Welcome to our August HeadsUp Readers,
First, I want to thank the reader who kindly pointed out how insensitive I’d been in my last newsletter. I do understand that not everyone is convinced that climate change relates to man-made activities, and many of those people are thoughtful and intelligent. So, if my flippancy offended, please accept my apologies. Mea culpa.
Population growth in many areas has caused cities to rethink the way they handle their sewage. In the early 80’s, a regional view was taken in the Sacramento area and a whopping 222 treatment plants were replaced by the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. The Facility receives an unusually high amount of physical debris, some of which is quite odd. For the last 14 years, Headworks Bar Screens have been capturing the solids, and some of them are even on display at the plant. Sr. VP Gerald Seidl visited there recently and created one of his awesome videos of the operations for our viewers. To learn more about why cities are repeat customers and see some of the weird things our screens have captured there, check out this month’s Case Study.
Are you a reader? Ever think of also being a writer? Well, this month’s Summer Book Review is right up your alley. Reading Like a Writer by aptly named Francine Prose was written for people who want to get more out of their reading. And for those who may be reading to learn more about how to write. This excellent book is routinely referred to by writing instructors and in writing workshops. Even if you don’t have an urge to get that “one book everyone has in them” onto paper, you will find this a fascinating read which will allow you to better appreciate how carefully constructed your favorite tomes were by their authors.
A few weeks ago, my family traveled to Alaska with my father to get away from the heat in Houston and spend time together. Did you know that a majority of Americans do not take their fully earned vacations? There is some corrupted thinking going on that it is a badge of honor not to have taken a vacation in years. Phooey on that, I say! I am deeply grateful for the marvelous team at Headworks who enabled me to go on vacation without interruption from the office. That mental and physical break was priceless, not to mention even more importantly the memories my family created with our time together. Just before we left, my husband sent me this fun link on how best to set up an “away message” on my email account so people wouldn’t expect a response until I returned. Although I didn’t use the exact example, I did find my email was noticeably calm in my absence. My advice? Take a vacation and stay off of your digital devices. You’ll be amazed at how well you function when you return.
It will come as no surprise that while we were in Alaska, we regularly feasted on salmon. We even saw salmon jumping in the ocean and running in the streams. A great advocate for sustainable and conscientious use of our natural resources, Craig Murray, whose Nimmo Bay Resort is on my all-time bucket list, suggested that I look into the research on salmon being done by Alexandra Morton. What I learned was disturbing. More years ago than I would like to admit, while obtaining my degree at Texas A&M in Wildlife & Fisheries Science, I learned what keystone species mean in the world’s food chain. Salmon is a keystone species to the First Nation tribes of Alaska and Canada, the bears and eagles that live there, and many other animals whose most important food source is salmon. The documentary Salmon Confidential will convince you to purchase only wild salmon, not farmed. The farms, often located adjacent to the mouths of rivers wild salmon return to for spawning their young, are infecting the wild fish as they swim by with sea lice and European viruses. There is an epidemic of salmon deaths in the rivers. Without a real and convincing pushback by consumers, salmon farming may soon cause salmon in the wild to become extinct, triggering a cascade of devastating consequences to all of the species that depend on the salmon for sustenance. I hope you take the time to learn about this issue and spread the word.
In our continuing mission to make wastewater generated by cities and industries reusable wherever possible, we are currently looking for an experienced national salesperson with deep experience in the food and beverage market to pursue our MBBR/IFAS technological sales. If you or someone you know are interested, you can learn more on our website here.
Getting away on vacation, no matter how far you travel or how long you stay, will free your soul and bring you back to your everyday responsibilities refreshed and recharged. Perhaps enough to write a book, even. Who knows? Whatever your passion, seek it out. Life happens today.
Warm regards from Houston,
Headworks International Inc.
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A visit to the Sacramento Regional Treatment Plant shows why.
Learn more here.
Back in 1982, the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant became fully operational, replacing a whopping 222 small treatment plants in the region. Located in Elk Grove, California, it is approximately 30 minutes from downtown Sacramento. Due to the variety of municipalities it serves, it has unusually high solids loading entering the plant, even during low flow periods. These high solids can present difficult challenges to most types of screening equipment, but 14 years of operating the Headworks Bar Screens selected to protect the plant is one more proof of why buying quality equipment is always a better investment.
The installation consists of four (4) Bar Screens, in 8 feet (2.4m) wide channels with an overall length of 27.5 feet (8.4m) and a Bar spacing of 1/2″ (13mm). Purchased in 2005, each one is designed to handle 150mgd (570,000m3/d) of flow.
The below grade installation requires the debris screenings to be collected and delivered to grade level using a sluicing and pumping system. The plant devised a system to divert materials encountered during first flush events so as to not overwhelm the collection and delivery system. The diverted material from the first flush event is collected in a dumpster for later processing. After the first flush event passes, the diversion chute is closed, and the system returns to normal operation.
