Katronic flowmeters to Panama treatment works

In December 2006, the UK-based Biwater International commissioned and handed over operations of a new 130-mgd water treatment plant to the Panamanian Water Authority.

In December 2006, the UK-based Biwater International commissioned and handed over operations of a new 130-mgd water treatment plant to the Panamanian Water Authority.

The new facility is expected to guarantee water supply to 1.8 million people who reside in the capital city of Panama City and surrounding areas, which have experienced constant water shortages. Biwater is also refurbishing an existing 130-mgd plant at the same site, which is due for completion in 2008. This plant is designed to ensure ample water supplies to the city up to 2020.

Katronic Technologies (UK) supplied ultrasonic, clamp-on flowmeters to meet the water authority’s requirement of non-invasive flowmeters that measure the flow of raw water pumped into each of the two plants. The existing plant is the main source of potable water to Panama City, so the plant cannot be shut down for maintenance or installation of an invasive flow measurement device.

WEF, AWWA spar over ‘one voice’

On January 19, 2007, the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Board of Trustees approved a resolution to explore the benefits and opportunities of developing a single water association to represent water professionals and resources within North America. Intended to foster discussions with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the resolution was not approved by AWWA’s Board of Directors the next day.

“WEF strongly believes that ensuring one strong voice for water would better serve our members and our communities by strengthening clean water initiatives in protecting public health and the environment,” said WEF President Mohamed Dahab. “We are disappointed we have lost this opportunity with AWWA for now, but the Federation remains committed to moving forward to partner with water organizations in and outside North America to achieve this vision.”

AWWA President Terry Rolan said the WEF proposal was premature, adding that the AWWA Board wants an ongoing dialogue with WEF leadership to “achieve a more coordinated voice for the water community.”

The WEF Board of Trustees believes the current divide between water supply and water quality pervades many aspects of the water community, leaving gaps in the protection of public health that other, less specialized groups will fill. In particular, the international community looks to North America for technical advances and leadership in water policy. An integrated approach to water management in North America would no doubt significantly increase influence on both domestic and international water policies and be capable of providing unrivaled leadership in addressing the global water challenge.

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, WEF has 36,000 members and 76 Member Associations in 30 countries.

Established in 1881, AWWA is the world’s largest and oldest water organization, with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, USA, and 43 sections across Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Arcadis awarded New Orleans’ flood protection project

The global consulting and engineering company Arcadis recently won a US$ 150-m flood protection project from the US Army Corps of Engineers in the New Orleans area.

Arcadis and its partner in the contract, Bioengineering, will help prevent flooding by means of general design support services, multidisciplinary consultancy services and construction management services, primarily within the limits of the New Orleans District.

The ARCADIS-Bioengineering joint venture will work together with other American companies as HNTB and Tetra Tech. Dutch specialists WL Delft Hydraulics and Alkyon will be contracted for their hydraulic expertise. Piet Dircke (ARCADIS Netherlands’ Water Program Manager) provided information on the new project during a seminar held at Aquaterra on Friday 9 February in the Amsterdam RAI. Aquaterra is an international forum on the development of delta and coastal areas that was held for the first time from 7 to 9 February 2007.

In addition, case studies were presented on the metropolitan dilemmas in the Haarlemmermeer delta (Schiphol airport area in the Netherlands), project processes in a complex policy environment such as Hamburg (Germany), London (Great Britain) and Dordrecht (the Netherlands), as well as cities in coastal areas such as Shanghai (China) and Singapore.

USEPA awards Safe Drinking Water grants

Ten universities received grants from EPA for research to develop better methods for detecting harmful organisms in drinking water, including viruses, bacteria and protozoa. The EPA awarded the grants through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) research grants program.

“These five million dollars in grant money are an example of how EPA puts science to work to protect human health,” said Dr. George Gray, EPA’s assistant administrator for research and development.

Every year, cases of gastrointestinal illnesses in the USA are associated with drinking water. EPA’s sponsored research will result in faster and more sensitive tests for local drinking water facilities to use in detecting pathogens. The more quickly a contaminant is identified, the faster a facility can act to contain the problem, and thereby reduce any health risks to the public.

Field Notes

Canada: Emerson Process Management won a US$ 5.3-million contract from the Greater Vancouver Regional District to install PlantWeb digital automation architecture at the Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Plant, which is under construction. GVRD, a partnership of more than 20 municipalities comprising the metropolitan area of Greater Vancouver, serves more than two million residents. The District and electoral areas are building the filtration plant to help meet new federal and provincial standards for drinking water treatment.

When completed in 2008, the Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Plant will be Canada’s largest drinking water filtration plant combined with the world’s largest ultraviolet (UV) disinfection facility, filtering up to 475 million gallons of water per day from the Seymour and Capilano reservoirs.

Emerson’s PlantWeb digital automation solution includes the company’s DeltaV™ digital automation system, which will provide data acquisition, and monitor and control water filtration, chemical feed, and operation of motors and variable-speed drives. The filtration plant is the first facility in British Columbia to use a geoexchange system to provide energy efficient and cost effective space heating, cooling and hot water heating at the plant. The overall project features an energy recovery unit that will produce electricity from the high pressure treated water supplied to the Capilano service area to be used by the GVRD.

Peru: The Japan Bank for International Cooperation signed a loan agreement up to US$ 50.46 million with Peru for the Irrigation Sub-Sector Project that is expected to increase agricultural production by improving water use efficiency in the Pacific coastal region of Peru. The project will involve rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure, installing water measuring and control facilities, and introducing technical irrigation.

More than half of Peru’s population lives in the region facing the South Pacific Ocean. Irrigation facilities, developed since the 1960s in this region, now account for half of the country’s irrigation areas. In recent years, aging irrigation facilities, flood damage, and inadequate maintenance have reduced water use efficiency.

USA: The US Environmental Protection Agency released a final specification for the latest generation of water-saving, high-efficiency toilets. Those that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush and meet performance standards for quality will quality for EPA’s WaterSense label to help consumers make informed buying decisions about water-efficient products.

The new toilets are the product of extensive research in fluid dynamics conducted over the last six years. While the exterior differs little from traditional toilets, interior redesign and new mechanical approaches significantly improve flow and reduce water usage. It is estimated that high-efficiency toilets can reduce water bills by about 10 percent. Replacing older, inefficient toilets, which are responsible for much of the water wasted in American homes, could save more than 900 billion gallons of water a year - enough to supply almost 10 million households.

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