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University Area Joint Authority – First Beneficial Reuse Project in Pennsylvania

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In order to accommodate population growth while protecting the high quality receiving trout stream, University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) has undertaken a groundbreaking project to construct the first municipally owned indirect beneficial reuse facility in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The site is located in State College, Pennsylvania, situated in the middle of the state, which is also the home of Penn State University.

The current capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plant at UAJA is 6 MGD. The anticipated growth rate in that area warrants a plant expansion to 9 MGD, however the difference of 3 MGD is in the form of beneficial reuse. An Act 319 Study, commissioned by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), determined that any flows in excess of 6 MGD would cause a negative impact to the local trout life in the discharging stream called, “Spring Creek”, which is designated as a high quality stream owned by the commonwealth. The study concluded that flows in excess of 6 MGD would harm the trout population due to an increase in temperature. What then do you do with the additional flow if you can not discharge it into the neighboring steam? The answer: introduce beneficial reuse and recycle the water back into the community. A subsequent study was performed to assess the number of interested end users located in an area called, “the commercial corridor.” To date, businesses interested in reuse include concrete batch facilities, car washes and laundry facilities. Other provisions for reuse include stream augmentation and/or groundwater recharge and manmade wetlands.

At the plant, tertiary filtered water will be conveyed to the Advanced Water Treatment facility where it is first treated by microfiltration. After microfiltration, filtrate will be sent through reverse osmosis membranes at a higher pressure. After reverse osmosis, disinfection will be by in-line pressurized ultraviolet units. Without having specific guidelines for water reuse, UAJA will refer to EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act requirements for water quality parameters. Final reuse water quality will meet potable water quality standards although it is not intended for drinking. Chlorine treatment will be treated to maintain a chlorine residual in the water distribution system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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