Operational Aspects of Supplemental Carbon Addition for Nitrogen Removal

Timely WEFTEC Workshop Builds on WERF Nutrient Challenge Program

(NEW YORK, NY – October 7, 2011) – In recent years, Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) has become the standard level of treatment required by municipalities to achieve effluent nitrogen and phosphorus limits in many geographic regions with nutrient impaired waterways. For instance, 2011 will be the first year that many treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed will have to remove nitrogen to 3 mg/L and phosphorus to 0.3 mg/L. Removing total nitrogen and total phosphorus to these levels often requires a readily biodegradable carbon source to be added as a food-source in addition to the soluble BOD that is already present in the influent or primary effluent wastewater.

To help utilities gain better insight into the practical operational aspects of using supplemental carbon for nutrient removal, the Water Environment Federation and Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) are sponsoring a workshop at WEFTEC 2011 in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, October 15, 2011. This workshop – chaired by Hazen and Sawyer’s Director of Wastewater Process Technology Paul Pitt, Ph. D., P.E. – will help attendees understand the many benefits and challenges of both traditional and more innovative carbon sources.

The purpose of this workshop is to present the latest available operational experiences with supplemental carbon to a small group of professionals in the wastewater industry that wish to learn the following:

  1. What technical resources are available to assist with planning for using supplemental carbon.
  2. How to switch back and forth between carbon sources.
  3. What types of carbon dosing control strategies exist and how well they work.
  4. The relevance of “specialist” and “generalist” populations in activated sludge systems with carbon.
  5. How other facilities have optimized their total nitrogen removal using different supplemental carbon, and what challenges they encountered.
  6. How to calculate carbon dose requirements and compare the cost of various carbon sources.
  7. How to plan for an initiate a pilot of supplemental carbon to demonstrate its effectiveness before investing capital costs into a permanent system.

It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each supplemental carbon source prior to selecting one for a specific wastewater treatment facility. Selecting a carbon source based on projected effluent quality alone is not appropriate – facility operators must also understand the real world logistics, including transportation, storage, pumping, cost monitoring and health and safety requirements, for each substance to ensure the facility are capable of handling the product.

This workshop will allow participants to build on lessons learned from the WEFTEC-2010 carbon workshop, which focused on the state of the knowledge of supplemental carbon sources for BNR application and the evaluation protocol developed as part of the WERF Nutrient Challenge Program. This workshop will allow for a seamless learning transition from research findings to the operational challenges of carbon application, and familiarize participants with the body of knowledge developed as part of the WERF nutrient challenge.

Learn more about supplemental carbon addition.

View all Hazen and Sawyer presentations at WEFTEC 2011.

Visit the WEFTEC 2011 website.

Since our founding in 1951, Hazen and Sawyer has focused on two things: providing safe drinking water and controlling water pollution. Our range of services encompasses the planning, design, and construction management of water and wastewater-related projects – from clean water treatment, storage, and distribution to wastewater and stormwater collection, treatment, and reuse.

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