Wastewater treatment plants play a vital role in keeping our water clean and also our communities healthy. But the folks who run these facilities face some serious obstacles daily in their work. Here are a few of the key issues treatment plant managers have to deal with:

1. Managing Variable Flow Volumes

The amount of wastewater coming into the plant changes constantly based on things like rain, industrial discharge, and population fluctuations. Big spikes during storms can overwhelm the equipment and even cause untreated sewage to bypass treatment. The plant needs extra capacity and balancing tanks to handle peaks without compromising the cleaning process. That requires reliable pumps, pipes, tanks, and controls.

2. Removing Diverse Contaminants 

Wastewater contains an immense variety of contaminants from residential, commercial, and industrial sources and some include conventional pollutants like biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS). Sometimes nutrients, metals, oils, pathogens, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and emerging contaminants. And treatment processes must work in an integrated manner to effectively remove this wide pollution mix within permit limits.

3. Aging Infrastructure Deterioration

Treatment plants in North America that are over 50 years old are facing aging infrastructure problems, like corroded piping, damaged concrete structures, and outdated equipment. Issues like deterioration increases operation and maintenance costs, while potentially risks compromising treatments. Limited funds, complex upgrades, and the need for continued service during projects compound this challenge. Strategic asset management planning is critical.

4. Regulatory Compliance Complexity  

Wastewater discharge regulations are abundant, extensive in scope, and constantly evolving. Permit limits apply to conventional parameters, heavy metals, nutrients, microplastics, temperature, and more. Plants must meticulously track multiple parameters continuously to prove consistent compliance and avoid penalties. New permit terms, emerging contaminant monitoring, and regulatory uncertainty also introduce compliance complexities.

Addressing these challenges requires forward-thinking solutions. Technology advancements are pivotal, including high-rate biological treatment processes, nutrient removal technologies, real-time monitoring and control, and predictive asset analytics. Partnerships for industrial pre-treatment and resource recovery likewise ease burdens. Plant staff training, succession planning, and safety programs cultivate the operational excellence needed to thrive long-term.

Proper solids capture and removal additionally support sustainable operations. Equipment like drum screens, grit classifiers, dissolved air flotation thickeners, and centrifuges from Taber Solids Control enable consistent influent management and optimization of downstream treatment units. This stabilizes processes and helps plants combat variables effectively to deliver consistently clean effluent year-round despite a multitude of obstacles. With diligent attention to these integrated challenges, wastewater treatment protects public health for generations to come.

Leave Wastewater Treatment to the Experts

Wastewater treatment plants play a pivotal role in communities but face significant challenges due to varying flows, mixed pollutants, aging infrastructure and stringent regulations. Optimizing performance and ensuring compliance despite these obstacles requires robust, reliable solids control equipment. Taber Solids Control offers a comprehensive portfolio of solids separation technologies that remove pollutants from your influent stream. Our specialized dewatering centrifuges, drum screens, grit classifiers and DAF systems allow you to stabilize treatment processes and maximize downstream unit capacity. Let our team conduct a customized operational assessment to identify specific problem areas and recommendations. Contact us today to discuss how we can design a customized solids control solution for your plant that will sustain regulatory compliance and operational efficiency for years to come.