NACWA recognizes collaborative research efforts with its Research and
Technology Award for innovative work on nutrient removal
DC Water’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant is home to some of the most innovative wastewater research in the world. Master’s and Ph.D. candidates from renowned regional institutions perform their full-time investigations on DC Water science and technology projects, helping to solve tomorrow’s wastewater treatment problems today.
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies, NACWA, recognized the contributions of DC Water’s research program with its Research and Technology Award for a process design project. This process design, external carbon based suspended growth denitrification, enables facility and process upgrades to further reduce nitrogen levels in effluent. It is significant not only for the local watersheds, but also for the water sector, as this technology is now employed by industry peers and is ready for widespread adoption.
“DC Water is on the forefront of research in the wastewater sector,” said DC Water Assistant General Manager for Wastewater Treatment Walt Bailey. ”And without research, we wouldn’t be able to implement the cutting-edge technology that enables us to meet one of the most stringent nutrient removal requirements in the world.”
Said General Manager George Hawkins, “DC Water was the first to meet the Chesapeake Bay Program goals to reduce nitrogen levels by 40 percent of the 1985 levels. And we have continued to meet those program goals every year since.” Nutrient removal is important to aquatic life because nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous can cause algae growth that depletes oxygen in the marine environment.
The project was conducted under DC Water’s stewardship and included a team of researchers from a George Washington University, Enviroism (a modeling firm), and AECOM, an engineering firm.
The award was presented by NACWA as part of the 2012 National Environmental Achievement Awards during the Winter Conference in Los Angeles, California this week.