AquAeTer was asked to review a proposed technical design for a wastewater treatment system upgrade and energy savings at a pulp and paper mill. The mill’s existing treatment system included a very large facultative lagoon that was overloaded and operating primarily as an anaerobic lagoon. Because the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) had a concentration limit of less than 5 mg/L for BOD5, the client was looking for innovative and sustainable solutions to meeting this stringent effluent limit. The proposed design included abandoning the existing lagoon system and installing a mechanized biological wastewater treatment system. AquAeTer raised several concerns including operating and maintenance costs and the need for auxiliary equipment in the event of power outages. After AquAeTer reviewed the proposed design and analyzed the existing system, our technical experts were asked to develop alternative design concepts for consideration, implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs). The client was looking for cost-effective opportunities that would also reduce energy and water consumption.
AquAeTer worked closely with corporate and mill technical staff to develop a system concept which included the specification of solar mixers/aerators to meet the low BOD demand. AquAeTer oversaw the implementation of the recommended upgrades and analyzed data results. The new system met the same effluent limits as “state-of-the-art” treatment facilities, resulting in a nearly non-detect Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) effluent discharge. The solar mixers also proved to be an effective and sustainable treatment option for this system.
As a result of these efforts, the mill was able to achieve compliance with the stringent effluent limits. AquAeTer’s design concept saved the client several million dollars in initial capital compared to other proposed concepts. The alternative design also resulted in nearly zero operating costs. The BMPs implemented also provided reduced energy and water consumption costs in other plant processes and produced solid byproducts suitable for use as biofuel.
AquAeTer provided the following services to its client for this sampling and reporting project:
- Third Party Independent Design Review
- BMP development and implementation strategy
- Alternative Design Concept and Implementation
- Overall project support from concept to completion
- Innovative concept development