In October, Valentine held an open house to give the opportunity for participants to earn Continuing Education Units (CEU) and network with peers and colleagues.  The presentations covered self-cleaning wet wells and new advances in motor technologies.

Self-Cleaning Wet Wells

The screwsucker technology was in action with two types of self-cleaning wet wells including the Fairbanks Morse Trench wet well.   Hennesy Mechanical focused on different solutions that:

  • Provide unique hydraulic solutions for improved wet well cleaning
  • Overcome problems with non-biodegradable wipes
  • Provide a true safety backup with a portable high solids pumping system.
Screwsucker Demonstration

Screwsucker Self-Cleaning Wet Well

Screwsucker Demonstration -Self-Cleaning Wet Well

Screwsucker Self-Cleaning Wet Well









Download the full presentations for these self-cleaning wet wells.  1: ScrewSucker Presentation 2: Wastewater and Self Cleaning Wetwells

Motor Technology for Water and Wastewater Applications

There are so many options for motors that can satisfy a number of different problems and complex specifications.  US Motors talked about the latest and greatest motor designs and the plethora of capabilities for:

  • Efficiency improvements for energy savings and maintenance ease
  • New applications involving VFDs
  • New advances and industry standards for various motor applications.

Download the full presentation for detailed information on these motor technologies. Motor Technology

Every situation should be fully evaluated to determine the most optimal solution for specific challenges and wanted outcomes.  Valentine would be happy to further discuss what your needs are and recommend the proper design and technology to fit your operation and meet your goals.  Call Teresa or Mike Valentine at 480.283.8991.

Stay tuned for Valentine’s next Open House in 2014.


Walk for Hope - Valentine Engineers for Life

Valentine Engineers for Life Team

Walk for Hope - Valentine Team in action
Valentine Team in action

Taking on a great cause…


Valentine Environmental Engineers organized their 6th annual Walk for Hope team to support breast cancer research, treatment, and education.  The Valentine Engineers for Life Team had a great time walking and running through the Phoenix Zoo in the 2013 Walk for Hope in October.  This family oriented event supports breast cancer research at City of Hope, an amazing place that is saving lives every day.  City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute which is designated as a comprehensive cancer center on a quest for cures.


Thank you to all of you who came out to support  this great cause and join in the fun.  With your help over the years, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars to make a difference for many patients and their families in their fight to survive.   You are making a difference to cancer victims and to their families.  If you didn’t get a chance to give and are looking for a tax-deductible donation, you can check it out on my personal website.  Whatever you can give will help — every dollar counts!


Did you know that… more than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year? That means another 200,000 of our mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, and friends, and all their loved ones, will be affected by this terrible disease.


Walk for Hope is a movement to come together to end breast cancer once and for all. By coming together, we can make the dream of one day living in a cancer-free world more of a reality for all women and men, as well as for their spouses, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and friends that are all affected by these terrible cancers.


We’re all in. Are you?


Passionate about learning.  Passionate about his clients.

Mike Valentine has worked in the private sector specializing in water and wastewater engineering for over 30 years.  He learns something new every day at Valentine Environmental Engineers but he just took on a wealth of knowledge while earning and receiving his Master of Public Administration (MPA) at University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy.  Mike wanted to further develop his professional expertise, specifically in the public sector to gain a firm grasp of private-public partnerships knowing the water industry is moving in that direction on a large scale.


Mike Valentine, Principal, PE, MPA

Mike Valentine, Principal, PE, MPA

The mission at Valentine is to provide clients with progressive, out-of-the-box thinking to produce successful projects that ultimately preserve the future of water.  Understanding the private-public partnership arena in a better light and seeing things from the client’s eye gives him and his team the ability to improve project delivery and client communication.  The MPA curriculum provided Mike with additional tools and insights into the public arena – issues they face, constraints they tackle, and how they deal with these issues and constraints.  Coupled with Mike’s experience in the private world, this additional insight and expertise provides a complete, holistic understanding of the public-private working relationship.

“I work with municipalities every day and it was essential to me to better understand how we can work together to create sustainable solutions to tough problems,” said Mike Valentine, principal at Valentine Environmental Engineers.  Read more about Valentine’s vision and mission.

