National Centre for Water and Wastewater Research and Demonstration

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Resource or Project Abstract

TITLE: Treatment and Monitoring of Nutrients, Odour and Sludge at a Small-
Town Demonstration Wastewater Treatment System

This report details the research work carried out as part of the EPA ERTDI large-scale study award (Treatment and Monitoring of Nutrients, Odour and Sludge at a Small-Town Demonstration Wastewater Treatment System, 2006-ET-LS-12-M3). The treatment of wastewater from small towns with population equivalents (PEs) in the range 200-5,000 PE gives rise to problems different to those encountered in the treatment of wastewater from larger conurbations. While the physical, chemical and biological processes can be similar for small and large population systems, it may be necessary, due to, for example, large flow and concentration variations, to design small-town systems differently to ensure that they work efficiently, economically and with minimum supervision. In order to develop design guidelines for sustainable small-town treatment systems, it was considered necessary to construct a facility capable of examining proprietary and novel technologies that: = Are simple, robust and cheap to build and operate; = Can remove organic carbon, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), solids, odours, microorganisms, fats, oils, greases, and recalcitrant compounds (slowly or non-biodegradable compounds such as antibiotics, pesticides and hydrocarbons) from typical Irish wastewater streams to high standards; = Treat resultant sludges on-site or locally; and = Can be monitored and controlled remotely. Such a facility was proposed, designed, constructed, commissioned and operated by researchers in Civil Engineering, National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway at Galway County Council?s Tuam Wastewater Treatment Plant (TWWTP) and is known as the NUI Galway/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Research Facility (WRF). In this study, the WRF treated a controllable portion of the municipal wastewater entering the TWWTP. The Pumped Flow Biofilm Reactor (PFBR) system a wastewater technology previously invented and developed by the project team was installed and operated at the WRF, and was tested under a series of biological and hydraulic loading rates to establish optimum operating conditions for achieving highquality secondary treatment. Maximum 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), suspended solids (SS) and ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N) removals of 96%, 93% and 88%, respectively, were achieved giving average effluent concentrations of 12 mg BOD5/l, 11 mg SS/l and 4.7 mg NH4-N/l. A number of other novel waste, water and wastewater treatment technologies were also installed at the WRF. These technologies included a single-house wastewater treatment system, a sludge woodchip filter system, a new small-/medium-scale wastewater treatment system, and a tertiary treatment system. The performances of these technologies are also described in this report. The WRF now has the potential to treat the influent wastewater to non-potable reuse standards. The WRF is a world-class infrastructure for research and technology development.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Edmond O'Reilly
National University of Ireland Galway

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_78_OReilly_Wastewater_prn.pdf  (3.25 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_78_OReilly_Wastewater_web.pdf  (0.86 Mb)

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Author(s)O'Reilly, E.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationNational Centre for Water and Wastewater Research and Demonstration
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifierfbe5a0fc-6afd-102f-8c70-b53a025bc1b8
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2023-06-06

An example of this citation in proper usage:

O'Reilly, E.   "National Centre for Water and Wastewater Research and Demonstration". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2023-06-06)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsWastewater Research Galway Ireland
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2006-ET-LS-12-M3
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWaste and Resource Management
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Sunday 1st January 2006 (01-01-2006)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 1st January 2006 (01-01-2006)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 1st December 2010 (01-12-2010)
Published on SAFERMonday 28th November 2011 (28-11-2011)
Date of Last EditMonday 28th November 2011 at 10:41:43 (28-11-2011)
Datasets or Files Updated On Monday 28th November 2011 at 10:41:43 (28-11-2011)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Three local authority sites in Co. Galway were considered for the location of the WRF: Moycullen, Oughterard and Tuam. All three sites are existing Galway County Council wastewater treatment plants of varying ages and sizes within 30 km of NUI Galway. Tuam was considered to be the most suitable for the following reasons: Adequate land was available on-site belonging to Galway County Council; There were existing facilities on-site, such as a small laboratory and toilet/washing facilities; and Location and access. Influent wastewater was pumped to the WRF from the nearby TWWTP, which had been commissioned in 1996 with a design PE of 25,000. In 2006, Tuam had urban and environs populations of 2,997 and 3,888, respectively, and average daily flows to the TWWTP of 5,000 m3/day (CSO, 2010 (; GCC, 2010). A parallel dual-stream conventional activated sludge process was employed at the TWWTP with the capacity to pass the secondary effluent through a sand filter to effect tertiary treatment

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
In Ireland, guidelines on the design and operation of wastewater systems up to 2,000 PE are given in the EPA Wastewater Treatment Manuals (EPA, 1999). Similarly, in Scotland, guidelines on the design of wastewater treatment systems up to 1,000 PE and guidance on flow design are available (SEPA, 2005). An extensive guide to small- and medium-size wastewater treatment systems for populations of 500- 5,000 PE has been produced by the EU (IS EN 12255:2002 2005). It deals with various technologies that can be used and how the relevant directives can be met. The treatment of wastewater from small towns in the population equivalent (PE) range of 200-5,000 PE generates different problems to those encountered in larger conurbations. While the physical, chemical and biological processes may be similar, it is sometimes necessary to approach the design of the small-town facility differently to ensure that the system works efficiently, economically and with minimum supervision.
Supplementary Information
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