Operations Tools for the Facility of the Future


  • P. Yi, W. Gellner, K. Bilyk, R. Latimer, P. Pitt - Hazen and Sawyer
  • T. Kutcher, R. Riess, E. Saylor - Metropolitan Sewer District of Great Cincinnati, OH

Water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) both in the United States and other countries are required to achieve ever more stringent limits on nutrients. As such many facilities are implementing online sensor technology, process modeling, and other means to achieve these limits while optimizing processes to minimize the use of resources, energy, and capital. A case study is discussed to illustrate one example of an operations tool developed to equip plant personnel with better understanding of the impacts of process changes. Additional work is required in developing specific means for integrating real-time data collection (sensor outputs) with the operations tool for process control, plant optimization, and operations planning. This work will focus on the development and calibration of both the base model and the operations tool for the case study and the use of the operations tool as a “tool in the toolbox” for operations staff.

Development of calibrated process models and operations tools were developed in a stepwise fashion for six of seven major WRRFs operated by the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC). First, historical data from each plant were compiled and reviewed. The historical data consisted of both data reported for compliance purposes as well as operational data gathered for process control and operational data from SCADA. Detailed sampling was then carried out at each plant for one week along with wet weather sampling during isolated events. After compiling the laboratory results from the detailed sampling, GPS-X models were developed and calibrated to the plant data. This calibration effort involved detailed review and analysis of the plant data and development of influent fractions for the model. The operations tools for each plant were developed as customized interfaces at each plant. The tools were developed with specific input from both management and operations staff and are intended to provide several levels of benefit to the staff at the WWTPs:

• What-if scenario operations planning.
• Operations planning for shutdowns / scheduled maintenance.
• Operations planning for wet weather operations
• Energy efficiency
• Operations training; simulator learning for operations staff

For more information, please contact the author at pyi@hazenandsawyer.com.

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Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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