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Tuesday, December 24, 2013
that joyous time of year, where loved ones gather and honor the many blessing that we have received.  We eat, laugh, share gifts, and for some of us we are able to donate our time and resources to others in need.  We encourage you to give as you are able through time, funds, gifts, or even love.  It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference. 

Please enjoy your holidays and be safe!

Thursday, December 12, 2013
We all can remember our parents telling us to turn off the lights when we leave a room to save energy and money.  At the Columbus Water Works we used that same principle and applied it to the organization.  At our North Columbus Water Resources Facility (NCWRF), we have installed timers that automate the lighting operation  for the plant buildings.  These timers are remotely monitored by plant operators allowing them to adjust the settings if necessary.  By using the lights only when necessary, and not requiring manual operation, the on time for the lights has been decreased.

Motion sensors were also installed to turn the lights on and off based on activity within the building.  If the system senses that no one is in the building, it will automatically turn off all the internal lights.  As employees enter the building at each of the predetermined zones, the lights to that area will turn on.  When all of the light fixtures are replaced, the energy savings will be increased.

Columbus Water Works will be working to apply similar features throughout the organization in the future.
Monday, December 09, 2013
Water Filtration is the process of passing water through material such as a bed of sand, coal, or other granular substance to remove impurities from the water before we drink it. These impurities consist of suspended particles (fine silts and clays), biological material (bacteria and plankton) among others in the water being treated. The filtration process occurs after processes that remove most of the larger materials out of the raw water. The filter media used in the filtration process must be changed approximately every 25 years.

BackwashfilterOnce a filter becomes dirty, it has to be taken out of service and backwashed. To clean the filter, water is passed quickly upward through the filter, opposite the normal direction (called
back flushing or backwashing) to remove embedded particles. Prior to this step, compressed air may be blown up through the bottom of the filter to break up the compacted filter media to aid the backwashing process; this is known as air scouring. This contaminated water can be disposed of, or it can be recycled by mixing with the raw water entering the plant. The filtration process equipment to include filter media, under-drain system and filter valves need to be properly maintained and replaced when the equipment life cycle is reached. 

Just this year, Columbus Water Works completed a major renovation to the North Columbus Water Resources Facility (NCWRF) replacing the plants’ aged water filtration system components.  The project replaced the filter media with new media, replaced the under-drain system with a new under-drain system with the use of an “air scour backwash system”, and replaced several filter valves that had reached the end of their useful life.   This new air scour backwash system utilizes blowers to supply air through durable stainless steel piping to the filter. The new backwash system now uses water and air to clean the filter which has resulted in decreased water usage needed to backwash the thirty (30) filters. These features have provided measureable reductions in backwash cycles and processed water use and electricity use. Through the increased efficiency, this project has been estimated to provide an
annual savings of $81,000.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013
In today’s society, recycling has become a priority as we work to protect our natural resources and the environment for future generations.  Nearly everything that we consume has a waste product – packaging materials; food scraps; cooking fats, oils and grease; broken or worn out household items and electronics; human and animal waste, etc…  Although many of these items are naturally occurring themselves, it can create health risks if not dealt with properly.  Society has created ways to safely manage the disposal of these items, which protects public health.  Many of these necessary measures are costly because of the high levels of energy needed.

Columbus Water Works (CWW) has been working with industry leaders over the past 20 years to find a way to turn our wastewater into energy, ultimately supplementing the energy used and creating a renewable energy source.  Over years of study and evaluation, the Biosolids Flow-Through Thermophilic Treatment (BFT3) process was born. (CWW refers to this as the
Columbus BFT3 or CBFT3.)  The CBFT3 design was patented in 2005.  CWW donated this patent to the Water Environmental Research Foundation (WERF), which would allow other utilities to benefit from this technology.  CWW is recognized internationally and nationally as a model for developing this process as well as successfully implementing it.

This process takes advantage of the natural energy created when Micro-organisms (bugs) breakdown wastewater resulting in approximately 400,000 cubic feet a day of Methane gas.  CWW has two generators that run on Methane gas to convert this energy into a clean power source that actually powers other aspects of the plant, ultimately
saving an between $300,000 and $500,000 each year depending on electric power pricing

For more details on the technology used and the studies that led to this innovative process, please refer to the following links:
Awards that CWW has won due to this project:
  • International Water Association Global Project Innovation: Applied Research  Award (CBFT3) (2008)
  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers Excellence in Engineering: Superior Achievement (2008)
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia and The Georgia Engineering Alliance: Grand Award for CBFT3 (2005)
  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers Grand Prize in Research Award for CBFT3 (2005)

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