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Approaching the Limits of Technology: Atlanta's Utoy Creek WRC Delivers Award-Winning Nutrient Removal
Author: Rod Pope, Karen Durden, Dan Skalsky, John Bratby, Jose Jimenez, Roger Smith, Mike Shelhamer (City of Atlanta, GA)
Date: 3/107
WEF/IWA Nutrient Removal Specialty Conference, Baltimore, March 2007

In the 1990s, the City of Atlanta (City) developed a comprehensive approach to reducing phosphorus levels from the discharges of its three Water Reclamation Centers (WRCs). As a result, the upgrade and expansion of the Utoy Creek WRC was initiated in 1996. The facility was designed for a maximum month capacity of 44-million gallons per day (mgd) and included treatment processes such as coarse screening, vortex grit removal, 5-millimeter (mm) fine screening, primary clarification, activated sludge using biological nutrient removal (BNR), secondary clarification, deep-bed filtration, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, cascade aeration, centrifugal thickening, anaerobic digestion, and centrifugal dewatering. Since the start-up of the WRC, the facility has consistently achieved excellent performance and has received the American Metropolitan Sewerage Authority’s Platinum Award for 5 years of consecutive permit compliance. Although the Utoy Creek WRC was designed to meet more restrictive nutrient removal limits, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) may decrease the plant’s effluent limits in the future. A capacity analysis, using BioWin™ modeling, was recently completed to determine the ability of the plant to meet potentially lower limits. These results, as well as an overview of the Utoy Creek WRC and historical effluent performance, will be presented.