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Application of Membrane Bioreactor Technology to Meet Stringent Load Limits on Virginia's

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The town of Onancock, Virginia began the upgrade of its wastewater treatment facility to comply with terms of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge permit, which included new limit of technology (LOT) effluent standards dictated by Virginia's Chesapeake Bay Program. The town's new discharge permit required that effluent total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) levels do not exceed 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and 0.3 mg/L, respectively. The town's discharge permit required compliance with these limits by December 31, 2010.

In addition to nutrient removal criteria, process footprint, reliable low biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), and total suspended solids (TSS) performance were paramount in the process selection. If the selected process could not meet the very stringent limits, a long and costly study to determine an alternate outfall location would be required, putting the December 31, 2010 deadline in jeopardy.

Oxidation ditches, sequencing batch reactors (SBR), and membrane bioreactors (MBR) were evaluated. MBR technology was ultimately selected due to its ability to meet the effluent requirements while working within the site limitations at the existing site.
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Keywords: Chesapeake Bay Program; Sequencing batch reactor; membrane bioreactor; nitrogen removal; oxidation ditches; phosphorus removal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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