Community Gardens

The highlight of Mike’s experience was working with highly educated and experienced individuals in both the public and private disciplines through various team projects and assignments which expanded his awareness and appreciation for these working relationships.  He also experienced the best of the best in terms of social media strategies as a communication tool through the online program.

Mike and his project team enjoyed the much appraised Community Gardens project in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, an area focused on revitalization by USC Price’s namesake, Sol Price, and his nonprofit Price Charities.  Urban agriculture can be a source of neighborhood pride, drive civic participation, improve health and food access, and be an economic catalyst. The group recommended ways these community gardens can become self-governed, sustainable enterprises through community engagement, leadership development, intersectional collaborations, and supportive structures and systems.  Learn more about this and other projects at!/article/52601/from-san-diego-to-zimbabwe-online-mpa-students-tackle-social-issues/.



Teresa.Valentine at ADEQ brown bag

Teresa.Valentine at ADEQ brown bag

Walking The Talk

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) welcomed Teresa Valentine to speak at a Water Quality Division brown bag with ADEQ employees about incorporating green technologies into water and wastewater treatment. The topics of conversation that were of most interest included innovative processes being used to reduce odors at wastewater treatment plants and how gray water recycling techniques have been used to greatly reduce the amount of water being used at the Eloy Detention Center.  Other energy and water saving innovations discussed were turbo blower technologies and hydroturbine projects.  We send out a big thank you to Chuck Graf, Senior Hydrologist at ADEQ for the invitation.

To learn more about these technologies, please visit our Case Studies or contact Teresa at


During Science Week at a summer camp in Seattle, the kids learned all about water conservation and then went online to do their own research.  They came across the Valentine website and our Resource Page which has a section dedicated specifically to educational resources for youth or anyone interested in gaining more knowledge about the environment.  The students and their teacher wrote us a nice letter thanking us for the information and expressed how useful it was to them while they were learning all about water conservation and the environment.

The kids made a special request to add another page for our visitors to enjoy and we agree that it offers great tips for saving water:

“How to Conserve Water in the Bathroom” – 

It’s so important for all of us to better understand what is happening with our environment and how we can protect it.  A very big thank you to the kids and their teacher, Francesca Davis, for their great suggestion to add more great resources to our Resource Page

If you have creative ideas for our resource page, Teresa would love to hear from you at


City of Mesa SEWRP Turbo Blowers

City of Mesa SEWRP Turbo Blowers

Municipal water and wastewater plants, pumps, and lift stations can consume more than 40% of a city’s energy in a year to distribute, disinfect, treat, and pump water for their customers.  The City of Mesa realized this and took action to make improvements to their systems.

The City of Mesa Southeast Water Reclamation Plant (SEWRP) aeration improvements project represents a unique application of different technologies brought together to achieve two main goals; reduce energy use and optimize aeration and process control in the activated sludge process. The different technologies installed at the Mesa SEWRP include fine bubble aeration, high speed turbo blowers, and real time analyzers for nutrients (ammonia and nitrate) and dissolved oxygen.  The blend of these technologies as well as the cutting edge high speed turbo blower technology is a unique application in the State of Arizona.

Collectively, the turbo blowers and the fine bubble aeration saved the city more than 2 million kilowatt-hours annually which equates to more than 60% savings in energy use, or approximate $166,000.  Check out City of Mesa video and learn about their SRP rebates.

The heart of this unique aeration system is the high speed turbo blower.  The new high speed turbo blowers (200hp) provide additional 30% energy efficiency over the existing centrifugal blower (400hp) technology due to several key benefits of this cutting edge technology.  The benefits include:

  • Lower installed motor horse power (HP) due to a more efficient blower design
  • Efficient blower design components include the direct drive impeller to motor configuration coupled with an air bearing design and the more efficient permanent magnetic synchronous motor
  • Up to 40% turndown capability due to variable frequency drive

Like many WRPs, the Mesa SEWRP experiences diurnal swings in influent flow and loading.  A conventional aeration system consisting of constant speed centrifugal blowers, dissolved oxygen analyzers and modulating or manually operated airflow control valves is typically utilized and was the original method installed at the facility.  The conventional system has two main shortcomings, limited ability for airflow turndown on centrifugal blower, and thus limited ability to optimize energy consumption and process control. Furthermore it lacked the partial optimization of energy use and process control that can be realized with dissolved oxygen only control.

