89 Main St., Suite 4, Montpelier, VT 05602   

2018 Spring Meeting & Training Conference Notes


The snow glistened on the mountainsides, and the slopes at Killington were technically still open for skiing, but the real action took place at Killington Grand Hotel and Conference Center.  That’s where over 200 water, wastewater, and stormwater operators, public works department staff, water scientists and engineers, and Vt. DEC administrators  assembled for our annual spring conference on May 24.

The all-day event featured a range of vendor exhibits, nine technical trainings, delicious food, addresses by GMWEA, NEWWA, and NEWEA board and staff members, GMWEA’s annual member business meeting, the annual raffle, and a lot of good conversation and humor. 

It’s probably easy to forget, but GMWEA really is a membership association, existing to serve water quality professionals on their jobs and throughout their careers.  Members are the real bosses and owners of the organization, and the annual membership meeting is where they have their say!  The member meeting focused on electing new officers and directors, and on approving a range of GMWEA bylaws amendments developed during the past year. 

The membership voted to approve the new slate of officers – Tom DiPietro became president, Rick Kenney moved on to past president, Nate Lavallee stayed on as first vice-president, Mike Barsotti became second vice-president, and Chris Cox took over as secretary.  Wayne Elliott kindly volunteered to remain GMWEA’s treasurer.

Four directors were also confirmed by vote.  Bob Fischer, despite his protests, was re-elected, as was Chris Robinson.  Two first-time board members were also elected: Amy Macrellis, project water quality specialist at Stone Environmental, and Eileen Toomey, customer service specialist at Endyne Labs.  While new to the board, both have been invaluable as GMWEA committee members, with Amy being a member of the Government Affairs Committee, and Eileen serving as chair of the Continuing Education Committee.

For more information about GMWEA’s board members, visit our
board of directors page;  also, read the article about new directors Amy Macrellis and Eileen Toomey at www.gmweablog.org.

Concurrent Sessions
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


A) Case Study in Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management as an Alternative Project Delivery Method
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH
This presentation will discuss a form of project delivery called Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM). Attendees will learn how upgrades and new construction projects can utilize EPCM to closely engage the Owner and manage the project budget.  Under this type of project management a firm is contracted to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services. Additional companies are contracted by the Owner directly to provide construction services, but are managed by the EPCM firm on the Owner’s behalf. This presentation will focus on how the EPCM method worked when Plainfield, CT had a failing belt filter press that served two wastewater treatment facilities. Recent upgrades to address nitrogen and phosphorus removal increased sludge quantities and Plainfield decided to upgrade to a centrifuge for dewatering. A key objective for the municipality was to keep the cost of all nutrient improvements, including sludge dewatering, to under $ 5.5 Million, the EPCM method helped achieve that objective.
Speaker: Jeff McDonald and Douglas Brisee, Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.

B) Multiple Water Audits Justify System Improvements
Credits: 1 Water TCH
Water is one of a community’s most valuable resources. In many area’s people are learning that there is a limit to the amount of water their community can use while still preserving the source of the water for future generations. In this session attendees will learn how doing a water audit is the first step in assessing the water distribution system integrity and efficiency.  Vermont does not require annual water audits and funding for them is often not included in municipal budgets. However, federal loans and grant funding are increasingly requiring audits for municipalities to qualify for their funding - making them more important to plan ahead for.  Speaker: Elizabeth Emmons, Dufresne Group

C) Leadership in Safety
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH, 1 Water TCH
Often being safe on the job comes down to decisions we make, and equally often we find that decisions are greatly influenced by the culture we work in. The anecdote “Employees will work to the expectations of their supervisor” illustrates this concept. This training session will illustrate to attendees how the dynamic of culture, as well as safety and health management systems, and their place in the decisions that affect, not only individual safety but the safety of others as well. This session is meant to be a thought provoking exercise in understanding that safety leadership doesn’t only happen at the management level. Speaker: Dan Whipple, VOSHA

Concurrent Sessions
10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.


