A client operates an ongoing Watershed Protection Program (WPP) to protect its water supply. Plummer assisted in developing and incorporating a spill response plan into the WPP. During this project, Plummer identified potential sources of contamination (PSOCs), categorized constituents of concern (COCs), simulated spills in the lake and estimated the potential impact at the water treatment plant intake, developed the Spill Response App, and identified potential preventative and response actions that can be incorporated into spill response planning.
The first steps were to obtain a PSOC database, to update it with information obtained from state and federal agencies, and to identify areas with a potential spill risk (e.g., bridges and pipelines). The next steps were to categorize the associated COCs, to obtain physical properties of the COCs (solubility, density, degradation rates, etc.) that can be used in modeling spill events, and to evaluate the treatability of the COCs. Based on this information, Plummer developed a Risk Criteria Matrix for the COCs that considers risks related to toxicity, mobility, volatilization, treatability, dilution, and persistence in the environment.
The spill response plan depends on the travel time of a potential spill and the degradation potential and treatability of the COCs. Using CE-QUAL-W2, spills of various COCs were simulated at various locations in the lake.
Plummer compiled the results of this project into a Spill Response App, an interactive tool that gives access to the PSOC and COC databases, including physical properties; maps potential spill locations; incorporates live USGS stream data; and reports travel times to water intakes and dilution/attenuation of COCs for various preset spill scenarios. To select the scenario, the user enters the spill location, the COC type, and the flow condition.
Plummer developed a CE-QUAL-W2 model of Lavon Lake to evaluate impacts on dissolved oxygen, nutrients and chlorophyll-a levels in the lake.
Using the Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP), Plummer developed and calibrated a water quality model of Grapevine Lake.
Plummer developed a monthly water balance model of Lavon Lake and the NTMWD water supply system to support evaluation of different water supply and water treatment management options.
The 2014 Austin Water Resource Task Force recommended that the City of Austin evaluate the feasibility of IPR in Lady Bird Lake (LBL) as one of several water supply strategies for consideration in the City’s integrated water resources plan.
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