SSI Helps Fort Worth Water Department Combat Drought And Improve Energy Efficiency With State-Of-The-Art Wastewater Equipment
By: Tom Frankel
Post Date: October 13th 2014
The US is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades, with over 30% of the country suffering moderate to severe water shortages this year. Texas is one of the hardest hit states and the region of North Texas has suffered severe drought for four years running. Water conservation is imperative, and the state employs a number of ways to reduce and maximize its water consumption, including using recycled or reclaimed wastewater to offset water use.
The Forth Worth Water Department is a major provider of wastewater treatment services to over 1,000,000 people in the DFW area. Additionally, the department is currently supplying over 1.5 million gallons per day of reclaimed water to area customers including golf courses and DFW airport. The reclaimed water reduces demand on the potable water system and, in effect, augments the available raw water supply as an alternate source to already depleted reservoirs.. When the Department needed to replace a large amount of outdated equipment, they turned to Stamford Scientific International, a leading manufacturer of wastewater aeration systems. SSI not only replaced the obsolete equipment with the highest efficiency alternatives within budget, but also provided energy savings that have an environmental impact.
“Aeration diffusers are a major part of the wastewater activated sludge process, and ours were old and we needed to replace them,” says Jerry Pressley, Fort Worth’s Operations and Maintenance Superintendent. “We have 13 aeration basins and over 75,000 diffusers, so we spent a lot of time looking for the right supplier for the project. We had to keep costs in mind and needed to implement the change without any interruptions to our service. We, along with our “energy savings performance contractor,” chose SSI because they have an excellent track record and they focus on improving energy efficiency.”
SSI’s state-of-the art patented diffusers not only increased water-processing efficiency, but also lowered energy consumption as well.
“Although it’s a major undertaking to replace all these diffusers, it’s an investment in the future and is much more efficient in the long run. We earn the investment back in savings in energy costs,” Pressley adds.
“With the old system, we were really limited in the loading, particularly ammonia, from return streams that we could run through the plant,” notes Gary Lagassey, Operations Superintendent. “Our plant is very large. Anything we do costs a lot of money just because of the scale. We were facing the possibility of having to build side stream treatment facilities to keep up with the demand—and this would have been extremely expensive. But because the SSI diffusers are so effective, we didn’t need to do that project, and we’re handling more water than ever before. With the old diffusers, we were limited with the amount of MLSS—the industry term for Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids which we could use in our process. Before, we could manage about 2,000 to 2,500 MLSS—with the new diffusers we’ve upped that to 3,500 to 4,000 mg/L. These diffusers are unique because of a patent on the membranes that resists the accumulation of the matter which avoids the blocking of the oxygen transfer and extends the time between cleaning cycles. This is patented process unique to SSI.
It was crucial for the Fort Worth Water Department to implement the new system with minimal disruptions to their daily operations.
“This was a very large undertaking and the timing was critical because we had to maintain optimum plant functionality throughout the construction period,” Pressley adds. “SSI did a great job of getting the materials out here very quickly so that our contractor could get them installed. The whole process went very smoothly and much more efficiently than we expected from an Operations standpoint.”
“We do projects all over the world, but this was the largest to date,” observes SSI Marketing Manager, Doreen Hoffman. “We knew we had to get in and provide what they needed without out any service interference. We focus on formulating streamlined strategies for our customers and helping them optimize their businesses.”
The Water Department also liked that SSI has long-term guarantees for their products and their installation.
“SSI has a lengthy warranty system which guarantees the project over the long term,” Pressley notes. “That, plus their reputation and result metrics, made it an easy choice for us.”
“SSI really made it a straightforward implementation for us,” Pressley continues. “We had several different projects going on at once, and they just made something that we thought could be a huge headache into a smooth, seamless process.”
“SSI went above and beyond our expectations,” Lagassey adds. “We couldn’t have been more satisfied with their products and their commitment to customer satisfaction. We look forward to working with them in the future.”
Mr. Frankel co-founded SSI in 1995 with experience in design and distribution of engineered systems. He is in charge of sales, marketing and operations in the company. Mr. Frankel holds multiple US patents related to diffusers. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.