December 2021 O&M Newsletter

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December 2021

In this issue:

Training & Conference Highlights

Check out the DEP website for a listing of upcoming webinars and on-demand classes,

March 1, 2022 Registration Deadline for Even-numbered Certifications

Renew online by going to

Renewals include paying renewal fee ($125), updating contact information, and providing documentation that you obtained required TCH.

To check the accepted TCHs for each operator listed by certificate number, go to If you completed a class that is not posted, please send the TCH request form and required information to

MRWA’s 41st Annual Conference & Trade Show - DECEMBER 8-9, 2021

MRWA’s Annual Conference & Trade Show has a new location – the beautiful Samoset Resort in Rockport Maine.

This in-person event will feature speakers, vendors, and networking opportunities. The trade show, accommodations, and all activities will be located within the resort.

Located on over 230 acres of waterfront property, the resort boasts incredible views of Penobscot Bay and offers the perfect setting to welcome our exhibitors and attendees back in person after almost two years of meeting virtually! Does it get any better than that?

For more information, go to, or contact Kathleen Brill, at 207-513-6786,

NEWEA Annual Conference and Exhibit– January 23-26, 2022 in Boston, MA

Join NEWEA on January 23, 2022 – January 26, 2022 at Copley Place in Boston for the in-person annul conference Navigating the Tides: Fostering Diversity and Leading Change. The annual conference is NEWEA’s premier event.

To provide the safest possible event experience, NEWEA is requiring all event participants to be fully vaccinated, wear a mask covering the nose and mouth in all conference-designated areas, and practice frequent hand hygiene.

Join engineers, consultants, scientists, operators, and students for a variety of technical sessions and exhibitor displays. The conference provides an opportunity for professional exchange of information and state-of-the-art concepts in wastewater treatment and other water environment issues.

The NEWEA Annual Conference is a great forum to meet colleagues, professional allies, make new friends and exchange information.

For more information, go to

MWUA Annual Conference & Tradeshow

Mark your calendars for the 96th Annual Conference & Tradeshow on February 1-3, 2022. Stay tuned; more information on the upcoming Conference & Tradeshow will be available soon.

MEWEA Spring Meeting April 1, 2022

Don’t be fooled by MEWEA’s April 1, 2022 Spring Meeting. More details in the next issue.



Monthly Problem Set / For Practice, December

1. Harmful effects of nitrogen compounds in the aquatic environment include:

a. Oxygen depletion
b. Ammonia toxicity in fish
c. Algae blooms from excess nutrients
d. All of the above

2. The term Total Kjedahl nitrogen (TKN) includes the compounds

a. Organic nitrogen, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia
b. Organic nitrogen and ammonia
c. Nitrate and nitrite
d. Nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia

3. A typical ammonia level in raw municipal influent is:

a. 0.5 mg/L
b. 2.0 mg/L
c. 15 mg/L
d. 30 mg/L

4. Nitrification is the conversion of

a. Ammonia to nitrate
b. Ammonia to nitrite
c. TKN to nitrite
d. Nitrate to nitrogen gas

5. The Mean Cell Residence Time (MCRT) for nitrification is in the range

a. 1-2 days
b. 4-15 days
c. 20-30 days
d. 30–60 days

6. Nitrification is an _______________ process

a. Anionic
b. Anaerobic
c. Anoxic
d. Aerobic

7. Oxygen requirements for nitrification are ___________ needed for carbonaceous oxidation

a. The same as
b. Less than
c. Greater than
d. Variable

8. The nitrification process ________________ the pH

a. Lowers
b. Raises
c. Neutralizes
d. Has no effect on

9. Nitrosomonas bacteria are?

a. Very slow growers
b. Very fast growers
c. Anoxic growers
d. Nitrobacter growers

10. Total oxygen and alkalinity requirements for nitrification, per pound of N oxidized, respectively:

a. 1.25 lb oxygen and 3.14 lb alkalinity, as CaCO3
b. 4.25 lb oxygen and 7.14 lb alkalinity, as CaCO3
c. 6.25 lb oxygen and 9.14 lb alkalinity, as CaCO3
d. 8.25 lb oxygen and 11.14 lb alkalinity, as CaCO3

11. As the temperature increases, the required MCRT for nitrification

a. Increases
b. Decreases
c. Quadruples
d. Exponentializes

12. As the temperature increases, nitrifier growth rate

a. Increases
b. Decreases
c. Quadruples
d. Exponentializes

13. Alkalinity measures the

a. Capacity of wastewater to increase acids
b. Capacity of wastewater to increase bases
c. Capacity of wastewater to neutralize acids
d. Capacity of wastewater to buffer nutrients

