April 2023 O&M Newsletter

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April 2023

In this issue:

Certification & Training Update

Odd-Numbered Certification Renewal Deadline was March 1, 2023

If you hold an odd-numbered certification, and missed the March 1 2023 deadline, please be aware that you cannot serve as the Operator in Responsible Charge (ORC) or Operator of Record of your plant until “active” status is achieved. Your facility will need to designate another person to serve in this role. Contact your inspector for more information.

To renew after the March 1, 2023 deadline:

• Complete required TCHs and submit documentation to certification@neiwpcc-jetcc.org.
• Renew online at https://jetcc.org/wastewater-operator-renewal.php
• In addition to $125 renewal fee, pay mandatory $100 late fee.

Note: There is a 6-month grace period to renew your certification. An Operator who fails to renew properly six months after their renewal deadline will need to retake the exam in order for their certificate to be reactivated.

Questions about renewals? Contact Spring Connolly at certification@neiwpcc-jetcc.org or call 207-253-8020.

Refer to the Department’s Wastewater Operator Certification Program website for details on certification renewal requirements: https://www.maine.gov/dep/water/wwoperator/.

Associations Offer In-Person Training

There are many benefits of online, virtual training: reduced costs, time-savings, greater flexibility and accessibility. Many people, however, are more comfortable and have better retention when they are in a traditional classroom setting with a live instructor. They find it easier to focus, ask questions, and interact with other attendees. To that end, here is a list of upcoming in-person training sessions and live conferences. Make sure to contact the organization to determine their attendance policies. And be on the look-out for the monthly training calendar that is emailed to all certified operators that contains both virtual and in-person options (also available on the DEP website: https://www.maine.gov/dep/water/wwoperator/ under Additional Material).

MRWA Training – For more information or to register, go to www.mainerwa.org or contact Andrew Snowman at andrew.snowman@mainerwa.org. or call 207-530-6073.

• GIS/GPS Applications, 5/11/23, EJP Bangor
Participants in this workshop will learn how digital mapping and GPS tools can be used in managing rural water and wastewater systems.

• Vacuum Excavation, 5/16/23, Dover-Foxcroft Water District
A live demonstration to explore the many practical applications of vacuum excavation as compared to excavation with heavy machinery. Applications such as exposing gate boxes, service lines, lead service line inventory, dewatering, sump and pit cleaning, trenching, grease trap cleaning and many other uses in the water and wastewater industry.

Upcoming Conferences

The North Country Convention (NCC) Returns to Presque Isle!

Mark your calendars for the North Country Convention (NCC)’s return to Northern Maine Community College (NMCC) in Presque Isle on April 5 & 6, 2023.

This 2-day educational event and trade show held in "The County" is co-sponsored by NEIWPCC-JETCC, MEWEA, and MWUA. NCC is designed to bring water and wastewater professional together for technical sessions, exhibitor interaction, luncheon speakers, and opportunities to network with others. Each day offers 6 training contact hours for Water and Wastewater operators. Participation in the entire conference offers 12 hours of training.

For more information, go to www.jetcc.org.

Monthly Training Calendar

Every month the DEP emails to certified operators a list of upcoming training opportunities offered by non-profit organizations. The email also includes DEP-approved On-Demand classes taught by both public and private training providers. These lists are found on the DEP website, https://www.maine.gov/dep/water/wwoperator/ under Additional Materials. The website also lists DEP training policies, forms, and other resources.

For more information, contact Judy.K.Bruenjes@maine.gov.

Monthly Problem Set / For Practice, April

1. What does the following formula represent? Flow, gallons/day ÷ Linear feet of weir

A. Weir overflow rate
B. Solids loading rate
C. Surface loading rate
D. F/M ratio

2. What type of floc is typically characterized by the following: high F/M ratio, high food supply, young sludge, log growth phase, slow settling mixed liquor with excellent capture and clear effluent?

A. Pin
B. Deflocculation
C. Straggler
D. Rotifers

3. A plant wastes 27,022 lbs/day of sludge at a concentration of 7,250 ppm. Approximately how many gallons of sludge are wasted per day?

A. 195,900
B. 450,000
C. 1,635,000
D. 3,730,000

4. A plant has 75,000 pounds of MLSS inventory and wants to maintain a 7-day SRT. How many pounds/day of solids must be wasted from the system?

