Emerson to automate D.C. Wastewater Treatment Plant | Automation.com

Emerson to automate D.C. Wastewater Treatment Plant

Emerson to automate D.C. Wastewater Treatment Plant

August 29, 2013 — Emerson Process Management will automate equipment and processes for two innovative environmental projects at DC Water’s Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C.

Blue Plains is the largest plant of its kind in the world, with a capacity of 370 million gallons per day (MGD). DC Water is undertaking two major capital improvement projects – Enhanced Nutrient Removal, and Thermal Hydrolysis and Anaerobic Digestion – that will help it comply with evolving environmental regulations and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed while serving an expanding population. Emerson’s Ovation control system will help DC Water optimize operations of these new facilities.

The plant currently utilizes a sophisticated nitrification/denitrification and filtration process to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the water. Excess nitrogen causes an overgrowth of aquatic plants and algae, robbing water of the oxygen fish and other aquatic life need to survive. The $950 million Enhanced Nutrient Removal project is designed to reduce almost to the “limit of technology” the level of nitrogen that DC Water discharges to the Potomac River. Ovation technology will monitor and control all major equipment and processes related to the project which, once complete, will enable Blue Plains to produce effluent with some of the lowest levels of nitrogen in the country, especially for a plant of its size.

The second project, Thermal Hydrolysis and Anaerobic Digestion, will enable DC Water to reduce biosolids by 50 percent. This will not only slash CO2 emissions associated with hauling biosolids away by up to 60 tons, but will also allow DC Water to burn the methane gas byproduct to generate electricity that will help offset power by one third for its operations. Additionally, the remaining Class A biosolids will have greater commercial value, because they offer more reuse options as a fertilizer than the plant’s current biosolids.

The control system will monitor and control the anaerobic digesters, final dewatering and other equipment and processes related to this major initiative, as well as interface to the combined heat and power plant. The innovative thermal hydrolysis process, developed by Norway-based Cambi, is being successfully used to treat wastewater in Europe and Australia. When complete, Blue Plains will be the first plant in North America and the largest in the world to utilize the thermal hydrolysis process.

Emerson has been working with DC Water for more than 10 years. In 2002, the authority began a multi-year plant modernization project that included adopting a long-term automation plan utilizing a common control platform, based on Ovation technology, throughout its operations. This approach has made it possible for DC Water to seamlessly integrate new facilities and processes needed to meet evolving circumstances, such as growing environmental regulations and population growth.

“As a leader in cost-effective use of technology, DC Water recognized early on that an integrated control and automation platform provides the foundation for efficiently integrating new processes needed to safeguard the environment and public health,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson Process Management’s Power & Water Solutions. “Over the last decade or so we have had a very positive, collaborative relationship with DC Water – one we look forward to continuing as we work together on these ambitious projects.”

About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the power, water and wastewater treatment, chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. Emerson brands include PlantWeb, Ovation, SmartProcess, SureService, Syncade, DeltaV, Fisher, Bettis, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Daniel, and AMS Suite.

About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2012 were $24.4 billion.

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