14. Common sources of alkalinity include:

a. Lime
b. Caustic soda
c. Soda Ash
d. Sodium bicarbonate
e. All of the above

MOU Between the EPA & Department of Homeland Security

Memorandum of Understanding Between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a framework for the EPA funded Clean Water SRF and Drinking Water SRF programs to assist and collaborate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance grant programs. The SRFs have worked cooperatively with FEMA and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to allow local entities to quickly recover and restore their vital infrastructure after a Presidentially-declared major disaster. The proposed activities in this MOU are intended to streamline coordination between FEMA and the SRFs to enable funding to support essential infrastructure projects to be made available as quickly as possible.

Please visit for more information.

Accepting Septage & Transported Waste Requires Department Approval

By Judy Bruenjes. References: CMR 06-096 Chapter 555 – Standards for the Addition of Transported Wastes to Wastewater Treatment Facilities and Guide to Septage Treatment and Disposal, EPA 1984.

Thousands of homes in non-sewered areas of the U.S., as well as many businesses, use onsite systems to treat their wastewater. These systems require periodic pump-outs. One method of septage disposal is to transport the wastes and discharge into a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Can plants accept septage? How can septage or other transported wastes affect plant operations?

In Maine, the treatment of transported waste by wastewater treatment facilities is prohibited unless approved in writing by the Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) as it may be required as a condition in the facility’s Waste Discharge License (WDL).

Before we go too far, exactly what are transported wastes? Transported wastes are defined as liquid, non-hazardous wastes delivered to a wastewater treatment facility by a truck or other similar conveyance. The wastes characteristics differ in chemical constituents or have a greater strength than the influent described on the facility’s waste discharge license application. This may include septage, industrial wastes, or other wastes that contain chemicals in quantities potentially harmful to the treatment facility or receiving water.

Why should a plant be concerned about transported wastes entering their system?

Transported waste can be much stronger than typical domestic influent. Transported wastes can have a BOD of up to 7,500 mg/L and TSS up to 15,000 mg/L, which is 20 times and 40 times the typical influent values for BOD and TSS, respectively. In addition to high organic and solids levels, septage can contain grease, hair, stringy material, scum, grit, and other extraneous debris. Substantial quantities of phosphorus, ammonia nitrogen, bacterial inhibitors and cleaning material may be present in septage.

Potential impacts of transported wastes on treatment plants include increased volumes of screenings requiring disposal, odors at headworks, shock loads, odors and foaming in aeration basins, and scum accumulation in clarifiers. Septage can increase, organic loadings to biological processes, solids loadings to dewatering equipment, sludge volumes requiring final disposal, and housekeeping requirements. These present operational challenges and potential upsets if septage addition is not properly controlled, as well as increase treatment and sludge disposal costs.

In accordance with CMR 06-096 Chapter 555, facilities wishing to receive transported wastes must receive prior approval from the Department. If you are unsure if your facility falls under this Rule, please contact Cindy Dionne with the Department’s Permitting Unit at To apply for permission to receive transported wastes, use the application found on the Department website at this Link.

Submissions include a description of the nature and volume of the transported wastes, receiving facilities and practices, handling and treatment, points of application, facility capacities for treating BOD, TSS and flow, method for measuring waste volumes, controlling access, recordkeeping system, and analyzing wastes characteristics, formal agreements with haulers, and controls to prevent adverse impacts, such as odors to the surrounding community.

If approved, conditions for septage control will be specified as a Special Condition in the facility’s WDL.

In summary, depending on the facility and other factors, transported wastes and septage can be safely and effectively treated by wastewater factifies, but the facility must apply for approval from the Department before that permission is granted.

For more information on receiving transported wastes, contact your DEP compliance inspector.

NetDMR Version 9.0 Release

NetDMR was recently upgraded to version 9.0. For a complete list of changes associated with this upgrade please visit this website

This article will highlight two changes to the look of the NetDMR user interface.

The first change is the removal of the Update button from all dropdown menus on the main search screen. All other search fields will be up updated based on the selection from each dropdown menu.

The second change is the addition of “Monitoring Period End Date” as a search option on the All DMRs and CORs search tab. This is not a required field but using it does help guarantee that you are entering results for the correct monitoring period.

If you have questions about the changes associated with NetDMR version 9.0, or other issues related to NetDMR, please contact Brett Goodrich at 207-287-9034 or

Monthly Problem Set / For Practice Answers, December

1. d
2. b
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. d
7. c
8. a
9. a
10. b
11. b
12. a
13. c
14. e.