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Glen Daigger receives Gascoigne Medal for wastewater treatment research

CEE professor’s winning paper describes testing to increase flow handling capacities at a wastewater treatment plant.

CEE Professor Glen Daigger and his co-authors have been selected by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Board of Trustees as the 2018 recipient of the Gascoigne Wastewater Treatment Plant Operational Improvement Medal.

They received this award for their paper, “Marrying Step Feed with Secondary Clarifier Improvements to Significantly Increase Peak Wet Weather Treatment Capacity: An Integrated Methodology,” published in Water Environment Research in August 2017.

In this paper, Daigger and co-authors detail how the staff (and consultants) at the City of Akron (Ohio) Water Reclamation Facility increased wet weather flow handling capabilities by maximizing the use of existing plant infrastructure. Using a combination of process simulation and computational fluid dynamics analysis of the plant’s existing secondary system, the wet weather capacity of the existing plant was rerated up by approximately 65 percent without significant capital investment.

The increased capacity potential at the plant was initially identified using simulation and fluid dynamic computational methods. The calculations directed the engineering activities (and costs) necessary to attain the potential increase in flow handling capacity. Based on the computational analysis, capital modifications to the existing equipment appeared to be minor, prompting the staff to install the required modifications to approximately 15 percent of the secondary system for subsequent full-scale testing.

The full-scale testing program also incorporated a sensitivity analysis of critical parameter assumptions to establish corrective operating procedures should plant operation “fall apart” during an actual storm event. The approach detailed will result in significant capital savings for the city of Akron, which is in the process of modifying its entire facility to be able to attain the peak flow magnitudes piloted.

The Gascoigne Medal was established in recognition of George Bradley Gascoigne, a prominent consultant who exhibited a great deal of interest in the operation of wastewater treatment plants. The medal is awarded to the author(s) of an article that presents the solution of an important and complicated operational problem within a full-scale, operating wastewater treatment plant that is appropriately staffed.

Daigger received the award this week at the WEFTEC annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

View the original press release from the Water Environment Federation.


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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering