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C H A P T E R 1

Introduction

T he primary goals of a water treatment plant for over a


century have remained the same: produce water that is biologically and chemically safe, is
appealing to consumers, and is noncorrosive and nonscaling. Today, plant design has become
very complex from discovery of unpronounceable and seemingly innumerable chemical sub-
stances, the multiplying of regulations, and trying to satisfy more discriminating palates. In
addition to the basics, designers must now keep in mind all manner of legal mandates, as well as
public concerns and environmental considerations, to provide an initial prospective of water
works engineering planning, design, and operation. A brief review of the historical background,
current status, and new directions in the area of water works engineering and water treatment
plant design is presented in this chapter.

1.1 Historical Background

The desire to drink pure and wholesome water dates from ancient times. Early methods of
treating foul water were boiling, exposing to sun, dipping a hot copper rod in repeatedly, and fil-
tration.1 The earliest water treatment practices were primarily in batch operations in individual
homes. From the sixteenth century onward, centralized treatment facilities for large settlements
were realized. By the eighteenth century, filtration of particles from water was established as an
effective means of clarifying water.
The growth of community water supply systems in the United States started in the early
1800s. By 1860, over 400, and by the turn of the century, over 3000 major water systems had
been built to serve the nations major cities and towns. Many plants had slow sand filters. In the
mid-1890s, the Louisville Water Company introduced coagulation with rapid sand filtration.

1
2 Chapter 1 Introduction

Although the first application of chlorine in potable water was introduced in the 1830's for
taste and odor control, at that time diseases were thought to be spread by odors.2 It was not until
the 1890's and the advent of the germ theory of disease that the importance of disinfection in
potable water was understood.3 Chlorination was first introduced in 1908 and then became a
common practice.

1.2 Federal Drinking Water Standards


Federal authority to establish standards for drinking water systems originated with the
enactment by Congress in 1883 of the Interstate Quarantine Act.4 The Act authorized the Direc-
tor of the United States Public Health Services (USPHS) to establish and enforce regulations to
prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases. The brief history of
advancements in water quality standards in the United States is summarized in Table 1-1.
Resource limitations have caused the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA) to reassess schedules for new rules. Major changes to USEPAs current regulatory
agenda are anticipated when the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is re-authorized.

1.3 Current Status and New Technologies

1.3.1 Current Status


A USEPA survey indicated that in 1987 there were approximately 202,000 public water
systems in the United States. About 29 percent of these are community water systems, which
serve approximately 90 percent of the population. Figure 1-1 provides a distribution of systems
using surface or groundwater sources.8 Of the 58,908 community systems that serve about 226
million people, 51,552 are classified as small or very small. Each of these systems at an
average serves a population of fewer than 3300 people. The total population served by these sys-
tems is approximately 25 million people
Small systems are the most frequent violators of federal regulations and accounted for
almost 89 percent of the 43,000 violations posted in 1988. Microbiological violations accounted
for the vast majority of cases, with failure to monitor and report. Among others, violations were
due to exceeding SDWA maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). Bringing small water systems
into compliance will require applicable technologies, operator ability, financial resources, and
institutional arrangements.9 The 1986 SDWA amendments authorized USEPA to set the best
available technology (BAT) that can be incorporated in the design for the purposes of complying
with the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.9,10 Current BAT to maintain standards
are as follows:

For turbidity, color and microbiological control in surface water treatment: filtration.
Common variations of filtration are conventional, direct, slow sand, diatomaceous earth,
and membranes.
Current Status and New Technologies 3

Table 1-1 History and Advancements in Water Quality Standards in the United States
Year Development
1912 First water-related regulation prohibiting the use of common drinking water cups on inter-
state carriers.
1913 Maximum level of bacterial contamination, 2 coliforms per 100 mL, was recommend
1914 Promulgation of standards by the Department of the Treasury; a basis for federal, state, and
local cooperation was established.
1915 Federal commitment was made to review the drinking water regulations on a regular basis.
1925 Limit 1 coliform per 100 mL; also standards for lead, copper, zinc, and excessive soluble
mineral substances were proposed.
1942 USPHS appointed an advisory committee for revision of the 1925 drinking water regula-
tions. Significant new initiatives included bacteriological monitoring of water quality in the
distribution system and maximum permissible concentration for heavy metals.
1946 Maximum permissible concentrations were published for heavy metals.
1962 The standards set mandatory limits for health-related chemicals and biological impurities.
The standards covered 28 contaminants.
1970 A 1970 USEPA survey indicated that 41 percent of the systems surveyed did not meet the
guidelines established in 1962.
1974 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) published trihalomethanes (THMs) in public water
supplies and related health affects. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA, PL 93-523) was
signed, which required that national primary drinking water regulations be established.
1975-1980 Interim regulations were adopted, and SDWA amendments followed in 1977, 1979, and
1980. These amendments provided for reauthorization of the act and made a number of
minor changes. Enforceable regulations were set for only 23 contaminants, most of which
were interim standards. THMs list and best available technology (BAT) were published in
1979 and 1983, respectively.
1986-1999 SDWA amendments significantly altered the regulatory time table. USEPA was directed to
set standards for 83 contaminants according to specific deadlines. Although most deadlines
have not been met, the number of regulated contaminants has steadily increased to well
above 83. Major regulations and standards revised and promulgated under SDWA amend-
ments between 1986 through 1999 are fluoride standards, priority lists, Lead and Copper
Rule, Phase I VOCs (volatile organic compounds), Phase II SOCs and IOCs (inorganic con-
taminants), Phase V SOCs and IOCs, Total Coliform Rule, Surface Water Treatment Rule,
Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, Information Collection Rule, Consumer Confi-
dence Reports Rule, Radionuclides Rule, Disinfectants-Disinfection By-products (D/DBPs)
Rule, Sulfate Rule, and Groundwater Rule.
Source: References 47.
4 Chapter 1 Introduction

