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Two pilot-scale MBR plants were operated at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts' Whittier Narrows Water Reclamation Plant (WNWRP) for over a year. The plants were manufactured by Kubota Corporation and Zenon Environmental Inc. The objective of this study was to compare the long-term performance of these systems, with respect to effluent water quality, to that of the WNWRP. Water quality parameters of particular interest were COD, suspended solids, turbidity, nitrogen, priority pollutants, indicator organisms, and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Primary effluent from the plant was used as influent to the MBRs. Average COD, total suspended solids (TSS), and ammonia concentrations in the primary effluent were 330, 100, and 24 mg/L, respectively. Key findings from the study include (1) both MBR plants achieved excellent COD (>95%), TSS (> 99%), and turbidity (typical values <0.1 NTU) removals; (2) the Zenon plant was able to achieve excellent nitrogen removal with an average effluent nitrate nitrogen concentration of 5.4 mg N/L and an ammonia nitrogen concentration typically <1 mg N/L; (3) all priority pollutants detected in the primary effluent were removed by the MBRs to levels below the detection limits or to levels equivalent to that of the WNWRP effluent; (4) both MBRs achieved >6-log removal of total coliform and fecal coliform, and >5-log removal of indigenous coliphage; (5) the median NDMA concentration of raw wastewater was 100 ng/L. This concentration was reduced by approximately 80% by the primary sedimentation and biological treatment processes of the WNWRP and Zenon MBR.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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