Regulatory and Technology Nutrient Reduction Research With The WRF

Bozeman WRF Phase 1 | Regulatory and Technology Nutrient Reduction Research With The WRF

Regulatory and Technology Nutrient Reduction Research With The WRF

Dual Research Projects Investigate Regulatory and Technology Nutrient Reduction Options 

Many utilities are finding growing pressure to reduce nutrient discharge to receiving waters. To tackle this challenge, we are collaborating with the Water Research Foundation to address regulatory, treatment and effluent management strategies through two simultaneous research projects.

New Approaches for Improved Nutrient Management (WRF 4974) 

The goal of this project is to engage with both point and nonpoint sources, regulatory agencies and other watershed stakeholders to develop a research road map that advances nutrient management in new and improved ways. 

Research based on a holistic understanding of watersheds and focused on water quality results may improve the prospects for new approaches to nutrient management that foster innovation and new opportunities. These opportunities include adaptive management, collaborations and water quality trading, innovative permitting frameworks that facilitate compliance and incentives as a catalyst for progress.

Through a series of interactive virtual workshops hosted by different geographic regions, we will develop a research road map and action items for improved nutrient management. 

Holistic Approach to Improved Nutrient Management: Experience, Challenges, and Success in Agriculture and Urban Partnerships (WRF 4974) Workshop & Webinars Series:

Originally, three in-person workshops were going to take place in the U.S. in the west (San Francisco Bay Area), east (Philadelphia) and central region (Iowa). These workshops have been modified to webinars available on WRF's project page featuring different utilities and including utility panelist discussion.

  • Webinar 1: Conducted on March 19, 2020 and hosted by the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies.
  • Webinar 2: Conducted on June 4, 2020 and featured the Philadelphia Water Department and the Delaware River. View the recording
  • Webinar 3: Conducted on September 17, 2020 and hosted by the Iowa Soybean Association with Point and Nonpoint Sources. View the recording and slides

Guidelines for Optimizing Nutrient Removal Plant Performance (WRF 4973)

Utilities need a practical guide to optimize existing secondary and nutrient removal plants for reduced cost, higher efficiency and reduced nutrient discharge. 

Our HDR-led team understands that different strategies have been implemented to address nutrient pollution by many U.S. states and regions, including Washington, Iowa, Colorado, and San Francisco Bay Area. These and many more early adopters are eager to contribute to nutrient optimization guidelines. A common element among them is to make the changes affordable and sustainable. 

The first strategy is to modify water resources recovery facilities to remove some degree of nutrients by modest process changes, diverting effluent, sidestream treatment or other means. For plants that already practice nutrient removal, the guidance is to increase the number of nutrients removed and/or improve the efficiency to a lower level or reduced cost.

An outcome from this project will be a guidance document or tool with a road map for utilities to reduce nutrient discharge and reduce nutrient enrichment of the nation’s waters. The tool must be flexible to accommodate different starting points (current WRRF technologies), address various sizes of utilities in a wide geographic area,  provide a pathway that will avoid stranded assets, and create a stepwise, affordable way to control nutrient pollution.

Bozeman WRF Phase 1 | Regulatory and Technology Nutrient Reduction Research With The WRF