Water Briefs

Feb. 23, 2015
News from the nation

Pipeline to supply recycled water for industrial uses in Australia

Hunter Water, an Australian-based water and wastewater service provider, recently celebrated the commissioning of a new advanced water treatment plant (AWTP) and a nearly 5-mile (8-km) pipeline that will be used to transport recycled water to industrial users in Kooragang Island, New South Wales, Australia.

As part of the Hunter Treatment Alliance, CH2M HILL led the concept and detailed design of the Kooragang Industrial Water Scheme (KIWS), a $40-million project to secure future water supplies in the lower Hunter region through industrial water reuse.

The KIWS is the largest recycled water project undertaken by the region, and it will lead to continued growth and economic development for the community. Launched in 2012, KIWS involved diverting 3.1 million gallons (12 million liters) of treated effluent from the existing effluent pipeline for Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works to the new AWTP, which uses membrane filtration and reverse osmosis to produce high-quality recycled water to substitute the use of drinking water with water suitable for industrial use.

Recycled water, transported to Kooragang Island via the new pipeline, is benefiting industrial users, such as Orica, currently listed as the region's largest consumer of drinking water. With this project, Orica anticipates dropping to 19th on the list, saving on average 600 million gallons (2.3 billion liters) of drinking water annually by using recycled water for processing in cooling towers, steam generation, chemical production, equipment cleaning, and employee amenities.

Report shows UV disinfection equipment market to reach $2.8B by 2020

According to a new report from Allied Market Research, the global ultraviolet (UV) disinfection equipment market has a potential to reach $2.8 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate of 15.3 percent during 2014-2020. The present progress observed in the market is due to growing environmental concerns, toxicity of industrial wastewater and shrinking freshwater sources.

The report, titled "UV Disinfection Equipment Market – Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Growth, and Forecast, 2013-2020," indicates that wastewater treatment through UV disinfection equipment should garner almost a third of the global market by 2020. Presently, the water treatment application has the highest market share, as it is a volume-driven application. North America holds nearly 40 percent of the market; however, chemical-based water disinfectants are still prevalent in the developing regions, especially among numerous municipal corporations. Acceptance of UV-based technology in these regions would eventually add to the growth of the market in APAC and LAMEA.

Replacement of chlorine-based disinfection with advanced disinfection techniques is the key trend boosting the adoption of this technology. Low installation and operational cost are the key propellants of the UV disinfection market. Compared to chlorine-based disinfection techniques, it nearly doubles the operational efficiency in treatment.

The growth of the healthcare and chemical industry is also creating opportunities for the UV disinfection equipment market. However, widespread use of chlorine-based, low-cost disinfection methods is a major restraint.

First national coal ash disposal regulations announced by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) from coal-fired power plants. The final rule establishes safeguards to protect communities from coal ash impoundment failures and establishes safeguards to prevent groundwater contamination and air emissions from coal ash disposal.

Requirements include:

  • Reducing the risk of catastrophic failure by requiring regular inspections of the structural safety of surface impoundments
  • Restricting the location of new surface impoundments and landfills so they cannot be built in sensitive areas such as wetlands and earthquake zones
  • Protecting groundwater by requiring monitoring, immediate cleanup of contamination and closure of unlined surface impoundments that are polluting groundwater
  • Protecting communities using fugitive dust controls to reduce windblown coal ash dust
  • Requiring liner barriers for new units and proper closure of surface impoundments and landfills that will no longer receive coal combustion residuals

The final rule makes a number of changes by providing greater clarity on technical requirements for coal ash landfills and surface impoundments under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

San José commercial truck fill stations now receiving recycled water

In an effort to conserve precious drinking water in California, the Environmental Services Department representing the city of San José is apportioning recycled water from its South Bay Water Recycling system and making it available at truck fill stations. The project will supply water for construction trucks that spray water to minimize dust at construction sites, city trucks that perform sewer cleanouts and street-sweeping trucks that mist the street surface as they sweep.

City staff have expanded the use of recycled water to help save drinking water amid drought. For instance, the Bay Area Rapid Transit project construction site in the city of Oakland uses recycled water to keep down construction dust, which saves about 75,000 gallons of drinking water per day.

