Regions with a cold winter, as in the Baltic countries, have a problem to meet the nitrogen requirement in the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive 98/15/EC. Especially in the winter season, the temperature of the influent wastewater could arrive also below 10°C and this delays the biological processes that takes place in the wastewater treatment.
With the decrease of the temperature, the efficiency of nitrogen removal in the system decreases and leads to a high nitrogen loading in the effluent.
The ITEST (Increased Technology and Efficiency in Sewage Treatment) project situated in Hammarby Sjöstadsverk in Stockholm has as its main aim to enhance nitrogen removal, thereby increasing the temperature in the incoming wastewater. The pilot plant ITEST is comprised of two treatment lines, one works with natural temperature influent and the other works at the temperature of 20 °C. In order to warm the incoming water a heating system, using waste heat, is used, leading to save energy.
The two test lines were compared analyzing different parameters from January to May 2013. Total nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen and ammonium-nitrogen concentrations were measured in the incoming water and in the effluent from the two treatment lines. Hence, the efficiency of the nitrogen removal was compared between the reference and the temperature line.
In the period where the system was well functioning, the results show a nitrogen efficiency with a maximum of 92 % of removal of total nitrogen for the temperature line compared to only 65 % for the reference line. In the period where the system did not have any troubles the total nitrogen is under 10 mg/l, which is the limit of total nitrogen discharges specified in the Directive. Instead, for the sludge volume and the suspended solids any particular difference can be noticed from the two lines of treatment. In conclusion, in the temperature line can be noticed a great efficiency in nitrogen removal compared to the reference line.
Author: Caglia, Stefania