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Planning for Sustainable Water Resources and Treatment

Orange County Sanitation District general manager James Herberg spoke about "Innovative and Sustainable Projects for Wastewater" at the National Water Research Institute Clarke Prize Conference, held at Island Hotel in Newport Beach, Calif. on Nov. 15.

Cities and towns across America have the need to address water issues, whether it's treatment technology, treatment or sustainability. That's what some experts discussed at the National Water Research Institute Clarke Prize Conference held at Island Hotel in Newport Beach, Calif. on Nov. 15.

"A number of entities have seen some major advances in water treatment," said University of Illinois, Champaign's Vernon Snoeyink, PhD. "Sand membrane processes are making some major advances in the reduction of watts per usage."

Snoeyink said some major advances include ultra violet disinfection, ozonation and disease control disinfection. Drivers for change are regulations, water availability, energy and distributions systems.

"We're improving membranes by using novel properties of nanomaterials, nanocomposites and templates," said Duke University's Mark Wiesner, PhD. "Templated ceramic membranes have latex materials in the template. There's still issues with membranes, which drives up the costs."

James Herberg, Orange County Sanitation District general manager, said his agency's job was to protect public health and the environment by using all practical needs. They also look at ways of improving the efficiency of water usage.

"We did a study in the county that shows how the employment rate directly coincides with water usage rates," said Herberg. "Back in the 2007-08 fiscal year we saw 70,000,000 gallons of water per day dumped into the ocean. We're becoming more sustainable."

Over the decades, the amount of heavy metals, effluent and influent dumped into the ocean has dramatically decreased, said Herberg. As a result, the cleaner effluent has supported more recycling.

"We're part of a consortium called International Technical Approval Group which includes wastewater agencies," said Herberg. "We meet quarterly to identify new technology and evaluate AquaCritox, which oxidizes all sludge in carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas, which could be replaced with digesters.

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October 15, 2019, 4:48 am PDT

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