October 17, 2013 Environmental Quality and Sewerage

District of Columbia
Water and Sewer Authority
Board of Directors
Environmental Quality and
Sewerage Services Committee
Thursday, October 17, 2013
9:30 a.m.
Committee Members Present
Robert Hoyt, Chairperson
David Lake
Brenda Richardson
Howard Gibbs
James Patteson
Terry Bellamy
Adam Ortiz
DC Water Staff Present
George Hawkins, General Manager
Randy Hayman, General Counsel
Linda Manley, Secretary to the Board
Other Board Members Present
Robert Mallet
Mr. Robert Hoyt, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 9:30 AM.
BPAWTP Performance
Mr. Walt Bailey, Assistant General Manager for Wastewater Treatment, reported that
the monthly average influent flow was 253 MGD, for a 12-month average of 277 MGD.
Biosolids production was 1057 wet tons per day, bringing the 12-month average to 1128
wet tons per day. There was 100% permit compliance during the month.
In September, one half of the Nitrification/Denitrification process was shut down for 10
days in order to complete repairs on the return sludge pipelines. Because of this shut
down, nitrogen compliance was 7.1 mg/l for the month. However, the 12-month average
of 3.5 mg/l continues to be below the future permit discharge levels and current
Chesapeake Bay goal.
Similar work is required for the other half of the process. That work is scheduled for late
October 2013.
Mr. Bailey provided a brief review of adjusted flow rates by jurisdiction, included in his
monthly report in lieu of the flow charts previously provided. Adjusted flow information is
provided to the Blue Plains users through the IMA Regional Committee and will now be
a part of the monthly report to this Committee. Mr. Bailey asked for feedback on the
content and format of the adjusted flow report. The Committee requested that Mr. Bailey
present some options for displaying the information in a graphical format at the next
Committee meeting.
Mr. Bailey noted DC Water’s participation in the recent “Homegrown DC”, a “hyperlocal” farmers market and festival. At the event, Mr. Chris Peot, Director of Resource
Recovery, marketed DC Water biosolids compost products. Mr. Hoyt requested that DC
Water staff ensure that information on biosolids reuse is available on the DC Water
Mr. Hoyt requested that Mr. Bailey provide additional information on the research
project on anammox bacteria, which can remove ammonia from wastewater without the
need for the addition of methanol. Mr. Bailey explained that DC Water staff has
developed a method to separate out anammox bacteria, and recycle it through the
process using screens to filter out the larger anammox bacteria. If the process can be
applied on a large scale there is the potential for significant cost savings.
Potomac Pump Station
Mr. David McLaughlin, Director of Engineering and Technical Services, reported that all
three impellers have been installed and are operational, in compliance with the
schedule provided to EPA and the Department of Justice. Impellers on all three pumps
have exceeded performance expectations, and the Consent Decree requirement for
pumping capacity has been met. A certification of completion letter to that effect will be
sent to EPA in the next few days.
Odor Abatement Project
Mr. McLaughlin reported that work at the two remaining Virginia sites is continuing
without major issues.
DC Water has accepted beneficial occupancy (turned over to DC Water) of the site 27
facility, adjacent to Old Angler’s Inn in Montgomery County. Acceptance of the
remaining two Montgomery County sites is expected within the next few weeks.
DC Water staff believes that the presence of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in the waste
stream may be the cause of recent odor complaints from the owner of the Old Angler’s
Inn. Water quality samples taken from locations along the Potomac Interceptor to date
did not reveal an obvious point source as the cause. Equipment needed to conduct
testing of alternative carbon media that will effectively treat a broader spectrum of odor
causing compounds has been delivered, and will be used to determine whether an
alternative carbon will be effective in reducing the levels of DMS in the treated air being
discharged from this odor control facility.
Mr. Carlton Ray, Director of the DC Clean Rivers Program, and Mr. Chris Allen, Deputy
Director of the DC Clean Rivers Program, briefed the Committee on the Quality Control
and Quality Assurance Program used to ensure that all program quality goals are met.
Mr. Ray also introduced Katherine Moore, Manager of the QA/QC Program in the
Program Consultants Organization. Mr. Ray explained that the management model
used for the Clean Rivers program relies on a relatively small DC Water staff supported
by a robust consultant team, the PCO, which allows DC Water to bring in qualified staff
as needed during implementation of the Long Term Control Plan.
