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Facility Optimization Trifecta: Capacity Increase, Effluent Quality Improvement, and Energy Reduction

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Capital improvements are an expensive means of increasing capacity at wastewater treatment plants. Modifying capacity-limiting unit processes for improved performance, instead of implementing costly capital programs, can be a much more economical solution to capacity issues. Developing an implementation “road map” is an effective tool for increasing capacity by building or modifying processes as the community grows.

In 1997, the Village of Grafton, Wisconsin's Water and Wastewater Utility was considering building a new joint treatment plant with a neighboring community to meet future needs. However, an evaluation and planning study identified unused capacity that allowed them to postpone major capital improvements. Through a series of minor plant modifications, the Utility increased plant capacity from 6060 to 9460 m3/d (1.6 to 2.5 mgd) without adding new tankage, improved effluent quality, and decreased energy costs. This paper presents the modifications and cost savings.
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Keywords: cost savings; energy savings; evaluation; improved performance; improvements; planning; plant capacity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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