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Xylem to assist in removing harmful nutrients from Chesapeake Bay

Xylem has been awarded a contract to provide an existing wastewater treatment plant in the US with advanced treatment technology, which will play a key role in an initiative focused on improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

The City of Frederick, Maryland, is a contributor to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the water quality of which is being damaged due to excess nutrients entering the system.

These nutrients fuel the growth of algae blooms, which in large quantities can block sunlight to underwater grasses and remove oxygen from the water, preventing the bay from acting as a healthy ecosystem.

The Xylem solutions that will be used in the project include a Leopold elimi-NITE denitrification system, Sanitaire Silver Series II membrane disc diffusers, and Wedeco’s TAK 55 UV disinfection system.

Leopold’s elimi-NITE deep bed filter system will use methanol as a carbon source to grow biology within the filter bed to reduce nitrate nitrogen to less than 1mg/l.

Total phosphorus (TP) levels will be reduced through the system to levels of less than 0.3mg/l TP.

 The Sanitaire aeration systems will be installed in swing zone tankage, anoxic/equalisation tankage, and the effluent channel at the plant for purposes of secondary treatment and oxidation of organic material, as well ammonia removal.

Marc Stachowski, deputy director of public works for the City of Frederick, says: ‘The Chesapeake Bay area is a unique ecosystem that needs to be protected. It is our goal to comply with the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Initiative Enhanced Nutrient Removal programme and, as part of this process, the city is converting a key element of its water treatment process from chemical (chlorine) to ultraviolet disinfection.’

‘Xylem is supporting this project by developing innovative and sustainable ways to reduce the levels of nitrate nitrogen and total phosphorus in the water before it is discharged into the Chesapeake Bay,’ he continues.

Greg Claffey, Xylem’s director of treatment sales for North America, says the company is pleased to support the long-term sustainability of the important waterway.

‘By switching from chlorine to UV disinfection, the City of Frederick will reduce the disinfection by-products going back into receiving streams. Furthermore, the removal of chlorine makes the site and the surrounding community a safer place to live and work,’ he says.

Xylem will also provide training and service support to the facility’s operators as the plant shifts from chlorine to UV disinfection to ensure a smooth transition.

Construction is scheduled to take place later in 2015 with the plant scheduled to be in operation in mid-2017.