Chink in the WP armor?

I’ve been going over the Startup Field log that WP used to support their contention that the Town was overloading the RIB at up to 2 million gallons per day.  The thing is barely legible, and I don’t quite understand the figures that WP highlights on each page to support their claims.  It’s supposed to be a gallons pumped figure, and throughout March, seems to be the incremental reading from the flow meter that matches the towns reported flows.

The same figure in the April entries starts to be way more than the flow meter readings indicate.  There is a notation elsewhere that an additional new meter was installed at the end of March, and if the numbers were slightly off, that might be the cause, but I took a look at the pump hours that are also logged.

The pump hours do not support the gallons claimed by WP.  They are more in line with the gallons reported by the town.

This should be troubling for WP in that they ought to know how to read the field log and understand the relationship between the flow meters and pump hours.  They designed them.  As near as I can tell, the system would have to pump at significantly more than 1,000 gallons per minute to achieve the flows that they claim.

Flow rates of millions of gallons per day, for several weeks as WP claims, would require much more effluent than the town would generate in that period.  So if there are records of the levels of the Effluent Storage Pond, the claim could be easily tested.  Ten or fifteen million extra gallons would have significantly lowered the level of the ESP. I asked for those records under Right to Know on March 8, and none were provided.  So the town is either illegally withholding them, or they don’t have them.  I go with the former.  In any event, a complete audit of the data that is available should go a long way toward resolving that point.

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2 Responses to Chink in the WP armor?

  1. Tom Bickford says:

    Are there are other sources of information that would answer your questions.

    The lack of effluent pond level records raised the following questions for me.

    Does the Treatment Plant record the gallons of sewerage entering the plant or at any time during the treatment process before it goes to the discharge portion of the system en-route to the effluent storage pond and RIBS?

    Would the Plant operators want to have the daily gallons of sewerage treated each day before the effluent leaves the plant to be sure that effluent is not leaking out of the system between the treatment plant and the final discharge? I would think NH DES would need that information to assure that discharge rates are accurate.

    Did the town say they didn’t keep records of the effluent pond levels, say they were not producing the records for some reason, or simply not provide them to you with no explanation? I think the “Right to Know Law” requires the Town to explain why they didn’t produce the records you produced. A follow up e-mail might clear things up.

    As always, thank you for the time and effort your putting into keeping us informed on this issue.
    Tom Bickford

  2. wolfeblog says:

    I’m sure the WWTP has records of the ESP at least on a weekly basis. They process the waste water in batches that are of fixed volume, so a rough but reasonable accounting should be available.

    In response to my RTK request Dave Owen told me he would forward my request to Dave Ford. Dave has offered to let me go through “thousands of documents” that he has but did not specifically produce the logs that I requested. I don’t know if the information that I requested is part of the “thousands of documents”, but that is one of the town’s defenses against my poking around. At first they compiled hundreds of pages of redundant email pages and boilerplate contracts and presented me with huge bills (25 cents/page). Now I have a portable scanner so I guess they will try to make me hunt for the information in piles of unrelated documents. I could make a big deal out of it, and maybe I will if they keep it up, but right now you can see that if they had provided the information, I would be using it to support their case.

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