The Water Environment Federation (WEF) encourages new wastewater and stormwater collection and treatment technologies via various innovation awards. These three products were on display at the 86th annual WEFTEC conference in early October along with winners of the second annual Operator Ingenuity Contest:

Special “CSI” Award for Extraordinary Detective Work

The PARSA Potty and Flow Bench
Plainfield Area Regional Sewerage Authority, New Jersey
Kudos to: Steve Grosso, Frank Kunz, Bob Snyder

Outstanding Maintenance Headache Relief Flow-equalization Tank Problem Solver

Maryland Enironmental Service
Kudos to: Justin Myers

Waste Not, Want Not

Polymer Tote Rack
Mess Prevention in Process Control
Aerated Sludge Tank Sampler
City of Dover, N.H.
Kudos to: Raymond Vermette

Vital Communication

Reverse 911
City of Carlsbad, Calif.
Kudos to: Don Wasko

Polymer-free biosolids separation

Polymer-free biosolids separation
Centrisys Corp. Polymer-free biosolids separation

A Wisconsin repair company began making decanter centrifuges in 1989 when a municipal customer couldn’t wait four to five months for a unit to be shipped from overseas. Centrisys Corp.’s THK Thickening System produces up to 8% cake without polymer. It’s 90% smaller than gravity belt or rotary drum systems and enclosed to minimize odor. I watched the Kenosha Water Utility’s THK 18-3 at work in real time in Wisconsin from the WEFTEC show floor in Chicago. The unit replaced a dissolved air flotation thickening (DAF) system at a 26 mgd facility, where it reportedly saves $140,000 annually in operating costs.

Sewer inspection system

Here’s an interesting twist to traditional sewer televising. Clay, plastic, concrete, reinforced concrete, brick, and other pipe materials don’t conduct electricity well. So if it leaks electricity, chances are the pipe also leaks water. Even better, you know exactly where the leak starts and stops.

That’s the premise behind Electro Scan Inc.’s probe, which emits a “condensed” current (i.e., low-voltage/high-frequency) to examine pipe walls. In addition to finding leaks that closed circuit TV, laser profiling, dye flood, or smoke testing, the company says public agencies use the system to verify joint, service connection, and manhole insertions.

How well does it work (and how much does it cost)? The company urges potential customers to take Water Environment Research Foundation project INFR4R12 for ASTM F2550 performance (Sewer Lateral Electro Scan Field Pilot) results with a grain of salt because new technology requires new ways of interpreting data (check out YouTube for details).

At least one utility, the Clayton County Water Authority in Georgia, included the product in an RFP for an annual evaluation contract. Other users so far include the City of McKinney (Texas) Public Works Department’s Water/Wastewater Division and Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities.

The first truly clog-free permeable paver?

The first truly clog-free permeable paver?
The first truly clog-free permeable paver?

This EPA-recognized stormwater-infiltration Best Management Practice (BMP) earned an innovation award for at least two reasons. After 18 months without maintenance, 4,000 inches of rain filtered through PaveDrain within an hour (per ASTM C1701/C1701M-09). It’s also the only system that lets customers remove and reinstall pavers to clean out the subgrade. The permeable articulating concrete block/mat’s patented arch provides an internal storage chamber for runoff. The system meets AASHTO HS-20 and H-20 load testing and ADA design guidelines requiring that surface openings not exceed ½ inch.

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