Raj Bhattarai and Ana Peña-Tijerina Speak About Nutrients at WEFTEC 2014

July 30, 2014

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From left, Raj Bhattarai, and Ana Peña-Tijerina will discuss numeric nutrient criteria during Technical Session 521 at WEFTEC 2014. Photo courtesy of Bhattarai.

From left, Raj Bhattarai, and Ana Peña-Tijerina will discuss numeric nutrient criteria during Technical Session 521 at WEFTEC 2014. Photo courtesy of Bhattarai.

On Oct. 1, two water-sector leaders will take the podium during WEFTEC® 2014 Technical Session 521 to discuss numeric nutrient criteria and an implementation plan.

Raj Bhattarai, manager of the Environmental and Regulatory Services Division for the Austin (Texas) Water Utility, and Ana Peña-Tijerina, process engineer for Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility (Fort Worth, Texas), will give a joint presentation during the session titled “Recent Developments in Numeric Nutrient Criteria.” As their fifth consecutive WEFTEC presentation on nutrient criteria, Bhattarai and Peña-Tijerina will discuss criteria for permits and methods that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and states use to calculate numeric permit limits for discharging to a waterbody.

“Although the numeric nutrient criteria and the water-quality standards are discussed much more widely, this presentation will focus on the rarely discussed implementation procedures which are just as crucial for the water-quality professionals,” Bhattarai said.

“As more and more states promulgate numeric nutrient criteria, the ways in which the criteria are implemented and incorporated into permits limits are beginning to take greater significance,” Bhattarai said. Developing the criteria is a challenge because of the “complex, nonlinear, and site-specific nature of the relationship between nutrient concentrations and water quality,” according to the WEFTEC paper abstract provided by Bhattarai and Peña-Tijerina. But the magnitude of nutrients effect on water quality is significant and an important topic for those in the water sector to understand, the abstract says.

Bhattarai notes that because development and implementation of numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) is ongoing, significant changes could occur by WEFTEC. “We will identify the latest changes in the paper as well as in the presentation,” the abstract says. “The paper and the presentation will provide the most up-to-date information regarding the overall status of the NNCs and implementation plans nationwide.”

The speakers will review various approaches for implementing plans and challenges associated with each approach, and discuss case studies to “help everyone move forward with a better appreciation of the task of nutrients management for water quality improvement,” the abstract says.

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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