Saving Energy and Improving Quality - Case Study

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Courtesy of WesTech Engineering, Inc.

Location: Melville, New York
Owner: Newsday Inc.
Engineer: Phase 1: Cameron Engineering
Phase 2: H2M (Holzmacher,
McLendon & Murrell)
Contractor: Newsday Inc. & Benson Construction and Development

Stringent Effluent Requirements
Located in Melville, NY, Newsday Inc. provides a daily newspaper for the metropolitan area of Long Island. More than 30 years ago Newsday constructed its own wastewater treatment plant to treat the combined sanitary and industrial waste.

Over the years, effluent requirements have become more stringent and the aging plant has had a difficult time meeting these requirements. Because the plant discharges to an underground cistern that ultimately discharges into the groundwater supply, total nitrogen was required to remain below 10 mg/L.

As the existing plant was requiring a lot of maintenance and was struggling to consistently meet the required effluent without extra care and costly chemicals, Newsday needed to upgrade the plant with a cost-effective and reliable solution to meet these discharge regulations. In addition to improving the treatment process, Newsday wanted to implement energy efficient technologies.

Pilot Study
To test WesTech’s innovative STM-Aerotor, a pilot study was completed between February and August of 2004 that investigated the feasibility of replacing the existing coarse bubble aeration system, piping, and blowers with the STM-Aerotor. Through the pilot study, the Aerotor proved it would reduce nutrient levels below the effluent requirements under various loading rates in addition to reducing the required energy consumption.

The Aerotor combines fixed film and activated sludge treatment processes into a single compact system. Aeration is achieved without the use of blowers, aeration piping, or diffusers due to the innovative design of the Aerotor. The Aerotor captures atmospheric air with each rotation, draws it down into the mixed liquor and slowly releases the compressed air as coarse bubble aeration.

In addition to effective aeration, the Aerotor also provides a large surface area for fixed film growth, allowing for a more diverse population of biology and improving the sludge settling characteristics of the solids. The vertical profile allows for aerobic nitrification and anoxic denitrification to occur within the same process tank.

Following a successful pilot study and with the help of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) green grant funding, Cameron Engineering selected WesTech to supply two (2) STM-Aerotors for biological treatment as part of Phase I of Newsday’s WWTP upgrade. The following year, Phase II — engineered by H2M — added two (2) additional Aerotor units along with a separate anoxic zone. The dilapidated clarifiers were also replaced with membranes, making the facility an STM/MBR process.

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