Wastewater Digest's top 10 articles of 2023

Jan. 2, 2024
From odor control and wastewater treatment to data-centric system management and optimization, the top 10 articles of 2023 show wastewater professionals were interested in bettering their day-to-day work.

While large headlines like that of Xylem acquiring Evoqua for $7.5 billion and U.S. EPA's PFAS Maximum Contminant Level proposal dominated the news cycle nationally, that was not necessarily the case for Wastewater Digest audience members in 2023.

It appears that wastewater professionals are more concerned with the day-to-day issues at their plants than the large, macro stories leading newspaper headlines. They're instead concerned with odor control, wastewater treatment strategies, inflow and infiltration, and using data to optimize their systems. 

The following are Wastewater Digest's Top 10 Articles written by Wastewater Digest editors or outside contributors that were published in 2023.

1. City of Farmington Missouri NE WWTP | 2023 Top Projects

Nutrient limits for total phosphorus and total nitrogen for the Farmington, Missouri Northeast Wastewater Treatment plant drove the need for a $500,000 retrofit project.

Less than one week of construction for an aeration basin retrofit resulted in $80,000 in annual energy savings for this Missouri wastewater treatment plant.

2. What is the future of PFAS, wastewater & biosolids?

U.S. EPA released its PFAS Progress Report Dec. 14, and while most listed accomplishments point toward regulating drinking water, impacts on wastewater are also listed.

U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox discusses the agency’s PFAS Progress Report and its next steps in researching, restricting and remediating PFAS in wastewater.

3. Gravel Ridge SID 213 WWTP | 2023 Top Projects

Aging lagoon plants seeking to expand and meet new requirements are not as limited in options as one would expect.

The Gravel Ridge Sewer Improvement District (SID) 213 wastewater treatment plant serves as an example for others its size, said Michael Marlar, vice president and water/wastewater deputy practice leader for Halff, who worked on the project.

4. 5 approaches to address inflow and infiltration challenges

Wastewater professionals frequently face inflow and infiltration (I&I) issues. They both involve water getting into sanitary sewer systems. Treatment plant professionals may find their operational costs rising while environmental hazards — including sewer overflows — become more common.

5. Manage wastewater odors with plant-based neutralizers

It is an understatement to assert wastewater treatment agencies have their hands full with responsibilities.

Not only are they tasked with collecting, treating, and safely discharging refuse to the environment, but they must do so in a manner compliant with numerous laws, regulations, and ordinances. On top of these challenges, recognition is rarely ascribed, because when the job is done right, the public barely notices the agency’s presence.

6. Using data to fine tune Arlington's wastewater treatment

The Trinity River Authority (TRA) manages four water and five wastewater treatment plants within the Trinity River Basin — an area of about 18,000 square miles that stretches over 17 counties in Texas.

7. Progressive design-build for wastewater treatment construction

Water treatment construction frequently involves several public and private stakeholders and can benefit greatly from a collaborative contracting method such as progressive design-build.

Relations with nearby communities and those communities’ rapidly changing needs may require design evolutions during construction. Under a progressive design-build model, all parties — owners, designers and contractors alike — are empowered to fully understand these changes and effectively collaborate through them.

8. Phosphorus management options for wastewater treatment

Phosphorus is a valuable, limited resource that is essential to life. But in the wrong place — the lakes and streams of our watersheds — too much phosphorus can be an environmental hazard.

According to the U.S. EPA, nutrient impairment prevails in 58% of the nations rivers and streams, 45% of our lakes, about two thirds of our coastal areas, and more than one third of our estuaries. As EPA steps up efforts to address this situation, more public and private facilities across the country will be facing the need to reduce the amount of nutrients, including phosphorus, they release into the environment.

9. Reclamation facility expansion solves Colorado community's growing pains

A little more than 40 years ago, a new water reclamation facility was about the farthest thing on the minds of residents in Parker, Colorado. The city of Parker, Colorado is meeting its exorbitant growth with a 3.8 MGD water reclamation facility expansion.

10. Logan Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility | 2023 Top Projects

Multiple communities in Cache County, Utah, were using an existing 460-acre open-air wastewater lagoon complex to handle their wastewater solids disposal. However, new ammonia phosphorus limits mandated by the State of Utah were much more stringent than previous limits. The lagoons would no longer be able to remove enough nitrogen and phosphorus to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) regulations.


About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is the editorial director for the Endeavor Business Media Water Group, which publishes WaterWorld, Wastewater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor.