Many biological nutrient removal (BNR) facilities incur excessive energy and chemical costs to meet stringent nutrient limits. As a result, there is strong incentive to reduce the operating costs of BNR systems while fully utilizing existing infrastructure. To this end, the main research objectives of this study at the 26 million gallon per day Seneca Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) were to: 1) Maximize influent carbon utilization for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) removal rather than aerobic oxidation; 2) Integrate biological P removal and simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND) for energy and carbon-efficient complete nutrient removal; and 3) Test potential for partial denitrification anammox (PdNA) in mainstream application for N polishing (with and without supplemental carbon).
Research conducted at Seneca WRRF’s test train demonstrated the ability to meet nutrient removal requirements without chemical addition, and low DO operation with ammonia-based aeration control (ABAC) resulted in significant aeration savings. Seneca WRRF is currently in the process of implementing operational strategies tested in the study to the rest of the BNR trains with an anticipated savings in operational costs of > $500,000 per year. Research Partner: Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. Published in 2023.