Practical data for the application for a discharge permit at a WWTP

An industry wants to continue discharging its wastewater on a municipal wastewater treatment plant belonging to a water board. The alternative would be to build a new treatment plant on site, which would require a substantial investment. Arcadis is leading this project and approached Orvion to determine, by means of a number of simple tests, what effect the discharge would have on the WWTP and whether it would have negative consequences for the water board. This input is used as part of obtaining a discharge permit.

We carried out absorption tests on the sludge from the relevant WWTP using a representative wastewater sample from the industry. Approximately 40-50% of the COD in the wastewater was absorbed by the sludge. Degradation tests were also carried out to determine whether the wastewater might have a toxic effect on the sludge and how much of the added COD is biologically degraded. The tests show that the wastewater is not toxic to the sludge and that 26-48% of the COD is broken down biologically. The addition of nutrients and micronutrients brought no significant increase in the degradation. This suggests that the degradation is not limited by a lack of nutrients.

The data we generated is being used by Arcadis and their industrial client as input in discussions with the waterboard about the discharge permit.

Thommy Verschuuren works at Orvion looking from innovative and often unexpected angles at the challenges that face customers. He likes to show that cost savings and sustainable development can go hand in hand. “Often the green solution is also the economically advantageous solution, but it just does not occur to you”.

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