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Heavy Metals at Municipal Plants – Removal and Limit Mitigation

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Very stringent, Water Quality Based Limits (WQBL) for some heavy metals as well as organic toxic compounds, are now commonly imposed on municipal plants in New Jersey and elsewhere. For facilities discharging to intermittent or small flow streams, a situation common in New Jersey, WQBL on order of 20 ug/L for copper and 150 ug/L for zinc are typical. The paper discusses options available for conventional treatment plants for improved heavy metals removal, once technical and regulatory options available for increase of the limit are exhausted. Full scale data and jar test results on removal of trace concentrations of copper and zinc are presented. Results of several Water Effect Ratio studies for copper are compared with BLM predictions for the same effluent.

Keywords: BML; Biotic Ligand Model; Copper; WER; heavy metals; water effect ratio; zinc

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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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