Weston Solutions, Inc

Wetlands For Industrial Wastewater Treatment At The Savannah River Site: A Case Study

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The A-01 effluent outfall, which collects both normal daily process flow and stormwater runoff from a industrial park-type area, did not meet the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits for metals, toxicity, and total residual chlorine at the outfall sampling point. However, copper is the constituent of primary concern and the effluent has consistently failed to meet that NPDES limit. Installation of a constructed wetland system as well as a system to manage stormwater surges was required to reduce the problematic constituent concentrations to below the NPDES permit limits before the effluent reaches the sampling point.

In an effort to refine and optimize the preliminary design, both bench scale and on-site pilot scale physical models were constructed. The results of both of the models demonstrated the effectiveness of this and confirmed the design prior to construction, which was completed in October 2000.

The constructed treatment wetlands system has proven its adaptability to treat industrial wastewaters containing metals with very low O&M costs since there are no mechanical parts. With an anticipated life of over 50 years, this type of system is extremely cost effective.

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