Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Newtown Creek Demonstration Project Wet Weather Operating Strategies


In 2004, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment plant, designed for 310 mgd average daily flow (ADF) was operating under an interim permit with new secondary treatment permit limits scheduled to go into effect in January 2008. The facility is currently undergoing a plant-wide upgrade that includes increasing the biological treatment facilities by 50% (from two to three batteries) and changing the process from High Rate Modified Conventional Activated Sludge operation (SRT <0.5 days) to Low SRT (1.8 – 2.2 days) Step Feed Activated Sludge operation. By January 2008, all three batteries were to be operational but only half the secondary system would be fully upgraded to the step
feed process (Scheduled for completion in 2013). With no primary treatment facilities and the requirement to treat all influent flow to a minimum of 620 mgd during this interim period, stable operation of the existing facility, particularly during rain, events was expected to be a challenge. Therefore, a Demonstration Project was performed in two aeration/final tank trains from December 2004 until December 2005. The purpose of this testing was to gain experience in the operation and performance of the existing South and South Central Batteries prior to the Consent Order date of January 1, 2008 when full secondary treatment would be required. In developing the Demonstration Project, the ability to prevent solids loss during wet weather operation was identified as the critical operating parameter to success. Rapid response to flow increases during rain events was determined to be the goal in preventing solids loss.

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