Optimizing anaerobic digesters – an australian perspective

Feedstock mixture design in anaerobic co-digestion to maximise resource recovery potential

Mike Meng is currently working as resource recovery engineer at Queensland Urban Utilities in Australia leading multiple resource recovery initiatives and R&D projects . Mike has obtained a chemical engineering PhD on anaerobic co-digestion from the University of Queensland and has strong interest in applying expertise to water industry applications for achieving circular economy outcomes.

Mike enjoys wastewater and waste education through knowledge sharing, evident by 5 years of teaching for undergraduate courses “Industrial Wastewater & Solid Waste Management” and “Process Control and Synthesis” at the University of Queensland. An immediate past member on the Australian Water Association Young Water Professional Committee, Mike is passionate about driving a positive change in the committee through participation in mentoring and leading student engagement activities. Mike’s goal is to keep developing engineering expertise and leadership in water and organic waste management and assist Water Utilities in transitioning to full spectrum of resource recovery implementation.

Anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) is an established technology typically applied to water and agricultural industries to redirect organic wastes away from landfill for beneficial reuse. In AcoD, designing co-digestion mixtures to ensure optimal digester performance and effectively manage co-digestion products is important. In the presentation, Mike will share his PhD research outcomes and practical experience around co-digestion mixture design and operation at one of Australia’s largest sewage treatment plants (STPs).
 
 Currently, in the Australian water industry, there is emerging and strong interest in co-digestion at sewage treatment plants (STPs), which redirects commercial trade wastes away from the landfill for beneficial reuse. AcoD is a biochemical engineering approach that simultaneously treats two or more waste streams in a centralized digestion facility for enhanced energy recovery and enables circular economy outcomes.
 
Designing co-digestion mixtures for optimised digester performance was a knowledge gap in research as well as in practical application. This means selecting compatible feedstocks at the right volumes with optimal feeding strategies for digesters needs to be understood and incorporated into specific digester operating scenarios.
 
Co-digestion of complex solid wastes such as fat, oil, grease and food waste with sewage sludge is a step change for many water utilities in Australia and hence requires a series of technical and organizational barriers to be overcome. Developing in-depth understanding of the co-digestion process, its associated downstream impacts, and meeting additional infrastructure requirements for co-digestion are important. In particular, organic waste characterization, co-digestion mixture design, and co-digestion product management are some key areas many water utilities’ waste-to-resources initiatives are currently focusing on. As part of the presentation, Mike will also give an overview of some of the resource recovery initiatives Queensland Urban Utilities are undertaking and how he is using research findings to assist the organisation in the resource recovery space.

You can watch a recording of this event here:

We have been busy – and we have a new office

WasteWater Education 501(c)3 came to the close of our FY2019-20 with a healthy balance and increased participation – in both distance learning online/on demand CEU classes and WWETT sponsored public education events! Look for the publication of our Annual Report here shortly.

It is with a heavy heart we acknowledge the demand for our distance learning expertise has come at a sad cost and for the saddest of reasons – Covid19. We are honored to help but wish it wasn’t for this reason.

Since the June WWETT event discussing the innovation happening in Swedish wastewater reuse, we have hosted the following events which you can also view on our YouTube Channel.

Watch the Recording HERE Irrigation of Agricultural crops with Recycled Water. Regulations that Protect the Public Health
BAHMAN SHEIKH, PhD, PE.Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis
It is with great sadness that we report that Bahman passed away peacefully shortly after recording this event. Our thoughts are with his family.
This event focuses on the experience gained in the field in California and other regions over the past several decades regarding use of recycled water for irrigation of agricultural crops.
Regulations governing use of recycled water for agriculture will be discussed comparing their stringency and effectiveness with special emphasis on microbial risks.
Chemical risks from use of recycled water for irrigation will also be discussed summarizing research findings of recent years, particularly with regard to constituents of emerging concerns, also called microconstituents.
The main conclusion to be drawn is that existing regulations are adequately protective of the health and safety of farm workers and consumers of agricultural crops grown with recycled water. The extremely low concentrations of microconstituents detected in recycled water are placed in perspective with calculated numbers of years of exposure necessary to accrue one safe daily dose of each of the constituents of concern.
Presented by Ben Kele, Arris Water, and WasteWater Education 501(c)3. See: https://www.arris.com.au/water/
Watch The Recording HERE Flying In[formation] : Compatible asset management done right!

