Ionics, Inc., a global company in water and wastewater treatment, recognized the successful first year of operation of a 380-cubic-meter per day submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR) system being used to treat domestic wastewater. The system was built to help the oldest independent day and boarding school in the United States, Governor Dummer Academy, meet tough discharge regulations around BOD, TSS, total and fecal coliform, and nitrogen/ammonia. The Academy, with over 40 buildings on 350 acres, is located in Byfield, Massachusetts, 33 miles north of Boston and four miles from Newburyport and the beaches of Plum Island.
The Academy had decided to use the membrane-based waste treatment technology to upgrade its conventional waste treatment facility because it needed to increase the capacity of the system without increasing the physical size of the plant.
MBRs replace the sedimentation process used in conventional wastewater treatment by removing the suspended materials with a microfiltration (MF) membrane. The membranes are submerged in an aeration tank, with the water being drawn through the membranes under vacuum, leaving the suspended biomass material in the aeration tank.
Richard Savage, the Academys chief financial officer, commented, "Our treatment facility represents the Academys commitment to environmental stewardship, which is part of our legacy which began in 1763."
Commenting on the systems first year of operation, Woodard & Currans Training and Compliance Manager said, "From the second day of operation, the facility has had a 99 percent compliance rate. In addition, the effluent quality consistently performs to the whole effluent toxicity parameters, which are of the greatest importance in the Parker River watershed area."