Project Merit: Water

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American Water (Voorhees NJ) for its innovative approach to removing algae from a reservoir that serves as a water supply for the company's Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Short Hills, New Jersey. Algae growth in some surface water supplies has increased as summers grow warmer in much of North America. For many years, the reservoirs that serve as the Canoe Brook plant's water supply have experienced algal growth, leading to customer complaints about disagreeable tastes and odors. Typically, the algae present in the lake was treated with copper sulfate, an expensive compound that's toxic to algae but also to other aquatic life, and can lead to the development of copper-resistant algal strains. In an effort to reduce costs, improve operations, and reduce customer complaints, in 2014, American Water installed four solar-powered ultrasonic algae-control buoys manufactured by Netherlands-based LG Sonic in Reservoir No. 1. These buoys transmit ultrasonic waves continuously to disrupt algal cells, causing them to sink and preventing proliferation. This was the first installation of this relatively new technology for drinking-water reservoirs in North America. Extensive testing conducted during 2014 showed that the buoys had a significant impact on the algae, allowing the treatment plant to reduce chemical consumption by more than 20%, and reducing the concentration of compounds that can cause undesirable tastes and odors.

Riverside Technology Inc. (Fort Collins, CO) for its work with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) on the design, execution, and implementation of a reporting system based on the software package AQUARIUS. The system automates data collection processes, performs calculations, and creates reports with varying levels of complexity. It automatically and continuously loads hundreds of data streams from MWRA's various supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems into the AQUARIUS Time-Series data management system. Customized scripts flag suspicious data based on MWRA's internal business rules. After manual review and approval through the AQUARIUS Springboard interface, the quality-controlled data from various data sources are consolidated into data sets that are subsequently used as inputs to custom calculations. These calculations produce thousands of derived data products, many of which are then reported through the Sharpshooter tool. In addition to developing and implementing this system, Riverside is training MWRA staff on the new system to assist them in efficiently and effectively adhering to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations. In 2014, Riverside became the first company to be designated an AQUARIUS Certified Integrator through AQUARIUS developer Aquatic Informatics.