20Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement and Temperature Reduction at a Power-Generating Facility

Christopher H. Keller1, Susan Flash2 and John Hanlon2

1Wetland Solutions, Inc., Gainesville, USA

2PurEnergy Operating Services, LLC, Syracuse, USA

20.1 Introduction

PurEnergy Operating Services, LLC (PurEnergy), operates a 15 Megawatt (MW) biomass-fueled power-generating facility in the southeast United States. Operation of the facility produces an intermittent discharge of non-process, cooling tower and boiler blowdown, equipment wash water, and neutralized reverse osmosis brine. Event-based stormwater discharges from ash pile sedimentation ponds and drainage ditches blend with the industrial effluent and discharge to an unnamed tributary and from there to a major rural creek system.

Historically, the facility experienced periodic exceedances of effluent limitations for unionized ammonia, copper, pH, temperature, acute toxicity, and specific conductance. Facility staff and outside technical consultants conducted a treatment system alternatives evaluation to determine the preferred technical solution that could be implemented to improve final effluent water quality and achieve compliance with environmental regulations. The study recommended construction of a constructed treatment wetland system as the most cost-effective alternative to improve water quality for most of the parameters of interest. The proposed wetlands were not expected to reduce specific conductance, and dilution ...

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