Articles & Case Studies

Pennsylvania WWTP meet effluent limits, significantly reducesludge hauling costs

Posted: Monday 23rd January 2012

Siemens Industry Automation Division is providing the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, USA, with a 750,000-gallons per day (2,839 m3/d) interchangesequencing batch reactor (ISBR) system. Valued at almost US$2 million, the system will bean integral part of the plantís upgrade, helping to meet effluent limits and to significantlyreduce sludge production and associated hauling costs. The first such installation in thestate of Pennsylvania, the ISBR system is expected to become operational by spring 2012.

Aging equipment made it difficult for the existing WWTP in Palmerton to meet state effluent limits at times. The ISBR system installed by Siemens Water Technologies, a business unit of Siemens Industry Automation Division, will provide the plant with biological treatment that meets these limits while minimizing the amount of sludge produced by the biological treatment plant. The ISBR technology combines the Omniflo SBR system with the Cannibal solids reduction system. Engineer ARRO Consulting (Reading, Pennsylvania) included solely the SBR system in its original plant design, as it would help the plant meet state nutrient removal limits. But after working through the economics with the small municipality, the engineer concluded the payback of also installing the Cannibal system would far exceed the high energy costs associated with aerating an aerobic digester, the need to install additional sludge handling equipment, and significant sludge hauling fees paid by the existing plant.

The ISBR system has an inherent biological nutrient removal (BNR) capability through the use of automated controls that provide optimum environments for each BNR reaction. At the Palmerton WWTP, a single integrated control system from Siemens Water Technologies will help optimize overall plant performance and serve as a single point-of-contact for the process. It will also balance ISBR system operating conditions to help maintain effluent quality at varying flows and loadings and minimize solids production. The small footprint Omniflo ISBR system will produce a low sludge yield of 0.4 pounds (kilograms) of biological solids per pound (kg) of BOD per day, which is slightly higher due to the impact of a nearby previous zinc smelting operation.




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