As the US Environmental Protection Agency initiates a multi-phase study of nutrient removal at publicly owned treatment works (POTWs)—first reported by NACWA in 2016—EPA is making final preparations for the first phase of its study, which includes an online interactive screening questionnaire to be distributed the last week of September 2018.
Originally conceived as a mandatory survey of all facilities nationwide, NACWA has worked to ensure that the questionnaire is voluntary, presents minimal burden to those utilities who choose to complete it, and avoids questions of a sensitive nature. EPA’s goals for the study are to establish a nationwide baseline for nutrient removal at municipal wastewater treatment plants, and to characterize lower cost options, such as repurposing existing equipment or changing operation and management practices, that result in improved nutrient control (i.e., optimization).
During the last week of September 2018, POTW operators and plant managers should look for letters and emails inviting them to participate in the survey. Additional information, including an unofficial copy of the survey, will be made available on EPA’s website. Once the survey is initiated, EPA will have a helpline available to assist respondents in completing the questionnaire.
NACWA plans to hold a webinar (date to be determined) to provide utilities with additional background and will alert the membership when it has more details on the exact timing of EPA’s survey release. Members with any questions can contact Chris Hornback, the Association’s Deputy