Water Sifu #28: Chemicals in Water Treatment

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Chemicals in Water Treatment
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In this episode I answer a couple of common questions I often receive pertaining to searching for jobs in the water industry.  I discuss a speech I recently gave about this podcast, and then we hop into the meat of the show covering chemicals we use in treatment.  We discuss ferric chloride and alum as coagulants, lime and carbon dioxide for alkalininty, hardness, and pH control, and gas chlorine, liquid chlorine, and chloramines as disinfectants.  We also discuss perchorate and, wrapping up the show, I ask you to do me a favor.

As discussed in the show, below are some chemical equations for subjects which we covered:

Adding gas chlorine to water drops pH by formation of two acids:
Cl2 + H2O = HOCL (Hypochlorous) + HCL (Hydrochloric Acid)

Hypochlorous acid breaking into the hypochlorite ion at higher pH:
OH (Hydroxyl) + HOCL (Hypochlorous) = H2O (Water) + OCL (Hypochlorite)

Adding liquid chlorine to water raises pH by forming caustic soda:
NaOCL (Sodium Hypochlorite) + H2O = HOCL + NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide / Caustic Soda)

The combination of hypochlorous acid and ammonia forms chloramines:
NH3 + HOCl = NH2Cl + H2O

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Water Sifu #27: Membrane Filtration

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Membrane Filtration
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Membrane Filtration is the wave of the future in the water treatment field.  This month I spend a little time talking about my new job and the last State Treatment Exam, and then get into talking about membrane filtration in depth.

Membrane plants are totally different from plant to plant, so we talk about the different types of plants first and then jump into the items they all have in common.  In this show we cover the difference between pressure systems and submersible, suction systems.  We discuss the difference between microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis.  We then discuss several methods of cleaning membrane systems and judging membrane performance common to most plants…  flux or flow, trans-membrane pressure, permeability, membrane integrity testing, backwashing, or CIP’s and recovery cleans.

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Water Sifu #26: Never Say Never… Advanced Treatment Audio Flash Cards

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Advanced Treatment Audio Flash Cards
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I’m back for three more monthly shows, starting with another audio flash cards show.  This is one I initially made for myself, but decided to release because I think some of you could find it very helpful.  I found it very helpful myself, many people have been asking me to do more audio flash cards shows, and it was on my hard drive, so here it is.  It focuses on treatment techniques, government regulations, types of contaminants, MCL’s, and even gets a little into chemicals and chemistry.  Hope you like it!

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Water Sifu #25: Hello and Goodbye

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Hello and Goodbye
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I haven’t stopped teaching! … still going strong and still loving it! However,  this episode of The Water Sifu is the last in this podcast series.  With that in mind, this show is my way of saying goodbye to those who have been listening and hello to new listeners.  I wrap up some topics from last week, throw in a few small rants, talk about what my plans are going forward, and sign off.

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Water Sifu #24: Your Questions About Certification and Hiring

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Your Questions about Certification and Hiring
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This month I let you produce the show, answering some of the most common questions I have received pertaining to certification and getting hired in the water industry.   We discuss the California (and nations) job market with respect to water jobs, which level of certification to start at, the best way to “get your foot in the door”, practical skills exams involved in the hiring process, the best way to search for water jobs online, and how to search for jobs in other states.

Job search website links, as discussed in show:
bcwaterjobs
awwa
utilitiesjobs
wikipedia water company list

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Water Sifu #23: Pumps and Motors

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Pumps and Motors
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This packed full episode deals entirely with pumps and motors.  Discussing pumps, we specifically focus on volute and turbine centrifugal pumps, since they are by far the most common used in the water industry.  We discuss the workings of each and different types of each in detail.  We also discuss parts of a pump / motor assembly, and causes of pump failure, focusing in depth on pump cavitation.  This episode is a must listen for anyone taking any type of distribution system focused exam.

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Water Sifu #22: Water Treatment Techniques, Part 2

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Treatment Techniques, Part 2
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Part 2 of 2 in a series on water quality problems and treatment techniques…  I begin this show by talking about my recent meetings with Leo Laporte, “The Tech Guy”, and Cliff Ravenscraft, “The Podcast Answerman”.  I then spend a brief time discussing my latest project “The Other Water Math DVD you’ve been looking for”, which works as a Part 2 to my existing Math DVD, and takes the subject to the next level.

Hopping into the meat of the show, we continue right where we last left off, covering tastes and odor problems in detail, including adsorption with granulated or powdered activated carbons, oxidation, and air stripping.  After that, we move on to cover iron and manganese problems and trihalomethanes.  If you are planning on testing anytime soon, the two shows in this series are critical information, and a true “must listen and learn”.  Please share with any friends in the water industry.

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Water Sifu #21: Water Treatment Techniques, Part 1

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Treatment Techniques, Part 1
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This episode is the first part of a two part show concentrating on material you need to know for your state exams concerning different harmful or undesirable issues which can occur in water and the techniques we can use to remedy them.  Items covered on this show include Waterborne Pathogens (virus, bacteria, protozoans), Turbidity, Corrosive Water (problems associated with, types of corrosion, testing, and prevention), and Excessive Hardness.

