Environmental Protection

School of Mines Field Tests Aqua-Aerobic MBR System

Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc. of Rockford, Ill., has partnered with the Colorado School of Mines' Advanced Water Technology Center (AQWATEC) and Mines' Small Flow Program to conduct field testing on the Aqua-Aerobic® MBR decentralized wastewater treatment system, according to a March 6 press release.

The system consists of a full-scale Sequencing Batch Reactor, coupled with Koch PURON™ membranes. The main objective of the research project is to assess the performance of the decentralized system by treating one of the campus' housing community domestic wastewater sources (about 400 apartments). The focus of the testing is on the optimization of the treatment process for biological nutrient removal, membrane operation, and process adjustment for constant and seasonal flow patterns.

On Feb. 17, Colorado School of Mines hosted a dedication event to celebrate the startup of the research project. AQWATEC began testing the onsite system, which uses two alternating adjacent batch reactor trains with a flow capacity of 6-12 gallons per minute. Additionally, the school operates a bench-scale conventional MBR (10-15 gallons per hour), which complements the full-scale MBR system. It utilizes a smaller PURON™ hollow-fiber, submerged membrane module and can be operated as needed to compare performance between various treatment schemes.

Preliminary studies revealed that the Aqua-Aerobic® MBR system is highly efficient for onsite non-potable reuse or direct discharge to a stream in decentralized wastewater treatment applications. The system is suitable for flows of 5,000 to 50,000 gallons per day. Its advantages include enhanced BNR, low energy consumption, reuse quality effluent, and a small footprint.

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