Visit to Local Treatment Plant
To gain a better understanding of how our proposed solution could be implemented in a modern wastewater treatment plant, we visited the Newton Creek treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn NY. During out visit, we learnt that a majority of the electricity consumed by the plant (which is a lot!) is used just to power a series of fans. These fans are present to blow air into the sewage, aerating it and supporting the growth of aerobic bacteria. The plant also featured anaerobic digester eggs (seen to the left, about 5 stories high) as a later step in the wastewater treatmnet process. This anaerobic digestion eliminates additional carbon waste and produces methane. However, the wastwater treatment pipeline, including the digestor egg, does not have a microbial population that efficiently metabolizes nitrogenous waste (NH4, NO3).
This visit not only helped us understand engineering principles behind wastewater treatment, but gave a broader perspective on how this plant is vital to the local community.