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OPERATING ONE OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST UV DISINFECTION SYSTEMS THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

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In 2001, JEA commissioned the installation of a UV system with capacity to treat up to 157.5 mgd at the Buckman WRF, the largest facility in its system. Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection has become one of the most popular technologies for achieving compliance with bacteria limits in wastewater plant effluent. The chief advantage of this technology is that it can achieve compliance with effluent limits without the use of of chlorine or hypochlorite. Despite its popularity, there are a number of issues that can impact the effectiveness of a UV system.

The UV system was designed to achieve the following basic requirements of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection: (1)30-day geometric mean shall be less than 200 fecal coliforms/100 mL, (2) Not more that 10 percent of the sample collected in a 30-day period shall exceed 400 fecal coliforms per 100 mL, and (3) No sample shall exceed 800 fecal coliforms/100 mL.

The plant has been in compliance with the first two of these requirements since its start up. However, its compliance with the maximum daily limits during the first several months has been inconsistent. To address the issue of inconsistent compliance, an operational assessment of the system was conducted that resulted in a change in operating strategies resulting in additional operational time for cleaning of the reactors.

Operational changes implemented by JEA staff to improve the performance of the UV system have resulted in consistent compliance with all disinfection requirements and were instrumental in the Buckman facility receiving the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2003 National Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Excellence Award in the Large Secondary Plants category.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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