Michael Thompson, Vice President T4 Spatial

What kept you awake at night a year ago has now changed – for ever.

Communities of any size, from 250 to 250K, are facing the new reality of reduced revenue, ongoing repair costs, and wildly fluctuating use patterns.
If you have an asset management system, or are wondering if now might be the time to figure out how this might work for you, come see how Los Angeles County does this in real time.
In any community, there are many employees, departments, contractors, inspectors and service personnel who all need to work together and have equal access to any piece of the data that impacts them – on demand.
Asset management is not just a data base, not just a catalog of parts and activities. At its best it mirrors the system and allows everyone, at any time, to see what’s happening – and what might be ABOUT to happen!
Hosted by t4Spatial, where the mission is simple. To get more value from your pipeline inspection data and CCTV video. That means storing, indexing, and sharing your videos in the cloud and visualizing your inspection data via embedded links so it’s more accessible, usable, and valuable. Can you to find the information you need, when you need it, and from any device, while tethering your resources together to maximize workflows?

Come find out how.
Watch the recording HERE How to avoid drowning in data: mobile friendly environmental data management systems.

Russell Schindler CEO, Founder SampleServ
Environmental decisions are based on environmental sampling data. But how much is toomuch?!
Having the ability to quickly and clearly understand the data is important to quality decision-making.
Using web and mobile platforms facilitates the management, collection, labeling, and reporting of both environmental field data and laboratory data. SampleServe facilitates planning, sampling and the reporting for a wide range of environmental professionals and service personnel.
Come find out how.

WasteWater Education recently renewed the 2 year contract for our long serving Executive Director Dendra Best. Our official mailing address and company contact is still in Michigan but Dendra has now relocated to just outside Hilo, HI.

We continue to serve a global client base.

WWETT Sponsored two new webcasts in June 2020

Innovation in potable reuse in Sweden. REGISTER HERE
From 2014 to 2019 Peter Asteberg was the project manager for the planning, design and construction of three new drinking water plants on Öland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea with extensive water shortage. In 2016 he was assigned to manage the development of a combined desalination and water reuse plant in Mörbylånga on the southeast coast of Öland. The Mörbylånga Drinking Water Plant, which was partly commissioned in 2019, is the first full-scale facility ever in Sweden for direct potable reuse of water. Therefore, the plant has received both national and international attention.
Co-Presenter is Tommy Lindström, BSc Construction Engineering and Energy. As a former island energy strategist, he has collaborated with islands across Europe and have great knowledge and experience on the island perspective. After being the regional energy coordinator for the county administrative board he is now back in international projects as project manager for the regional energy agency for southeast of Sweden. Working with resilience, sustainable tourism, renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart transports. As a volunteer he supports the Swedish Eco-municipality Association with international collaboration with South America and is also the Energy and Waste management coordinator at Engineers without borders- Sweden.

Irrigation of Agricultural crops with Recycled Water: Regulations that Protect the Public Health – REGISTER HERE

Bahman Sheikh has over 30 years of domestic and international experience in research, planning, and design of water resources projects, specializing in water conservation, reclamation, reuse, and recycling. Dr. Sheikh’s career began as a university professor. His academic career was followed by consulting, technical investigations, master planning, and design of water resources facilities. Sheikh’s water recycling experience includes service in both the public and private sectors. For the City of Los Angeles, he developed long-term water reuse goals, planned water recycling projects to the year 2090, and advanced public outreach.

This webinar focuses on the experience gained in the field in California and other regions over the past several decades regarding use of recycled water for irrigation of agricultural crops. Regulations governing use of recycled water for agriculture will be discussed comparing their stringency and effectiveness with special emphasis on microbial risks. Chemical risks from use of recycled water for irrigation will also be discussed summarizing research findings of recent years, particularly with regard to constituents of emerging concerns, also called microconstituents.

