The Implications of Cold Weather on Nitrification Treatment Processes
ISBN: 1 84057 580 8
There are concerns that, as a result of revisions to ammonia effluent quality requirements, WwTWs in the UK may not be able to comply with more stringent permits for ammonia during extreme cold weather conditions when their nitrification capability is compromised by the reduced activity of nitrifying bacteria. This project collated data on cold weather performance to re-assess the consented 'unusual weather' clauses and thereby allow informed debate with environmental regulators over revised exemption criteria or seasonal consents. The study has shown that in the UK, unusually low wastewater temperatures occurred at over 35% of WwTWs during the winters of 2008/09 and 2009/10. When wastewater temperatures dropped below 5deg C, WwTW effluents exhibited increases in ammonia concentrations of up to 2 mg/l N. The recovery period from a low-temperature process upset takes between 1 week and 1 month and has the potential to place many UK WwTWs at risk of consent failure following a cold weather event. Other EU countries tend to apply relaxed ammoniacal-nitrogen standards to take account of cold weather. This puts the UK Water Industry at a major disadvantage compared to other EU countries.
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