The Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) is a voluntary multi-state program in which states work together to develop and implement individual state methods to support public water systems with the optimization of their treatment processes and distribution systems. AWOP is designed to assist water systems with optimizing their physical and organizational infrastructures to enhance public health protection, without encountering major improvement expenses.
AWOP Objective and Background
Initially developed for wastewater treatment plant compliance issues, the framework began in the 1970s with the Comprehensive Correction Program (CCP). And in the 1980s, the framework was applied for optimizing drinking water plant performance for microbial (turbidity) optimization to determine the cause of microbial issues at surface water systems. The program continued to develop with the creation of protocols and the CCP handbook in 1990s. Program developments eventually lead to the creation of AWOP for all drinking water systems. The program has expanded to include approaches to control disinfection byproducts and other contaminants while maintaining distribution system water quality in surface and ground water systems.
Currently implemented in over 20 states, the primary goal of AWOP is to maximize public health protection through optimization of existing water treatment and distribution facilities. The program promotes water quality and monitoring goals that exceed regulatory requirements. The goals provide increased public health protection, or a “compliance insurance policy” for drinking water systems. The program provides a proactive compliance approach for State Drinking Water Programs, assists public water systems in achieving compliance, and also stresses the importance of data quality by utilizing checklists for field and plant equipment where data is critical for optimization.
Florida’s Area-Wide Optimization Program
Florida’s has been participating in the Area-Wide Optimization Program (AWOP) for many years. AWOP has granted Florida the opportunity to host and attend training workshops in order to share the tools and information designed for developing the program within the state. The program has also provided the opportunity to further support Florida’s surface and ground water system operations and increase compliance.
For the most recent update on Florida’s AWOP activities, please access link below.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.