Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) is the premier magazine for the water quality field. WE&T provides information on what professionals demand: cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, operations and maintenance, regulatory and legislative impacts, and professional development.
Financing through alternative delivery options
Utilities are feeling the pinch as rising operations costs place greater constraints on already tight operating budgets. Wastewater and drinking water treatment plants often are two of the largest consumers of electricity and can represent a significant portion of a community’s annual budget.
Typically, there are opportunities for upgrades that can yield significant savings through energy-efficiency improvements or process optimization, but many of these projects are not being implemented because of limited funding. However, energy-efficiency and process optimization projects often can be self-funding, with the realized savings paying off all or a portion of the project implementation costs.
Bottling up the overflow
After years of effort, the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility (LRWWU; Lowell, Mass.) has significantly reduced combined sewer overflows (CSOs) from its 360-km (225-mi) combined sewer system (CSS).
In 2004, LRWWU launched an initiative to gain better control of its CSO regulators to reduce untreated CSO discharges. The initial goal was to obtain remote operation of the flow and diversion control gates in the CSS to remedy manual and inefficient operation of the nine CSO diversion stations. As LRWWU became more familiar with remote control technology, automated control of its flow and diversion control gates became the objective.
A wastewater intervention
There has been growing concern about the presence of microconstituents such as pharmaceuticals in wastewater and their possible impact on the aquatic environment and public health. But some scientists say these trace amounts of pharmaceuticals can serve a useful purpose, by providing better insight into the extent of illicit drug use in a region, and educating the public about the wastewater treatment process and whether these microconstituents really pose a threat.
Coming in the next issue:
Tuning the instruments
Advances in on-line, integrated instrumentation are pushing the envelope toward greater system optimization and more sophisticated water quality monitoring, operation, and control. These advances have the potential to help utilities increase treatment efficiency, achieve greater pollutant reductions, and develop a more thorough understanding of processes.
Read about a robust commissioning protocol capable of responding to and preventing many of the difficulties related to bringing a control system on-line. Also, find out how a 57,000-L/d (200,000-gal/d) conventional activated sludge plant created an automatic sludge age control system to better control the solids loading sent to the digester, simplify the wasting process, and increase operational consistency.
With membrane bioreactors, falling costs equal rising use
As membrane bioreactors have become more prevalent, capital and operating costs have dropped. Simultaneously, functionality progressed. What initially was a replacement for small conventional activated sludge systems developed into limit-of-technology nutrient removal and then large-scale, end-of-pipe systems with advanced control systems for optimized operation.
New technologies are fueling this innovation by finding new ways to reduce the energy consumption, keep the membrane’s transmembrane pressure in check, and enable greater flows to be treated.
Accommodating industry. A proven technology supports the growth of local industry and improves treatment plant operation
Balancing act. Reducing potable water demand and peak volume stormwater with a single strategy
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