SCHERERVILLE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT The Schererville Wastewater Treatment Plant is located in Northwest Indiana and serves the wastewater needs of a population base of approximately 45,000 people in the communities of Schererville and St. John. The Schererville Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1964, at the time serving approximately 2,000 people with and Average Daily Capacity of 500,000 gallons per day. We now have a Design Average Capacity of 8.75 million gallons a day and a Peak Design Capacity of 16.6 million gallons a day and operate 21 sewage lift stations. Here at the Schererville Wastewater Treatment Plant, many processes are used to convert wastewater or sewage into safe and reusable products. The main product is clean, safe water. The second, or bi-product, is bio-solid materials, which are used as fertilizers on farm grounds in the surrounding areas. INFLUENT SAMPLING The Schererville Wastewater Treatment receives flow from not only the
Town of Schererville and the unincorporated areas of town but also from the Town of St. John. To determine what process control measures are required of our staff, flows coming into the facility from both communities are monitored and sampled automatically on a 24 hour per day basis. Flow proportionate samples are taken at two points in the facility, Schererville, as well as St. John. These composited samples are collected and analyzed 7 days a week, to determine influent loading for both communities. Schererville St. John PRELIMINARY TREATMENT:
PERFORATED PLATE SCREENS One of the first steps in the wastewater treatment process is the filtration of solids from the incoming flow. A simple yet effective piece of filtration equipment, the perforated plate screen consists of perforated stainless steel panels that are carried by two heavy duty chains. The screen panels are formed to create steps giving the ability to remove larger screenings and to increase the effectiveness of the screening area. Some examples of screenings include sticks, rags, pop cans and larger solids. The screenings are then removed, washed, and then sent to a sanitary landfill for disposal. With this process, we can protect other plant equipment from damage that these materials could cause. PRELIMINARY TREATMENT: GRIT REMOVAL
Because the Schererville Wastewater Treatment Plant is a biological treatment process, inorganic materials need to be removed prior to entry into this process, such materials include, sand, rocks and glass also known as Grit. The flow is slowed down enough in the grit tank to allow the grit to settle out. The Grit tank is designed so the flow is maintained at a high enough velocity to keep organic waste materials in suspension. The inorganic materials are then removed, washed, and then sent to a sanitary landfill for disposal. With this process, we can protect other plant equipment from damage that these materials could cause. RAW SEWAGE PUMPING STATION Wastewater flows for the most part by gravity, through sanitary sewer lines. Throughout the town, because there are literally hundreds of miles of sanitary sewers, pumping stations are sometimes required to lift the sewage so that it can continue to flow by gravity. Presently, there are 21 lift stations
throughout the town, which lift the wastewater so that it can flow by gravity to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. All combined flows from our sewer district enter the Raw Sewage Pumping Station. This pumping station consists of five large pumps that have a combined capacity of pumping over 35,000 gallons per minute to the facility. Before entering the pump station well the wastewater goes through Preliminary treatment where large debris such as rags, sticks and trash are removed as well as the smaller particles like sand, rocks and glass, called Grit. The large sewage pumps then pump the flow from approximately 26 feet below ground to a height of 15 to 20 feet above grade to the primary clarifiers from there the sewage can flow by gravity to the remainder of the facility. FLOW EQUALIZATION FACILITIES: STORAGE PONDS During storm conditions or cases of industrial loading, a portion of the flow can be diverted to these two Flow Equalization Ponds. Each pond
holds approximately 1.6 million gallons of storm water. While the flow is being held in these ponds, huge mixers and aspirators mix and diffuse air into the waste stream. This is done to keep solids in suspension and to keep the wastewater from becoming septic and causing odor problems in the community. Once the storm has passed, the wastewater is then drained back to the facility and treated with the other incoming flow. PRIMARY TREATMENT: PRIMARY CLARIFICATION Two sets of Primary Clarifiers 1 through 8 (rectangular) and 9 & 10 (circular) provide the first form of treatment. Primary treatment is a gravity type process where flow is slowed down and solids are allowed to settle out.
