Equipment improves process, saves energy

Choice1This Florida city is a perfect blend of aging gracefully while staying at the forefront of environmental protection. When this pristine community started experiencing problems with its wastewater treatment system, they found a solution using Aire-O2 Triton® process aerators and mixers.The original municipal wastewater treatment plant was built in the 1950’s and upgraded in 1986. The community boasts great weather, beaches and a myriad of attractions for locals and nearly 2 million tourists. Keeping the city’s wastewater treatment facility in top-notch condition to meet the needs of this fast-paced community is a challenge it met.

The treatment plant consists of two oxidation ditches in a parallel flow system. The current design flow is 5 million gal per day (MGD) of which approximately 95% is domestic sewage. Current average influent concentrations are 190 mg/L BOD, 180 mg/L TSS, and 34 mg/L NH3–N.

Learn more about Municipal Wastewater Solutions from Aeration Industries.

Aging Disk Aeration System

Each of the oxidation ditches employs a 3-ring process channel system and was equipped with 50 Hp rotating disks for aeration and mixing in each channel. Over the years, frequent mechanical difficulties started plaguing the aging disks.

“Mechanical problems on the disks have been a problem for quite a long time, especially shaft and bearing problems,” said the plant manager. In 2007, the treatment plant started having difficulties meeting its ammonia discharge levels. The facility has very strict discharge permit limits, discharging into the Matanzas Intercostals Waterway. The failing disk aeration system needed an immediate boost to get the treatment plant back into compliance.

In Compliance With Process Control

Two 10-Hp Aire-O2 Triton® aerators/mixers were installed in August 2007, one in each ditch, to supplement the disk aerators. The addition of the Triton units brought the plant back into compliance. Discharge levels for NH3–N fell from 14 mg/l to 2.5 mg/l within a few days. Other effluent values reduced as well with BOD averaging 3.3 mg/l and TSS averaging 2.9 mg/l. Satisfied with the new equipment, the plant staff decided to add more Triton process aerators to the wastewater treatment plant the following year. Two 30-Hp units were added in September and another set in November 2008. “I’m really into process control,” the manager said. “What I really like about the Aire-O2 Triton®aerators is that you can separate the aeration and the mixing. That helps me really control the process better.”

Operating & Energy Savings

The treatment plant is enjoying the energy savings the process aerators provide. They have replaced 50 Hp disk aerators with 30 Hp process aerator/mixers. “That’s almost half the horsepower,” the manager said. The Triton’s strong mixing ensures uniform dissolved oxygenation throughout the oxidation ditch and also keeps the mixed liquor suspended solids in full suspension. The six Triton aerators now afford the facility the “turn-down capability” of multiple units to match influent loads or flows by shutting down units to realize more energy savings.

Community Friendly

The wastewater treatment plant is located close to the community. Being a “good neighbor” is important. The Chief Operator likes the aerator’s subsurface injection better than the rotating disks for air quality reasons. “The Tritons don’t splash or throw any wastewater into the air. The water stays in the tank,” he said, especially on windy days. “Working around the disks on windy days can get kind of nasty with the wastewater splashing,” he added. “The Tritons are very quiet, too.” The facility will continue to upgrade its treatment plant, including the Triton aerators. The goal reflects this city’s tradition of maintaining a fit and sustainable treatment facility on the leading edge of environmental technology.