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Fort Collins, CO, United States

Fry L.M.,Michigan Technological University | Cowden J.R.,MWH Global | Watkins D.W.,Michigan Technological University | Clasen T.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Mihelcic J.R.,The University of Tampa
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Knowledge of potential benefits resulting from technological interventions informs decision making and planning of water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. The public health field has built a body of literature showing health benefits from improvements in water quality. However, the connection between improvements in water quantity and health is not well documented. Understanding the connection between technological interventions and water use provides insight into this problem. We present a model predicting reductions in diarrhea disease burden when the water demands from hygiene and sanitation improvements are met by domestic rainwater harvesting (DRWH). The model is applied in a case study of 37 West African cities. For all cities, with a total population of over 10 million, we estimate that DRWH with 400 L storage capacity could result in a 9% reduction in disability-affected life years (DALYs). If DRWH is combined with point of use (POU) treatment, this potential impact is nearly doubled, to a 16% reduction in DALYs. Seasonal variability of diarrheal incidence may have a small to moderate effect on the effectiveness of DRWH, depending on the storage volume used. Similar predictions could be made for other interventions that improve water quantity in other locations where disease burden from diarrhea is known. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Fuchs V.J.,MWH Global | Gierke J.S.,Michigan Technological University | Mihelcic J.R.,University of South Florida
Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States) | Year: 2012

Vertical-flow constructed wetlands were investigated for ammonium and nitrate removal from synthetic wastewater in bench-scale wetland columns. Total ammonia and nitrate were measured as wastewater and fed through planted and unplanted columns over three 4-week phases: downflow, upflow, and downflow-upflow in series. Mass balance results showed that downflow columns removed >90% of influent ammonium, regardless of vegetation. Unplanted downflow columns removed 15% of nitrate and 14% of total nitrogen. Planted downflow columns removed only 1% of nitrate and total nitrogen. Unplanted upflow columns removed 55% of ammonium, 50% nitrate, and 31% of total nitrogen, whereas planted upflow columns removed 59, 60, and 40% of nitrogen species, respectively. For downflow-upflow columns in series, unplanted columns removed 79% of the ammonium, 1% of nitrate, and 4% of total nitrogen. In-series planted columns removed 93, 62, and 59%, respectively. These results suggest that downflow wetlands may be more appropriate for ammonium removal. Upflow wetlands achieve the best nitrate removal. For total nitrogen removal, downflow-upflow in-series wetlands may be better. Plants significantly improve nitrogen removal rates. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Mumm J.,MWH Global
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2012

Jason Mumm, director of Financial Services for MWH Global, shares his views on the equity option and how to make the most of the debt in water companies. The federal debt represents money borrowed to pay for things when there isn't money in the account to pay for it otherwise. Water utilties are and always have been capital-intensive businesses. The very largest utilities, those with asset valuations higher than $6.9 billion, would do better keeping their financial leverage lower and relying more on equity from retained earnings. For smaller utilities with credit ratings between A and AAA, increasing the use of debt at present day's low rates would lower those utilities' average costs of capital between 90 and 280 points. Access to capital markets is another limiting factor that affects many community water systems. Equity may be the only option for some of these communities.

Henshaw B.,MWH Global
Australian Coasts and Ports 2015 Conference | Year: 2015

Lying approximately 650 Km north of Suva, Fiji, the island of Rotuma, home to 2,000 inhabitants, is closer to Tuvalu than Fiji itself. With this isolation comes a heavy reliance on Rotuma's Oinafa Jetty for access to deliver passengers, food and provisions. The immediate bay surrounding the jetty had not been dredged since its original construction in 1975. The silting up of the harbour had led to numerous deferred and cancelled shipping schedules to such an extent that the majority of vessels visiting were unable to berth and could only moor in the bay. With the continual sand build up and worsening security around berthing, arrivals became less and less frequent, impacting on the islands local trade to Fiji, the supply of essential provisions and reduced local tourism further isolating the island. This paper provides a background into the physical issues at the Oinafa Jetty facility and the processes attributing to its siltation. It also provides an outline of the work carried out in dredging, recycling of dredged material and coastal protection work. Finally, we look ahead at the opportunity Rotuma has now been given to carve out its own destiny in its attempt to secure its future and place in the world.

Experts suggest that water utility managers need to take effective steps to break down the organizational problems that prevent a utility from achieving cost savings and efficiency gains. Comprehensive asset management is one of the most important cost-saving measures for business transformation as people, processes, and technology are strategically aligned. Asset management goes beyond normal collaborative efforts and promises to bring a wide range of tangible and intangible benefits to every utility function. The inability to use these types of cost-reduction and synergistic practices exposes a utility to greater external pressure on rates and budgets. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and six national water and wastewater organizations achieve additional cost efficiencies by implementing such measures.

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