Ski Resort MBR WWTP: Challenges of Year-Round Operation with Very High Flow and Load Variations Between Seasons

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The information presented in this paper is developed based on the Stevens Pass Wastewater District Membrane BioReactor Treatment Plant. The main objective is to discuss the unique process issues of ski area facilities which are faced with seasonal flow and load variations: (i) how to handle these variations within the system, (ii) how to grow enough biomass before the ski season starts and the flow and load go by a ratio of 1 to 800 (lowest to highest) in literally one day. Other unique design considerations include high flow at low water temperatures (worst conditions for membrane operation), difficult plant access, and operating in a pristine mountain environment. Process issues include an elevated TKN in the influent, approach to minimize alkalinity feed requirement and a question of adequately reduced carbon considerations in the influent to achieve denitrification and associated alkalinity recovery.

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