28 Dec 2018

DHI takes its innovative wastewater treatment expertise to Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW), a water resource recovery facility, has appointed DHI to perform a feasibility study on future adoption of innovative and energy-efficient wastewater treatment processes in Redwood City, California.

DHI has been supporting Danish utilities to increase effluent water quality while achieving the highest energy efficiency possible in wastewater treatment and reclamation plants. Now, we are taking this expertise to Silicon Valley. © DHI

For decades, DHI has supported Danish utilities in fine-tuning the biological processes in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to fulfil three main objectives: to reduce operational costs, enhance effluent water quality, and achieve the highest energy efficiency possible. This has been accomplished with state-of-the-art biological treatment processes as well as advanced, real-time, and data-driven operational procedures.

Optimising energy and resources

Built in 1980, the SVCW facility enables wastewater to be recycled using biological treatment. By providing an evaluation of SVCW’s plant infrastructure, collection system loads and the treatment processes, we will investigate how the facility can remove nutrients more efficiently and optimise its use of energy and resources. 

‘I am excited about the potential for this technology not just in California but all around the United States. DHI has developed simple, advanced technologies to control new nutrient removal processes in wastewater using less energy; and they can used to retrofit existing infrastructure for capacity enhancement and new discharge permits.’

- Ryan Sanford, Process Engineer, DHI US  

A more effective treatment method

Climate change and drought are putting California’s water supply under pressure and the state is struggling to provide more clean water like never before.  Recently, the state has released plans for a new discharge limit in San Francisco Bay to mitigate the pollution on their clean water source. 

This means that SVCW needs to re-think how wastewater is being treated in their facility. Often, this translates into more investment especially towards expensive equipment. Our expertise in implementing efficient wastewater treatment processes could just be the solution to provide the best return of investment for SVCW. 

DHI’s solution will focus firstly on retrofitting the existing tankage, reducing the capital cost of buying new tanks. Secondly, we will focus on fit-for-purpose treatment processes to meet the new discharge standards and achieve the best energy savings. Thirdly, we will look into the possibility of reclaiming the wastewater for other purposes.

‘The American utility companies are lining up to learn about new solutions that can optimise their aging plants and provide their users with a greener and a better product. We have these solutions in Denmark because we have had a dedicated environmental policy for many years.’

- Ulrik Hansen Folkmann, Senior Technological Advisor
Trade Council’s Water Technology Alliance, Denmark

Technological cooperation 

The link-up with SVCW has been made possible through DHI’s membership in the Trade Council’s Water Technology Alliance, which aims to facilitate solution-sharing between Danish water companies and their counterparts to explore innovative solutions to water challenges around the world. 

‘DHI has a very good cooperation with utilities companies in United States and the fact that clients can witness the technology in operation in Denmark and verify that the method is proven is very important,' says Peter Andreasen, Chief Biologist from DHI.  

Folkmann agrees, ‘We see DHI’s order at Silicon Valley as the top of the iceberg, and we expect an increased interest in process-optimised systems and in DHI’s products in 2019.’