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Prevent Upsets Before It's Too Late - What Your Biomass Can Tell You, If You Look

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The Hopewell Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (HRWTF) treats waste streams originating from multiple large industrial sources which make up 85% of the influent to the plant (with the balance made up of municipal waste). In the past, the HRWTF has experienced random toxic upsets due to unidentified causes. Because of this, the HRWTF began using in June 2006 LuminUltra Technologies Ltd's ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) monitoring technology with the goal of detecting and preventing impending upsets.

The benefit of ATP monitoring was not fully understood until January 2009 when a significant toxic upset event occurred. This paper will discuss how the ATP testing along with other routinely collected plant data revealed the onset of the 2009 upset, helped identify the source of the problem, assessed the degree of damage done, and facilitated troubleshooting in the aftermath of the upset. Rather than relying on TSS or VSS measurements that contain many components other than living cells, ATP monitoring isolates the living population from dead biomass, inert solids, and other interferences. This 5-minute test shows the active population's response to stimuli (good and bad), and therefore gives operators the ability to immediately detect changes in the process and determine the source and severity of toxic events.
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Keywords: ATP; Adenosine Triphosphate; Biomass Stress Index; Cellular ATP; Dissolved ATP; HRWTF; Hopewell; LuminUltra; Total ATP; activated sludge; active; aerobic; anaerobic; biological monitoring; biomass; early warning; process control; upset; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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