At a recent visit to the plant by Sr. VP Gerald Seidl, he witnessed personally the challenges this large operational facility faces every day. “Even at off peak times of low flows, the Headworks Bar Screens are removing more material than I’ve seen at most plants I have had the opportunity to visit. These higher than usual solids loading cause a higher operational demand resulting in longer that typical operating hours for each Bar Screen. But our big boys can take it!”
The photo below shows the Headworks Bar Screens in the screenings buildings situated in a huge room below ground level floor.
Of the four (4) Bar Screens installed, typically two (2) of the four (4) units operate on a 24/7 basis at Low Speed. When incoming flows exceed approximately 150 MGD the plant will initiate operation of the third (3rd) Bar Screen. During flows of approximately 215 MGD and higher the plant operates all four (4) Bar Screens in High Speed. The plant will also operate the Screens in High Speed during events where unusual amounts of debris are incoming or during system flushing routines.
As Daniel DiBiasio, the HYCHEM Team Mechanical Supervisor, states about the screens:
“They have worked exceedingly well and have only been blinded a handful of times where hoses were needed to clear excessive loads from the rakes so that they could lift out the debris. Our only limiting factor to why we cannot use differential timing is that our grinders are not able to handle batches of large amounts of debris. By continuously raking, we avoid any additional loading [on the grinders].”
As with many wastewater treatment plants, the Bar Screens remove some unusual objects at times. The photo below shows some of the ”catches.” In addition, the plant operators find various documents, like driver’s licenses, and sometimes money. Who knows the reasons why these items made their way to the vast network of this sewer system and then into the Headworks Bar Screens.
The first defense equipment in a wastewater plant must be as rugged as possible. These units have operation hours of between 30,000 to over 50,000 hours. Why do cities repeatedly buy Headworks Bar Screens? After seeing them operate reliably for over 14 years, Sacramento is a great example of a city with its own personal testament to the solid design our team is committed to providing over and over again.
Watch a short video here and see yourself.
Headworks International is the market leader in Deep Channel Screen applications and would be delighted to help you and your engineers with your application, big or small. Contact your local manufacturers’ representative or the experts at Headworks Inc. who are here to serve you at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.713.647.6667.
Check out our review of Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
Summer Book Review – August 2019
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People
Who Love Books and for Those
Who Want to Write Them
By Francine Prose
Some years ago, I purchased this book, put it in one of the many piles around our house for books “to be read” and successfully ignored it along with all of the other books I had purchased over the years about writing that first novel we all think we have in us. When the water rose in our house in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the first possessions of importance the dank water took was the bottom row of the library in our living room. Having only a few short days earlier reorganized the entire wall in a maniacal mental response to the full solar eclipse on August 21st, I no longer know what was lost other than presumably books with authors whose names begin towards the end of the alphabet. For the last two years, whatever we salvaged in our mad adventure of moving them handful by handful upstairs as water continued to rise, remains stored in a warehouse with many other things, mostly unnecessary, waiting for the day we have a permanent home.
I’m not sure what started the ‘itch’ to write something beyond the HeadsUp newsletter each month. Perhaps the need to think about something other than work? I’ve taken a few workshops over the last year and have had to repurchase books I know are somewhere, including this fascinating book I just finished today, Reading Like a Writer.
Its focus is on the language of literature, word by word in some instances. She illustrates how a great novel or short story can use the minute details of the gestures made by characters to let the reader see who they are at the moment in time in which the writer has chosen to capture them. Or how in some writing gestures were unnecessary.
It really doesn’t matter if you are interested in writing at all. Having read vociferously all of my life, I realize now how little attention I’ve paid to each page as I rushed through to see what happens next. The guidance Prose gives in how better to read and with the examples from historical greats such as Dickens, Balzac, Mark Twain, Kafka and a whole chapter devoted to learning from Chekov. I’ve read a few Chekov stories, but reading her thoughts on how every notion she had about writing was turned on its head by story after story has inspired me to read his collection from beginning to end.
She illustrates her points through clear examples of the finest writing in the English language. I’ve highlighted quite a bit of what she’s written and intend to review various parts as I continue reading. The new insight I’ve learned will assuredly cause me to slow my reading down and appreciate the brilliance, or lack thereof, in whatever new work I pick up.
For anyone, this is a highly intelligent, but approachable book about the beauty of language and the seemingly unlimited ways it can be used to tell a story. For people who are not readers yet, it just may change your ideas about what can be found inside the covers of a novel or short story. But if you want to write something, it is frankly extremely intimidating. The chapter on reading for courage is helpful in that it goes into some detail to bolster the truth that there are really no rules for great writing. But measuring up to the authors she chose to give you that courage, such as Tolstoy and Beckett are, well, enough to make me go back to my day job.
Looking for a clever “away” message? Check out
in Alaska and Canada, sea lice from fish farms are and European viruses are killing wild salmon before they can spawn. It’s important to
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