April 2013, Vol. 25, No.4

Going green to save green

The City of Lancaster, Pa., develops an integrated green infrastructure plan to reduce CSOs and stormwater and nutrient runoff


Lancaster Charlotte Katzenmoyer, Brian G. Marengo, Andrew Potts, and Courtney Finneran

The City of Lancaster, Pa., is integrating the use of green infrastructure with its core public works practices to reduce the impacts of pollutant sources and achieve cost savings. The city also is updating its long-term control plan to reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and address its stormwater discharges.  

The hope is to become a model example of the application of the integrated municipal planning and green infrastructure promoted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Oct. 27, 2011, memorandum, “Achieving Water Quality Through Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Plans.” Read full article  (login required) 


How low can you go?

A South Florida facility examines several phosphorus and nitrogen removal alternatives for potable water reuse. 

low can go Lucas Botero, Khalil Z. Atasi, Layla Llewelyn, James Ferguson, and William Eleazer

A comprehensive nutrient removal evaluation for a water reclamation facility in South Florida to address projected potable water shortages was performed. However, even though the proposed water resource recovery facility (WRRF) anticipated the use of advanced treatment processes — including membrane filtration, reverse osmosis (RO), ultraviolet disinfection, and advanced oxidation — effluent water quality projections showed that effluent would not comply with the locally imposed criteria. 

Although these local criteria are not the same as the Florida numeric nutrient criteria proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are similarities. Namely, both require low-level nutrients in effluent, and these limits are much lower than the traditionally accepted “limits of technology” associated with secondary and tertiary treatment processes. 

As a result, several alternatives that achieve low-level nutrients were evaluated to complement the proposed processes at the South Florida facility. Read full article (login required) 


Fresh financial options

Using the right economic analyses to overcome the biggest barrier to biogas use

financial options John Willis, Lori Stone, Lauren Fillmore, Karen Durden, Kathleen O’Connor, Marc Walch, Ann Hajnosz, and Mike Elenbaas

No one ever said that running a wastewater utility was easy. Aging infrastructure, strict regulatory requirements, ability to raise capital, and rising customer demands and expectations are challenges that entail various levels of uncertainty and risk. Effectively managed utilities must consider these challenges with the perspective of looking ahead in the game, rather than looking back. This requires effective decision-making, particularly when it comes to evaluating the benefits and financial aspects of capital projects. 

To focus how best to approach these barriers, consider what wastewater utilities face when implementing anaerobic digestion and combined heat and power projects. The Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria, Va.) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in 2011 conducted a project with Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), Hemenway Inc. (Herndon, Va.), and the Northeast Biosolids and Residuals Association (Tamworth, N.H.) to determine these barriers. 

More than 200 respondents completed an online survey, and then utility representatives at four focus groups discussed the findings to deepen the understanding of each barrier. Read full article (login required) 



Operations Forum Features

The Banklick constructed wetland

Moving the water quality needle using innovative natural treatment system design 

Banklick James P. Gibson Jr. and Scott Bell

A major challenge facing water utilities is finding effective solutions to improve water quality while meeting government mandates and maintaining fiscal responsibility to their ratepayers.  

In the process of developing strategies to meet the goals of their wet weather consent decree, Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky sought to identify innovative solutions that could meet all of these objectives. 

The Banklick Creek wetland is one of these improvements. The 4.9-ha (12-ac) pilot project, located adjacent to Banklick Creek, is designed to evaluate how well natural treatment processes improve water quality and provide greater public health benefits, compared to traditional control measures focused solely on reducing wet weather overflows.  

This project diverts water from Banklick Creek, treats the water using natural processes, and then returns the flow to the creek. Read full article (login required) 


From bother to benefit

Extractive nutrient recovery as a green option for managing phosphorus in sidestreams

bother to benefit Wendell O Khunjar, Dave Wankmuller, Vivi Nguyen, Katya Bilyk, Robert Sharp, Ron Latimer, Laurissa Cubbage, Enrique Vadiveloo, Paul Pitt, Bill Balzer, Rick Baumler, Charles Bott, Robert Harris, Richard Porter, Holly Elmendorf, Tyler Richards, Robert Fergen, Manny Moncholi, and Simon Lobdell

Nutrient removal from wastewater has focused on reducing nitrogen and phosphorus availability and reactivity before discharge to avoid eutrophication in receiving waterbodies. In the conventional approach, nutrients are removed but not reused. 

A complementary approach is to intentionally recover chemical nutrient products from wastestreams, whereby the nutrients are extracted from liquid and solid streams as value added chemical products and reused within a secondary market. Read full article (login required) 



Measuring microconstituents in treated biosolids

In a Canadian field study, a government-directed team tested the efficacy of seven biosolids treatment methods by measuring pharmaceutical and fragrance compounds 

microconstituents H.D. Monteith, S. Dong, W.J. Parker, C.D. Metcalfe, and L. Sterne
The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment in 2009 sponsored a project to document the occurrence of organic microconstituents (MCs) in biosolids and septage. Representing 14 environmental agencies, the council is using the results of the study to further its assessment of the risk of MCs in managed land application, land reclamation, and the production of commercial and soil amendments. Read full article (login required)