An Operational Perspective to Real Time Control for Consent Decree Compliance

Written by A. Akridge, B. Bingham, D. Carty and H. Colas

Collection Systems 2006

Whether you’re planning to implement a multi-million dollar robust Real Time Control (RTC) system or a scaled-down simple version, there are several critical elements necessary for successful implementation and utilization by the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) staff.

These critical components range from changing performance expectations to inclusion of the wastewater treatment plant operators and collection systems staff in all phases of program development and implementation.

The Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has initiated the second phase of their RTC program, with plans to ultimately implement a program targeted to cost approximately $83M. The in-line control portion of the program is targeted to cost approximately $30M, with the remaining cost for off-line storage facilities.

The first phase contained five control points, providing a system-wide average annual overflow volume reduction of 10 to 20%. The second phase, currently being designed, includes the addition of four control points. Ultimate build-out of the entire RTC program is targeted to be approximately 20 control points.

During the planning, design and implementation of the first phase, MSD staff successfully navigated past an intense learning curve. Starting with a design team of engineering staff, the process evolved to a design and implementation team that included both engineering and operations staff. Operations staff was integrated in design, review, and implementation, including self-performing a portion of the local programming during construction.

This paper summarizes lessons learned, including advice on program implementation, which may assist other POTWs currently considering implementation of similar programs. While only the initial phase of RTC is required by the Louisville Consent Decree, future phases are discussed as they are proposed in Consent Decree long-term planning documents. 

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