D) Asbestos Cement Pipe Replacement via Pipe Bursting
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH, 1 Water TCH
Pipe bursting is a trenchless method of pipe replacement that allows for a new pipe of the same or larger diameter to be installed without the need for significant excavation.  Pipe bursting has been utilized for many years throughout the country to replace cast iron, ductile iron and plastic pipes.  Asbestos cement pipe has always been excluded from pipe bursting due to EPA regulations.  However, in recent years, a few individual states have approved pipe bursting as a method of replacing asbestos cement pipes.  In 2017, Vermont became one of the first few states to approve pipe bursting through a demonstration project in Bellows Falls, VT.  This presentation will discuss how the project progressed through planning, permitting, design and construction, how it complied with all state and federal asbestos regulations and how pipe bursting can be beneficial to future asbestos cement pipe replacements.
Speaker: Christina Haskins, PE, Dufresne Group
 
E) Pump Efficiency and System Optimization
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH, 1 Water TCH
Centrifugal pumps as a group have been identified as wasteful users of energy.  Pumps over time, will not only lose structural material, opening up internal clearances and passages, but will also experience corrosion and tuberculation.  Excessive clearances in centrifugal pumps promote internal recirculation resulting in reduced capacity and efficiencies.  Build-up of corrosion and tuberculation on these surfaces increases roughness and frictional losses.  These frictional losses reduce pump performance and increase the load on the driver. Further, pumps that are not operating on their original performance curve, in the acceptable operating range (oversized or undersized), or are in a throttled condition manifest their inefficiencies through wasted energy and reduced reliability; extreme wear, high vibration, overheating, cavitation, bearing failure, seal and packing failures, greatly reduced MTBF (mean time between failure) and availability. Speaker: Ben Stevens, Corrosion Products

F) Vermont Alert
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH, 1 Water TCH
Vermont Alert is a tool available to Vermonters and response organizations. The free service allows the public to sign up for notifications about severe weather, road conditions, emergency situations, and more. Users choose which alerts they wish to receive and how they receive them.  This presentation will focus on how water and wastewater utilities can effectively utilize this service to issue alerts and emergency information to customers. Speaker: Randy Bronson, Vermont Department of Emergency Management

Concurrent Sessions
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m
.

G) Municipal Benefits of Household Food Waste Disposers
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH
This session will focus on how household food waste disposers can help your residents comply with the food waste component of Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law. Additionally, disposers provide an opportunity to help municipalities achieve organics diversion goals and also afford assistance with resource recovery through wastewater treatment. Because food waste is comprised of 70-90% water and contains a higher ration of carbon to nitrogen and phosphorus, current research demonstrates that disposers can provide treatment plants a net energy gain and a reduction in nutrients discharged where biologic nutrient removal is employed. A pilot project led to the City of Philadelphia mandating their installation in all new construction, and Los Angeles recently initiated a yearlong study to evaluate their landfill diversion potential. Given the timeliness of current regulations in Vermont requiring residents to divert organics from municipal solid waste by 2020, an overview of the true impacts of food waste disposers on wastewater treatment will support decision-making for operators as members of the Green Mountain Water Environment Association.
Speaker: Michael Keleman, InSinkErator

 H) Lower Charles River Basin TMDL—A Case Study
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH, 1 Water TCH
This presentation will focus on an innovative method of addressing stormwater total phosphorus loading reduction for the Lower Charles River Basin using a strategic deflection system based on a conceptual TP loading model. This approach was driven by the EPA enforcing TMDL TP reductions that included limiting annual loads from stormwater outfalls. The strategy incorporated a detailed analysis of storms at specific outfalls for pipe velocity, flow, and sediment particle size. Following the analysis, BMP treatment alternatives were developed and assessed based on the ability to meet the TP removal requirements, site constraints, and cost. Attendees will learn about the relationship between solid particle size and TP transport and how that impacts the selection and efficacy of treatment practices for stormwater management.
Speaker: David Bedoya, Stantec

I) The Phosphorus Optimization Plan
Credits: 1 Wastewater TCH
Speakers: Nick Giannetti & Dave DiDomenico, VT Department of Environmental Conservation

Above: Selected moments from Spring Meeting 2018. Photos by Charlie Taylor

2018 Spring Meeting

This year's event took place on May 24 at the Killington Grand Hotel & Conference Center.  See following for a summary of the trainings offered.

Spring Member Meeting & Training

Our Spring Member Meeting and Training Conference takes place in late May each year.  

The day-long event features water quality industry exhibits, a variety of technical trainings, lunch, speakers, and a prize drawing for attendees.  The day's agenda includes the annual GMWEA member meeting, at which members vote to elect new board directors and discuss organizational priorities and activities.


Spring Meeting is also when we present our annual water quality service excellence awards.  We invite members to nominate individuals, facilities, and companies who demonstrated exceptional service in the year just passed.