Wastewater Archives - Infrastructure Digest

There’s gold in them thar sewers—tons and tons of it!

The study’s lead environmental engineer, Paul Westerhoff, told Science that the sewage treatment systems that collect and try to dispose of the waste could be losing a lot of  precious cargo in the process, citing a city in Japan that collected near 2 kg of gold in every metric ton of ash after burning sludge.

Why should you read this? That’s a lot of gold. Quartz, January 2015


Largo to spend $37M on sewer upgrades

“The big driver is (that) it’s going to stop the overflows,” city engineer Leland Dicus said.

The sewer improvements are the result of problems that started about 15 years ago when the system overflowed during the heavy rains of that hurricane season, Dicus said. The overflow came out through manhole covers and dumped sewage in the street that eventually made its way to the bay. In all, Dicus said, about 30 million gallons of overflow came out of the system.

Why should you read this? Just the numbers: “$37M”, “30 million gallons of overflow.” Tampa Bay Times, January 2015


Beer to be made from sewer water dubbed ‘sewage brewage’

“Call it former sewer brewing,” said Landers.

Instead of normal tap water to make their beer, the brewers will be using what was once sewer water — straight from the treatment plant. It’s all part of a competition Washington County’s Clean Water Services is putting on to demonstrate different uses for its water.

Why should you read this? It’s the great cycle of life. KXAN, January 2015


Using Grout to Stop I/I

The Village of Ashley project resulted in the Central Ohio Wastewater Services crews in finding significant I/I at the manholes. Crews found 17 manholes next to a creek in the woods that were 16 to 26 ft deep with a very high water table. In looking into the cost for replacement for all the manholes, the cost totaled approximately $300,000.

“The Village of Ashley did a (cured-in-place pipe) CIPP liner project in 2007, removing half the peak flow from 1 million gal/day to 500,000 gal/day at a plant that was designed for 190,000 gal/day,” Howard explains. “We found the infiltration was coming between the CIPP liner and the original pipe releasing at the manholes. The acting engineer at the time had heard of Source One Environmental (S1E) LLC and its product so we gave it a try. Since the start of the project, our average dry time flows have went from 60,000 gal/day to 30,000 gal/day and heavy rain fall events have fallen from 500,000 gal/day to 250,000 gal/day making the plant more efficient.”

Why should you read this? The effectiveness and precise role of chemical grouting is too little understood by sewer network managers, IMNSHO. Trenchless Technology, November 2014


What happens when a dedicated wastewater treatment operator earns a pilot’s license? Answer: One of the most unique hobbies you can image.

About 12 years ago, Marcel Tremblay earned his pilot’s license and began a hobby that combined two of his passions: wastewater treatment and flying. Tremblay noticed airports and wastewater treatment plants are often located close to each other, so he began taking aerial photos of the plants and arranging plant tours for when he landed. His fly-over features soon become a regular component of Mass Waters, the Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association’s newsletter, which Tremblay edits.

Since then, Tremblay has flown to nearly every corner of the state as he explores various wastewater treatment systems.

Why should you read this? It’s always seemed to me that treatment plants are some of the most beautifully designed public facilities, so I’m on board with this hobby. TPO, January 2015


VIDEO: Bill Gates drinks processed wastewater

“Microsoft founder Bill Gates may be known for trying to reinvent the common toilet but now he’s setting out to reinvent the wastewater treatment plant.

This week he was seen sipping a glass of drinking water that only five minutes previously was human wastewater.

The technology used to generate the potable water is called the Omniprocessor, designed and built by Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle.”

Why should you read this? Some headlines just cannot be resisted. Water World, January 2014


A California Agency Creates A Brand For Its Recycled Water, Biogas Energy And Pelletized Biosolids

“Many clean-water plants create brand names for their biosolids. The Encina Wastewater Authority takes the concept further.

Its Class A biosolids pellets go to market under the PureGreen brand. Its electric power and heat from biogas, PureEnergy. Its recycled water, PureWater. Even staff resources and information get a brand name: PureKnowledge.

For the agency, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., the brands emphasize that its 67 team members are devoted to more than protecting the Pacific Ocean from pollution. The 40.5 mgd (design) Encina Water Pollution Control Facility recycles, in one way or another, nearly half its 23 mgd average flow.”

Why should you read this? Maybe it will work for you? Treatment Plant Operator, December 2014


City of Columbus, Ohio, Designs ‘Blueprint’ to Control Overflows

However, as the City began to enter subsequent phases of the tunnel program that focuses on controlling separate sanitary overflows, it decided to take a different tack. Rather than continue to build out the tunnel program, the City decided to address the cause of the overflows rather than the symptoms by refocusing its efforts on eliminating inflow-and-infiltration (I/I) through a comprehensive rehabilitation program and green infrastructure improvements. City officials believe that this approach — dubbed Blueprint Columbus — will achieve greater water quality benefits in a manner that will offer economic and social advantages that will benefit the City for generations to come.  

Why should you read this? Everyone loves a good I&I reduction story… Trenchless Technology, November 2014


KS Associates Takes 3D Laser Scanner Underground to Help NEORSD Abate Combined Sewer Overflows to Lake Erie

The goal of this project was to replace a fatigued inflatable dam in the 96-inch sewer that collects combined sewer flow from northwest Cleveland. The inflatable dam is an important mechanism that stores upstream combined sewer flow, reducing CSO discharges in the collection system before the flow is transported to a nearby wastewater treatment plant. NEORSD decided to remove the inflatable dam and replace it with a more efficient hydraulic sluice gate. The District hired URS Corporation to perform design services.

Laser scanning offered several benefits over conventional surveying methods. According to Mark A. Yeager, P.S., KS Associates Director of Surveying Services, “For safety reasons, surveyors could only enter the sewer during dry weather flows. Once we had our window of opportunity, accessing an active sewer five stories below ground posed safety challenges and required specialized confined-space procedures. Our priority was to measure the entire junction chamber and obtain the geometry that URS needed in as little time as possible. Using 3D laser scanning, we successfully gathered all the data and more — in one trip. Manually obtaining these details would have required more time at the project site and would have been more physically challenging.”

Why should you read this? As laser scanning becomes less ‘gee-whiz’ and more ‘ho-hum’, more and more uses are becoming obvious. Might your sewer network benefit from some scanning? Informed Infrastructure, September 2014


An Iowa Team Masters A New Plant’s Biological Nutrient Removal Process

“… In the mid-1990s, the aeration tanks were retrofitted with fine-bubble ceramic disc diffusers, and capacity was expanded with addition of a clarifier and a digester. Projects in the next decade included replacement of a failed digester cover, replacement of influent pumps and addition of influent screening. “Starting in the late 1990s, there were some compliance issues,” says Riney, water quality superintendent since 1985. “TSS and ammonia were the two big hitters.””

Why should you read this? Good article on treatment plant management that dives into the details in a gratifying way. Treatment Plant Operator, November 2014


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