Due to the shortcomings of the existing aeration system, the Mesa staff at the SEWRP found the existing centrifugal blowers to be limited in their turndown capabilities, resulting in high devolved oxygen (DO) concentrations during low flows and forcing staff to blow off air excess to maintain DO concentrations.  The generally higher DO concentrations consequently also increase the DO concentration in the anoxic zone due to internal mixed liquor return flows, resulting in inefficient nitrogen removal.  Mesa operations staff had devised an interim control strategy for inlet valve modulation which achieved some turndown, but it could not provide significant energy savings.

The combination of fine bubble aeration, high speed turbo blowers, and both dissolved oxygen and nutrient analyzers offers a combined solution that optimized energy use while at the same time improved process control.  The fine bubble aeration alone has resulted in approximately 30% greater oxygen transfer efficiency over the existing coarse bubble diffusers.  The fine bubblers were designed with a tapered heads allowing for minimal transfer of oxygen from final aerated zone back to the anoxic zone.

Although fine bubble aeration is not a new technology, coupling it with nutrient/DO controls provided for a unique application with this project.  The fine bubble aeration control valves at each of the aeration basin zones will now modulate and control both the DO set point and an overriding ammonia set point.  Thus, even when the optimum DO requirement is met and ammonia set point indicates treatment to be complete, the control strategy will further decrease the DO set point to further optimize energy usage.

In addition to the energy, control and technology benefits, the high speed turbo blowers required less overall maintenance than conventional blowers and operate at a significantly reduced noise level.  The operational noise is a real added tangible benefit for plant staff that has to work in close proximity with the system on a daily basis.

Bringing together new technologies and blending it with various applications has provided the City of Mesa with an innovative solution to accomplish major financial and operational goals.  The techniques that have now been applied provide a significant energy savings which reduces overall operational costs and CO2 emissions.  This project has been a great example of how technology and the use of variable control techniques in the application of that technology can solve many of our greatest wastewater challenges.


Teresa Valentine has been chosen to present at the AWWA 2013 Emergency Preparedness and Security Conference on September 17, 2013 at The Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, Illinois.  She will discuss providing a sustainable source for safe drinking water during a disaster – “Mobile Water Treatment System for Sustained Emergency Response and Recovery.”

When water supplies are compromised during disasters, risks to the US population can be best mitigated by eliminating single points of failure by implementing:

  • Stand alone treatment systems for providing water via a Mobile Water Treatment Unit (MWTU)
  • Flexible transport methods
  • Effective water treatment capability
  • Independent power source

Valentine Environmental Engineers and Hennesy Mechanical Sales presented their solution to the US Department of Homeland Security for consideration in emergency planning.  They covered all the bases for a sustainable and reliable safe drinking water source.  The benefits of the proposed MWTU provided a high level of water treatment, a scalable mobile unit for diverse populations, a standalone power source, flexible transport methods, minimal footprint of power and weight, minimal onsite maintenance during deployment, and user friendly monitoring systems.

Stay tuned for more information on the details of the design, how it can be implemented domestically, and how it can be used in regions of the world in need of safe drinking water.


What is the issue?  Living in the desert southwest, we all have an obligation to conserve water. Each and every one of us can take a small role in the water conservation effort through some simple and cost effective measures. Most of us utilize conventional salt water softeners to remove the hardness of our water. What most of us do not realize is that salt water softeners waste approximately 1600 gallons of water per household per month due to regeneration of the water softening resin with salt solution. The regeneration process also of a typical water softener discharges 600-2,000 pounds of salt each year (source: Central Arizona Salinity Study). The salt discharge enters our sewer systems, increases the salinity of our wastewater which is ultimately treated and utilized for crop and landscape irrigation, golf course irrigation, cooling towers and recharge into the aquifers. Millions of dollars is invested into removing the salinity and ultimately dealing with the brine disposal.

