5 Ways To Optimize Your Sewage Treatment Plant

5 Ways To Optimize Your Sewage Treatment Plant

Some pointers to increase your plant’s capability without breaking the bank

If your sewage treatment plant (STP) has reached the limits of its hydraulic or operational capacity, or is not meeting new discharge requirements (BOD, TSS, Ammonia, TN, or TP), there are a few things you can do to avoid the capital dollars needed for a new system.

1) Convert the existing activated sludge process to IFAS (integrated fixed film activated sludge process) or MBR (membrane bioreactor)

Adding MBBR media to existing biological tanks is a “simple” method to increase the biological capacity and improve the effluent quality. Or, retrofitting the existing conventional biological system to the MBR process may be a feasible solution to meet stricter effluent quality requirements and capacity.

2) Reduce effluent TSS from 30 down to 10 mg/L with a polishing system

A wastewater filter, such as BI Pure Water’s low maintenance automatic inline filtration system, can be added as a tertiary treatment with a ballpark cost of approx $15,000 per 200 gpm. If you have a little more room in your budget and you’re looking for excellent effluent quality or even reusable water quality (TSS < 1 mg/L), ultrafiltration is an option. This should satisfy your E.coli requirement or total coliform to less than 200 -- ie. final disinfection may not be needed.

3) Divert industrial stream wastewaters.

Industrial wastewaters can disrupt and/or add to load of municipal sewage plants. Pre-treatment (partial treatment) or full treatment at industrial sites either to discharge into municipal sewage system or discharge into the environment by itself or recycle the effluent can make economic sense rather than hauling away or paying full municipal disposal charges. Plus you earn full environmental credits for dealing with your own waste! A custom wastewater analysis is required for an industrial site.

For the STP, a cost-efficient pre- or tertiary wastewater treatment system that targets industrial toxins can be designed with today’s advanced wastewater treatments that even addresses hormones, drugs, refinery/chemical wastes, household chemicals, pulp and paper wastes. All these hard to treat pollutants are making it difficult for the biology to do its job.

4) System analysis: evaluation from a knowledgeable STP engineer

An experienced sewage engineer will have years of experience analyzing different systems and employing the latest treatment technologies. He or she will look at performance issues, system optimization, and chemical and energy consumption. Treatment systems can benefit from some of the new technologies that improve performance or reduce consumables and energy. As the owner or manager of a sewage treatment plant, your mandate is to optimize the treatment process and keep costs low. By going directly to a sewage system provider such as BI Pure Water that has wastewater treatment engineers on staff, you can save on engineering fees.


Arviat #Nunavut water treatment plant is dragged under the wire as the race begins to complete commissioning before snowfall


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