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As utilities feel the push to become more and more competitive, many wastewater treatment plants are evaluating their wastewater treatment processes to find a way to decrease operating and maintenance costs. The most common means to do so is by decreasing energy costs. As a result, wastewater treatment plants are reevaluating their pre-aeration and aeration facilities, specifically air supply requirements and equipment, to become more cost-competitive.

The City of Akron has been working to decrease energy costs at their Water Pollution Control Station (WPCS) since 1994. Most recently, they worked with Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. to evaluate the impacts of bypassing their existing pre-aeration tanks. The evaluation included process, hydraulic, and economic analyses. A review of the primary treatment system and a process model of the secondary treatment system were utilized to ascertain the worst-case scenario impacts on treatment performance. A hydraulic model was also utilized to evaluate three different alternatives to modify the flow paths to bypass the pre-aeration tanks. Lastly, preliminary engineering costs were developed for each alternative and reviewed based on cost and construction impacts of modifications to the pre-aeration tanks. The final selected alternative provides a low-cost means to re-route the flow directly to primary treatment, while still retaining the pre-aeration tanks for other applications at the WPCS, such as wet weather storage. Both the process and hydraulic models produced results that validated the decision to bypass pre-aeration, which would, in turn, allow the WPCS to continue to decrease their operating costs.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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