Guide Targets Wastewater Nutrient Reduction

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Water has released a new guide that will help municipal and utility owners and operators, engineers, local decision makers, and state permit writers and regulators plan cost-effective nutrient removal projects for municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Excess nutrients are a leading cause of waterbody impairment and can cause the growth of excessive algae and aquatic vegetation in receiving waters, leading to decreased oxygen levels. Excess ammonia nitrogen is toxic to fish and other aquatic species. Additionally the discharge of nitrates in wastewater can result in groundwater contamination.

"The Municipal Nutrient Removal Technologies Reference Document" presents detailed technical and cost information about existing nutrient removal technologies and information on emerging technologies. This document includes detailed process descriptions, performance and reliability data, and operating factors for processes that can remove nitrogen, phosphorus, or both from municipal wastewater. It also includes nine in-depth facility case studies from around the country and one in Canada.

Many of the nation's 16,583 municipal wastewater treatment facilities discharge to sensitive waters or waters that are designated as impaired. Facilities are increasingly using treatment processes to help reduce nutrient concentrations to protect receiving waters. This document will help in the evaluation of technologies to meet their needs.

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