How can we each do our part? There are other alternatives to conventional water softening technology that reduce water usage and result in minimal to no salt discharge. These alternatives include ion exchange resins that are regenerated off site, magnetic water softener, and the like. Rayne Water Systems in Phoenix offers a local source for ion exchange resin media water softeners that can replace existing water softening technology. Rayne will replace the resin tank every 2 to 3 weeks with a new tank at a nominal cost per month. Water consumption is reduced as well as salt discharge to the sewer.

Who is doing it? Santa Clarita has already made bold steps to require all residents to remove conventional salt water softeners and other California cities are on the midst of doing so as well.

Learn more about salinity in this video, “Seeping through the Desert.”


Hydro Turbines - Energy Recovery

Hydro Turbines for Energy Recovery

The process of delivering water from the treatment plant to the customer requires a significant amount of hydraulic energy. In the process of water delivery, excess pressure often needs to be reduced or is wasted. Pressure reducing valves (PRVS), atmospheric discharge, or excessive hydraulic head are commonplace. Reclaimed water and raw water delivery systems also experience similar hydraulic conditions. This hydraulic energy can be captured with the use of hydro turbines.

How it works

As with a PRV, a hydropower turbine reduces pressure. Instead of dissipating this excess energy like a PRV, however, the turbine converts it to usable power. A pump can be operated as a turbine, referred to as “pump as turbine” or PAT, but it is not as efficient as a classical hydro turbine such as the francis-type turbine (see picture). For free discharge, a pelton or turgo type turbine is recommended with the pelton turbine most effective at high head applications. To determine the best turbine for an application and the subsequent expected return on investment, a good understanding of flow and pressure characteristics and site conditions is required.

Where to use

In many Cities throughout the Phoenix area, there are numerous examples of electrical energy that can be garnered from wasted hydraulic energy: 1) PRVs, 2) Free discharge to reservoirs, 3) Recharge wells, 4) RO brine discharge, 5) low head-high flow raw water intake, and 6) CAP/SRP canal systems.

Valentine is currently performing a study for the City of Scottsdale to investigate the use of hydro turbines within their water system.


Finished oxygenation project

Photo compliments of Anue Water Technologies

Finished ECO2 project
Photo compliments of ECO2 Laguna Beach LS, CA

The Odor Control Struggle and What To Do About It


      • Improves odor and corrosion control
      • Reduces operating and maintenance costs
      • Improves overall performance


Oftentimes in sewage collection systems that utilize forcemains, there is a wide range in diurnal flow which causes sewage to sit or flow slowly in the forcemain for extended periods of time.  The onset of anaerobic activity and hence production of sulfides from sulfate occurs during these time periods resulting in high hydrogen sulfide odors at downstream lift stations or treatment plants.

Many municipalities utilize chemicals such as chlorine, ferrous salts, peroxide, bioxide, etc., to reduce the production of hydrogen sulfide downstream.  They are challenged with these methods to provide effective odor control at a reasonable cost to operate and maintain.   These methods are band aid solutions that do not address the real issue – the onset of an anaerobic condition.  As a result, they are dissatisfied with the impact on their wastewater treatment and the release of odors into the atmosphere.

Valentine has conducted studies to examine old and new technologies to evaluate real time situations, and determine more sustainable and efficient solutions.



If the anaerobic conditions are removed from the forcemain, there is no possibility for sulfides to form.  Oxygen or a combination of oxygen and ozone is used in place of chemicals, forcing the environment in the forcemain to go from anaerobic to aerobic.  Once in the aerobic state, the bacteria that reduce sulfates to sulfides can no longer survive.  Several companies have developed oxygen/ozonation feed systems for injection into the sewer to solve the odor control problem – Anue, BlueInGreen, ECO2.  These methods replace the traditional treatment chemicals to offer a safer and more environmental sustainable solution.

Besides treating the systemic problem of H2S formation, the use of oxygen/ozone offers many other benefits:

      • Delivers proven odor control or H2S removal – better removal than other technologies, and in some cases there is virtually no H2S at discharge point, and continued odor control through downstream processes.
      • Eliminates handling of hazardous chemicals
      • Reduces corrosion of equipment
      • Reduces the system footprint
      • Reduces the overall life cycle cost – energy, operations, and maintenance

Valentine provides turnkey water and wastewater systems development from program management to permitting and design, from operations support to construction phase services, their “waves of excellence” delivers the right water solutions specific to your facility.