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Enhanced Technical Assistance

Sensors at wastewater treatment facility
Sensors in outer ditch at Central Carbon Municipal Authority Wastewater Treatment Facility, Lehighton, PA

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is offering an Enhanced Technical Assistance Evaluation (ETAE) with the goal of assisting operators and permittees in reducing nutrients in their plant discharges while maintaining and/or surpassing the requirements of effluent limits established in NPDES permits.

DEP representatives utilize in-line process monitoring equipment and various bench top laboratory equipment to assist operators in gathering process control and performance information.

  1. The equipment is capable of monitoring the waste treatment process for ammonia, nitrates, DO, pH, MLSS, ORP, BOD (equivalent), and clarifier solids blanket levels.
  2. Equipment provides operators with instantaneous visual monitoring of the waste treatment process allowing them to monitor process modifications firsthand and document positive or negative impacts.
  3. DEP representatives managing the program and operating the equipment are fully trained and maintain current PA Wastewater Operator Certification Licensing.
  4. Projects occurring to date include working with facilities to accomplish nitrate reduction, nitrification optimization, energy conservation, microscopic evaluation of biomass, and solids management.
  5. DEP representatives will work with operators to review process control testing and learn the value of using data trending to control and possibly predict plant operations.
  6. The in-line process monitoring equipment provides operators with 24/7 access to their process monitoring data. Additionally, DEP representatives have the capability of providing graphical outputs to readily identify trends and optimum set points.

There is no cost for providing ETAE's. However, in order to improve the system's operations, some expenditures may result from implementation of program recommendations.

Results of ETAEs are summarized in reports. To learn more about what ETAEs have done for facilities across the Commonwealth, visit our Helping Facilities Succeed page.