2002 Progress Report: Advances in Municipal Wastewater Treatment

EPA Grant Number: R827933C030
Subproject: this is subproject number 030 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825427
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Urban Waste Management and Research Center (University New Orleans)
Center Director: McManis, Kenneth
Title: Advances in Municipal Wastewater Treatment
Investigators: LaMotta, Enrique
Institution: University of New Orleans
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2003
Project Period Covered by this Report: July 1, 2001 through June 30,2002
RFA: Urban Waste Management & Research Center (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research


This study research conducted by the Urban Waste Management and Research Center (UWMRC) project has two component subprojects: (1) Municipal Wastewater Treatment Using the Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Reactor (AFBR), and (2) Pilot Plant Study of Bioflocculation in the Dual Trickling Filter/Solids Contact (TFE/SC) Process. The main objective of the first component subproject is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of providing secondary municipal wastewater treatment using the following treatment sequence: grit removal, fine screening, AFBR, flocculation, and final clarification, to provide adequate and stable chemical oxygen demand (COD) and suspended solids (SS) removal.

The main objective of the second component subproject is to study the factors affecting the performance of the solids contact chamber (SCC) with regard to both bioflocculation and substrate removal efficiency. The research plan has two phases. The first phase consisted of feeding primary effluent to the TF/SC pilot plant and  observing the effect of operating variables on the plant performance. In the second phase, which is ongoing, the primary effluent was substituted for the effluent of a rotating fine screen. With the use of a 0.020 inch wedge wire rotating screen instead of a primary clarifier, the sewage being fed to the TF/SC system has a lower quality, thus creating higher organic and solids loadings. This effluent was fed directly to the solids contact chamber to test the ability of this unit to handle alone all of the of COD contained in this wastewater stream. The general objective of this phase is to establish the ability of the SCC to operate in the presence of higher organics and solids from “poor quality” influent.

Progress Summary:

Component 1 of the Study

After the successful demonstration that biological flocculation of the AFBR effluent can produce secondary effluent, this project was continued independently under the title Combined Anaerobic-Aerobic Secondary Municipal Wastewater Treatment, and its progress is summarized in a separate annual report (see the report for R827933C018).

Component 2 of the Study

Based on the demonstration that most of the total COD in the municipal wastewater is particulate COD, the role of biological flocculation in the removal of total COD removal in the trickling filter was investigated. The following list summarizes the conclusions derived from the research conducted under this project:

  • The pilot-scale TF is efficient in removing total SS, total COD, dissolved COD, and particulate COD. The experimental data demonstrate, however, that the TF is more efficient at removing particulate COD than dissolved COD.
  • The capacity of the pilot-scale TF to consume dissolved COD is fixed, and is a function of contact area rather than available substrate. Despite significant differences in the influent dissolved TOC applied to the TF, the consumption of dissolved COD remained approximately constant.
  • The removal of organic and inorganic particulate matter in the pilot-scale TF adheres to first order reaction kinetics. This consumption in the pilot scale TF is well described by the Wehner and Wilhelm dispersed plug-flow reactor (PFR) model.
  • The removal of organic and inorganic particulate matter in the pilot-scale TF adheres to first order reaction kinetics in the presence of minimal and majority dissolved COD. The presence of extracellular polymeric substances in the biological film explains the removal of particulates by biological flocculation. The first order removal of particulates, demonstrated herein, agrees with the general kinetic behavior of biological flocculation.

Future Activities:

The research conducted at the Marrero wastewater treatment pilot plant has demonstrated conclusively that biological flocculation is the primary mechanism for particulate COD removal in both the trickling filter and in the solids contact chamber of the TF/SC process. We also have demonstrated that the solids contact tank is the most important unit of the TF/SC process, to the extent that the aeration tank by itself, without the trickling filter, could perform as well as when it was connected to the trickling filter. Consequently, all modeling efforts should concentrate on the aeration chamber.

Unfortunately, none of the existing models for the activated sludge process include the effect of biological flocculation on the overall removal of organic matter. The last phase of this research project, therefore, will focus on preparing a kinetic model of the activated sludge process that will include the kinetics of biological flocculation and also will link the aeration tank with the sedimentation unit.

Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 4 publications 2 publications in selected types All 2 journal articles
Other center views: All 55 publications 13 publications in selected types All 7 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article La Motta EJ, Jimenez JA, Josse JC, Manrique A. The effect of air-induced velocity gradient and dissolved oxygen on bioflocculation in the trickling filter/solids contact process. Advances in Environmental Research 2003;7(2):441-451. R827933C030 (2002)
  • Full-text: Science Direct
  • Abstract: Science Direct
  • Other: Science Direct
  • Journal Article La Motta EJ, Jimenez JA. Discussion of "Review of two decades of experience with TF/SC process" by D. S. Parker and J. R. Bratby. Journal of Environmental Engineering 2002;128(8):764-766. R827933C030 (2002)
  • Abstract: ASCE
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    wastewater treatment, trickling filter/solids contact process, biological flocculation, pilot plant study, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Municipal, Wastewater, Chemistry, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, Water Pollution Control, wastewater treatment, pathogen removal, anaerobic digestion, wastewater treatment plants, municipal waste, support particles, municipal wastewater treatment, treatment, municipal wastewater, water quality, bioflocculation

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2001
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825427    Urban Waste Management and Research Center (University New Orleans)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825427C001 Comprehensive Evaluation of The Dual Trickling Filter Solids Contact Process
    R825427C002 Issues Involving the Vertical Expansion of Landfills
    R825427C003 Deep Foundations on Brownfields Sites
    R825427C004 Ambient Particulate Concentration Model for Traffic Intersections
    R825427C005 Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Approaches for I/I Reduction
    R825427C006 Urban Solid Waste Management Videos
    R825427C007 UWMRC Community Outreach Multimedia Exhibit
    R825427C008 Including New Technology into the Investigation of Inappropriate Pollutant Entries into Storm Drainage Systems - A User's Guide
    R825427C009 Investigation of Hydraulic Characteristics and Alternative Model Development of Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands
    R825427C010 Beneficial Use Of Urban Runoff For Wetland Enhancement
    R825427C011 Urban Storm and Waste Water Outfall Modeling
    R827933C001 Development of a Model Sediment Control Ordinance for Louisiana
    R827933C002 Inappropriate Discharge to Stormwater Drainage (Demonstration Project)
    R827933C003 Alternate Liner Evaluation Model
    R827933C004 LA DNR - DEQ - Regional Waste Management
    R827933C005 Landfill Design Specifications
    R827933C006 Geosynthetic Clay Liners as Alternative Barrier Systems
    R827933C007 Used Tire Monofill
    R827933C008 A Comparison of Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Bed (USAB) and the Anaerobic Biofilm Fluidized Bed Reactor (ABFBR) for the Treatment of Municipal Wastewater
    R827933C009 Integrated Environmental Management Plan for Shipbuilding Facilities
    R827933C010 Nicaragua
    R827933C011 Louisiana Environmental Education and Resource Program
    R827933C012 Costa Rica - Costa Rican Initiative
    R827933C013 Evaluation of Cr(VI) Exposure Assessment in the Shipbuilding Industry
    R827933C014 LaTAP, Louisiana Technical Assistance Program: Pollution Prevention for Small Businesses
    R827933C015 Louisiana Environmental Leadership Pollution Prevention Program
    R827933C016 Inexpensive Non-Toxic Pigment Substitute for Chromium in Primer for Aluminum Sibstrate
    R827933C017 China - Innovative Waste Composting Plan for the City of Benxi, People's Rupublic of China
    R827933C018 Institutional Control in Brownfields Redevelopment: A Methodology for Community Participation and Sustainability
    R827933C019 Physico-Chemical Assessment for Treatment of Storm Water From Impervious Urban Watersheds Typical of the Gulf Coast
    R827933C020 Influence of Cyclic Interfacial Redox Conditions on the Structure and Integrity of Clay Liners for Landfills Subject to Variable High Groundwater Conditions in the Gulf Coast Region
    R827933C021 Characterizing Moisture Content Within Landfills
    R827933C022 Bioreactor Landfill Moisture Management
    R827933C023 Urban Water Issues: A Video Series
    R827933C024 Water Quality Modeling in Urban Storm Water Systems
    R827933C025 The Development of a Web Based Instruction (WBI) Program for the UWMRC User's Guide (Investigation of Inappropriate Pollutant Entries Into Storm Drainage Systems)
    R827933C027 Legal Issues of SSO's: Private Property Sources and Non-NPDES Entities
    R827933C028 Brownfields Issues: A Video Series
    R827933C029 Facultative Landfill Bioreactors (FLB): A Pilot-Scale Study of Waste Stabilization, Landfill Gas Emissions, Leachate Treatment, and Landfill Geotechnical Properties
    R827933C030 Advances in Municipal Wastewater Treatment
    R827933C031 Design Criteria for Sanitary Sewer System Rehabilitation
    R827933C032 Deep Foundations in Brownfield Areas: Continuing Investigation
    R827933C033 Gradation-Based Transport, Kinetics, Coagulation, and Flocculation of Urban Watershed Rainfall-Runoff Particulate Matter
    R827933C034 Leaching and Stabilization of Solid-Phase Residuals Separated by Storm Water BMPs Capturing Urban Runoff Impacted by Transportation Activities and Infrastructure
    R827933C035 Fate of Pathogens in Storm Water Runoff
    R87933C020 Influence of Cyclic Interfacial Redox Conditions on the Structure and Integrity of Clay Liners for Landfills Subject to Variable High Groundwater Conditions in the Gulf Coast Region