University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Environmental Seminar Series Presents


Mr.Kelly O’Day

Vice President, Woodard & Curran


To discuss:


Water Treatment Process Optimization


February 23, 2001, 3:35 PM





        Steps taken between 1995 and 2000 to improve MWRA’s disinfection and corrosion systems will be presented.  The lessons regarding process, control and operations engineering that the water industry can learn from these experiences will also be addressed.  Finally, the work needed to improve process management will also be discussed.


          Based on his substantial experience in the field, Mr. O’Day will share his thoughts on the “fragmentation between professionals in our current approach to process design, construction and operation which limits the overall quality of treatment plant operation.”  He will also share his ideas on skills that he feels will be helpful to us in our careers if we choose to enter the field of water supply.



Tell me more:


MWRA provides eastern MA residents with water from two primary sources, the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs.  This water is treated and distributed to the consumer through a series of reservoirs, storage tanks, and pipes.  To learn more about the chain of events, click the Quabbin:





During this lecture, Mr. O’Day will discuss his experiences at MWRA including:


·        Total coliform (TC) level issues in 1995 which resulted in a decision for action to correct deficiencies in the existing disinfection system in 1996 rather than wait until new facilities were constructed in 2004

·        Reconstruction of the Norumbega chloramination facility

·        Startup of the interim disinfection at Cosgrove facility

·        Balancing increased DBP formation with the need for primary disinfection

·        Ultimate elimination of the TC issue


·        Startup of the Cosgrove Disinfection Facility

·        MWRA meets 3-log giardia CT requirements for first time

·        Remote monitoring of the facility from Western Control Center

·        Addition of soda ash and CO2 to increase alkalinity and pH

·        Improved corrosion control has reduced lead levels


·        Process Optimization

·        (Interim Corrosion Control (ICC) Facility)

·        Used a statistical process control and process optimization program to identify and correct process disruption sources to control pH

·        Improved algae monitoring and treatment strategy

·        Chloramination process optimization studies

·        Stabilize residual

·        Avoid nitrification issues

·        Reduce chlorine taste/odor complaints





This page created by: Jennifer Mackey, with information provided by K. O’Day, 2/17/01