Nutrients Treatment: Intensification, Reliability, and Efficiency

Jun 1, 2020

Addressing nutrients in watersheds is a broad challenge that encompasses both point sources such as water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) and non-point sources. Achieving stringent nutrient effluent limits requires significant investment in both WRRF process treatment systems and operations. However, utilities are not only funding limited, but also resource-limited.  Therefore, they are looking for opportunities to maximize the use of their existing infrastructure or invest in cost-effective and sustainable greenfield installations. 

The aim of this research area is to address knowledge gaps in order to advance highly sustainable technologies (from pilot to full-scale) and provide utilities with this knowledge and approaches to intensify treatment while operating in an efficient and stable manner to achieve their nutrient requirements. 

The specific objectives of this research area are to:

  • Identify and advance the most promising intensive and efficient nutrient treatment processes and innovative process control approaches that utilities can employ and reliably operate at their facilities with a balance of cost-effective investments and appropriate levels of process control complexity.
  • Evaluate how these intensive processes impact standard design practices and how they can be retrofit into existing facilities or installed at greenfield facilities. Considerations of impacts from inflow variations such as stormwater, wet weather, etc., will be included. In addition, understand holistically how these processes impact mainstream, sidestreams, solids handling, and disinfection processes.

Identify the costs, benefits (e.g., carbon footprint, reduced aeration, chemical consumption), whole-plant impacts, and drawbacks to these processes including operational requirements, greenhouse gases, etc.


Project List

Guidelines for Optimizing Nutrient Removal Plant Performance     

  • Project Number: 4973    
  • Year Completed: Ongoing

Holistic Approach to Improved Nutrient Management: Phase 1

  • Project Number: 4974
  • Year Completed: Ongoing

Practices to Enhance Internal Fermentation of Side-Stream Secondary Sludge and Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids for Biological Phosphorus Removal

  • Project Number: 4975
  • Year Completed: Ongoing

Characterizing, Categorizing, and Communicating Next-Generation Nutrient Removal Processes for Resource Efficiency

  • Project Number: 4976
  • Year Completed: Ongoing

Advisory Committee Members

  • Charles Bott, Hampton Roads Sanitation District
  • Don Gray, East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Gary Johnson, retired
  • Heng Zhang, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
  • Joe Husband, Arcadis
  • Leon Downing, Black & Veatch
  • Phil Zahreddine, USEPA
  • Pusker Regmi, Brown and Caldwell
  • Robert Sharp, Manhattan College
  • Stephanie Klaus, Virginia Tech/Hampton Roads Sanitation District
  • Sudhir Murthy, NEWHub Corp.
  • Tung Nguyen, NextGen Water