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The City of Lawrence, Kansas Wastewater Utility has recently achieved certification for a management system, which is consistent with the planned arrangements of ISO14001:2004 Environmental Management System, 18001:1999 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and the National Biosolids Partnership EMS for Biosolids. Referred to as the Lawrence Wastewater Management System (LWWMS), it is the first management system in the country to be completely integrated.

In 1999, the Lawrence Wastewater Utility participated in a gap analysis for the National Biosolids Partnership and shortly after agreed to participate as a demonstration agency in the development of the NBP's Environmental Management System, becoming a charter agency for the project. The NBP's intent was to encourage sewerage agencies to implement an environmental management system for the individual agency's biosolids management programs and ultimately increase the public credibility and confidence as well as “raise the bar” for the performance of such programs. Throughout the development of the NBP EMS for Biosolids, Lawrence Wastewater Utility staff contributed feedback to the NBP and attended training workshop to assist with the development of the agency's EMS. In September 2005, the Lawrence Wastewater Utility underwent the 3rd party verification audit for their NBP EMS and became the 10th agency (and smallest at the time) in the country to receive certification.

Since the NBP EMS for biosolids applied to the biosolids value chain from pretreatment to final use, but did not include any non-biosolids related areas, management chose to expand the environmental management system to include the entire utility's activities, as well as add occupational health and safety to the management system. ISO14001 was used as the standard for the expansion of the environmental management system to all areas of wastewater utility activity. OHSAS 18001 was used as the standard or specification for adopting occupational health and safety management.

In September/October 2006, the LWWMS was completely integrated, implemented, and underwent an integrated audit. In this case, since the NBP EMS for Biosolids had received certification the previous year, that portion underwent an interim audit. The entire Wastewater Utility underwent verification audits for both ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001.

The objective of this poster presentation is to describe the development of the program and how the three planned arrangements were effectively combined into one integrated program. Some outstanding outcomes have been experienced as a result of the management system approach and speak as testimony to the value of management systems. Such outcomes include the relative ease in sighting a second wastewater treatment plant, which is testimony to the confidence that the City Management, interested parties, and the public have in the Wastewater Utility. Other positive outcomes include effective response to emergency situations, increase in technical capabilities of the Wastewater Utility, and more efficient and effective response to various situations. The project was not without some challenges, including the continual drive to make it simpler, more practical and more user-friendly, with the intent of being incorporated easily into the day-to-day management of the entire Wastewater Utility. An additional challenge was integrating an environmental impact and health and safety hazard analysis in a way that was simple, manageable, and reproducible. We hope to demonstrate that implementation of this integrated system is not only beneficial to the effective management of a wastewater utility or any other type of agency, but can also be made easy to understand and straightforward.

The poster presentation will include the attached flow chart that illustrates the primary function of the LWWMS and how each element relates and interacts with the others. Descriptions of each element would be included on the poster for further description.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

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