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WERF Workshop: Formulating a Research Program for Debottlenecking, Optimizing and Rerating Existing Wastewater Treatment Plants: A Proposed WERF Research Program for Debottlenecking, Optimizing and Rerating Existing Wastewater Treatment Plants
Author: Denny S. Parker
Date: 10/98
Presented at WEF 71st Annual Conference and Exposition, Orlando, Florida, October 3-7, 1998

WERF has current or completed projects on benchmarking wastewater treatment functions (e.g. total costs, labor, etc.) and on re-engineering of wastewater treatment plants, but there needs to be additional work on plant rerating, debottlenecking and process optimization to release additional capacity at low costs. The current focus of most utility efforts in the competitiveness arena is on operations costs, yet financing capital projects remains a significant portion of most utilities' budgets. There is typically as much as 20 percent untapped capacity in wastewater treatment facilities, due to application of unquantified safety factors or inefficiencies created by suboptimal designs. Tools have now advanced to a level that they can be developed, modified or used directly to rerate treatment facilities or identify bottlenecks that can be removed at far less cost in terms of released capacity than the construction of new facilities. It is estimated that potential cost savings (avoided costs) are in the range of at least 4 billion dollars over the next 20 years, if technology is developed to the point that all parties accept the available capacity identified through the protocols to be developed in this program.