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The Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is a conventional activated sludge treatment plant located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Mill Creek T.P. has an average dry weather flow of 492,000 m3/d (130 mgd). The average electric cost (use and demand) for the Mill Creek T.P. at the start of this project was approximately 3,000,000 per year. Plant personnel realized that there was a potential to reduce electric costs by controlling the electric demand at the treatment plant. The influent wastewater pumps and the aeration blowers incur seventy-eight percent of the electric demand charge.

The scope of the project was to reduce and stabilize electric demand, and reduce electric usage without adversely affecting treatment and with minimal capital cost. A number of actions were taken to reduce electric demand. Plant personnel began by monitoring the aeration blower operation. Operators were instructed to maintain a dissolved oxygen concentration in the aeration tanks between 2 mg/L and 4 mg/L. Next, the plant operators were instructed how to manually monitor and control electric demand by adjusting aeration blower output. Reducing aeration blower output during storm events resulted in a reduction in electric demand. The next step taken was to control electric demand automatically. The manual adjustment of secondary aeration tank influent gates to balance flow to the six aeration tanks was the final step taken.

The results to date are very encouraging. Demand has been reduced and is stable and usage has been reduced. There have been no adverse affects on treatment as a result of controlling electric demand. By monitoring electric use and making operating changes the Mill Creek T. P. has conserved energy and helped reduce the potential impact on electric company customers by reducing the need for the electric company to add additional capacity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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