There are a number of factors that impact the selection of a treatment system for a project. Some factors to consider include:
- Is the initial capital cost the driver for your project or are you concerned with the operating costs? When we do a 20 year Net Present Value analysis for O&M on projects it is not uncommon for the savings from one technology option to be equal to its initial capital cost.
- Are you operating in a remote location or are you in a more populous area that has good local operating support? Operating complexity varies widely between technologies. Given the same influent and effluent parameters, a client in a remote location might select a completely different technology than one in an urban area.
- What are the discharge requirements and point of compliance from the regulatory authority? Some technologies can’t reliably meet low discharge requirements, or if they are going to meet them they will need substantial operating support. It is not uncommon for a client to select a low cost option only to later find that it can’t reliably meet the discharge requirements. The costs associated with corrective action and corresponding with regulators can be substantial.
- What is the operating environment? Extreme weather (hot or cold) presents issues for the biological processes of a wastewater treatment plant. Infrastructure costs can be a material cost of the overall project.
- Are there any aesthetic issues to consider? Do you need to hide the wastewater treatment system from stakeholders or do you want to promote water reuse and make it a central feature of your public architecture? Some clients would prefer to hide their onsite treatment system, or just don’t have room onsite, and they end up locating the treatment system below grade. Other clients may want to promote sustainability and will make the treatment system a central theme of their landscaped campus.
IWS would welcome the opportunity to discuss your project needs and provide some initial thoughts for you to consider.