Energy consumption is one of the largest expenses for operating a wastewater treatment plant. It is estimated that the industry consumes approximately 60 tWh (terawatt hours) per year, which is 2% to 3% of the world’s energy power. A large part of each plant’s consumption comes from biological treatment, which generally takes up 50% to 60% of usage.
Changes in these biological treatment processes are the key to significantly reducing energy consumption. Some examples of solutions include: use of fine screens in primary treatment, membrane technology for the aeration process, and direct treatment of high concentration return streams. Part of this includes monitoring flow/level sensors and quality sensors to maintain adequate and efficient output.