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Intermittent Carbon Addition Effectively Trims Effluent Nitrate

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Ongoing construction at the Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility in Denver, CO, requires taking up to 25 percent of the secondary treatment capacity off-line for extended periods of time. Weekly average effluent limits for nitrate require diligent management of day-to-day performance to prevent excursions and maintain consistent denitrification. Process modeling indicated intermittent carbon limitations for denitrification during the construction period, leading to design and installation of a temporary carbon addition system. Acetic acid was selected as a supplemental carbon source due to intermittent demands. Performance testing of the acetic acid addition system at the RWHTF gave treatment personnel confidence in its operation and performance. The carbon addition system assisted in maintaining compliance with weekly nitrate effluent limits during construction and remains in occasional use. This paper reviews the potential limiting factors for denitrification, solutions for compliance during construction, and general criteria for supplemental carbon addition chemical selection.
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Keywords: Acetic Acid; Carbon Addition; Construction Compliance; Denitrification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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