New Wastewater Treatment Technology Emerges from Nevada Desert

Jan. 9, 2003
Problem Solvers

Out of a landscape parched for water--but certainly not ideas--comes a unique innovation in wastewater treatment from Premier Wastewater International (PWI tm).

Based in southern Nevada, PWI has developed an economical treatment process that can remove more than 90 percent of the organic matter, according to Matt Russell, president and CEO.

The Enhanced Solids Reduction (ESR tm) process accomplishes this by conditioning the waste stream. Russell describes this "conditioning factor" as a process that changes the wastewater characteristics in a way that promotes optimum processing efficiencies.

As with many technological advancements, the success of the ESR process comes from some deceptively simple innovations. Chief among these is the patented Multi-Action Conditioner (MAC tm) system.

Russell explains that by violently mixing atmospheric air and waste stream under pressure, the MAC system creates a toroidal vortex and cavitation action that fractionalizes the solids and homogenizes the waste stream. Because the solids are broken into smaller particles, their total surface area is increased which enhances the metabolic processes.

The MAC system also shears atmospheric air into microbubbles which are delivered into intimate proximity to the microorganisms and nutrients. The microorganisms are then taken to a high level of endogenous respiration. The result, claims Russell, is an extremely high decay coefficient.

 Ernie Downs, director of sales, asserts that the ESR process can offer substantial benefits over conventional treatment methods. Besides significantly reducing net-sludge production, Downs points out that the ESR process also reduces capital and operation costs, takes up less space than traditional plants, and is much simpler to build and operate. He adds that the process can be scaled to meet most any flow requirements and has proven to be effective for both municipal and industrial waste.

"Upon hearing of our claims, most engineers think it is too good to be true," states Len Davidson, senior vice president. He observes that after they visit the company's demonstration plant in Mesquite, Nevada, and look at the test results, their skepticism is soon replaced with interest.

In 10 months, this ESR plant has treated over 14 million gallons of municipal wastewater and has yet to require any intentional wasting. The plant was also designed to remove nitrogen and phosphorus. Effluent during the tests exceeded California's stringent Title 22 standards for reuse quality.

"The economics of the ESR system are remarkable," says Bob Evans, chief financial officer. He explains that as the ESR system requires significantly less equipment than traditional systems and takes up 25% to 50% less valuable land, capital costs range from 20% to 40% less than traditional systems. In addition, by lowering sludge-handling processing and disposal costs, doing away with energy intensive blowers and high maintenance diffuser systems, and having less equipment to maintain, operational costs can be reduced 10% to 30%.

According to Paul Garcia, the inventor of the MAC system, the ESR process is also environmentally sound. Besides significantly reducing the amount of sludge that is produced, it eliminates the need for lagoons, uses no toxic chemicals, reduces energy consumption, generates less noise and minimizes odors and misting. He believes that due to the reduced capital and operating costs many communities and countries can now, for the first time, afford to properly treat their wastewater, which will help clean up our lakes, rivers and oceans.

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