The typical activated sludge aeration process consumes approximately 50 to 65% of the net power demand for a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Why would a community pay so much? There are three reasons. First, an activated sludge wastewater treatment process requires air to provide an aerobic environment for microbial degradation of organic matter. The aeration process also supports mixing, allowing microorganisms a greater opportunity to come in contact with suspended organic matter. Both of these are very important, however as noted come at a premium. The third reason for aeration or activated sludge is simply a function of it working. However, as communities look for more effective means to handle waste, new processes are becoming the standard.
Surprisingly one of the biggest and easiest improvements a WWTP can make is capturing more total suspended solids (TSS) and biological oxygen demand (BOD) early before aeration. By capturing these two wastewater properties early, a plant will drop its energy demands dramatically.
Below is a slide produced by Tom Bulcher of Arcadis Engineering presented on June 5, 2013 at an Indiana WEA seminar.
The shocking part about making a treatment shift from secondary to primary is its simplicity. The only barriers to optimizing primary treatment are controlling flow rates, strategically adding chemical and adding specially designed screening equipment. At ClearCove we do all of this in a measureable way. See how our primary treatment system immediately simplifies a process and saves the WWTP money.