Department Process Engineering

Project: DyRPA

Dynamic control and process monitoring in wastewater treatment


Wastewater treatment operation data are a very valuable source of information for the planning and implementation of extensions of existing infrastructure projects. This however requires good data quality. Modern sensor generations make it possible to characterize highly variable loads and adjust the wastewater treatment processes for the current load condition. This allows to improve the treatment performance or the maximum capacity of existing systems. In the case of the WWTP Kloten / Opfikon the load limit of 50,000 population equivalents (dimensioned according to DWA-A 131) could be increased to more than 80,000 population equivalents, while maintaining good treatment performance. In the future, increases in wastewater treatment efficiency are expected to be met with increasing demands. By means of dynamic control of various operational objectives, such as energy efficiency, complete breakdown of ammonium and simultaneous reduction of the nitrogen load, can be achieved in as far as possible. The necessary conditions for a transition from static to dynamic management in wastewater treatment are present. There are good models that describe the dynamic behaviour of biological processes as well as the appropriate sensor technology for identification of load variations. The missing part is the integration of knowledge in the control and monitoring systems to ensure that future wastewater treatment operations are reliable and secure. Since the implementation of robust systems and process monitoring has a strong interdisciplinary character, an information network between process engineers, electrical consultants, automation specialistsm and sensors technicians is necessary. This project aims to demonstrate the potential of dynamic control by means of case studies and to disseminate the available knowledge and experience in training courses and technical documentation.


Funding:Swiss Water Association (VSA)
Leading partners:Daniel Braun (ETHZ)
Urs Baier (ZHAW)
Spike staff:Kris Villez