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ACHIEVING LOW EFFLUENT TOTAL PHOSPHORUS CONCENTRATIONS—HOW LOW CAN WE GO?

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Abstract:

Recently, effluent total phosphorus (TP) concentrations lower than 0.10 mg/L are being proposed for expanded or new wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Ontario in order to meet the provincial ministry of environment (MOE) Policy 2 requirements for surface water quality. For example, expansion of the Regional WWTP serving the Town of New Tecumseth will require that the Regional WWTP achieve an effluent TP concentration of 0.07 mg/L (Abraham et al, 2003). Similar or lower effluent limits are expected to be imposed on the expanded Innisfil WWTP (Stantec, 2004) and Bradford WWTP (Stantec, 2004). Pilot scale and demonstration scale studies have shown that these levels of phosphorus removal are achievable; however, there is no full-scale operating experience in Ontario to show that these low levels of phosphorus removal are achievable on a consistent basis.

XCG and Stantec conducted a review of the phosphorus removal capability of WWTPs in other jurisdictions to assess the capability of full-scale WWTPs to consistently achieve very low effluent TP concentrations and the technology in use elsewhere to accomplish this level of treatment. This review identified several WWTPs in the United States that are reportedly achieving effluent TP concentrations of 0.1 mg/L or lower on a consistent basis. This included three WWTPs in Colorado achieving effluent total phosphorus concentrations of 0.01 mg/L on average, a WWTP in Virginia achieving an average effluent TP concentration of 0.053 mg/L, and a WWTP in Oregon achieving seasonal TP limits less than 0.07 mg/L as an average. A review of the process configuration and performance of these facilities is provided.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864705783815096

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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