DesignClinic

Design for Nitrogen Reduction at the Northampton Wastewater Treatment Plant

Northampton Department of Public Works

Northampton Department of Public Works

2009-2010: In collaboration with the Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW), this student team designed a nitrogen reduction plan for City of Northampton’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).  In its recently approved EPA permit, the DPW received substantive comments from down-river parties on the necessity of nitrogen reduction from WWTP facilities that discharge to the receiving water, the Connecticut River; the DPW and WWTP were anticipating official nitrogen limits in the 2013 EPA permits.

The team identified a large set of possible processes, both industrial scale and lab scale, for reducing nitrogen, and then narrowed the list to eight options based on criteria relating to implementation complexity and proven use.  Using EnviroSim’s BioWin software package, the team modeled the proposed options and compared the results to a baseline model of the current WWTP processes.   Given the WWTP space and cost constraints, the team recommended adding a carbon source to the existing Ludzack-Ettinger process.  The team then prepared a pilot study plan to enable the DPW to confirm the nitrogen reduction impacts before full-scale implementation.

With the information gained from the pilot study and from the team’s report, the DPW will be better prepared to fund and endorse a process for long-term implementation, meeting future EPA permit limits.