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In 1992 the two (2) Kansas City, MO Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) 22'-3” diameter x 8 hearth, multiple hearth furnaces (MHF), originally constructed in 1964, were completely rehabilitated. By 1999 the operation of the furnaces was completely unsatisfactory. The solids handling system was unable to deliver a consistent flow of cake to the furnace, percent total solids in the cake from the belt filter presses were low, stratification in the holding tank, and inadequate polymer mixing added to the problem. There were numerous small equipment and combustion process related problems that went uncorrected due to a lack of available manpower and training. The biggest problem was an attitude amongst the operators that consistent operation between shifts was an impossible dream, and that for the reasons listed above, each and every shift had to operate the furnace in a completely different manner.

This paper will describe how the “old dogs", which consist of a 40-year old MHF and operators who never believed that shift consistent operation was possible, learned “new tricks". This has resulted in a situation where one furnace now processes the same amount of sludge as the plant previously processed in two furnaces. Auxiliary fuel use is only a small fraction of the former amount and shift consistent operation is the rule and not the exception.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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