Why did the City decide to join the PCW?
Edwards: Tulsa is also a member of the Partnership for Safe
Drinking Water (PSW), and one benefit of that program has
been the recognition the employees receive for protecting
public health and doing a good job with our facilities. We
have participated in the development of the PCW and feel
that the opportunities to optimize and reduce operational
costs for the WW facility through the Partnership for Clean
Water will be very significant. We also still value the employee
recognition piece for the PCW as well. Additionally, the cost
to participate in this program is minimal compared to the
savings that can be recognized through optimization.
Vaughan: I would say that Tulsa looks forward to
the Clean Water Partnership project as a way to confirm that our current efforts are effective and also to
learn new perspectives on efficient operations.
What practical/concrete steps has the City of Tulsa
had to take in order to participate in the PCW
program and/or implement PCW guidance?
Edwards: We are just in the learning phase of this process
and are starting with developing a process to understand
how we operate. It is still early days, but at this point we do
not anticipate adding any staff or resources. We feel that
this work is within the scope of current operations staff.
Vaughan: I agree with Clayton. We are not very far along
in the process, and as of now I do not intend to shift
people around or add a FTE to assist with the project. So
far, the most significant effort has been to upload the
process, energy, and permit data, which took about two
hours. We also had an initial kick-off conference call. We
need to get further along in the process before determining what the realistic time commitment from staff will be.
What are you most excited about learning from the
Edwards: We are excited about an opportunity to move
through the plant, process by process, and find out how the
system is operating, what the baseline is. You can’t optimize
a system until you have a good understanding of how you’re
currently operating. Once we have a good understanding
of how the system is operating, we are looking forward to
seeing which processes can be optimized to save operating expenses. Additionally, we are looking to improve the
process to be competitive with private/contract operators.
Vaughan: From my perspective, I am most excited
to learn and document new approaches to optimization that can be used at our other facilities.
Partnership for Clean Water Charter Members
º Coachella Valley Water District (CA)
º Denver Water (CO)
º Hardin County Water District No. 1 (KY)
º St. Cloud Public Utilities (MN)
º Orange Water and Sewer Authority NC)
º Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (OK)
º City of Grants Pass (OR)
º Hilton Head Public Service District (SC)
º Town of Culpeper (VA)
º Searcy Water Utilities (AR)
º Murfreesboro Water & Sewer Department (TN)
º Aurora Water (CO)
º Souderton Borough WWTP (PA)