Phosphorus Removal


Based on the Nutrient Management Research by the EPA, excessive nutrients continue to be a leading cause of impairment of lakes, rivers and coastal waters in the United States. In response, wastewater discharge permits are getting more stringent in the US, with plants around the country facing unprecedented requirements to attain ultra-low total phosphorus (TP) effluent concentrations. Wastewater treatment technologies such as optimized biological system, tertiary filtration and chemical addition can be implemented to different degrees to meet these requirements.



Biological Phosphorus Removal

The basic principle of biological phosphorus removal is to expose bacteria to alternating anaerobic and aerobic conditions to promote “luxury uptake” of phosphorus. Under anoxic to anaerobic conditions, phosphorus accumulating organisms (PAO) have the ability to take in organic substrate.


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Tertiary Phosphorus Removal

Tertiary Phosphorus Removal

Removal of phosphorus in a tertiary process is required in many cases to meet low level phosphorus effluent requirements. Tertiary filtration removes particulate associated phosphorus.


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Advanced Control Phosphorus Removal

Advanced Control Phosphorus Removal

At ultra-low level of phosphorus, data collection and automated controls becomes more important to optimize the wastewater treatment process.


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