Water/Wastewater Industry Briefs

Sept. 30, 2002
A collection of news for the water and wastewater industry.


Sept. 30, 2002

A collection of news for the water and wastewater industry.


Utility Signs AMR Contract

Itron Inc. has reached an agreement with Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU) to provide the Utility with technology to automate data collection from 30,000 of its water meters in Charlotte, NC. This first phase of implementation is expected to take eight months to complete; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities plans to automate the remainder of its territory over the next five years.

The largest public water utility in the Carolinas, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities currently has more than 200,000 metered accounts that provide drinking water to 750,000 people. Once the Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system is deployed, the Utility's meter readers will use vehicles equipped with Itron computers and radio frequency (RF) transceivers to collect meter data simply by driving past the metered property, eliminating the need for meter readers to access customer properties in automated areas.

John Hengesh, vice president and general manager of Itron's Water and Public Power Business Unit, believes Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities is doing its customers and employees a service, while ensuring future operational success.

"Happier customers, safer employees and more cost effective and efficient operations are the results more and more water utilities and municipalities are realizing by adopting Itron advanced automation technology," says Hengesh. "In fact, we've seen a strong increase in our water business this year, clearly demonstrating that this market is stronger than ever. We're very pleased to expand our relationship with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, and we look forward to getting started on a successful project."


City Contracts for CIS System

SCT, a provider of e-business solutions and services, has signed a contract in excess of $2 million to provide the City of Columbia, SC, with services and software. The contract includes providing the SCT Banner Advantage Customer Information System (CIS) and SCT's utility-specific client relationship management (CRM) product.

Columbia selected the Banner system to help improve service for its 100,000 water and sewer customers, and to enable the city to add storm water customers as a billed service for the Richland County area. With this comprehensive customer care and billing offering, surrounded by utility-specific CRM functionality, the city should be able to streamline business processes.

Banner's comprehensive reporting functions will further increase the city's capability to monitor daily operations and manage long-term business activity.

"We knew we had outgrown our current system, and wanted to implement a new technology solution that would not only satisfy our business objectives, but would also provide a new level of service to our customers. Using SCT's solution will give our customers not only a true knowledge resource, but also an easier, more efficient way to check their account information online. This is an important first step in escalating our customer service standards," said John Dooley, director of utilities for the City of Columbia.

Greater Columbia has more than 583,000 residents, a number that is expected to increase to 648,700 by the year 2010 and to 1,000,000 by 2025. The water department for the city serves more than 500,000 individuals living in the Columbia area.

Company Awarded
Program Management Contract

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced recently that a subsidiary company was selected by the Gwinnett County, GA, Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to provide program management services for DPU's five-year, $1.4 billion Capital Improvements Program (CIP).

Jacobs is now negotiating detailed scope of the five-year contract with Gwinnett officials.
The goal of the CIP, which encompasses approximately 200 water and wastewater projects, is to establish a high-quality, efficient delivery process.

DPU's mission is to provide Gwinnett County clean, potable water, and to collect and reclaim Gwinnett's wastewater to protect the environment. DPU's Engineering & Construction Division is responsible for the design and construction of new DPU facilities and for upgrades to existing DPU facilities.

The Engineering & Construction Division also administers construction contracts for water and wastewater facilities and pipelines, contracts to move utility lines during government road projects and private development projects, and acquires land for utility construction projects. Jacobs will manage accomplishing these objectives.

In making the announcement, Jacobs Group Vice President Mike Higgins stated, "We are pleased and excited to be part of this important water program. The opportunity to provide management services to Gwinnett County further strengthens our commitment to help Georgia meet its critical infrastructure needs."

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is one of the world's largest providers of technical professional services. With more than 30,000 people, the company offers full-spectrum support to industrial, commercial, and government clients in diverse markets. Services include scientific and specialty consulting as well as all aspects of design, construction, and operations & maintenance.

Utility Awards Contract
For Pipe Lining Project

Lametti & Sons, a licensee of Inliner Technologies, will renew 54,000 feet of wastewater pipe under an approximately $1.9 million contract from the City of St. Paul, MN, Department of Public Works.

The project involves installing Inliner's cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology to renew the 70-year-old vitrified clay pipe, which ranges from eight inches to 36 inches in diameter. The project will begin in late fall, and is expected to be completed in October 2003.

The project area includes a grid of sewer lines on the city's east side, with boundaries starting at the northwest corner of Maryland Avenue and Edgerton Street, running east to McKnight Road, then south to Carver Avenue. One of the lines will cross Interstate 94, requiring Lametti & Sons to create a bypass plan to minimize traffic disruption.

Cecily Schurhamer, engineering technician, is overseeing the project for the city. Dan Banken is project manager for Lametti & Sons.

