The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago built the largest phosphorus recovery facility in the world at Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, which opened in 2016.
Phosphorus and other nutrients are usually lost during wastewater treatment, but executive director David St. Pierre intends to convert these nutrients into eco-friendly fertilizer.
Next City reports:
“When it comes to managing city sewage, Chicago is hoping to redefine the word waste.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s new five-year strategic plan expands on the work the agency has been doing on everything from flood mitigation to infrastructure maintenance and focuses on making wastewater management more productive.”The vision statement is ‘Recovering Resources, Transforming Water.’ There are four resources the District is targeting in the plan,” David St. Pierre, executive director, says. The four resources are phosphorus, class A biosolids, energy, and water. “These four valuable resources are our current recoverable targets. We anticipate algae coming into view in the near future.”
In essence, the District aims to “harvest” useful nutrients (or, “resources”) during wastewater processing — and put them to good use.”
Chicago is well on the way to achieving its goal of taking the waste out wastewater and in doing so is setting the bar for other cities looking to improve their waste management and associated infrastructure.
Inframanage.com notes that for waste management, the innovation, process and other improvements are rapid and on-going.
These often get implemented as part of waste treatment plant upgrading cycles, which used to be in the 20-30 year range.
As outlined in this Chicago example, improvements to processes and opportunities with waste handling are becoming more rapid.
The waste treatment plant upgrading cycle is also becoming shorter, and this has implications for your infrastructure asset management and asset lifecycle planning.
Are you analyzing and making provision for potentially more rapid upgrading cycles, minor and major process stream improvements, and changes in waste handling?
The implications and changes in costs – capital, renewals, operations, and maintenance can be significant.
This issue has potential to impact across your infrastructure asset management planning and analysis – levels of service, future demand, risk management, asset lifecycle management planning, and financial projections.
PHOTO CREDIT: Robert S. Donovan via Flickr Creative Commons License. The photo size has been reduced to suit website requirement.