Using a chlorination process in wastewater treatments reduces E. coli
E. coli, one of the most common pathogens found in domestic wastewater, can cause gastroenteritis. This bacteria, which often lives in the digestive system, are one of many pathogens that can contaminate drinking and surface water. However, most pathogens are difficult to measure directly. Instead, a pathogen indicator can help detect fecal contami...
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Calculating wastewater treatment plant construction costs
When building a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), municipal leaders are often baffled by their options and associated costs. To get started, they can estimate wastewater treatment plant construction costs at three increasingly granular levels. First-order costs: All construction costs for complete treatment plants. Second-order costs: Costs for sp...
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Preventative maintenance: What’s the big deal?
Preventative maintenance helps maintain or extend the life of a product by proactively performing inspections and maintenance in a timely manner. This concept might seem simple. For example, if you purchase a new car, it initially has little maintenance. If you keep up with scheduled oil changes and have recommended parts inspected periodically, it...
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How to manage the wastewater phosphorus removal process to meet new EPA standards
To protect receiving bodies of water and avoid eutrophication, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has encouraged states to adopt Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus Numeric Water Quality Standards. These numeric criteria help identify and list impaired waters, develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and write National Pollutant Discha...
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What is a typical wastewater treatment plant life expectancy?
Municipal wastewater treatment systems across the U.S. are facing pressure to improve their performance without increasing costs. However, the average wastewater treatment plant life expectancy is 40 to 50 years, and treatment equipment typically lasts 15 to 20 years. As a result, a majority of Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) established in ...
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How to correct effluent exceedances
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established effluent guidelines for wastewater discharged to surface waters. The effluent limits are enforceable parameters that dictate the amount and type of pollutants present in water facilities' discharge, including Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). Below, we discuss the types of effluen...
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Establishing a wastewater treatment plant maintenance schedule
Operation and Maintenance (O&M) at a Publicly Owned Treatment Work (POTW) is a constant battle against the forces of time and nature. The contaminants being treated can deteriorate reinforced concrete while turbulent flows and suspended solids can erode steel structures. This highlights the need for a regular wastewater treatment plant maintena...
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Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act means long-term improvements
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shared information on the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which comprises the water and wastewater provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Senate approved the Act in August 2021, and the House passed it Nov. 5. We eagerly wait to see the difference addit...
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Why retrofit your wastewater treatment system?
In the 1970s and 1980s, federal grants paid a majority of the costs to build or expand wastewater treatment plants. Many Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) constructed then had a lifespan of 40 to 50 years and have now reached the end of their service lives. Such wastewater treatment facilities face numerous challenges, including design inadequ...
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How to reduce municipal wastewater treatment plant energy consumption
Energy represents a significant expense across all stages of the wastewater treatment process — from raw sewage collection to effluent discharge. Wastewater treatment plants throughout the U.S. consume more than 30 terawatt hours per year of electricity, amounting to $2 billion in annual electric costs. Estimates suggest that electricity costs cons...
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A quick guide to Iowa wastewater facilities design standards
Iowa wastewater facilities design standards were adopted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) supplements these specifications with the 10 States Standards to help municipalities design or upgrade Publicly-Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) in the state. However, the detailed design standards for POTWs...
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What is the best method for wastewater treatment?
Contaminant type and quantity, coupled with local effluent regulations, constitute key factors that influence a municipality's approach to wastewater treatment. Large amounts of oxygen-demanding substances, nutrients and synthetic organic chemicals in effluents today pose challenges far more complex than what most Publicly Owned Treatment Works (PO...
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3 reasons to upgrade a wastewater treatment plant
The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 paved the way for the mass-scale construction of wastewater treatment plants across the United States. The significant improvement in the quality of effluent water at the time could be credited to these treatment plants, or Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). However, most treatment plants at the time offered a...
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Understanding and meeting municipal wastewater effluent standards
Understanding and meeting municipal wastewater effluent standards will improve the quality and sustainability of your community, and it is not a challenge you have to meet on your own. Municipalities representing a wide range of sizes, densities and resources have met these standards. With the right partner to guide you through the process - a...
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Finding the right wastewater solution for the City of South Beloit
South Beloit and Integrated Fixed-Film Activated Sludge Treatment (IFAS) To prepare for nitrogen and phosphorus removal requirements, the City of South Beloit, Illinois, turned to Fehr Graham to plan and design its Wastewater Treatment Plant to remove unwanted nutrients. The improvements, designed by Fehr Graham in 2018, are under construction. The...
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Funding solutions equal more infrastructure opportunities for communities
Municipal leaders face difficult decisions every day. With limited budgets, they must choose which infrastructure improvements are most critical. That’s especially true in smaller communities. The Village of Tilton, Illinois, needed to make improvements to its wastewater infrastructure, specifically their Wastewater Treatment Plant, and financing t...
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Nutrients in our water - too much of a good thing and how to get rid of them
Too many nutrients in our water streams can mean large environmental, social and economic costs. Wastewater treatment plant effluent is a common point source that discharges these nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus, into receiving streams and waterways. As many states move to regulate nutrients in discharge, there are many wastewater t...
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What's in your water - and wastewater?
Present in every stream and lake is something invisible, necessary and good. That something is nutrients – chemical compounds that are essential for sustaining aquatic life. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. When nutrient removal isn't considered, treated wastewater discharge into streams and lakes can cause elevated nutrient levels in ...
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