Population Health

July 14, 2020

Engineering researchers partner with county on an innovative wastewater treatment system

Maxwell Armenta observes the fast-settling properties of granular sludgeWastewater is treated at West Point Treatment Plant, located next to Seattle’s Discovery Park, before being released into Puget Sound. In coming years, more strict environmental regulations may require nitrogen to be removed from wastewater prior to discharge to improve the water quality and marine habitat.

To meet the projected regulatory requirements, King County would be looking at expensive and major upgrades to its three large regional treatment facilities to create the additional square footage needed to accommodate nitrogen removal equipment. A solution may be found via a partnership with University of Washington researchers, who are helping to pilot a treatment process called granular activated sludge that has been shown in some cases to save 75% of the space and 25% of the energy of conventional wastewater systems.

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