Finding a 'Class A' solution
Robert Bates and Mike Montoya
To ensure quality of new biosolids product, Kentucky facility optimizes polymer use with automated control system
The emulsion polymer used to condition solids makes up a significant portion of the Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center’s annual chemical budget. Operations and management (O&M) personnel want to improve polymer consumption to both cut costs and make solids processing operations more stable. So, the center added an automated control system to one of the centrifuges to optimize the polymer dose. Read full article (login required)
Turning trash to treasure
Bob Wimmer, Patricia Scanlan, and Carlos DeLeon
A business analysis of fats, oils, and grease receiving programs reveals keys to success
Utilities traditionally have used anaerobic digestion to treat the biosolids generated from wastewater treatment. However, in recent years this practice has expanded to include codigestion of fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Previously considered to be a nuisance, FOG is now beginning to be recognized for its benefits to the microbial fauna and for its biogas production potential. At the same time, various local and state governments are starting to regulate the amounts of oils and grease discharged into their sewer networks in order to avoid sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). Read full article (login required)
Proactive planning for tough economic times
With financial pressures worse than ever in the current economic downturn, utilities may have to get creative with their planning processes
Most wastewater, water, and stormwater utilities face substantially increased financial challenges today. Regulatory drivers, such as combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflow requirements for wastewater utilities, are requiring many utility systems to ramp up capital spending at a time when system usage is down — and revenues are therefore reduced.
More than ever, utilities need creative solutions that balance utility financing needs with a community’s capacity to provide funding. Several types of proactive planning can help improve utilities’ financial position and manage the risks associated with today’s financial uncertainties. Read full article (login required)
Operations Forum Features
Warming up to thermal dryers
How to select the right type of system
When deciding whether to install a thermal biosolids drying system, a municipal wastewater treatment plant should examine the quantity of biosolids produced, the present cost of disposal, the duration of the current available disposal option, capital and operating costs of the equipment, and future expansion of the facility. The plant should also assess potential treatment processes to determine whether they will be compatible with current treatment plant processes or will require a stand-alone facility. Read full article (login required)
In the thick of things
Weihua (Peter) Peng, Jim Pawlowski, Shirley Eads, and Brendon Cammac
A new guideline helps operators optimize gravity belt thickener performance
Gravity belt thickeners are widely used to thicken primary solids and waste activated sludge (WAS) at wastewater treatment facilities. However, their performance can vary greatly, depending on the solids and polymer involved.
Recently, investigators systematically evaluated the effect of various factors on gravity belt thickener performance. They conducted a series of full-scale tests on newly installed thickeners to develop performance curves that could help operators ensure that thickener operations remained efficient and stable. Read full article (login required)
FOG Control in Charm City
Carlos A. Espinosa, Wazir Qadri, and John Huang
Developing Baltimore’s sewer maintenance program
Grease and roots are the typical culprits for the majority of collection system backups and overflows. Municipalities often are faced with outdated plumbing codes and sewer regulations that were not intended to control the discharge of grease into the sanitary sewer. Furthermore, enforcement of existing regulations is impaired by the lack of staff and resources.
In 2002, the City of Baltimore embarked on a comprehensive sewer system evaluation and rehabilitation effort under a consent decree issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Maryland Department of the Environment. The consent decree required Baltimore to implement operations and maintenance enhancement programs in its collection system, including a fats, oils, and grease (FOG) program. Read full article (login required)
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