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Rochester Waste Management to address wastewater treatment issues with RO system

Published in Lab Water Purification News
Written by Nicholas Papp

Creation Date Friday, 01 March 2013.

The Turnkey Landfill of Rochester under the city's Waste Management will be using a reverse osmosis (RO) system to address the wastewater treatment plant problems, including the low transmissivity levels in the water as well as the significant amount of nitrogen passing through the city's plant. The upgrades are expected to be completed summer of 2013.


A reverse osmosis (RO) system will be implemented for the treatment of leachate — the precipitation and melted snow that filters through the landfill waste and collects on the bottom. After the leachate is pretreated at Waste Management, it travels to the city's wastewater treatment plant, where it's treated and then discharged into the Cocheco River. AQUA SOLUTIONS offer various options in RO pretreatment to meet both laboratory and industrial requirements similar to this.


The city's plant uses UV lights to neutralize any pathogens and contaminants before liquids are discharged into the river. While these UV lights are supposed to operate about 50 percent of the time, the lights now operate 100 percent of the time, due to the low transmissivity levels in the liquid that passes through the system.


"The lower the transmissivity the more stuff you have in there, the more suspended solids, the harder it is to treat," said Peter Nourse, Public Works Director. "We see this being improved with the RO system."


With an RO system to be put in place for treatment of leachate, there will be higher levels of transmissivity, the easier it is for light to travel through the liquid, and the easier it is for UV lights to disinfect the water.


Additionally, Nourse said that RO technology also typically results in lower nitrogen levels, and this is promising because half of the nitrogen that passes through the treatment plant comes from Waste Management. "It could be significant, we're hoping for the best," he said.


If the implementation of RO means lower amounts of nitrogen coming into the wastewater treatment plant, it would mean the city would have an easier time meeting the upcoming EPA permit for total nitrogen, which is expected to be stringent.


The new RO system is expected to begin operating around June.

About the Author

Nicholas Papp

Nicholas Papp

Nicholas Papp has a B.S. in Physics, with Minors in Chemistry and Math, from Baldwin-Wallace College. He is the Vice President and General Manager of AQUA SOLUTIONS, INC., and has worked in the water filtration/purification industry for more than 35 years.