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Reliability of Low P Technologies in the Real World — First Results from a Two-Year Demonstration Program

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Based on the draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), the City of Coeur d'Alene is facing a monthly average effluent total phosphorus limit of 0.036 mg/L. To meet this imposing challenge the City is conducting a two year demonstration pilot of three technologies, dual stage continuous upflow moving bed filters (CUMF), tertiary membrane filtration (TMF), and a biological nutrient removal membrane bioreactor (BNR MBR).

This two year pilot program has a wide range of objectives with focus on (1) determining design criteria for the facility expansion, (2) extensive stress testing under peak hydraulic and peak load conditions, (3) familiarizing the plant staff with all aspects of operating these technologies, (4) and exposing each technology to the real-life variability of wastewater treatment plant operation, including diurnal flows and loads, hydraulic peaks, recycle loads, equipment problems, as well as human error. The demonstration facility was commissioned in April 2010.

Both tertiary treatment technologies produced effluent total phosphorus concentrations of less than the required 0.036 μg/L on a monthly average basis from July through October 2010. The BNR MBR only met the 0.036 mg/L limit during the month of August, however no chemical was added at any time.

The Low-P demonstration program showed that a full scale system will require a high level of automation, redundancy, and online water quality and process control monitoring.
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Keywords: BNR; Dual Sand Filtration; Low P; MBR; Phosphorus Removal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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