Vote for free wastewater monitoring equipment

The City of Grand Rapids  – Environmental Services Department announced it has been selected as a Fan Favorite nominee in the “See the BIG picture” contest sponsored by Hach Company, the industry leader in nutrient monitoring.

The City of Grand Rapids – Environmental Services Department will compete against nine other municipal wastewater treatment facilities across the U.S. for $40,000 in nutrient monitoring equipment from Hach. The facility receiving the most votes on the “See the BIG Picture” contest website ( will be named the Fan Favorite.

Voting begins on September 19th and ends on November 13, 2011. Voting is open to the general public, and individuals may cast up to 10 votes.

The recipient of the Fan Favorite prize will be announced on November 15, 2011.

The Environmental Services Department lacks reliable, portable field equipment to perform field testing on Plaster Creek (which is a tributary to the Grand River). Plaster Creek joins the Grand River just upstream of the Wastewater Treatment Plants effluent location.

The Plaster Creek Watershed drain totals 57 square miles and it’s sub watershed management units are 92.2 miles long. The MDEQ has included most of Plaster Creek, a 12-mile stretch on the 2002 Section 303(d) non-attainment list due to elevated levels of Escherichia Coli (E. coli) and poor fish and macro-invertebrate communities (due to excessive sediment loading). In 1992 Grand Valley State University study indicated large difference between dry and wet weather sampling results.  Field sampling equipment would give us a better feel for trends and possibly sources of sediment loading. We would be able to immediately perform field testing after/during wet weather events and respond to any emergencies (spills, possible illicit discharges, etc.) that might occur. We currently collect samples and bring them back to the lab for analysis – this wastes time, resources and does not attain the responsiveness we need in times of emergencies.

The “See the BIG picture” contest was designed to help municipal wastewater treatment plants understand the benefits of increasing nutrient monitoring. In addition to the Fan Favorite prize, Hach will award $100,000 in equipment to recipients of the grand prize for Municipal and Industrial facilities at WEFTEC 2011 on October 18, 2011.

About Hach Company
For more than 60 years, Hach Company ( has developed innovative solutions to test the quality of water, other liquids and air. Manufactured and distributed worldwide, Hach systems are designed to simplify analysis by offering sophisticated on-line instrumentation, accurate portable laboratory equipment, high-quality prepared reagents, complete easy-to-follow methods, and life-time technical support.

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