September 9, 2019

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Geosyntec Staff to Speak at the Water Environment Federation's Technical Exhibition and Conference

Geosyntec will be well represented at the Water Environment Federation's Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois on September 21-25, 2019.

Joe Cleary, P.E., BCEE (New Jersey); Rishab Mahajan, P.E., CFM, CPSWQ (Illinois); Adrienne Nemura, P.E. (Ohio); Chao Zhou, P.E. (California); Brian Petty, P.E. (California); and Edward Horai (New York) will present at the conference. Adrienne also helped with the planning of Roundtable Session 419. Overall, 13 Geosyntec practitioners authored and/or co-authored papers related to advancements in technologies for water and wastewater analysis and treatment that will be presented at WEFTEC 2019. Additionally, Rishab was selected to be a member of the 2019 Water Leadership Institute a resource of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) on March 1, 2019.

WEFTEC is the largest conference of its kind in North America and offers water quality professionals from around the world water quality education and training. Also recognized as the largest annual water quality exhibition in the world, it provides access to cutting-edge technologies. WEFTEC serves as a forum for domestic and international business opportunities and promotes peer-to-peer networking among registrants.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, their mission is to connect water professionals, enrich the expertise of water professionals, increase the awareness of the impact and value of water, and provide a platform for water sector innovation.

Geosyntec Participation

Title: Value: Industrial Sustainability Projects for Water, Energy, and Residuals
Speaker: Joseph Cleary, Geosyntec Consultants
Time: Sept. 22, 2019 at 9:15-9:45 a.m.
Description: This workshop introduces fundamental concepts, approaches, and technologies of wastewater/water management to engineers, managers, and scientists. The workshop includes discussion of conservation, technologies, regulations, and sustainability. Participants work in groups to design a water reduction/reuse solution for a mixed-use industrial park. Participants will leave the workshop with the concepts and framework to develop a water reduction/reuse program in their facilities.

Title: A Stakeholder Driven Approach to Improve the Water Quality in Fox River, Illinois
Speakers: Rishab Mahajan, Geosyntec Consultants; Cindy Skrukrud, Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter
Co-authors: Karen Clementi, Deuchler Environmental, Inc.; Adrienne Nemura, Geosyntec Consultants
Time: Sept. 24, 2019 at 1:30-2:00 p.m.
Description: The Fox River Study Group (FRSG) is a diverse coalition of stakeholders working together to preserve and enhance water quality in the Fox River watershed. Participants include Friends of the Fox River, Sierra Club, Fox River Water Reclamation District (Elgin), Fox Metro Water Reclamation District (FMWRD, Aurora), Fox River Ecosystem Partnership, Kane County and representatives from numerous municipalities in the watershed. FRSG is implementing a long-term, phased work plan to eliminate water quality impairments due to nuisance algae, low dissolved oxygen (DO), diel DO swings, and high phosphorus concentrations. This work includes intensive water quality monitoring, development of several watershed and water quality models, and development of a Fox River Implementation Plan (FRIP) which is the roadmap to eliminate the water quality impairments (FRSG 2015).

Title: Nutrient Loss Reduction Policy Challenges for Stakeholders: An Ohio Case Study
Speaker: Adrienne Nemura, Geosyntec Consultants
Co-author: Elizabeth Toot-Levy, Geosyntec Consultants
Time: Sept. 24, 2019 at 3:30-4:00 p.m.
Description: Technical, economic, and political complexities of controlling nutrient discharges requires informed stakeholder engagement. USEPA has stated that nutrient pollution is one of America's most widespread, costly, and challenging environmental problems, and has urged states to adopt numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) since the early 2000s. Ohio's experience is a good example of the complexities of regulating nutrient discharges to surface waters.

Ohio has several well-publicized examples of nutrient problems including Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), Grand Lake St. Marys, and the Ohio River - approximately 40% of Ohio's assessed waters have nutrient issues. Many impairments are predominantly due to non-point source (NPS) runoff. Ohio's experience with nutrient assessments and regulation has led to a concerted dialogue between the state and affected stakeholders, namely wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), agricultural groups, and environmentalists over how to advance legislation and regulations to improve water quality without significant adverse economic consequences for affected stakeholders (Nemura 2017). This dialogue is improving understanding between point and non-point sources about challenges, similarities, and differences.

