Operational experience at La Center WWTP in Washington, USA indicates that the cost of MBR technology may be lower than that of a conventional biological treatment process, despite the higher energy demand. La Center is a small city in Clark County, Washington, USA, with a population of 3,100. The wastewater treatment works at the town was originally constructed in 1967
Municipal wastewater usually contains between 4 and 12 mg/L total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in the range 4−12 mg/L. A conventional activated sludge process (CAS) can take this down to 2−4 mg/L, or 0.5−1 mg/L if an enhanced biological phosphorus removal (BPR) process is used. To achieve the levels required to suppress eutrophication, however, demands P levels of 0.01−0.3 mg/L
There has been a recent surge of interest in anaerobic MBRs. The technology provides the potential for removing COD with a net energy benefit from the methane generated, albeit without nutrient removal. Interest within academia is evidenced by the publication of five independent reviews of the subject in various learned journals in 2012 alone.
In Japan, there are over 3,000 MBRs which have been in operation since the 1980s for small-scale on-site industrial/household wastewater treatment. However, municipal wastewater applications began only in the mid 00’s, leading to 19 operational full-scale plants by April 2013.
Trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) in municipal wastewater consist of a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals (Luo et al., 2014). They include industrial chemicals, chemicals used in households, chemicals excreted by people, and chemicals formed during wastewater and drinking-water treatment processes.