Presentations Alert: PRWA Conference, August 24-26, 2021

At the upcoming Pennsylvania Rural Water Association (PRWA) Conference, representatives from Keystone are teaching three technical sessions!

On Tuesday, August 24, and Wednesday, August 25, Project Manager/Electrical Engineer, Adam Menko, P.E., CESCP, will be giving a presentation on "NFPA 70E and You; An Operator's Guide to Electrical Safety in the Workplace". This is a repeat course for Adam since he presented on this topic at the PennTec Conference in June. His interview on what to expect can be found here.


Additionally, Associate/Director of Automation, Heather Heltzinger, will be joined by Anne Marek, P.E., from Kershner Environmental Technology, on Tuesday, August 24 to teach a class on "Energy and Nutrient Removal Optimization for Wastewater".


We interviewed Heather to learn more about the topic, her background, and what we can expect from the conference.


Q&A with the Conference Speaker: Heather Heltzinger, Associate/Director of Automation


Q: Can you tell us what to expect from this presentation?

A: The presentation will review the process of enhanced nutrient removal. We will discuss the science behind the process and the instrumentation and controls that are used.


Q: Where and when are you presenting?

A: The presentation will take place on Tuesday, August 24, from 1:30- 5 pm in room 106. The full conference schedule can be found here.


Q: Who should attend this conference?

A: Anyone who is currently upgrading their plant and researching, or learning about, the different processes out there for nutrient removal. Also, anyone who is curious about what could be the best choice for the local environment and your plant.


Q: Can you give us a little bit of background on who you are?

A: I have worked in the instrumentation, controls, and SCADA area of the water/wastewater industry for over 17 years. Understanding the process of water and wastewater is mandatory in understanding how to control the systems. This is the underlying reason why I love the industry so much! Teaching industry "outsiders" about the process of water controls and how it really does affect everyone every day is very fun. There is so much science, thought, and care that goes on behind the scenes to make processes better for the environment and more energy efficient. It is a process that will never go away and is very important for humans to continue to thrive.


Q: Why is this topic important to learn more about?

A: I touched on this question a bit above, but here is some history on the topic! In 1983, the Chesapeake Bay Agreement pushed for higher nutrient removal, due to the decline in water quality of the Bay, and achieved a 90% reduction of pollutant removal. Because of the successful results, the Maryland Department of the Environment pushed a bit harder to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus even further. This is where the enhanced nutrient removal process was created. Knowledge of continuous improvement and the technology behind it is why this course is relevant.