For inactivation of microorganisms: disinfection. Typical disinfectants are chlorine, chlo-


rine dioxide, chloramines, and ozone.
For organic contaminant removal from surface water: packed-tower aeration, granular
activated carbon (GAC), powdered activated carbon (PAC), diffused aeration, advanced
oxidation processes, and reverse osmosis.
For inorganic contaminants removal: membranes, ion exchange, activated alumina, and
GAC.
For corrosion control: typically, pH adjustment or corrosion inhibitors.

Figure 1-1 Distribution of public water systems by system type and source water in 1987.

1.3.2 New Technology


The implications of 1986 amendments to SDWA and new regulations have resulted in
rapid introduction of new technologies for water treatment and monitoring. Until recently, the
U.S. water industry showed little interest in biological processes, perhaps because of their most
obvious drawback, the possible introduction of harmful microorganisms or of their by-products
in the finished water. Its apparent effectiveness in removing biodegradable organic carbon that
may sustain the regrowth of potentially harmful microorganisms in the distribution system,
effective taste and odor control, and reduction in chlorine demand and DBP formation potential,
has nonetheless made U.S. water suppliers and researchers slowly overcome their reluctance.
Now research data in U.S. has shown that biologically-active sand or carbon filters provide
more cost effective treatment of microcontaminants than do physicochemical processes. Other
Water Works Engineering and Design 5

benefits reported are iron and manganese removal and conversion of ammonia by nitrifica-
tion.11,12 The process has the potential to upgrade existing conventional plants to a custom-
designed new plant with this technology.
Over the past few years, membrane technology has been applied in drinking water treat-
ment, partly because of affordable membranes and demand to removal many contaminants.
Microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and others have become common names in the
water industry. Membrane technology is experimented with for the removal of microbes such as
Giardia and Cryptosporidium and for selective removal of nitrate.13,14 In other instances, mem-
brane technology is applied for removal of DBP precursors, VOCs, and others.15,16
Many other treatment technologies that have potential for full-scale adoption are photo-
chemical oxidation using ozone and UV radiation or hydrogen peroxide for destruction of
refractory organic compounds.17,18 One example of a technology that was developed outside
North America and later emerged in the U.S. is the Haberer process. This process combines
contact flocculation, filtration, and powdered activated carbon adsorption to meet a wide range
of requirements for surface water and groundwater purification.19,20
In their quest to comply with multiple drinking water standards, utilities are seeking not
only to improve treatment but also to monitor their supplies for microbiological contaminants
more effectively. Electro-optical sensors are used to allow early detection of algal blooms in a
reservoir and allow for diagnosis of problems and guidance in operational changes.21 Gene
probe technology was first developed in response to the need for improved identification of
microbes in the field of clinical microbiology. Attempts are now being made by radiolabeled
and nonradioactive gene-probe assays with traditional detection methods for enteric viruses and
protozoan parasites, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. This technique has the potential for
monitoring water supplies for increasingly complex groups of microbes.22

1.4 Water Works Engineering and Design


In spite of the multitudinous regulations and standards that an existing public water system
must comply with, the principles of conventional water treatment process have not changed sig-
nificantly over half a century. Whether a filter contains sand, anthracite, or both, slow or rapid
rate, constant or declining rate, filtration is still filtration, sedimentation is still sedimentation,
and disinfection is still disinfection. What has changed, however, are many tools that designers
have at their disposal. Computers have bestowed the gifts of alacrity and accuracy in design and
operation. Now engineers can compare the alternative processes and process trains with a speed
that was not possible with a pencil and graph paper. Likewise, a supervisory control and data
acquisition (SCADA) system can provide operators and managers with accurate process-control
variables and operation and maintenance records. In addition to being able to look at the various
options on the computer screen, engineers can conduct pilot plant studies of the multiple vari-
ables inherent in water treatment plant design. Likewise, operators and managers can utilize an
ongoing pilot plant facility to optimize chemical feed and develop important information needed
for future expansion and upgrading.
6 Chapter 1 Introduction

Water treatment plants should be designed so that water quality objectives can be met with
reasonable ease and cost. The design should incorporate flexibility for dealing with seasonal
changes, as well as with long-term changes in water quality and in future drinking water regula-
tions. Good planning and design, therefore, must be based on five major steps:

1. characterization of the water source and finished water quality goals;


2. predesign studies, to develop alternative processes and selection of final process train;
3. detailed design of the selected alternative;
4. construction;
5. operation and maintenance of the completed facility.

