Jumping Brook Water Treatment Plant - Executive Summary
New Jersey - American Water Company is New Jersey's largest private water utility, providing drinking water to over 300,000 people. During the treatment process New Jersey - American uses chlorine gas from ton containers to help disinfect this water. In order to protect our neighbors from an accidental release of chlorine New Jersey - American has had a comprehensive written risk management program in place for over 10 years. This program addresses all aspects of process safety from operations to emergency response. |
The program starts with associate training at NJAWC. A new associate must first meet the basic job requirements before they are even considered for a job handling hazardous chemicals. After an individual is accepted into a position they undergo 90 days of on-the-job and classroom training. During the entire training process, written and verbal tests are administered to highlight any deficiencies in the training progress. At the end of this training period a compreh
ensive verbal test is administered to evaluate the associate. All associates continually attend annual refresher training to maintain their skills and knowledge.
Standard operating procedures (SOPS) have been developed for all processes involving chlorine and ozone. These procedures are taken directly from manufacturer's equipment manuals or recognized industry standards. The SOPs describe the normal operation of the equipment, any abnormal conditions and the response to this type of condition in order to bring the equipment back into normal operating parameters. All associates are trained on the SOPs and review them annually.
A comprehensive preventive maintenance program exists at NJAWC in order to assure the proper operation of the equipment. Every piece of chlorine equipment is included in the PM program. Equipment is inspected and maintained on a schedule based on manufacturer's recommendations or industry standards. In the absence of any written recommendations all eq
uipment is inspected on an annual basis. Associates responsible for maintenance are trained on procedures before they are allowed to perform any work on the equipment.
A hazard analysis is conducted every 5 years to determine if there are any probable release scenarios for the site. This analysis evaluates every possible leak location and the protective measures that are in place or could be implemented to prevent such a release. The hazard analysis is performed by individuals who are familiar with the equipment and work with it on a daily basis under the guidance of a Loss Control Manager. Recommendations are forwarded to the Responsible Manager for implementation.
Any change in policy, procedures and equipment goes through an exhaustive review before implementation. This review insures that all aspects of the change are studied and understood before any modification of the system is undertaken. Corrections are made to SOPs, drawings, emergency response and training before the
change is implemented to insure that all operations are done properly with the new equipment. A procedure is also in place to guarantee that there is always someone in charge of the RMP program in the event of supervisory changes in NJAWC.
A release to the atmosphere at the Jumping Brook facility would be extremely rare since a chlorine scrubber is on site, which would neutralize any release of chlorine gas.
While the scrubber is the main mitigation tool, associates at NJAWC are also trained in emergency response actions. Individuals first go to 40 hours of training in emergency response and chemical hazards. This training includes instruction on the proper personal protective equipment, handling hazardous substances and tools to stop a release. Associates continually undergo refresher training annually every year to maintain skills. Drills are held annually in order to insure that the emergency response program works as it is designed. The drills are evaluated and if corre
ctive actions needed they are implemented. The plan is distributed to the local emergency planning committees (LEPC) and they are invited to attend the drills.
Accident investigation procedures have been developed to determine the root cause of any release and to correct the cause as quickly as possible. The accident investigation is conducted by the responsible manager who will follow-up on any corrective actions necessary.
The risk management program is formally audited annually to insure that there are no deviations from all the policies and procedures involved in the handling of chlorine.