Drinking Water Area-wide Optimization Program (AWOP)

Area Wide Optimization Program (AWOP)

Inspecting Filter Media

IDNR WSE Section: Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0034
Taroon Bidar, PE, 515-725-0278, Taroon.Bidar@dnr.iowa.gov

Bob Campbell, PE, 515-725-0222, Bob.Campbell@dnr.iowa.gov

IDNR FO 6 (Washington): 1023  W. Madison Street, Washington, IA 52353-1623
Aaron Pickens, 319-653-2135, Aaron.Pickens@dnr.iowa.gov

What is AWOP?

AWOP is a strategy for targeting groups of higher risk systems for state assistance in order to maximize the public health protection that water treatment plants provide.  For additional information nationally, see the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) AWOP webpage(off-site).

What are the benefits of optimization?

The primary benefit of AWOP is improved performance of drinking water treatment plants, which increases protection against waterborne disease.  Other benefits from AWOP include:

  • Systems receive the tools needed to comply with drinking water rules such as the Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection Byproducts Rule, and the Groundwater Rule.
  • Systems better understand their roles in treatment optimization and public health protection.
  • A system operator's ability to apply new technical concepts is enhanced, resulting in sustained improvements in plant operation.
  • New communication and networking opportunities for state and water system staff are created.
  • The useful life of existing infrastructure is prolonged by optimizing performance, reducing the need to invest resources in new facilities to achieve compliance.

AWOP Tools

Study of turbidity levels during backwash cycle

AWOP Goals and Surface Water & Influenced Groundwater Treatment Plant Status

IDNR annually prioritizes the State's 32 surface water and influenced groundwater treatment plants relative to public health risk using the Status Component.  The Iowa AWOP program has adopted these Optimization Goals.  An AWOP awards program is currently under development.

If you have any questions or comments about AWOP and how it affects your system, please contact one of the AWOP team members.