Organic carbon is relatively abundant in untreated municipal wastewater and a critical concern for operators of Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRF). Organic carbon in treated wastewater is consumed by bacteria and other organisms using dissolved oxygen (DO) in receiving waters. If the concentration of organic carbon in treated wastewater is too high, receiving water DO may be depleted which threatens supply, environmental, and recreational uses for the water body.
Nitrification is the most critical process at water resource recovery facilities (WRRF). Good process control keeps several factors in balance such that nitrification is achieved resulting in efficient removal of ammonia from treated effluent. On the other hand, without timely process monitoring it is hard to know the effectiveness of your process control decisions. The threat of an upset event which can lead to multiple non-compliance events is enough to keep Operators awake at night. This was the case at the Meander Watershed Water Pollution Control Facility. The facility’s small footprint and short retention time present unique barriers to achieving compliance with discharge limits for ammonia-nitrogen. It wasn’t until they had an opportunity to use an online monitoring system from YSI that operators finally got a handle on nitrification problems.
Optimization of the activated sludge process requires careful management of three critical parameters. Over the years, wastewater professionals have based their control decisions on measurements from batch tests supplied to various samples or from infrequent laboratory analysis. Those are measurements done on composite samples for compliance purposes. Today, besides talking about the three things you need to know, we're also going to offer you some alternatives for monitoring that can improve your ability to optimize the process.
Chemical removal of P has been utilized for decades. It is easily integrated into any configuration with the addition of facilities for chemical storage and feed. It starts working quickly and is easy to turn down or turn off. Chemical treatment is a generally a good choice for WRRF with one or more of the following characteristics: small flows (<0.5 mgd), extended periods of unattended operation, or discharge limits of 1.0 mg P/L or higher.
The two most common measurements of phosphorus in wastewater are Total Phosphorus (TP) and ortho-phosphate (OP). TP is typically the compliance parameter required by NPDES discharge permits; OP is a useful process control parameter. TP is measured following digestion of the sample with acid and heat. OP is not well defined, analytically speaking. It is generally assumed to consist of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) which may consist of compounds besides ortho-phosphate.
When a watershed does not meet attainment status for designated uses, there are three main mechanisms for regulation of P in treated effluent from a WRRF discharged to surface water: technology-based standards, total maximum daily loads (TMDL), and water quality based emission limits (WQBEL). Technology-based standards are probably the most common form of regulation. However, it is the WQBEL which are currently the driving force for more widespread regulation.
Our process control experts have been busy traveling around the United States, visiting hundreds of water resource recovery facilities and engineers. During those visits, we have been asked questions about process monitoring and control. We narrowed these questions down to three. These three were the most frequently asked questions
The proper tools are essential to fixing any problem. Over the years, Ohio EPA’s Compliance Assistance Unit (CAU) has helped dozens of water resource recovery facilities (WRRF) get back into and maintain compliance with NPDES discharge permits. Their field toolkit has included an assortment of batch sampling kits and handheld instruments. Each tool had its place but each also had limitations and, as a result, the compliance puzzle often was missing important pieces. Increasingly, as nutrient limits were incorporated into discharge permits, the missing piece was characterizing the dynamics of nitrification and denitrification.
Meeting wastewater treatment objectives and staying within budget requires careful control of the process. At a conventional activated sludge (CAS) facility in Wisconsin, a full scale WWTP demonstration of Sanitaire's OSCAR™ process performance optimizer and YSI's IQ SensorNet process monitoring system demonstrated a substantial savings in operating costs while maintaining treatment performance.
Join YSI and Sanitaire application experts for a 1 hour live webinar presentation on September 17th at 1:30 EDT to learn more about this project. The webinar will provide details about the system design and operation, as well as the implementation of the monitoring and control system including setpoints, sensor location, and other critical control parameters.
Find out how a 10% savings in energy cost and a projected annual savings of almost $75,000 were achieved with dissolved oxygen (DO) monitoring and aeration control and orthophosphate monitoring and chemical dosing control.
A $4.6 million project in Lake City is planned to reduce nitrogen pollution in the Ichetucknee River by converting a large area of the spray fields for the city’s wastewater treatment plant into artificial wetlands.
The Spring Creek plant was built as a conventional activated sludge (CAS) facility. In 2012, it was converted to a vertical-loop reactor (VLR), essentially an oxidation ditch turned on its side. The process consists of a series of VLR reactors operated in aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic conditions to facilitate and optimize the removal of organics and nutrients.
The old adage is that lightning never strikes the same place twice. But if it does, the team at the Cedarburg Wastewater Treatment Plant won’t be concerned about their water quality monitoring system. After all, they’ve seen it before, after a 2014 strike blew out one of their aerator drives and its motor, but required only a reboot of their YSI IQ SensorNet 2020 XT wastewater process monitoring system - to get it up and running again.
The Fox River Water Pollution Control Center (FRWPCC), operated by the City of Brookfield, is an activated sludge plant with tertiary filtration designed for an average daily flow of 12.5 million gallons per day (MGD) and a peak wet weather flow of 50 MGD. The plant complies with a 1.0 mg Total Phosphorus discharge limit by adding alum to secondary treatment. The problem with this method is that treatment required an average dosage of over 8,000 gallons per month of alum at a cost that often exceeded $10,000! FRWPCC needed a solution that would reduce chemical usage and, ultimately, save the city money. The facility was also looking for an overall solution that would allow them to cost-effectively meet a more stringent limit of 0.075 mg TP/ L in the future.
Are you a techie, wanting to keep up with the latest trends in wastewater treatment technology? If so, you would be very excited to hear what was presented at the WEF/IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery (NRR) Conference held this year i
The NY Water Environment Association (NYWEA) holds its annual conference a stones’ throw away at the Marriott Marquis. My technical presentation titled “Process Monitoring of Nitrate, Nitrite, and COD with Optical Spectral Sensors” was particularly relevant as the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently began to include NitraVis optical nitrate sensors as part of their Carbon Addition project.
YSI and Sanitaire hosted a webinar recently titled ‘Case Study - Enhanced Performance & Reduced Operating Cost With Online Process Monitoring and Automated Control’ and part of our Water Resource Recovery Facility Webinar Series.
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