PHOSPHORUS – HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
Abstract:The Clark County Water Reclamation District (CCWRD), in Las Vegas, Nevada, operates a 100-mgd wastewater treatment plant that is one of the largest biological phosphorus removal (BPR) facilities in the world. The plant discharges into environmentally sensitive Las Vegas Wash and Lake Mead under a strict waste load allocation (WLA) for total phosphorus (TP), that at the current flows, translates into a discharge limitation of about 0.25 mg/l. The drought since 1998 has caused the surface elevation of Lake Mead to drop over 80 feet, with a greater than 50% reduction in volume. The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection is now considering a revision to the TP waste load allocation to reflect the surface elevation of the lake. As a proactive measure, the CCWRD initiated an investigation to determine the lowest practically achievable effluent P concentration. This paper will describe the lessons learned from this year-long investigation at the CCWRD, which has seen the plant successfully achieve effluent TP concentrations of less than 0.05 mg/l. The key to this success has been a plant-wide P-management plan that attempts to optimize P removal opportunities in every treatment process.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2005
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