Decentralized Systems

Headworks Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) technology is the ideal solution for institutions and commercial developments requiring high-rate, reliable, and economic wastewater treatment systems.

The approach of treating wastewater at its source – Decentralized Treatment – is on the rise due to increasing demand for on-site water reuse in communities, and lack of sewer infrastructure in rural parts of the US and many developing regions throughout the world. The rising prices for both constructing new and repairing existing sewer networks has sternly challenged the use of centralized systems for wastewater treatment.

This type of treatment is bringing pre-fabricated, containerized and modular solutions to the forefront of the industry. It is important to create a system that is sufficiently standardized for it to be easily transported and customized depending on the site-specific circumstances.

Why Decentralized Systems?

The key rationale for decentralized systems in the municipal sector generally revolves around the capital expense of installing a sewerage system and the ability to reuse water in the local area without needing to pump it across significant distances.

In the urban areas in the US and many other parts of the world, the water infrastructure was built many decades ago and is now unable to handle the flows resulting from increasing population. This, coupled with the ageing and deteriorating infrastructure, highlights decentralized treatment systems as an attractive alternative that can be provided within a small footprint and at an economical budget.

Decentralized systems allow utilities to treat wastewater at the source, thereby enabling resource recovery of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous, organic carbon and they are also able to reuse the treated water.

Decentralized treatment systems avoid or minimize large underground trunk sewers and the risk of interfering with various other lines namely electric, telecommunication, gas, etc. Installation of new and maintenance of existing underground sewer lines require workarounds and elaborate safety arrangements for worker. This can be avoided in decentralized systems.

Decentralized treatment systems can be utilized for sewer mining from large trunk sewer lines leading to centralized treatment plants. Raw sewage from these sewer lines can be pumped out and treated locally for application in golf courses, landscaping, etc.

Commercial facilities such as hotels, resorts, golf courses, and shopping centers have relied on MBBR technology for over a decade. Employing proven biological treatment processes achieved within compact system designs, MBBR systems deliver exceptional organic biodegradation performance, ammonia and nitrogen reduction. MBBR technology is ideal for commercial facilities and developments that require on-site wastewater treatment with automated operation, economic operating costs, and resilient process performance.

MBBR is also an ideal technology for institutional facilities such as schools, hospitals, and penitentiaries that require advanced wastewater treatment on-site with minimal operating costs, automated operation, and high-rate biodegradation of wastewater organics. Typically, institutions generate a larger volume of wastewater that is lower in organic concentration than commercial wastewater streams.

However, many institutions generate wastewater having exceptionally high concentrations of ammonia nitrogen compared to commercial wastewater. Another challenging aspect at these facilities is the erratic changes in wastewater volume generated, causing cyclical peak flow conditions on wastewater treatment processes. Resilient to process fluctuations and designed for automated operation, Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor technology delivers highly efficient water process capabilities optimized for the unique requirements of reliable operation on-site at institutional facilities.

MBBR biofilm carriers establish a high-density population of bacteria within the process; these bacteria naturally oxidize organic wastewater constituents, reliably biodegrading target constituents from process wastewater streams prior to discharge.

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Source: City of Seattle Public utility department  

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