The use of recycled water is regulated by the state. South Bay is San José's recycled water wholesaler, serving the cities of San José, Santa Clara and Milpitas, through retailers who deliver recycled water for approved uses including commercial and civic irrigation; industrial cooling towers; flushing toilets in dual-plumbed commercial buildings; and now, water truck uses.

Seven filling stations are now operational in San José. Five recycled water filling stations are available in the Milpitas area. A filling station in Santa Clara is planned to open sometime in 2015.

CH2M HILL appoints new leaders for key industrial markets

CH2M HILL is focusing on five key industries -- mining; upstream oil and gas; downstream oil, gas and chemicals; power; and industrials -- and has officially introduced the leaders of its water team responsible for leading the firm's private sector water business.

Peter Nicol is the global managing director, responsible for overseeing CH2M HILL's public and private sector water business; Ken Martins has been selected as the new private sector global service leader; and Kristen Jenkins has been appointed as the new deputy global service leader and is also the global technology leader for the power market.

Market segment leaders have also been named to lead the five core industries. These individuals are responsible for developing and implementing market and client strategy, building client relationships and ensuring client needs and expectations are met, as well as stewarding business development opportunities within each respective sector.

Phil Benson has been appointed as the mining and industrials market segment leader; Becky Tomasek has been chosen as the upstream oil and gas market segment leader; Samir Dave is the downstream oil, gas and chemicals market segment leader; Kar Munirathinam has also been appointed the global technology leader for the downstream oil, gas and chemicals market; and Mike Bobinecz is responsible for leading the firm's water and wastewater services for power generation.

Purestream to expand oilfield water treatment activities under new partnership

Purestream Services, LLC, a Utah-based water treatment and solutions company, and John Swire and Sons Inc., a subsidiary of John Swire & Sons Limited (Swire), have partnered to provide a capital funding transaction that will allow Purestream to continue expanding its activities in oilfield water treatment and other water treatment markets.

An example of Purestream's technology includes AVARA, which reclaims produced or flowback water at or near the well site and generates an output stream of fresh water for beneficial reuse.

Under the terms of the agreement, Swire will provide funding to Purestream that will enable the company to maximize the enormous business opportunities arising from the robust demand for both dynamic water treatment and management capabilities as a result of increased drilling in areas such as the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford in Texas, as well as the Bakken, primarily in North Dakota.

As part of the agreement, Andy Hunter, chairman of Swire, will join the Purestream Board. "The recent reduction in the price of oil, combined with a greater need to minimize the impact on the environment, increases the priority for the oilfield services sector to enhance efficiencies and reduce costs," he said. "Purestream is an innovative and solutions-driven company with exciting potential to grow. Not only will this partnership enable Purestream to realize that potential, but it will enable Swire Oilfield Services to expand the range of products it can provide its customers."

Groups discuss recovery efforts, drinking water safety in wake of WV chemical spill

A group of water experts and citizen coalition leaders as well as a concerned parent held a phone-based news conference at the beginning of January to reflect on the Freedom Industries chemical spill that impacted West Virginia a year ago and discuss the progress, challenges and next steps in bringing a safe drinking water supply back to the state.

Sponsored by the West Virginia Safe Water Roundtable Coalition, the hour-long public forum featured a live Q&A session with Janet Keating, executive director of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; Angie Rosser, executive director of West Virginia Rivers Coalition; Cathy Kunkel, steering committee member of Advocates for a Safe Water System; Dr. Ben Stout, aquatic biologist specializing in water quality and professor at Wheeling Jesuit University; and Rebecca Roth, a Charleston-area mother who was pregnant during the disaster.

The discussion highlighted certain policy reforms as a result of the crisis, including Bill 373 and the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act, which would improve oversight of chemical utilities and help strengthen West Virginia and other states to prevent chemical-related spills.

Other areas explored how those responsible for the spill are being held accountable; what funding is being provided for potential changes; how public perception is being monitored and in what ways it is impacting these changes; how the accident has influenced water quality and aboveground tank regulations in other states; and the extent to which drinking water quality inspections will occur.

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