Nutrient Removal Challenge Program Management

Nutrient Removal Challenge Program Management

Nutrient Removal Challenge Program Management

Efficient, Cost-Effective Nutrient Removal from Wastewater

Nutrient removal of phosphorus and nitrogen is one of the most pressing issues facing the water and wastewater industry in the 21st century.

Whether large or small, utilities are required to meet nitrogen and phosphorus removal limits that have become increasingly difficult to measure. This means that various techniques – including market-based and technology approaches – needed to be explored to help meet nutrient criteria.

That’s why the combined Water Research Foundation – formerly the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and Water Environment Research Foundation – initially launched a five-year program in 2007 to spotlight the challenge of nutrient removal. WRF selected HDR as program manager with support from the University of Washington, Metcalf & Eddy and CH2M. Twelve years later, on October 23, 2019, the final report for WRF’s Nutrient Removal Challenge has now been published. 

This report culminates approximately 12 years of wastewater nutrient removal research led by HDR for WRF, including research by more than 30 principal investigators and hundreds of collaborators from consulting firms, universities, and regulatory agencies. This concise volume pulls together all of the most important aspects of the research done over more than a decade for a state-of-the-art look at what we know in the wastewater industry about nitrogen and phosphorus removal. Given what we’ve learned, Chapter 3 Future Direction looks forward to the remaining research needs and next steps.

The Nutrient Removal Challenge research program aims to provide measurable results in a combination of areas of immediate utility to the water and wastewater industry. The ultimate goal of this research was to provide information on nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewater – including their characteristics and bioavailability in aquatic environments – to help regulators make informed decisions.

Nutrient removal data will also help utilities select sustainable, cost-effective methods and technologies to meet permit limits. The research will develop and demonstrate new technologies and lead the search for improvements to existing technologies, with a goal of finding ways to reduce capital and operating and maintenance costs for nutrient removal by at least 10 percent.

Nutrient Removal Challenge Program Management