Water, Wastewater & Stormwater

Oral

394844 - Using Portable Probes for the Rapid Evaluation of Wastewater Treatment Biological Nitrification

Monday, June 4
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway EF
Co-Authors: Ryan Holzem, Green Bay – University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The main purpose of wastewater treatment is to reduce pollutants, including nutrients, to levels that do not lead to adverse impacts when discharged into the environment. Of particular concern is the removal of ammonia, which if untreated, can be toxic to fish or result in eutrophication in the receiving water. Ammonia, commonly found in wastewater as ammonium, is primarily removed through biological nitrification, which requires large amounts of air (i.e., oxygen) and results in major energy costs for wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs). Most WWTFs indirectly control nitrification based on dissolved oxygen or ammonia concentrations, which are monitored using a minimum number of fixed-in-place autosamplers with sensors due to their cost and consistent maintenance. This study evaluated the effectiveness of using portable probes with sensors to monitor biological nitrification. Specifically, YSI ProDSS and YSI ProODO probes with dissolved oxygen, nitrate, ammonia, oxidation-reduction potential, temperature, conductivity, and pH sensors were used to monitor biological nitrification in two activated sludge basins at a WWTF over a four month period. The results were comparable to chemical analyses completed on grab samples, and the portable probes consistently monitored biological nitrification within the accuracy reported by the manufacturer for freshwater. 2D and 3D profiles of biological nitrification throughout the basins were generated from the results, which enabled the WWTF to note areas of insufficient nitrification and optimize air addition. The data collection process was quick (<30 seconds/measurement), which could expedite engineering responses compared to slower laboratory analysis. Future work will focus on validating the results.

Eric Short

Student
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

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