|Session II: Environmental Management
||Abstract #: 97204
FEASIBILITY OF DISCHARGING TREATED MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER INTO THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES
S. Laha, M. T. Vilches, M. Hodgens, B. Tansel, L. Prieto
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Florida International University
University Park Miami FL 33199
Municipal wastewater in Dade County is currently collected and treated in one of three existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs): the South District, Central District, and North District WWTPs. The Central District WWTP is located on Virginia Key in Miami and has a capacity of approximately 140 million gallons per day. Treated effluent is discharged through an ocean outfall pipeline over three miles from the shoreline. In a region experiencing growing water supply problems, including seawater intrusion, this ocean discharge of potentially reusable fresh water is considered wasteful.
This year's Senior Design Project in FIU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering involves the evaluation and design of a new WWTP located in west Dade that will incorporate advanced wastewater treatment to render WWTP effluent suitable for discharge into the Everglades system. This paper presents salient findings from the design project.
The WWTP being designed by the senior design class uses a pure oxygen activated sludge process in order to reduce the organics concentration (measured as BOD) in the sewage; BOD is converted to biomass which is subsequently removed in settling tanks. The treated effluent is then subjected to advanced treatment in order to reduce the nutrient (primarily nitrogen and phosphorus) concentrations. Advanced treatment again utilizes biological treatment, in this case a constructed wetlands system. The use of wetlands for advanced treatment of municipal wastewater has been demonstrated in a pilot-scale in West Palm Beach. This project discusses the feasibility of larger-scale applications of advanced wastewater treatment including the potential benefits of wastewater reuse.