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Large and small treatment plants alike are challenged with identifying the process equipment that is most crucial to successful treatment. Maintaining and optimizing process equipment performance before a catastrophic failure occurs is essential to operating with an adequate margin of safety and redundancy in any treatment plant. On a day-to-day basis, both operations and maintenance supervisors must coordinate their staff to identify which process system is at greatest risk of reducing plant process capacity, and putting discharge permit compliance at risk.

At a large wastewater treatment plant, the Operations staff requested us to develop a tool to assist in prioritizing maintenance activities.

Individual pieces of equipment are grouped into 102 process trains. Logic is applied that determines which individual equipment items are critical to the functioning of each train. Operations supervisors report, on a daily basis, any changes to the status of equipment in their area. The program then uses the logic to determine if a process train is adequate, not adequate, or at risk. Color-coding on the computer monitor then allows management to quickly determine the process trains needing maintenance attention.

This process summary report has developed into a performance measure for maintenance, to determine if they are qualified to receive a gainsharing award. At Blue Plains, 97% of the process trains must be in the adequate category on a monthly average basis to qualify. The system has been in daily use since May 2003. It is now also under development to be used for the water distribution pump stations and reservoirs, and the sewer pumping stations for the Utility.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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