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Development and Use of Whole Plant Simulation Modeling as a Process Control Tool for Operating Enhanced Nutrient Removal Facilities

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All major wastewater treatment facilities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will soon be required to implement enhanced nutrient removal (ENR). The permit requirements for ENR vary from state to state; for example, facilities in Maryland are required to achieve an annual average effluent quality of < 4 mg/L TN and < 0.3 mg/L TP. The requirement to operate facilities to meet these low year round nutrient limits creates a need for a whole plant process simulation model that can be used as a control tool for operations staff to predict how changes in operating parameters will impact nutrient removal performance. When used in combination with other data and operating guidelines, such a tool can help operators evaluate the potential impact of changes to aeration control, sludge wasting, and chemical feed rates before physically implementing them. This could allow operators to explore means of improving plant performance and reducing energy cost and chemical use while reducing the risk of effluent permit violations resulting from changing operational parameters. For this effort, the Easton Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) in Maryland was used to develop and apply such a tool. This paper discusses the development, calibration and application of the tool and how it could be applied at other small to medium sized treatment facilities with similar effluent limits.
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Keywords: 5-stage Bardenpho process; Enhanced nutrient removal; oxidation ditch bioreactor; whole plant simulation modeling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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