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Using the Biotic Ligand Model, Water Effect Ratio, and Translator for Site-Specific Copper Criteria to Update Effluent Limits at a Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Using EPA guidance, a study of copper in the Weber River showed that effluent limits for copper at a municipal wastewater treatment plant could be revised upward. A copper translator of 0.53 was derived, and site specific acute and chronic criteria for copper were derived based on the biotic ligand model (BLM) and the water effect ratios (WER). However, the WERs would result in adjusted criteria that would be under protective due to the typically low laboratory water LC50s. Substituting the SMAV for the laboratory water LC50 resulted in WERs that would yield adequately protective criteria, which were higher yet than the BLM criteria. Before proceeding with the study, examining the historical effluent data indicated the hypothetical copper translator needed to reduce historical violations was between 0.4 to 0.5, which was reasonable to expected given other similar studies.

Keywords: Biotic Ligand Model; Copper; Criteria; Translator; Wastewater; Water Effect Ratio

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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