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BioGuide Wastewater Control Technology

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The University Area Joint Authority (UAJA), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and BioChem Technology Inc., has implemented a full-scale application of the BioGuide Wastewater Control Technology. This innovative technology is an on-line, real time process monitoring and control system for biological treatment processes. The BioGuide system observes the metabolic state of bacteria in activated sludge by measuring the fluorescence given off when the microbes are illuminated with a ultra-violet light of a special wavelength. The feedback received allows operators to know the extent of nitrification or denitrification occurring in the biomass. Biological Nutrient Removal systems can be monitored and controlled using this information. Use of this technology demonstrates significant opportunity for existing treatment facilities to increase the effective capacity of their plant, thus reducing or eliminating the need to make capital expenditures associated with plant upgrades or expansion.. Design of UAJA's imminent upgrade and expansion has been affected. Use of this technology to optimize existing plant capacity has allowed our design engineers to reduce projected tank capacity for our upgrade by 29 %. An engineering comparison prepared for UAJA indicates that use of BioGuide technology to optimize treatment capacity will reduce capital construction costs by over 230,000. A second significant advantage to this technology is the potential energy savings achieved. Based upon results at UAJA a nearly 30 % reduction in blower demand has been achieved by being able to more closely monitor and control the oxygen demand of the biomass. This blower output reduction is primarily responsible for a reduction of power usage of 488,400 Kilowatthours (kwh) for the seven months studied in the winter of 98–99 and the winter of 99–00. Finally, this technology allows treatment plant operators 24-hour, real-time feedback of the biological treatment process enabling early detection of toxic slug loads or treatment deficiencies and allowing operators to make adjustments before permit violations occur rather than after the fact.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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