Algae could be solution to winter wastewater smell for Columbus Junction

[USA] A wastewater treatment problem in Columbus Junction may be solved with a new technology using algae, but the Iowa Department of Natural Resources must first give its blessing.

Matt Walker, an engineer with French-Reneker Associates, Fairfield, outlined the process to the Columbus Junction City Council Wednesday.

According to Walker, the Gross-Wen process has been used in smaller pilot projects since being developed by Martin Gross while conducting research for his doctorate at Iowa State University.

However, the process has not been tested in as large a system as the Columbus Junction wastewater treatment facility and that is causing the DNR to look closely at the process.

“We’re hoping to implement (the process) in (its) first full-flow (system),” Walker told the council.

Although cost estimates have not been provided on the various alternatives being investigated by the city, Walker suggested the new technology could be significantly less expensive.

“It looked quite a bit cheaper than other alternatives,” Walker said.

The city has been investigating possible designs to the facility in an effort to solve an ammonia problem that plagues the city during winter months. According to previous discussions, the city does not meet revised discharge standards during the colder months and that has forced officials to look into possible solutions.

The Gross-Wen technology uses algae to recover nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. Those chemical elements are apparently contributing to the city’s compliance problems. The algae can then be pelletized and used as a slow-release fertilizer.

Walker said he would continue to discuss the new idea with DNR officials and Gross and keep the city council updated.



View original article at: Algae could be solution to winter wastewater smell for Columbus Junction


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