At the beginning of this show I also spend some time discussing some you tube videos which I will be producing going forward, as well as different ways to contact me via social media.

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Water Sifu #20: Water Chemistry

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Water Chemistry
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The meat of this episode focuses on some water chemistry subjects which can initially be difficult to grasp, specifically the subjects of pH, alkalinity, and calcium carbonate saturation.  We will discuss them in detail, explaining how they interact and affect each other.  We will also get into discussing calcium carbonate saturation, and talk about how controlling this, through marble testing or use of the Langelier saturation index, can help control corrosive water or deposition of scale in water systems.

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Water Sifu #19: Meters and Valves

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Meters and Valves
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In this episode of The Water Sifu, I spend a brief time discussing some things going on in my life, as well as upcoming episodes, and then jump into the meat of the show, discussing the types of meters and valves you will find in a distribution system.  Items covered under meters include types of positive displacement meters and velocity meters.  Types of valves discussed include ball, plug, diaphragm, gate, butterfly, pressure reducing, surge control, check, foot, pressure relief, altitude, air, and float.

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Water Sifu #18: Distribution Review – Audio Flash Cards

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Distribution Review – Audio Flash Cards
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With the popularity of the last “Water Treatment” audio flash cards episode, I have had many people request I do another with an emphasis on “Water Distribution System” exam preparation.  This week we will do just that….

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Water Sifu #17: Trenching, Shoring and Water Main Construction

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Trenching Shoring and Water Main Construction
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This week focuses on everything having to do with main construction and installation… pipe types, joints, soil types, competent person, trenching and shoring, excavations, pipe laying, back-filling, and flushing / bac-t procedures.

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Water Sifu #16: Drinking Water Supply

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Drinking Water Supply
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The format of this show will be switching to a monthly format, with the episodes primarily focusing on treatment and distribution exam preparation.  This week we spend a little time discussing the direction I will be taking the show in the future, and why. Then, I jump right into the meat of the show, discussing drinking water supplies:  surface water, ground water, and wells.  This info is essential for anyone planning to take an upcoming exam, either treatment or distribution.

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Water Sifu #15: Water Treatment Exam Prep – Audio Flash Cards

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Water Treatment Exam Prep
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A major stray from my normal show type, this week will basically be a study guide on the go for people testing for a Treatment Exam.  Think of this weeks show as audio flash cards… which is essentially what it is.  Please send your feedback on this show to tywhitman@hotmail.com

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Water Sifu #14: Passing your Water Treatment or Water Distribution Exam – The First Time

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Passing your Water Treatment or Water Distribution Exam
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This podcast will give my advice on what people should do to improve their chances of success on their water treatment or water distribution exams, and succeed the first time they take it.  From exam prep, to what to study and where to find the best study materials, to how to study and how to test, this podcast has it all.

The following link will take you to the site of the Minnesota Rural Water Assn., referenced in the podcast.

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Water Sifu #13: Water Math

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Water Math
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Knowing your water math is a huge step in passing any distribution, treatment, or waste water state exam. Those that know it have a huge step up and those that don’t are often doomed to fail. Unfortunately, finding information to teach water math in a clear and easy way can be difficult. This podcast will discuss my views on water math.  It will also introduce my new DVD, The Water Math DVD You’ve Been Looking For, and explain why it will be a very helpful tool for those looking to learn water math the simplest easiest way.

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Water Sifu #12: Government Regulations

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Government Regulation of the Drinking Water Industry
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In this episode of The Water Sifu, I spend a brief time discussing issues which have gotten in my way of putting out regular weekly content, and then get into the meat of the show, which discusses government regulation of the drinking water industry.  This is a must listen show for anyone studying for a state exam.

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Water Sifu #11 – Hard and Soft Water, Iron and Manganese Problems, Nitrification

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Hard / Soft Water, Iron and Manganese, Nitrification
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This week I focus on some random, undesirable, issues which may arise in the system and affect water quality… specifically  hard or soft water problems, staining as a result of iron or manganese, and nitrification.

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Water Sifu #10: Biological Contaminants and Disinfection

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Biological Contaminants and Disinfection
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Biological contaminants of the water supply have killed millions and millions of people through the years.  Today we are going to look at some of these contaminants and show how, through chlorination and disinfection, their threat has been drastically reduced.  We are also going to take a look at chlorine itself, talking about some of it’s properties and dangers along with it’s fantastic disinfective properties.

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Water Sifu #9: Implementation of Fluoride Programs (part 4 of 4)

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Implementation of Fluoride Programs
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Part 4 of a 4 Part series, this episode will take a look at how fluoride programs are implemented.  We will discuss the major players behind pushing fluoridation programs, how they work together, techniques used to implement fluoridation programs, and why they are successful. From the top levels of government on down to the smallest of cities, we discuss the entire process, using the Californian push as an example.

