Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Jun 13, 2019
Joseph A. Kozak

What new technologies have you been evaluating or implementing?

The District has a Monitoring and Research Department that evaluates up-and-coming technologies for both wastewater treatment and biosolids management. Some of these technologies have been vetted and are being implemented for full-scale application including: Anita MoxTM, Ostara®, WASSTRIP®, co-digestion of high-strength organic waste for biogas production, and composting. Some technologies that we have or are evaluating at the lab or pilot level are: Mainstream short cut nitrogen

removal with and without phosphorus removal, ammonia-based aeration control, Zeelung® membrane-aerated bioreactor, electron beam acceleration treatment of wastewater and biosolids, peracetic acid for disinfection, green infrastructure for stormwater management, Volute sludge dewatering, co-fermentation of high-strength organic wastes with primary sludge to produce a carbon additive for EBPR, direct injection of high-strength organic waste for carbon supplementation for EBPR, DEMON® sidestream ammonia removal, Micro C 2000 for carbon supplementation for EBPR, and Clearas algal treatment. 


What technologies are you interested in investigating?

Some technologies and novel treatment approaches that we are interested in investigating are: AirprexTM, Biomag®, mainstream anaerobic treatment, sludge hydrothermal liquefaction, granular aerobic sludge treatment, intelligent treatment control, sidestream EBPR, other algal nutrient removal systems, and CSO treatment.


What are your facility drivers/needs?

The District has a strategic business plan where two of our goals are energy neutrality and resource recovery that directs what technologies we are interested in. However, our direction is also dictated by championing environmental sustainability, more restrictive permit limits, process control and optimization, and economics.


How has LIFT helped, or how would you like LIFT to help your facility?

LIFT has helped the District find opportunities to share and receive information with other utilities that have to address similar

MWRDGC facility

concerns, become more informed of new technologies and their successes through technology scans and forums, and participate in a networking platform to partner with other utilities who share a common interest. In essence, being a member of LIFT has given us the support of the innovation community that has encouraged us to pursue improvements at a faster pace. Knowing that other leading entities are interested in the same technologies and are expending resources on driving innovative solutions is encouraging and provides the support network that is essential to successfully adopting new innovative technology and processes.

If possible, we would like LIFT to take a more active role in identifying, forging, and mediating partnerships between utilities with a shared interest.


If there were one technology you would pilot or collaborate on tomorrow, what would it be?

Recovering ammonia from wastewater for direct conversion to a fertilizer.


Joseph A. Kozak, Ph.D., PE,
Supervising Environmental Research Scientist
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
708.588.4116 |