Impact of Refinery Effluent on POTW
Uncertainty isn't an option when it comes to your nitrification process.
So when this publicly owned treatment works (POTW) was considering adding a refinery's wastewater to their plant, they needed to know whether it would adversely impact their planned nitrification process performance.
Together, we developed and conducted a confirmatory bench scale test to put the question to rest. To best simulate the refinery discharge impact on the nitrifier biomass, the discharge was pre-treated for future planned arsenic reduction, then filtered. Batch dose-response tests were performed on mixtures of pre-treated refinery effluent samples and POTW primary effluent at three dilutions to represent situations ranging from average flows to worst-case scenarios, and a control was maintained.
The outcome? In the batch reactors, the oxygen utilization rates were initially high, but declined slowly with time suggesting the systems were biologically active, the organic material was being degraded and nitrification was occurring.
With sound testing and reassuring results, the municipality was able to confidently add the refinery's wastewater while continuing to meet their permit limits.