The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) announced that Shannon Jeffers of West Virginia American Water has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards. The Living Water Awards program, established in 2012, celebrates exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.
Jeffers, an instrument maintenance technician at West Virginia American Water’s Huntington Water Treatment Plant, recently observed that source water drawn from the Ohio River contained a large amount of sand, which caused maintenance issues with some of the system’s water treatment equipment. Familiar with the use of grit removers from prior wastewater experience, Shannon experimented with grit removal technology as a part of the plant’s pretreatment.
Results from the pilot test were so promising that a permanent grit remover was added to the pretreatment process, marking the first use of this technology in potable water treatment in the nation.
Removing sand prior to the introduction of chemicals in pretreatment reduces wear and tear on the equipment, lowers operational costs and reduces the overall amount of sludge requiring disposal. It’s also environmentally friendly, making it possible to repurpose the sand for use as fill material for construction projects and reducing the amount of waste that might ultimately be diverted into landfills.
“Shannon’s determination and outside of the box thinking exemplifies the true spirit of service and dedication shared by professionals in the water industry,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “His work, which has direct benefits for the environment and the community he serves, embodies the qualities we look for in Living Water Awards recipients. Through these awards, NAWC recognizes the efforts of exceptional water industry professionals who work tirelessly to serve their communities, and Shannon certainly fits the description.”