer technology in stages rather than replacing all systems at one time. WW


Toronto Plans Fixed Network AMR Project

The City of Toronto, Canada, has selected Neptune Technology Group (Canada) Ltd. as the Prime Contractor for the supply and installation of lead-free water meters and a fixed network automatic meter reading (AMR) system covering the city's 465,000 water services.

The installation project, which is scheduled to be completed in six (6) years, has three main components. These include Universal Metering of over 70,000 flat rate residential accounts; replacement, or upgrade of over 380,000 residential meters; and nearly 15,000 large meters for industrial, commercial, and institutional accounts.

Neptune will install lead-free meters equipped with either ProRead™ or E-Coder® absolute encoder registers. The company also will provide all project management and installation services required for the integration of the technology for this project. As part of the solution, it will provide data repository capabilities that will enable both city staff and the city's customers to access up to seven years of meter reading information over the internet. Neptune will be responsible for the deployment of an Aclara STAR Network System.

"The City of Toronto is taking a customer-driven approach to managing its water resources and expanding its water conservation initiatives," said Chuck DiLaura, President of Neptune Technology Group. "Toronto's decision to select Neptune as the System Integrator adds further validation that our products and services are addressing the key needs of the water utility market." WW


ARRA-Funded Project Breaks Ground in Missouri

Ground was broken in mid January for a $62 million construction project that will improve the Columbia Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Columbia, MO.

Federal, state and local officials attended a formal ceremony to announce the project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As part of the Act, Missouri received $146 million for drinking water and wastewater projects.

The project is expected to create 58 new jobs. The construction project will upgrade existing treatment facilities, increase biosolids-handling capabilities, improve the liquid treatment process, and provide better odor control. Completion of the project is projected for the summer of 2012.

Included in the treatment plant improvements are measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. High-efficiency single-stage blowers, for example, will reduce annual energy consumption by 26 percent. A new combined heat and power system will be 26 percent more efficient than the existing system. WW

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