Simultaneous Physical & Biological Wet Weather Flow Treatment in Flint, MI

ANAHEIM - Tomorrow Water (a company of BKT) is excited to announce a 6-month pilot initiative with the Genesee County Drain Commissioner’s (GCDC) Anthony Ragnone Wastewater Treatment Plant (ARTP) in Flint, Michigan to determine the impact of advanced primary filtration combined with rapid biological treatment on raw wet-weather flows. The study was established as a joint project between Tomorrow Water and ARTP, and will combine financial, equipment and human resources from both organizations for the successful operation of two pilot-scale Proteus reactors at the ARTP site. 

From left to right:    Joe Goergen, Dr. David Rhu, Dr. Glen Daigger, Dr. Joh Kang standing in front of the two pilot-scale Proteus Reactors in Flint, Michigan.

From left to right: Joe Goergen, Dr. David Rhu, Dr. Glen Daigger, Dr. Joh Kang standing in front of the two pilot-scale Proteus Reactors in Flint, Michigan.

The US EPA began new rule making on the blending process in April 2018 to update wet weather regulations for wastewater treatment plants with a target completion date of 2020. As extreme wet weather becomes more common in frequency and duration, wastewater treatment plants already challenged by excess storm related inflow will have difficulty meeting future EPA guidelines. A successful demonstration of the Proteus system will prepare ARTP for new EPA and/or Michigan state regulations regarding wastewater blending during extreme wet weather events.

The Proteus system (powered by Tomorrow Water’s BBF technology) uses floating expanded polypropylene media to actively filter primary influent and/or wet weather flows, reducing the TSS and BOD loads going to secondary treatment trains and increasing carbon capture in the primary treatment stage. 

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Following the successful installation of the pilot equipment on site, the testing program began in earnest in April 2019 and is to be completed for all baseline phases by October 2019.  Testing for wet weather in early 2020 is currently being developed.

The full scale system can achieve 60-85% removal of primary suspended solids and 30-50% of BOD removal without aeration or clarifiers. In addition to replacing primary clarifiers, the system can be installed under- or above ground, requiring less than 20% of a traditional primary footprint. The system is fed and backwashed by gravity and requires no chemical addition when used for primary filtration.

A Proteus primary filtration system has been operating in a 66 million gallon per day (MGD) treatment train in Seoul, South Korea since October of 2017. The same treatment plant also includes a 132 MGD Proteus system for treatment of wet weather flows, and a 66 MGD secondary/BNR biofilter train based on Tomorrow Water’s BBF technology. 

66 MGD Proteus primary filtration installation at the Jungnang Wastewater Reclamation Center in Seoul, Korea.

66 MGD Proteus primary filtration installation at the Jungnang Wastewater Reclamation Center in Seoul, Korea.

The Proteus technology is ready for implementation in North America and the world.  Additional demonstration pilots have been conducted overseas and the pilot at ARTP will kick-off the first round of demonstrations for Proteus technology in the US. 

Professor Glen Daigger of University of Michigan is serving as a third-party evaluator for GCDC and will review the pilot-study program and its results for both the efficacy and feasibility of the Proteus system at ARTP. 

Howard Tran