Mr. Ray reviewed the elements of the program, explaining that QA/QC procedures are
applied at all phases of the projects, from planning and design through construction and
commissioning. He discussed the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders,
and noted the need for clearly defined demarcation of responsibility.
Mr. Allen spoke in detail on the specific QA/QC procedures in effect during the
construction phase, and included a discussion of the problems that occurred during
construction of the shafts at Blue Plains, as well as measures taken to rectify those
Ms. Richardson asked whether inspections are scheduled with the contractor or are
unannounced. Mr. Allen explained that qualified inspectors are assigned to inspect
contractor work on a continuous basis.
Mr. Ray concluded by noting that the Clean Rivers Program intended to issue Notice to
Proceed for the First Street Tunnel Contract later in the day. The contract is valued at
$157,675,000, and work must be completed by March 2016, a date that has been
committed to in the Bloomingdale Flooding Task Force Report.
Ms. Elaine Wilson, Supervisor of the Pretreatment Program in the Department of
Wastewater Treatment provided a review of the program that monitors significant and
non-significant industrial users, temporary discharges, and waste haulers. The
presentation included information on regulations, recent trends, anticipated program
needs and program status.
The Committee requested more information on the treatment of contaminated
groundwater during construction dewatering, and how it is decided what sources must
be pretreated. Ms. Wilson explained that there is a gap between DC municipal storm
water quality standards that largely falls under the jurisdiction of the District Department
of the Environment and DC Water’s pretreatment standards. Mr. Hawkins highlighted
his prior experience with the matter while Director of DDOE and noted that regulation of
contaminated groundwater is a major issue for DDOE.
Ms. Wilson noted that the 2012 update to the pretreatment regulations increased waste
hauling fees at Blue Plains, and since then the pretreatment program has seen a slight
decrease in hauled waste, but an increase in revenue as a result of the new fees.
Committee members requested information on whether the new fees are fully covering
the cost of the program. Mr. Hawkins responded that a cost of service analysis will be
Mr. Patteson noted a concern that higher fees could result in waste haulers illegally
dumping waste to avoid the fees. Ms. Wilson acknowledged that possibility and noted
that DC Water employees are advised to report any such activity to the pretreatment
GI Initiative Status/CD Modifications Status
Mr. Hawkins provided a verbal update on the status of the initiative, and noted that the
EPA and DOJ have been advised that DC Water is evaluating the possibility of pursuing
a “hybrid” project (part gray infrastructure, part green infrastructure) in lieu of a green
infrastructure pilot project for the Rock Creek and Potomac sewer sheds.
Mr. Hawkins noted that communications with the Federal Government had been
curtailed by the Government shutdown, but that a meeting had been held the previous
day with DC officials and they are on board with the approach. Mr. Hawkins also noted
that the approach will deliver water quality benefits sooner as a result of the
implementation of the green initiative elements.
Mr. Hawkins also briefed the committee on the schedule for upcoming actions, in
particular the publishing of the proposed consent decree amendment for public
comment. It is hoped to have the formal public review period completed by the end of
the year, although informal communications with involved stakeholders continues,
including an upcoming Green Initiative Design Challenge. Mr. Hoyt asked that the
Committee be more fully briefed on the design challenge at a future meeting.
Mr. Hoyt asked whether any cost savings are anticipated from the proposed approach.
Mr. Hawkins responded that the program is still in the preliminary stages but that he
does not anticipate any cash flow savings at this time. The Committee also requested
additional information as to how many acres of land will be included in the program, and
how much will be in private property versus public space. Mr. Hawkins agreed to
provide more details at a future meeting as they are developed.
The meeting adjourned at 11:40AM.
Follow-up Items
1. Update the presentation of Adjusted Flow Allocations to include graphical
representation of information at the next Committee meeting;
2. Provide an update on Pretreatment Program Cost of Service Analysis at a future
Committee meeting;
3. Provide information on the Green Initiative Design Challenge at a future
Committee meeting;
4. Provide more information on the extent of Green Initiative projects as they are
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