A. 7,500 lbs/day
B. 10,714 lbs/day
C. 9,333 lbs/day
D. 75,000 lbs/day

5. What is the main difference between SRT and MCRT?

A. Total solids vs. volatile solids
B. Influent CBOD5
C. The RAS rate
D. Detention time

6. Typically, when an aeration tank is over-aerated, or overloaded (high F/M … low MLSS), what color will the foam be?

A. Dark black
B. Tan and greasy
C. Orange
D. Stiff and white

7. Hydraulic loading refers to the

A. Organics in the system (pounds of CBOD)
B. Solids in the pounds loading (lbs/day)
C. Aeration system dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (lbs)
D. Gallons of flow entering a unit process (gpd/sq ft)

8. Which are two categories of loading rates commonly used in wastewater treatment?

A. Influent and hydraulic loading
B. Hydraulic and effluent
C. Hydraulic and organic
D. Organic and mixed liquor

9. The formula π r2 x Depth is used to calculate?

A. Volume in cubic feet
B. Volume in gallons
C. Area in square feet
D. Detention time in days

10. Which RAS condition may indicate the need to increase the aeration process D.O.?

A. High nitrates in the RAS
B. Strong odors in the RAS
C. Pin floc in the RAS
D. Low solids concentration in the RAS

DMR-QA 2023 Preview

As of the time this article was written, Maine DEP has not received an update from EPA on the schedule for the 2023 DMR-QA program. Based on previous years, we expect the opening date to be in mid to late April. All facilities enrolled in the DMR-QA program will receive an email from EPA announcing the opening of the study, along with an announcement letter. Please review the letter carefully as it contains important forms that must be filled out along with due dates for results.

If your facility is enrolled in the DMR-QA program and does not receive the announcement letter by late April, contact the Maine DEP NetDMR coordinator to get a copy of the announcement letter. You can also go to the EPA website, https://www.epa.gov/compliance/discharge-monitoring-report-quality-assurance-study-program to download the letter when available.

You do not need to wait until you receive the letter to order your DMR-QA supplies and begin analyses of the samples. Make sure that you choose the DMR-QA and/or Water Pollution (WP) studies that are valid during the DMR-QA study period, typically January 1st, 2023 – July or August, 2023 (actual dates will be listed in the EPA announcement letter).

If you have any questions or need to update your contact information, please contact Brett Goodrich at Brett.A.Goodrich@maine.gov or call 207-287-9034.

Get Ready for Seasonal Disinfection

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for seasonal chlorination/disinfection! It is a good idea to start getting ready early so there is time to make adjustments/repairs as necessary.

Your chlorine contact chamber (CCC) may have accumulated water/solids during the winter that need to be cleaned-out/emptied. Perform a thorough inspection of the chlorination system to ensure the integrity of the entire system. Meter accuracy can be verified by pumping into a bucket or barrel of known volume and comparing it to the meter readings. Tank(s) should be visually inspected for corrosion and physical damage. Verify treatment chemicals are stored to capture any leaks in a secondary containment area.

Start-up procedures for chlorination/ disinfection include:

o Check that all valves are in their proper position and tagged
o All piping should be inspected and found to be in operating condition
o Feed and safety equipment should be checked and found in operating condition
o Procedures should include a program to sequentially open valves, and start equipment

Once operating, the operator must verify that chemical feed rates are correct. Test the total chlorine residual (TRC) at least twice on separate days and evaluate results to ensure target doses and residuals are being met. Make adjustments as needed.

Monthly Problem Set / For Practice Answers, April

1. A. Weir overflow rate. The weir overflow rate is the number of gallons of wastewater that flow over one lineal foot of weir per day.

2. C. Straggler. Straggler floc is usually the results of over-loaded activated sludge: high CBOD5 concentration, high F:M ratio and low SRT.

3. B. pounds per day (lbs/day) = concentration (mg/L) * flow (MGD) * 8.34 (lbs/gal). Rearranging to solved for flow: pounds per day lbs/day) / concentration (mg/L) / 8.34 (lbs/gal).
Note: must convert MGD to Gallons by multiplying by 1,000,000.

27,022 lbs/day / 7,250 mg/L / 8.34 lb/gal * 1,000,000 = ~ 450,000 gal

4. B. 75,000 pounds / 7 days = 10,714 lb/day must be wasted from the system.

5. A. Total solids vs. volatile solids. While sometimes used interchangeably, Solids Retention Time (SRT) equates to the total solids retained in the treatment system, whereas MCRT is the mass of the bacteria in the system, which equates to the volatile fraction of solids.

6. D. Young sludge foam is most typically white and billowy. Usually, as the MLSS gets older, the foam and scum get darker…from brown to black.

7. D. Gallons of flow entering a unit process (gpd/sq. ft.). Hydraulic loading or surface settling rate refers to the flow (gpd) / clarifier surface area (sq. ft.).

8. C. Hydraulic and organic. Hydraulic loading is based on the number of gallons applied to a process; organic loading is based on the number of pounds of organic matter applied to a process. Organic loading is typically expressed as pounds of BOD5 per area per unit time, such as BOD5 per square foot per day (lb/ft2/day).

9. A. The formula π r2 x Depth is used to calculate the volume in cubic feet. To convert cubic feet to gallons, you must multiply by 7.48 gal/cu ft.

10. B. Septic smelling RAS is typically the results of either low aeration DO or a RAS rate that is too low.