Planning for WWTPs of the Future
- Katya Bilyk - Hazen and Sawyer
In recent years, the paradigm in wastewater treatment has shifted from regulatory-driven reactionary planning to proactive utility-driven planning aimed at achieving energy neutrality, reducing operating costs, and resource recovery. New more efficient approaches to nutrient removal are also being utilized. By taking a long-term view, utilities can invest in sustainable approaches with significant paybacks.
The case studies will illustrate the following principles:
(1) Utility-driven master planning benefits from a holistic approach. For instance, a recent Master Plan identified reuse as a strategy to avoid having to implement advanced treatment and save over $300 million.
(2) Master Plans should be dynamic living documents that consider multiple future scenarios. For example, a recent Biosolids Master Plan describes how (a) if land application is no longer viable, the utility is best served by constructing a thermal dryer, and (b) if Class A land application remains acceptable, thermophilic digestion would be the preferred option.
(3) Biosolids management is at the heart of utilities of the future. Energy neutrality or energy positive facilities typically achieve their independence through the use of anaerobic processes with concurrent utilization of biogas. Various case studies will discuss how FOG fermentation and/or digester supplementation can assist in this process. Resource recovery projects that have been implemented thus far focus on opportunities in the biosolids treatment train, and examples of these projects and opportunities will be presented as well.
(4) Deammonification is a new energy-efficient approach to nitrogen removal. Recent designs and pilot studies of deammonification verify the theoretical reductions in aeration requirements (67%) and supplemental carbon use (no carbon required), and that this process removes the expected 80 and 90 percent total nitrogen and ammonia, respectively.
(5) The use of process modeling and online instrumentation can provide real-time and actionable insights to plant operators. This information is used to optimize performance and minimize energy, chemical use and nutrients. Examples of real-time process control concepts and SCADA dashboards such as diurnal ammonia-load equalization, real-time aerobic SRT management, and real-time internal recycle management from plants in North Carolina will be presented.
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