Science Serving Maryland's Coasts


Modeling and advanced control of activated sludge wastewater treatment facilities

Principal Investigator: 

Thomas J. McAvoy

Start/End Year: 

1994 to 1996


University of Maryland, College Park

Co-Principal investigator: 

Peter A. Minderman, Jr, University of Maryland, College Park


Funds are requested to develop and implement advanced chemical process modeling and control techniques on two activated sludge wastewater treatment facilities. In the first phase of the project, it is proposed to complete this prototype development at the Patuxent facility in Crofton, MD, i.e., a model will be extended to the full range of normal process conditions, and an improved control strategy will be evaluated. The improvements in effluent product quality and reductions in operating costs will be measured. In the second phase, it is proposed to apply the same modeling tool to a quality control problem at the Maryland City facility in Laurel, MD. The outcome will be a monitoring procedure that should improve effluent quality. These improvements will be measured. Funds are requested to extend the 1994 wastewater treatment process improvements to a higher level, i.e., the optimization of the dissolved oxygen set point trajectory. In the first phase of the proposed project, a model of the oxidizer at the Patuxent facility in Crofton, MD was developed and optimized at a low level, i.e., given a dissolved oxygen set point trajectory, what is the optimal method of controlling the oxidizer. In year 2 of the project, it is proposed to determine optimal dissolved oxygen trajectory. Solving this problem should result in additional energy savings, improved effluent quality, and increased plant capacity.