Hays, Kansas, is located in an arid zone of central Kansas that lacks significant groundwater resources. During the 1990s, it became apparent that its existing water resources were insufficient for its consumption. Its initial response was to implement ambitious conservation measures, which succeeded in reducing its water use by a third, and to build a water recycling plant. Today, it is developing a new water source: a pipeline that will supply the city with groundwater from a former ranch. In this interview, Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty tells Municipal Water Leader about the city’s efforts to guarantee a sustainable water supply for future generations.
While the popular image of Kansas is that it is perfectly flat and mainly rural, the state is home to a number of vibrant cities and its climate and water resources vary significantly by region. In our cover story this month, we speak with Toby Dougherty, the city manager of Hays, Kansas. Hays is located in an arid zone of central Kansas that lacks significant surface water, precipitation, or groundwater. In response to this situation, the city has put significant effort into water conservation and reuse and is constructing a 70‑mile pipeline to bring it new water. We also feature two other Kansas municipal utilities. James Epp and Steve Green…
The Lower Neches Valley Authority (LNVA), one of Texas’s 23 river authorities, provides wholesale raw water to industrial, municipal, and agricultural customers in the southeastern corner of Texas. Maintaining a 600‑mile canal system requires the LNVA to periodically replace pipe flumes and culverts in both urban and rural settings. One recent project involved the replacement of a drainage culvert, a freshwater conveyance culvert, and a road that all overlapped in precisely the same spot. In this interview, LNVA Engineering Manager Ryan Ard tells Municipal Water Leader about the Jones Crossing project and the authority’s other current projects.
Frank Ferris is the president of Ferris, Flinn & Medina, LLC, a consulting engineering firm based outside of Harlingen, Texas, in the lower Rio Grande Valley. The firm provides consulting engineering services for water utilities, irrigation districts, municipalities, developers, and navigation districts. Today, one of the firm’s major focuses is helping its clients conserve water by improving the efficiency of their systems, particularly by piping open ditches and upgrading existing pipelines. One large current project involves building a 6,000-foot-long, 48-inch-diameter PVC pipeline for Hidalgo County Water Improvement District No. 3. In this interview, Mr. Ferris tells Municipal Water Leader about his firm’s activities and current projects.
The City of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is a suburb of Tulsa with a population of about 115,000. Ethan Edwards, PE, is the city’s director of engineering and construction, and Timothy Robins, PE, is its construction division manager. The two civil engineers work together to carry out the city’s many capital and infrastructure projects. One major current project is the replacement of an aging and deteriorating sewer trunk line with large-diameter PVC pipe. In this interview, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Robins tell Municipal Water Leader about the challenges of installing a major new pipeline in challenging geological terrain.
Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) is a leading provider of water, recycled water, and wastewater services over a 555‑square-mile area surrounding its headquarters in Perris, California. Roxanne Rountree, EMWD’s senior public affairs program manager, and Alfred Javier, its director of environmental and regulatory compliance, are on the front lines of the company’s efforts to prevent pharmaceuticals from entering their region’s water supply. In this interview, they tell Municipal Water Leader about EMWD's Sewer Smart Program, a comprehensive public information campaign that combines media outreach, classroom instruction, and the provision of alternative disposal methods for pharmaceuticals and other waste products.
Orange County Water District (OCWD) is the groundwater basin manager for north and central Orange County, California, providing 77 percent of the water supply for the 2.5 million residents of the area. OCWD is a world leader in water recycling, and its Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) is the largest advanced water purification system for potable reuse in the world. OCWD’s focus on water reuse means that it has developed sophisticated protocols for ensuring that the water it provides is clean, safe, and free of any harmful contamination, including contamination by pharmaceuticals and other constituents of emerging concern (CECs). In this interview, Jason Dadakis, OCWD’s executive director of water quality technical…
The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), which provides wholesale water to more than 2 million people in southern Nevada, is highly proactive when it comes to water purity and safety. Beginning around 2000, it has done significant research into detecting and removing pharmaceutical contaminants and other contaminants of emerging concern from the water supplies it delivers. David Rexing, the SNWA’s water quality research and development manager, has worked for Las Vegas’s not-for-profit water agencies since 1975. In this interview, he tells Municipal Water Leader about the development of the agency’s compliance laboratory and its research activities today.
Chance Lauderdale, PhD, PE, is an expert in the field of water treatment specializing in biofiltration who today leads engineering firm HDR’s global drinking water program. Dr. Lauderdale’s reference publications and novel biofilter enhancement and monitoring strategies are used by utilities throughout the United States. In this interview, Dr. Lauderdale tells Municipal Water Leader about HDR’s global drinking water program—one of the largest in the world—and the services it provides to help its clients mitigate problems like pharmaceutical contamination in water reuse projects and successfully communicate their achievements to their customers.
The ubiquity of pharmaceuticals poses the danger that, whether through improper disposal or through human waste, they will make their way into wastewater and then into the environment or recycled water supplies. Luckily, our scientists and water suppliers are well aware of this potential problem and are monitoring, testing, and treating their water supplies to eliminate pharmaceutical contamination. In our cover story, Dr. Chance Lauderdale tells us about HDR’s research and work into water purity issues. Dr. David Rexing gives us a glimpse into Southern Nevada Water Authority’s robust compliance and research laboratories. Jason Dadakis of California’s Orange County Water District tells us about how his district ensures that its…