Cured-in-place (CIPP) technology allows rehabilitation of damaged underground wastewater and storm sewer pipe without excavating. The process reduces noise, traffic disturbance, and road damage-and can be done in a shorter time frame and for less cost than replacing existing lines. With Inliner's method, a felt sleeve-saturated with resin and coated with a waterproof layer-is inserted into the pipe. Hot water is circulated through the sleeve, which hardens the resin. This material serves as a barrier between the damaged pipe and the wastewater that flows through it; or as a new stand-alone pipe.

Osmonics Membrane Systems
Specified in Four Water Projects

Osmonics Inc. was recently awarded contracts for four municipal water treatment systems to be used to purify water for Clara City, MN; Todd Creek, CO; Hennessy, OK, and The Village of Golf, FL. The four contracts will generate over $1,000,000 in sales for the company.

Each of the cities had different reasons for choosing membrane technology as their treatment method, but all selected Osmonics MUNI Series(tm) platform products to meet their needs. Clara City needed nitrate and ammonium removal, Todd Creek desired an overall improvement in the aesthetic quality of its drinking water, the city of Hennessy required treatment to meet compliance for nitrate levels, and the Village of Golf wanted not only "bottled" water quality at the tap, but an additional source of low TDS water for irrigation and exceptional color removal.

Unlike the typical six- to 12-month delivery cycle for replacement of municipal infrastructures, these four systems will be built and tested at Osmonics' ISO 9001-certified factory and delivered in less than 10 weeks from receipt of order. The MUNI Series systems are pre-engineered amd feature NSF 61-certified membrane elements. Platform designs simplify installation and operation.

Osmonics will also provide the four communities with operation training and ongoing system support throughout the life of the equipment.

"We are realizing continued growth in the municipal market as EPA regulations, consumers' heightened awareness of water quality and diminishing potable water sources continue to drive demand for our membrane-based municipal water treatment systems," said Curt Weitnauer, vice president and general manager of Osmonics' Process Water Group. "New low energy membrane technologies are not only capable of meeting specific treatment requirements like nitrate, radium, and arsenic removal, but also provide a cost-effective alternative to conventional filtration while providing communities with a vastly improved product at the tap."

Company Supplies System
to Drought-Stricken Community

Pall Corp. announced that its new Septra® CB (Crypto Barrier) membrane water filtration system is being used to provide 3.5 to 4 million more gallons of drinking water a day to drought stricken Roanoke, VA.

Crystal Spring, the city's second largest water resource, had been out of service since May 2000, because it was under the influence of surface water. The Pall Septra CB filtration system exceeds federally mandated standards for the removal of protozoan cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium from surface waters. The system was fully operational less than three weeks after the order was placed.

Roanoke's main water source, Carvin's Cove Reservoir, is currently at 30 percent of its capacity, its lowest point in 55 years. To help conserve water, Roanoke implemented mandatory water restrictions, including a ban on all outdoor watering. Despite these efforts, the water crisis grew and city officials sought alternative sources. According to Roanoke's detailed conservation plan, the Crystal Spring source was not scheduled to be back in service until December 2002. Pall's solution allowed city officials to bring the Crystal Spring facility back on line four months ahead of schedule.

"We're delighted that we could help bring some relief to the residents of Roanoke. This system requires a relatively small investment and can be and up and running in no time," said Tom Poschmann, Vice President of Pall's Water Processing division.

City Partners with USFilter
For Wastewater Services

The City of Apalachicola, FL, has awarded USFilter Operating Services, Inc. (USFilter), a five-year agreement to operate, maintain and manage its wastewater treatment system that serves approximately 2,800 residents in the environmentally sensitive area near the Apalachicola River estuary. The partnership will generate more than $100,000 in savings for the city in operations and maintenance costs and help resolve its pressing compliance and financial challenges.

Meaning "the land of the friendly people," Apalachicola boasts thriving tourism and fishing industries that are vital to its economy. Located in the Florida panhandle, Apalachicola is also host to the Apalachicola Reserve, an estuarine sanctuary for a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are endangered.

"One of our main industries is oystering, which is highly sensitive to bacteria and pollution in the water. To ensure environmental compliance and habitat protection in this area, we need reliable wastewater treatment," said Apalachicola Mayor Allen Pierce. "A public-private partnership with USFilter will help us reach this objective by bringing in greater expertise and by resolving our environmental and financial challenges."

The $2-million contract calls for USFilter to operate and manage the city's 1 mgd wastewater treatment plant, three conventional lift stations and an innovative vacuum-driven lift station.

"USFilter understands the immense importance of proper wastewater treatment," said John Eddlemon, southern business center regional vice president of development for USFilter Operating Services. "Water is a vital resource that is necessary for the sustainable growth of any community, and we are committed to ensuring the vitality of Apalachicola's tourism and fishing industries."

USFilter has been providing water and wastewater services to Florida communities for almost 20 years. The largest community is Tampa Bay, where USFilter is designing, building and will operate a new 66-million gallon per day surface water treatment plant when complete this fall. The plant will serve approximately 1.5 million residents.

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