Virginia Water Resources Protection and Emergency Response Seminar Held this Week

On June 9th, the Virginia Section AWWA held the “2016 Water Resources: Protection, Monitoring, & Emergency Response Seminar,” in Richmond, Virginia.  Representatives from water utilities, consulting firms, and ASDWA staff attended.  Highlights from the seminar included the following.

  • Roy Soto from the Virginia Drinking Water Program provided an overview of the state’s efforts to assist water utilities with emergency management planning and source water protection efforts. These include:  new updates to the state’s GIS system with overlays for land use, 303(d) impairments, geology and soils, and satellite imagery; contractor assistance for source water assessment and protection activities; and grants for emergency management planning.
  • Donald Rice from Newport News Waterworks shared information about: protecting their water sources through historical land ownership; managing forests; implementing best management practices; applying algaecide on reservoirs; conducting monitoring; and working with local fire departments and Colonial Pipeline operators to practice emergency preparedness in the event of a spill or other emergency.
  • Rich Gullick of Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority spoke about the history of source water protection and the challenges associated with implementation and national measures reporting. He also shared information about Rivanna’s efforts to conduct a reservoir management study, manage algae, develop source water protection plans for their smallest water sources with help from Virginia’s contractor, and work with agricultural partners.
  • Melissa Rosenbladt of Corona Environmental Consulting presented their “WaterSuite” GIS tool that they developed for the Washington, DC area regional water utilities that identifies potential sources of contamination that could pose an acute risk to drinking water quality along the Potomac River. The tool combines data from Federal, state, local and private sources, along with analysis and reporting functions.
  • Barry Dunkley of the City of Danville spoke about the 2014 coal ash spill on the Dan River as well as a water quality study and increased Powdered Activated Carbon(PAC) treatment efforts they are conducting to address a current taste and odor problem of an unknown origin.
  • Jamie Morris of the Western Virginia Water Authority presented information about a research project with Virginia Tech to manage eutrophication, and associated algae and nutrients, on one of their small drinking water supply reservoirs using hypolimnetic oxygenation.

For more information about the State of Virginia’s efforts in these areas, visit the source water protection web page and emergency planning tools web page.