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With the development of total maximum daily loads for nutrient discharges to address water quality concerns, many plants are facing increasingly stringent nutrient limits. The commonly accepted “limit of technology” for nitrogen removal has been 3 mg/L total nitrogen (TN). However, with plants that are already achieving low effluent nitrogen now undergoing expansion, there has been an interest in determining the capability to treat to even lower limits. This paper reviews the operation of five WWTPs that use different treatment processes to meet very low TN limits. The plant performance and reliability are evaluated, the effluent nitrogen species examined to identify the predominant nitrogen fraction (organic nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite) and opportunities for reducing it. Operational strategies and challenges associated with meeting low TN limits, and minimizing TIN in the particular, will be discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-01-01

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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