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N&P Removal from RO Brine — A “New” LOT Operations Challenge

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As more regions move to implement numeric nutrient criteria for streams and lakes, municipal water reclamation facilities (WRFs) could be given effluent limits far below the currently-accepted limit of technology (LOT) for nutrient removal. Water reclamation facilities have been able to meet advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) standards (TN < 3.0 mg/L and TP < 0.1 mg/L) using a variety of conventional nutrient removal processes. Reverse osmosis can be effectively used to further reduce the nutrient concentrations to meet the very stringent numeric limits being targeted in Florida and in other parts of the world. In cases where direct disposal, i.e., crystallization or deep-well injection of the RO brine is not possible, it may be necessary to treat the RO brine separately to further remove nutrients prior to discharge to surface waters. The effect of high salinity on the performance of biofilm nutrient removal processes, such as moving bed bioreactors (MBBR) and deep-bed denitrification filters, is an area that has not been widely studied at full scale. This paper will present a case study of the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant (AWTP) where the MBBR and deep-bed denitrification technologies have been applied at full scale for nutrient removal from the RO brine generated in the treatment of effluent from four municipal wastewater treatment plants.
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Keywords: RO brine treatment; Saline wastewater; ballasted flocculation; denitrification filters; nitrifying MBBR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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