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Water Sifu #8 – Fluoridation: Safe and Effective ….Really??? (part 3 of 4)

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Fluoridation – Safe and Effective  ….Really???
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Part 3 of 4, This episode will focus on the “safe and effective” aspects of water fluoridation.  I ask the questions… “Is it safe?” and “Is it effective?” on the way to answering the ultimate question, “Is it worth it?”.   Among the evidence brought out is a chart graphing the decline of dental carries in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities around the world and an essay titled “Why I Changed My Mind About Fluoridation“, by Dr. John Colquhoun, a previous  Principal Dental Officer from  New Zealand.  We discuss fluoridation studies, covering information published by the CDC’s scientists, and further discuss ways that pro fluoride groups have perverted evidence to further their cause.  Also discussed are the side effects of fluoridation, including accidents as well as risks of exposure to infants, citing the ADA’s own manual which states that infants should not drink fluoridated water. Finally, several  individuals, groups, or countries which oppose water fluoridation are mentioned.

Ralph Nadar
Dr. Paul Connett:  50 reasons to oppose fluoridation
EPA’s Union of Scientists and Engineers (You Tube video)

This eye opening podcast is a must listen.

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Water Sifu #7 – The History of Fluoridation (part 2 of 4)

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Water Sifu #7:  The History of Fluoridation (Part 2 of 4)
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The History of Fluoridation is the subject of this weeks episode.  In an attempt to fill in some huge gaps in the history of fluoridation, as told by promoting groups, I delved deep into this subject.  My research took me into some pretty creepy and unexpected places.  From the influence of big business in early research and promotion, to the selling of fluoridation to the public, to growing trends against fluoridation, this episode is an eye-opening, must-listen-to, podcast.

Some great links to view, along with this podcast are listed below:

The Fluoride Deception: This is a three part you tube video (this link will take you to part one)  which explains in depth the connection between fluoridation and big business from it’s very inception.

Although this article conveniently leaves out any reference to ALCOA, or any mention of Gerald Cox, who was the first to actually suggest fluoridation of the drinking water supply (see History, in the CDC Manual on fluoridation:  Link in show notes for part one), this is the best history statement I have found as told from a pro / neutral standpoint.

The following link, will take you to a statement by the EPA’s Scientists Union’s statement, as stated in the podcast, which came out publicly against fluoridation.

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Water Sifu #6 – Water Fluoridation: The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread, or an Unnecessary Evil?

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Water Sifu #6:  Water Fluoridation Part One
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Water fluoridation has long been a hotly debated topic.  This episode of The Water Sifu will discuss my initial thoughts about the fluoridation of drinking water, what I found when I first started looking into it that really shocked me, and how I’ve been completely pulled into researching this very intriguing topic.  This was originally intended to be a one week show, but I quickly found out that a one week show is just going to be impossible to do, if I am do do this subject any justice.  So, this will be the first of four shows which will chronicle my research into water fluoridation.

Below is a link to a CDC manual on fluoridation referenced in the show:
Water Fluoridation:  A Manual for Engineers and Technicians

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Water Sifu #5 – Women in the Water Industry

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Water Sifu Episode 5:  Women in the Water Industry
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This episode of The Water Sifu is a discussion / interview, and will focus on women doing field work in the water industry.  Special thanks to Nanene, Brenda, Sheri, and Theresa for their help

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Podcast episode #4 – Distribution System Overview

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Water Sifu Episode 4: Distribution System Overview
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This episode of The Water Sifu is going to talk about water distribution systems, giving you a brief overview of how the whole process works.  We’re going to talk about sources of supply, and how water gets from that source to your tap.  We’re also going to talk about different types of system designs, system storage, system pressure, and how water systems work in areas of different elevations.

As discussed during the show, while talking about asbestos-cement mains, I have provided a link to an EPA page concerning asbestos in drinking water here.

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Podcast episode #3 – Water Treatment Overview

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Water Sifu Episode 3 – Water Treatment Overview
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Water Treatment is the subject of this weeks episode, with an emphasis on Conventional Treatment.  We will follow water from the moment it enters the plant as it travels through pre-disinfection and into the flash mixer where coagulation occurs.  From there we follow it’s path through the flocculation basins, the sedimentation basin, the filter beds, and into the clear wells where it will be ready for consumption.  We will also briefly discuss direct filtration and micro filtration.

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Podcast episode #2 – Operator Certification

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Water Sifu Episode 2 – Water Treatment / Distribution Operator Certification
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In this episode of The Water Sifu, I concentrate our discussion on Operator Certification.  I will discuss why you want to get certified, how to get certified, how to keep your certification, and how to move up the certification ranks.  I focus on California because it is a little different in  every state.  Even still, people out of the state will get a good look into how the process works, which will set a good foundation of knowledge.  I also discuss water treatment and distribution training courses, exam testing, continuing education requirements, and reciprocity between states.  The information provided on my links page works closely with this podcast.

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Podcast episode #1 – An introduction

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The Water Sifu – Episode 1 (click to open a new window to listen)

This first episode of The Water Sifu will introduce you to myself and explain how I went from a life devoted to the martial arts to running a water distribution system, working in water treatment, and sitting behind the microphone.  I will also discuss the potable water industry, jobs in that industry, and why it is such a great industry to be working in.

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