Without the proper insight into system condition, sewer cleaning can lead to a big waste of time, money and water. Rugged, easy-to-use inspection technologies help wastewater pros eliminate guesswork, select the right nozzle for the job, and focus their cleaning efforts where it matters most. Read on to learn how sewer cleaning programs across North America benefit from inspection capabilities.
When the City of Wichita’s Stormwater Utility Division was tasked with assessing its entire stormwater collection system in 2018, estimates placed the project completion time at greater than 40 years. Their lone CCTV van set to work, but it was slow going.
Finding outside funding to support improvements and maintenance for wastewater systems can be a daunting task. But the first step in applying for a grant is identifying your needs and assets. Smart communities don’t apply for funding simply because it exists; they apply because they need it.
In the early 19th century, most of the water utilities in the U.S. were privately owned. Water utilities began shifting from private to public during the turn of the century in an effort to provide universal access to clean water. Today, many water systems are publicly owned. However, cities across the U.S. are now considering privatizing their water systems due to various economic and environmental factors.
Today marks the 49th anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement—Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 gave voice to emerging consciousness of the environment, and on April 22 every year since, the United States celebrates this day by looking at how our actions affect the environment. What can the wastewater industry do to participate?
Though California’s most recent drought may have officially ended in early March, that doesn’t mean the City of Angels is out of the woods. Currently, Los Angeles relies on a variety of sources for its potable water needs. Thirty-six percent of its supply comes from the Owens River, Mono Lake Basin and the Sierra Nevada Mountains via the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Another 52% of the city’s water comes from the Colorado River. Approximately 11% of the city’s water comes from groundwater. The remaining portion of the city’s supply, about 2%, comes from recycled water. But a new resolution from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration intends to change that: They’ve vowed to recycle all of the city’s wastewater by 2035.
If you’re considering applying for grant funding for your wastewater system, you’ve probably also considered hiring a consultant or writer to help you through the process. Grants these days are complex and highly competitive, so putting together the best application you can is essential to success. For many communities, that means seeking outside help. On the other hand, hiring an outsider can come with added complications and cost. So what should you consider when deciding whether or not to hire grant-writing help?
Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance (CMOM) programs are a best practice for collection system owners and operators. Both comprehensive and holistic, a CMOM program is an information-based program to effectively run a collection system and help lower the risk of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations and discharge violations. As the EPA notes in their Asset Management for Sewer Collection System Fact Sheet: "Lacking adequate focus on operations and maintenance, many collection system utilities have slipped into a reactive mode, with most of the operational resources allocated to emergency response and rehabilitation or replacement of failed components." Instead, a proactive and even predictive approach is encouraged by following a CMOM program.
The United States as a whole is urbanizing, so what happens to rural regions as they lose population? Due to their physical remoteness and sparse population, these areas pay a premium for water and sewer utilities—a problem that gets exacerbated as populations decline. Tens of millions of households, mostly in the eastern half of the nation, rely on septic tank systems when they lack a centralized sewer system, but these also lead to a slew of environmental and health issues that small neighborhoods must then address. A rural community in Delaware is attempting to remedy its wastewater challenges in a way the state hasn’t seen before.
A clean sewer pipe causes fewer problems and necessitates fewer callouts. Jetting is the preferred method for cleaning pipes, but when it’s performed unnecessarily or ineffectively, it simply wastes time and money without improving sewer performance. Up to 35% of sewer lines are jetted unnecessarily as part of scheduled cleaning and maintenance, and improperly cleaned pipes can cause costly overflows. Zoom cameras were designed with these challenges in mind, helping jetter operators gather visual information about pipe condition rapidly and affordably so they can work more effectively. Highly portable and easy to use, zoom cameras can be stored on any jetter truck and used to quickly assess the conditions of a pipe before and after cleaning.