The main conclusion of the webinar is that existing regulations are adequately protective of the health and safety of farm workers and consumers of agricultural crops grown with recycled water. The extremely low concentrations of microconstituents detected in recycled water are placed in perspective with calculated numbers of years of exposure necessary to accrue one safe daily dose of each of the constituents of concern.

The main audience for this presentation includes professional engineers, utility managers, farm managers, irrigation experts, and others interested in the safety of agricultural products grown with recycled water irrigation.

June 8, 1909: Leal and Fuller Papers Presented at AWWA Conference — This Day in Water History

June 8, 1909: John L. Leal, George W. Fuller and George A. Johnson present papers at the AWWA annual conference on this day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the chloride of lime treatment system at Boonton Reservoir, New Jersey. Unlike previous presentations on the addition of disinfection chemicals to water, the three papers were received enthusiastically […]

June 8, 1909: Leal and Fuller Papers Presented at AWWA Conference — This Day in Water History

In time of need – WWETT steps up!

Stay strong. Stay safe. Be well.

WasteWater Education online events are underwritten by the WWETT Show – (Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport) as a public service and thank you to all the hard working professionals affected by the current Covid 19 emergency.

There is no fee to attend but all US based donations to https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1727628 will help us continue to provide this service.
For international supporters, please use this link 

Small on-site domestic wastewater treatment systems – an Australian perspective .

Monday, June 1, 2020 7:00:00 PM EDT – 8:30:00 PM EDT
(June 2: 8.30 AM Australia)

REGISTER HERE

While much of the developed world has high rates of population connectedness to centralised sewerage and wastewater treatment, the need to deliver effective on-site sanitation via small domestic wastewater treatment systems remains essential for public and environmental health protection. 

This webinar will begin with an introduction to decentralised wastewater treatment, followed by a survey of the landscape of standards/regulations governing on-site wastewater systems performance certification internationally, with a focus on the relevant Australian context. It will then provide an overview of an Australian on-site wastewater treatment systems performance accreditation testing facility currently operating in South Australia, including an account of the facility’s operation, a description of some of the treatment systems being tested and their performance, and will give some stories of problems encountered and lessons learnt along the way.

Dr Michael Short, University of South Australia, is an environmental scientist with research expertise in urban water systems (water quality, wastewater treatment and water recycling), environmental microbiology and microbial ecology, sustainability and life cycle assessment. He has a keen interest in how environmental science can be applied to inform the development of better environmental management policy.

Presented by Ben Kele, Arris Water, and WasteWater Education 501(c)3. 

See: https://www.arris.com.au/water/ This is the fourth in a series of events from Australia we are hosting in May.

To view recordings of the previous events click on the images below:

Lake Gkula

Dr. Jake O’Brien
Professor Ted Gardner

50 years of Earth Month: 50 years of environmental justice

This marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day – and who could have imagined what kind of world we are experiencing now?

In April we have partnered with some amazing people and organizations who have given generously of their time and expertise to provide the following events at no cost to attendees. Bookmark our page as we are adding new events all the time. Our live attendance space is limited to 195 but we will be posting recordings here and in our WasteWater Education YouTube Channel

Tuesday April 14 at 2 PM ET – Register HERE

Catherine Flowers, a past WasteWater Education Board member, is a Franklin Center for the Humanities Practitioner in Residence.Based in Montgomery, Alabama, she is a fierce advocate for the under served and largely ignored working poor.
In this lecture, as part of our Earth Month series of public outreach events, Catherine will reflect on the disparity of progress made in the past 50 years of the environmental movement – a disparity still in evidence today.

Catherine is also an internationally recognized advocate for the human right to water and sanitation as expressed in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.
In 2019 she testified before the US House Committee.
She is a Professor of Practice at Duke University.
Image courtesy of Pixabay la Fundación Hugo Zárate

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