Category: Wastewater

Public Water Infrastructure Plant Efficiency Program

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Since 2018, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Energy has partnered with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to help municipalities reduce energy and costs for water and wastewater treatment. Funded by the Illinois EPA through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, no-cost energy efficiency opportunity usage assessments are provided to publicly owned water and wastewater treatment facilities by SEDAC and ISTC. Since the program began, total recommendations made by ISTC and SEDAC, if fully implemented, represent a savings of 39.7 million kWh, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at 32,590 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, and 3 million dollars total cost savings.

SEDAC Public Water Infrastructure Webinar Series

SEDAC’s fall webinar series will help water and wastewater plants to learn about new technologies and strategies to save energy and improve operations.

Introduction to the Illinois EPA Public Water Infrastructure Energy Efficiency Program for Water Treatment Plants

  • ​Oct. 14th, 9 am.

Introduction to Aeration & Energy in Wastewater Treatment 

  • Oct. 19, 11 am. Activated Sludge Plants
  • Oct. 26, 11 am, Lagoon Systems

Oxygen Transfer Efficiency: Diffusers and Aerators

  • Nov. 16, 11 am, Activated Sludge Plants
  • Nov. 30, 11 am, Lagoon Systems

Register for upcoming webinars and view recordings of past events on the SEDAC website.

Tiny Bubbles Mean Big Energy Savings for Henry POTW: Micro-Bubble Aeration Improves Energy Efficiency at Wastewater Treatment Plant

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With assistance provided through the Public Water Infrastructure Plant Efficiency Program, the City of Henry Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) replaced their existing lagoon aeration system with Micro Bubble Diffusion (MBD) technology, resulting in significant energy cost savings and a reduction in the dissolved solids present in their treatment lagoons.

Optimizing Nutrient Treatment Wastewater Ponds: Gaylord, MN

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Wastewater nutrient optimization is a challenge faced by pond treatment systems throughout Minnesota. In the case of Gaylord MN, wastewater treatment has been enhanced significantly thanks to the collaboration between Gaylord’s plant operator, Robert Kloeckl and the LCCMR wastewater nutrient optimization team. Achieving effective wastewater treatment starts with the people who operate the facility, and Robert has been more than willing to explore new ways to attain the best possible treatment. Together with the field and technical support of Tim Hagemeier and Frank Stuemke with the Minnesota Rural Water Association, Gaylord’s treatment is better than ever. As of fall 2019 Gaylord is achieving excellent phosphorus treatment with a most recent effluent sample of .285 mg/L and average effluent of .52 mg/L since October 2019. Gaylord’s approach to wastewater treatment involves strategies that the project team have found to be best practices in ponds throughout Minnesota with great success at achieving better nutrient removal.

Researchers infuse bacteria with silver to improve power efficiency in fuel cells

Read the full story from the University of California – Los Angeles.

A team of engineers and chemists has taken a major step forward in the development of microbial fuel cells — a technology that utilizes natural bacteria to extract electrons from organic matter in wastewater to generate electrical currents.

Tampa Bay Water asks users to cut back as COVID-19 saps oxygen supplies

Read the full story in the Tampa Bay Times.

Hospitals and municipal water systems are in competition for crucial supplies of liquid oxygen. Facing a shortage, utilities are switching chemicals.

A model for understanding how sunlight breaks down contaminants in water

Read the full story from Michigan Technological University.

In addition to providing vitamin D, helping flowers grow and creating the perfect excuse to head to the beach, sunlight also helps break down chemicals in streams, lakes and rivers. Researchers from Michigan Technological University have developed a singlet oxygen model to calculate how particular chemicals break down in surface water.

A naturally inspired, reusable system that purifies water and builds itself

Read the full story from Penn State University.

In nature, the interaction of molecules at the boundary of different liquids can give rise to new structures. These self-assembling molecules make cell formation possible and are instrumental to the development of all life on Earth.

They can also be engineered to perform specific functions—and now, a team of Penn State researchers has leveraged this opportunity to develop a material that could remove persistent pollutants from water. The researchers recently published their findings in Advanced Functional Materials.

Student’s Pig and Pines Project aims to find waste solutions

Read the full story from North Carolina State University.

A believer in fresh perspectives and sustainable biological solutions, Victoria Augoustides has been the lead researcher on a project to add value and remediate waste products of pine and swine production in North Carolina.

Fine bubble lagoon aeration

Read the full story at Water & Wastes Digest.

Air Diffusion Systems fine bubble diffusion has had a transformative effect on the treatment at Annawan, Illinois, Wastewater Lagoon System. With 90% of system funding coming from the Illinois EPA, Annawan has been able to provide improved water quality to the rural community at a fraction of the electrical cost to operate the aeration system…

In 2018, the Village of Annawan operator, Mark Crosby, contacted the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), an organization that provides cost-free energy evaluations to wastewater treatment plants in Illinois for an assessment to identify improvement opportunities for the village’s lagoon system.

SEDAC recommended “fine bubble aeration with blower controls, and downsizing blowers.” This recommendation led the village to Air Diffusion Systems (ADS) for its wastewater treatment. Using these recommendations, village management applied for funding from the Illinois EPA (ILEPA) Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Assessment Program, designed to fund energy-efficient projects at public-owned WWTPs. The ILEPA Office of Energy has partnered with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and SEDAC to provide funding solutions for improved wastewater treatment at a reduced cost to local municipalities. Due to the power savings associated with ADS technologies, there are many comparable federal and state funding opportunities for most ADS installations.

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