Removing Pharmaceuticals and Phosphorous from Wastewater

Veolia North America has announced study findings that showed the successful removal of pharmaceuticals and phosphorus from wastewater using Actiflo® Carb technology. The new technology removes 75% of pharmaceuticals in wastewater.

Removing Pharmaceuticals and Phosphorus from Wastewater
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Over the course of a 8-week study, the presence of phosphorus and a variety of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), ranging from ointments to medications, were monitored after adding Actiflo® Carb to the traditional wastewater treatment process. With the use of Actiflo® Carb, 75 percent of the selected PPCPs were removed from the wastewater before it was released into the environment. Additionally, phosphorus was reduced to a concentration of 0.05 mg/L or less, well below the U.S. EPA's regulatory limit set at 1.0 mg/L.

As part of a multi-year partnership with a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the Actiflo® Carb study was conducted by process engineers from Veolia and its subsidiary Kruger Inc., with the support of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). The study was released at the annualWEFTEC conference and coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.
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After the second phase of the project was completed in late 2011, research findings revealed the average trace organic compounds(TOrCs) removal rate across all compounds using Actiflo® Carb reached 75 percent, thus acting as an efficient barrier for tertiary wastewater treatment. Results exceeded initial estimates in terms of the product's ability to target phosphorous removal at the same time as TOrCs. Additionally, its relatively small footprint and reasonable cost for tertiary treatment allows the technology to be readily integrated into many existing wastewater treatment facilities. The pilot program results are indicative of how Actiflo® Carb can help a facility comply with even the most rigorous environmental standards without a significant impact to ratepayers.

“Actiflo Carb goes beyond conventional processes in its ability to remove phosphorous, pharmaceuticals and other trace organics found in ever-larger quantities in our water supply. We believe it will give wastewater facilities a way to stretch their treatment dollars while dramatically reducing pollution levels and achieving better water quality.” Jim Hurst, Chief Technical Officer of Veolia Water North America. 

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