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Technical Workshop

“Performances and economics of membrane based concepts for decentralised wastewater treatment” – Sony Centre Berlin, 6 June 2007

The technical workshop on performances and economics of membrane based concepts for decentralised wastewater treatment focused mainly on the ENREM project (Enhanced Nutrient Removal with a Membrane Bioreactor; 250 PE), which has to apply to very high effluent regulations (total-P 0.1 mg/l, total-N < 10 mg/l), due to discharging to a sensitive creek.  Design parameters and construction, operational issues and process optimisation of the pilot plant were discussed.  Important to mention was the presence of a buffering and equalisation tank, which was absolutely necessary to ensure good nutrient removal.  Another major operational issue was the fact that the hydraulic and nutrient load to the plant usually was much higher than what was designed for.  This was due to people discharging rainwater towards the system, and due to much higher connection rates than expected at the time of design.  Results for the advanced biological nutrient removal were presented.  As long as the plant operated within its design specifications, results were very good, but at higher loads, consents could not be met.  All this also came with a cost: due to the high effluent standards required, optimisation difficulties and an extensive sampling program, costs for water production were about €4/m3.  This value does not incorporate the costs for required operator attendance, which were also high.

The second session focused on four German projects of membrane based processes for decentralised wastewater treatment, e.g. use of membranes in lagoons. An interesting overview of domestic MBR plants for decentralised reuse was presented.