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Local Engineers To Present Research Papers

February 20, 2006

Topics as wide ranging as finding safer ways to treat public drinking water to converting polluted industrial sites to park lands will be presented in a series of papers at the South Carolina Environmental Conference by four engineers from Hayes, Seay, Mattern & Mattern, Inc. (HSMM). HSMM Roanoke-based engineers Scott Parkins, Ian Shaw, and Scott McDowell, with fellow HSMM engineer Jonathan Hunt, will share research findings with other environmental engineers and industry professionals at the educational conference March 18-22 in Myrtle Beach. The program is organized by the South Carolina chapter of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Association of South Carolina.

Mr. Shaw will discuss the timely subject of how to improve stream and river water quality while redeveloping abandoned polluted properties (Brownfields). Mr. Shaw also co-authored “Benefits of Wetland and Stream Restoration on Municipal Water Quality Initiatives,” which will be presented by Mr. McDowell.

Mr. Parkins will discuss using a computer-based Geographic Information System (GIS) for planning municipal water and wastewater distribution networks. GIS overlays geographically matched maps and photographs that can make municipal planning processes more efficient and keep them current.

Mr. Hunt’s presentation, co-authored by HSMM engineers Dan McPherson and Marty Watson, will focus on a new, safer and more effective process for chlorinating municipal drinking water called on-site generation of sodium hypochlorite, which was introduced for first-time use in South Carolina at the Town of Cheraw. The process uses electricity and salt water to create a mild chlorine bleach solution to treat municipal water, making it safe for drinking. Sodium hypochlorite is an alternative to hazardous gaseous chlorine, the chemical most often used in municipal water treatment systems. The paper also draws on the firm’s experience in designing a similar system for Hickory, N.C., the first in that state.

Mr. Hunt also co-authored with Roger Childers, Public Works Director for the South Carolina Town of Blacksburg, a paper discussing problems and solutions regarding formation of toxic nitrogen compounds called nitrites in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Mr. Childers will make that presentation. Nitrites, if released in sufficient quantity back to streams and waterways, are harmful to fish and wildlife.

For more information on the South Carolina Environmental Conference, visit www.sc-ec.org.

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