Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Waukesha Utility Manager On Rockwell Technology

I had earlier this week posted information about Rockwell Automation's water treatment technologies in the context of Waukesha's situation with radium and a compliance deadline, and wondered if Waukesha had looked at the company's work.

I also said I would post a response from Daniel Duchniak, the general manager of the Waukesha Water Utility, and here it is below, received Wednesday afternoon.

But I must take issue with the statement that this blog "commonly" refers to Waukesha effluent as "toilet" water.

Well, yes and no, but let's be precise.

This blog has indeed made reference and often to an infamous and colorful remark by Racine State Rep. Cory Mason remark with regard to his community, the Root River and Waukesha plans.

The remark - - that he did not want Racine to become "Waukesha's toilet" - - also appears linked on the cover page of the blog, on the left margin.

But to be fair, this blog very regularly refers to proposed effluent from Waukesha in its possible Lake Michigan diversion return flow plan through Wauwatosa as "discharge," "wastewater," or "treated wastewater."


Yes, as a matter of fact we have investigated in this technology and we do incorporate the use of Allen Bradley Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC's) into our everyday operations. Not only do they assist us in running our treatment plants, they save the utility money in operating efficiency. We also plan to utilize PLC's to monitor and regulate the return flow to ensure there are no issues related to flooding and we are meeting the requirements set forth in the compact.

Regarding water treatment, this is exactly what we would do under the deep/shallow aquifer alternative presented in our alternatives analysis. Reverse Osmosis is a technology that is available for treating brackish waters that are high in Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) or salts. However, this alternative does not address the water supply issue and the negative impacts the continuing drawdown creates in the environment. In addition to being unsustainable for the long term, this option is more expensive than the Lake Michigan option.

With regards to the Advanced Water Processing Facility, they are utilizing that water to replenish the aquifers to try to minimize the impacts of brackish waters into their supply so that they may have another 20 years of water available to them. That is similar to our request to recycle and reuse the treated effluent from our wastewater facility through Underwood Creek back to the lake, except our solution will work for the long term. They are using it as a resource rather that saying it is "toilet" water, like it is commonly referred to in your blog.

Unfortunately we are not able to use this technology to assist in the recovery of the deep aquifer. This is due to "plugging" of the aquifer that will occur. When I was in Oak Creek, plugging occurred with treated drinking water and there were other issues with contamination of the aquifer. This causes the DNR to have concerns with recycling wastewater effluent in this way.

I appreciate your interest. Please keep me informed of other articles that relate to our issue.

No comments: