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The Water Break Podcast, Episode 2: Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal in Wastewater

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In this podcast episode, host Heather Jennings, PE, interviews wastewater microbiologist and certified operator Toni Glymph-Martin on the topic of Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal in Wastewater. Toni has more than 40 years of wastewater experience and is the author of several wastewater microbiology textbooks.

Microorganisms (stained slides), photos courtesy of Toni Glymph-Martin:

  • GAOs

  • PAO-PHBs

  • PAO-PolyPs

Toni’s Website: www.wwmicrosolutions.com

Toni’s textbooks:

More from Toni Glymph-Martin (video): The Wastewater Treatment Plant Microbiological Zoo

Podcast reference from Wanda’s Water Tidbit:

From the Door of Heather’s Home Recording Studio:

Chemical Dosing for Phosphorus Removal

By Jared Alder, MS

There has been a big focus in domestic wastewater on the removal of phosphorus and the potential for excess phosphorus to cause eutrophication in receiving water. Treatment facilities of all different shapes and sizes with inadequate phosphorus treatment technologies have the potential for excess phosphorus release.

The removal of phosphorus from wastewater can be performed using physico-chemical methods, biological treatment, and/or combinations of both. Physico-chemical processes of phosphorus removal have been widely used. Such physico-chemical processes are generally effective, reliable, and do need a lot of large capital equipment; however, they are not without limitations. For example, adding chemicals to treatment processes can impact the pH of the treatment process, thus resulting in the need for additional chemicals to adjust the pH before the treated water can be discharged. In some cases, because of the chemical usage, a chemical sludge can be created and there may need to be additional treatment steps for removing the sludge. [Read more…]

Get the “P” Out of There!

By Heather Jennings, PE

Phosphorus is one of the most abundant elements on earth. It’s essential for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy carrier life is built on. But in excess in our lakes and ponds, we see large algal growths occurring. Many times, these algal blooms suffocate the surrounding aquatic life and or produce toxins that can kill both aquatic life and humans.

How does phosphorus get into our rivers and lakes? I’m glad you asked! Some of the sources are runoff from farm and lawn fertilizers or partial wastewater treatment of raw influent. With the exception of periodic excursion, wastewater treatment plants are typically operating under tight water quality permits with less than 1 mg/L of Total Phosphorus in their discharge permits. This limit is often less than the background phosphorus existing in receiving waters. The permits can be even tighter if the treatment plant discharges to sensitive waters of the U.S. (as defined for the Clean Water Act). [Read more…]

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