Ohio's history of nutrient reduction goals under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) is illustrative as is Ohio's efforts to address nutrients through total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, NNC, and efforts to regulate agriculture. The stakeholder engagement process associated with these efforts is described along with the authors' perspective on the challenges facing stakeholders in identifying cost-effective and affordable strategies.

Title: Bench Testing of 1,4-Dioxane Treatment in Industrial Wastewater by Biofiltration, an Innovative and Inexpensive Alternative to Advanced Oxidation
Speakers: Chao Zhou, Brian Petty, Geosyntec Consultants
Authors: Youneng Tang, Yi Xiong, FSU
Time: Sept. 25, 2019 at 9:30-9:45 a.m.
Description: The recent advances in research microbial cultures with faster dioxane degradation rates and adsorbents with higher capacity have provided an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of dioxane biofiltration. The concentrations in the industrial wastewater are typically on the order of 0.1 to several mg/L, and the potential wastewater discharge limits are likely in the range of 1 to 200 μg/L or lower. This paper describes the ongoing proof-of-concept bench testing of dioxane biofiltration in synthetic wastewater containing up to 500 μg/L of dioxane. A newly discovered dioxane-degrading culture exhibiting uniquely rapid degradation kinetics at environmentally relevant concentrations was tested. Types and properties of the adsorbent and the addition of a structural analogue to enhance dioxane biodegradation were evaluated.

Title: Wastewater Treatment Technology Evaluation and Alternatives Analysis: Carbon and Biological Treatability Studies
Speaker: Edward Horai, Geosyntec Consultants
Co-authors: Joseph Cleary, Duane Graves, Mike Hayes, Jacques Smith, Geosyntec Consultants
Time: Sept. 25, 2019 at 2:30-3:00 p.m.
Description: Geosyntec was retained by a client to evaluate alternatives for a new wastewater treatment plant. The waste stream to be treated is a product of the manufacturing facility on site that specializes in the production of insulated electrical wires and cables. The contaminants to be removed include COD, phenols and alcohols. The plant is at risk of violating effluent phenol limits and would like to reduce air emissions as well as explore water reuse options for use within their cooling towers. The reduction in air emissions would allow for an increase in production capacity, currently limited by the permit allowance.

Co-Authored Paper

Title: Non-Targeted Characterization of the Metabolic Profile of Wastewater Bioreactors Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Speaker: Ryan Freemantle, University of the Guelph
Authors: James Longstaffe, University of Guelph; Julie Konzuk, Janet Goodfellow, Nick Butson, Geosyntec Consultants
Time: Sept. 23, 2019 at 1:30-2:00 p.m.
Description: This presentation discusses the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as a non-targeted tool to monitor variations in the metabolic profile of an anaerobic bioreactor used to treat industrial wastewater that has been exposed to Benzalkonium chloride, a common disinfection agent used in industrial cleaning processes. NMR spectroscopy is a powerful non-targeted analytical tool used to obtain high-resolution molecular-level data relating to the makeup of complex mixtures of organic compounds with minimal sample preparation. This approach provides a non-biased, non-targeted and fully quantitative approach to monitor changes in the metabolic profile of a bioreactor in response to stress. The objective of this study was to monitor the variation in the metabolic profile of wastewater effluent, particularly the variations in fatty acid production, of a bioreactor system that has been exposed to quaternary ammonium compounds that are known to interfere with the proper functioning of the anaerobic digestion process and relate those variations to the quality and quantity of the biogas produced (i.e. CO2 and CH4). Clear variations in several regions of the NMR spectrum are observed over time and in response to increasing concentrations of Benzalkonium chloride. A clear development of propionic, isobutyric, isovaleric, and other volatile fatty acids (VFAs) is observed indicating a disruption to the overall ability of the system to convert fatty acids to methane. The ability to successfully identify both the overall fatty acid profile and the occurrence of the individual VFAs in one analysis helps to provide valuable information on the metabolic pathways involved in the bioreactor disruption. The capacity to simultaneously measure these operating parameters lends the use of NMR spectroscopy as a fingerprinting tool to identify changes in the chemical composition of a bioreactor and recognize deviations away from normal operation. This analytical technique can be used to give an up to date analysis of the key chemical parameters governing the system. This improved approach for monitoring and diagnosing variations in the chemistry of industrial anaerobic bioreactors will improve the optimization of these systems by giving us the ability to better identify and respond to potential fouling events.

More Information

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For consultation regarding Geosyntec's participation at WEFTEC 2019, contact Adrienne Nemura at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.