Engineers, scientists, and financial analysts must utilize principles from a wide range of
disciplines: engineering, chemistry, microbiology, geology, architecture, and economics, to
carry out the responsibility of designing a water treatment plant.

1.5 Scope of Book


The objective of this book is to provide information for use by students and practicing
engineers. Theory, design, operation and maintenance, troubleshooting, equipment selection,
and specifications are integrated for each treatment process. The topics discussed include the
following:23

water quality criteria for raw and finished water;


facility plan and headworks design;
raw-water lifting and transport;
theory, design, and layout of treatment processes;
hydraulic profile;
high-service pumping and distribution;
instrumentation and controls.

References
1. Baker, M. N. The Quest for Pure Water, 2d ed., American Water Works Association, Inc., New York, 1981.
2. White, C. G. The Handbook of Chlorination and Alternative Disinfectants, 3d ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New
York, 1992.
3. Pedden, T. M. Drinking Water and Ice Supplies and Their Relations to Health and Disease, G. P. Putnams Sons,
The Knickerbocker Press, New York, 1891
4. AWWA. Water Quality and Treatment, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1990
5. Pontius, F. W. SDWA - A Look Back, Jour. AWWA, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 2224 & 94, February 1993.
6. Pontius, F. W. and Robinson, J. A. The Current Regulatory Agenda: An Update, Jour. AWWA, vol. 86, no. 2, pp.
5463, February 1994.
7. Pontius, F. W. An Update of the Federal Drinking Water Regs, Jour. AWWA, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 4858, March
1998.
Scope of Book 7

8. USEPA. The National Public Water System Program, FY 1988 Compliance Report, Office of Drinking Water, Cin-
cinnati, OH, March 1990.
9. Goodrich, J. A., Adams, J. Q ., Lykins, B. W., and Clark, R. M. Safe Drinking Water from Small Systems: Treat-
ment Options, Jour. AWWA, vol. 84, no. 5, pp. 4955, May 1992.
10. USEPA. Technologies for Upgrading Existing or Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities, EPA/625/4-
89/023, Office of Drinking Water, Cincinnati, OH, March 1990.
11. Le Chevallier, M. K., Becker, W. C., Schorr, P., and Lee, R. G. Evaluating the Performance of Biologically Active
Rapid Filters, Jour. AWWA, vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 136146, April 1992.
12. Manem, J. A. and Rittmann, B. E. Removing Trace-Level Organic Pollutants in a Biological Filter, Jour. AWWA,
vol. 84, no. 4, pp. 152157, April 1992.
13. Adam, S. S., Jacangelo, J. G., and Laine, J. M. Low Pressure Membranes: Assessing Integrity, Jour. AWWA, vol.
87, no. 3, pp. 6275, March 1995.
14. McCleaf, P. R. and Schroeder, E. D. Denitrification Using a Membrane Immobilized Biofilm, Jour. AWWA, vol.
87, no. 3, pp. 7786, March 1995.
15. Allgerier, S. C. and Summers, R. C. Evaluating NF for DBP Control with RBSMT, Jour. AWWA, vol. 87, no. 3,
pp. 8799, March 1995.
16. Castro, K. and Zander, A. K. Membrane Air-Stripping Effects of Pretreatments, Jour. AWWA, vol. 87, no. 3, pp.
5061, March 1995.
17. Glaze, W. H. and Kang, J. W. Advanced Oxidation Process for Treating Ground Water Contaminated with TCE
and PCE: Laboratory Studies, Jour. AWWA, vol. 80, no. 5, pp. 5763, May 1988.
18. Glaze, W. H., Kang, J. W., and Aieta, M. Ozone-Hydrogen Peroxide Systems for Control of Organics in Munici-
pal Water Supplies, Proceedings of the Second International Conference in the Role of Ozone on Water and
Wastewater Treatment, TekTran International Ltd., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, pp. 233244, 1987.
19. Haberar, K. and Schmidth, S. N. The Haberar Process: Combining Contact Flocculation, Filtration, and PAC
Adsorption, Jour. AWWA, vol. 83, no. 9, pp. 8289, September 1991.
20. Stukenberg, J. R. and Hesby, J. C. Pilot Testing the Haberar Process in the United States, Jour. AWWA, vol. 83,
no. 9, pp. 9096, September 1991.
21. White, B. N., Kiefer, D. A., Morrow, J. H., and Stolarik, G. F. Remote Biological Monitoring in an Open Fin-
ished-Water Reservoir, Jour. AWWA, vol. 83, no. 9, pp. 107112, September 1991.
22. Richardson, K J., Stewart, M. H., and Wolfe, R. L. Application of Gene Probe Technology to the Water Industry,
Jour. AWWA, vol. 83, no. 90, pp. 7181, September 1992.
23. James M. Montgomery, Inc. Water Treatment Principles and Design, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1985.