In almost all things, wastewater treatment operations need to strike a delicate balance. They are asked to maintain cutting-edge processes but to remain within budget. They are expected to deal with the effects of climate change but remain energy efficient. And when it comes to meeting effluent regulations, the right balance can be even harder to maintain.
To keep effluent within the bounds of their permits, wastewater treatment operations are focused on determining the chemical makeup of these waste streams and the precise amount of chemicals that need to be introduced to get it clean enough for environmental discharge. It’s a process known as “dosing” the wastewater. When it comes to issues as prevalent as nutrient pollution — the presence of nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewater that can form toxic algae if released into source bodies — chemicals can be a treatment operator’s greatest tool. So long as the tools are used correctly, that is.