Richard F. Hartenstein Jr.
Town Of Stafford W.P.C.F.
50 River Road, Stafford Springs, CT 06076
September 16, 2013
Dear Board Members of the CWPAA and NWPCA:
As you know, I was the 2013 Operator Exchange person who was elected to travel to Rhode Island and tour different water pollution control facilities. I was greeted with a warm hand shake from Scott Goodinson, the Asst. Superintendent at the Warwick Facility, and my official tour guide. Scott had a very busy schedule planned for me over the course of 3 days. We toured 7 different plants and finished the week at their annual Trade Show and Clam Bake.
We started at the Warwick Facility where he explained in March of 2010 the plant was flooded and most of the equipment needed replacing. Many stories were shared; due to the fact that in October of 2005 Stafford’s Plant was also flooded. As we toured the facility the crew was working on their Lakeside screen which was interesting to me because I’d never seen that type of screen. We moved on to a pump station and some line cleaning and video recording of a sewer line. After our tour there, we moved on to West Warwick where Scott had been the superintendent at one time.
I was introduced to Bernie Bishop who is the current Superintendent, and the tour began at the Headworks Building. One of two interesting things I found of importance was their BIOSOLIDS Composting and their BAF nitrogen removal system. I have only read about these systems, so the opportunity to see them first hand was exciting. From there we moved on to lunch and got ready for our next tour at the Cranston Facility.
The Cranston Facility is run by Veolia Water. Our tour started at Headworks, as all the previous tours did. The Headworks building house their bar racks and grit removal systems which are very large. I was able to tour under the facility in their tunnels and see how all their pumping and piping systems operated. We finished in the incinerator building where one of three of their centrifuges and the smaller of the two incinerators were running. My thoughts were “it would be nice to work in the winter, but it was HOT in the summer”. This was the end of our day touring plants and it was almost dinner time. Our dinner was phenomenal, an exceptional place with most of the group in attendance. There were 6 individuals total, and we had a great time over the course of several hours.
Thursday morning I met with Doug Nettleton who is the president of the NWPCA and also the Superintendent of Narragansett Facility. Our first stop was the South Kingstown Facility, where I met Kathy Perez, Superintendent. I toured this facility which has a great lay out with further expansion in mind. We talked about their air diffusers and the Neuros blowers they installed. Stafford’s plant has these blowers also and I was able to get beneficial information on them. Now it was time to go to Narragansett WWTF.
Narragansett has oxidation ditching, which Doug explained for me how the flow works and their purpose. The ocean view was breath taking, along with their solid handling building. After all the plants I toured, this was my favorite facility. I could have stayed all day, but it was time to move on to the East Greenwich plant.
East Greenwich has an RBC system which was built in 1988. This facility is mainly indoors, due to the closeness of the surrounding town. The staff explained how the RBC works along with some challenges they have, but overall the system works well.
After lunch I spent the afternoon with Mike Spring, Maintenance Supervisor of Field’s Point facility in Providence. This facility is Rhode Island’s largest plant. The facility has a tunnel with a pump station that is 300 ft. below the surface. In my opinion, this facility is beyond what words can explain. They have a floating IFAS system that works very well, with many tanks, pumps and miles of piping. This is definitely a facility I would recommend to all who may have the opportunity to visit.
Thursday evening was another exceptional meal with engaging conversation with the group. To say the least, I am feeling very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience and visit all of these facilities.
Friday Morning we were off to 12 Acres banquet facility for the Clam Bake and trade show. I was introduced to many vendors. I thoroughly enjoyed the “hands on” part of the show as I tried my skills at one of the Op’s challenge events. This entailed drilling a hole in a piece of sewer pipe. Thinking there must be a trick to it, I started out with a bang but soon found out it was harder than it appeared. The guys were encouraging me to keep going and after 1:27 seconds, I finished the task. (Remember these guys practice many times per week to prepare for the Ops Challenge Competitions) By no means did I make the fastest time or even get selected to be on their team, but I did complete the task without breaking the pipe. We finished out the day with a great lunch and many raffle prizes.
I would like to thank every member of the NWPCA and the CWPCAA for having this program and encourage everyone if they have the opportunity to participate to do so.
Special thanks go out to my special tour guide, Scott Goodinson; Joe LaPlante, the man with all the money; Douglas Nettleton, who has a nicer view from his facility than I do at my own house (What’s wrong with that picture?) Janine Burke, who ran around both nights I was there, but still had time to stop for a few cool refreshments; Bob Mack, the vendor man; Brent Herring, the wine expert; And last but not least, Bernie Bishop the man with the words of wisdom and knowledge. Thank you all for the opportunity, I am honored to have met all of you and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.