Charles Nichols, David Carr, Mark Lowenstine, and Craig Fuller

Charles Nichols is a regional wastewater treatment supervisor, David Carr is a wastewater treatment plant operator, and Mark Lowenstine is the water and wastewater manager with Polk County Utilities. Craig Fuller, P.E., is a senior water and wastewater engineer at AECOM in Bartow.

The operation of wastewater treatment facilities requires significant expense, especially when the facilities must provide public access reuse or advanced wastewater treatment-quality water. The highest expenses are normally for power; operations; equipment maintenance; and chemicals. If the facility utilizes sodium hypochlorite for primary and residual disinfection, these are often the highest chemical costs. A new low-cost addition at Polk County’s Northeast Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (Facility) has lowered the consumption of disinfection chemicals, while maintaining a more constant residual. The Facility has been able to stabilize chlorine demand and lower the total chlorine demand, while not significantly modifying the existing infrastructure. Additional benefits include lowered maintenance costs and lower algal growth. The small addition to the Facility is the Environmental Control Company’s floating balls, also known as shade balls, to cover the chorine contact basins.

Wastewater Treatment

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(Courtesy Florida Water Resources Journal)