These clarifiers are large settling tanks and allow about 20 to 30% of the solids to settle out. These solids, called sludge, are removed and sent to large heated anaerobic digesters to be processed into bio-solids. This digestion process, which in nature would take months or years to perform, is performed in the accelerated environment in approximately 13 to 45 days. Primary Clarifiers 9 & 10 were originally a Wastewater Treatment Plant in 1964. In a cost effective move, the old treatment plant was rehabbed and additional tank wall height was constructed and new equipment installed to convert the old Wastewater treatment plant into Primary Clarifiers. SLUDGE DIGESTION PROCESS: ANAEROBIC DIGESTION Sludge that is removed in the Primary Clarification process is sent to our Anaerobic Digesters. A similar process would be a septic tank. This is a high performance version of
that. Septic tanks, which run at ground temperature, can take months or even years to partially digest the sludge produced. Our Anaerobic Digesters which hold a combined capacity of over 600,000 gallons of sludge are heated to a temperature of 95F. Special forms of bacteria that live in this non-air environment or anaerobic environment convert organic material into safe and stable bio-solids and produce methane gas. The methane gas is captured underneath the floating domes and provides the fuel for the sludge heater to heat the sludge thus eliminating the need for the use natural gas saving thousands of dollars annually on our utility bills. BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT PROCESS: AERATION TANKS The Schererville Wastewater Treatment Plant employs an activated sludge treatment process. This activated sludge or biomass is a mixture of waste and microbiological
cultures. Billions upon billions of bacteria consume the organic material converting it into bio-solids. This bacteria or biomass is closely monitored to keep the bacteria in the perfect balance to perform the aeration process effectively and efficiently. There are many types of activated sludge treatment in the wastewater industry. The type of treatment that the Town of Schererville employs at its Wastewater Treatment Plant is called single-stage nitrification. Not only is organic material consumed, but also ammonia nitrogen is removed during this process. SECONDARY TREATMENT: SECONDARY CLARIFIERS The highly mixed wastewater and biomass flows into the Secondary Clarifiers, where biomass in separated from the water. The biomass that settles to the bottom is returned to the
aeration tanks to begin the aeration process all over again. The treated water then flows to the disinfection process. The average removal rate of our Aeration Process and Secondary Clarifiers is around 93% to 95% of the incoming flow. SLUDGE DIGESTION PROCESS: AEROBIC DIGESTION Waste activated sludge or excess bacteria that is created in the secondary process and by the activated sludge process is sent to the Aerobic Digester Complex. This waste activated sludge is removed from the food source and the bacteria basically become cannibalistic, consuming each other and in turn this process produces a high quality bio-solid. The Aerobic Digester consists of four covered rectangular tanks with space for a fifth future tank. The four tanks include a waste activated sludge (WAS) storage tank and three aerobic
digester tanks for a total combined capacity of approximately 680,000 gallons. The four tanks are equipped with fine bubble disc type membrane diffusers. Each tank is served by a single adjustable speed rotary air blower with a common stand by unit. The digestion tanks can be operated individually or in series. Each tank is equipped with a drain, overflow, decant swing pipe and a valved connection to the adjacent tanks. FINAL EFFLUENT: ULTRAVIOLET DISINFECTION Treated water, although clean, may still contain pathogenic organisms, which could cause disease in the receiving stream. These pathogenic organisms are commonly referred to as e-coli. Because of this, every gallon of effluent is disinfected with ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet disinfection is much safer to the
environment, and takes place by the water passing over 768 UVbulbs, where the water is completely disinfected within seconds. FINAL EFFLUENT: RECEIVING STREAM After disinfection, the water is discharged into the receiving stream. The flow, as is the influent, is constantly monitored and sampled proportionately 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The flow is analyzed in our Laboratory daily to ensure the quality of the water leaving the facility. Some of Schererville's water is also reused by one of the local industries in their cooling processes. This reduces their cost in having to buy potable water and conserves potable water for residential use. SLUDGE TREATMENT:
GRAVITY BELT THICKENER The gravity belt thickener is a highly effective tool for de-watering. It operates quietly at a minimal cost, consuming a low volume of wash water. Sludge is flocculated by the use of polymers, introduced on the belt and the released water is drained through the gravity belt. While the process is simple, the decrease in sludge volume is impressive. The gravity belt thickener reduces the volume of thin sludge and slurries produced during the municipal or wastewater treatment process. The principle of the gravity belt thickener is simple: sludge is flocculated with polymers and the released water is drained by gravity through a traveling filter belt. SLUDGE TREATMENT: BELT FILTER PRESS
A belt filter press is a biosolids dewatering device that applies mechanical pressure to a chemically conditioned sludge, which is sandwiched between two belts, by passing those belts through a serpentine of decreasing diameter rolls. The machine can actually be divided into three zones: gravity zone, where free draining water is drained by gravity through a porous belt; wedge zone, where the solids are prepared for pressure application; and pressure zone, where medium, then high pressure is applied to the conditioned solids. Typically, a belt filter press receives a sludge ranging from 1-4% feed solids and produces a final product of 12-35% cake solids. Performance depends on the nature of solids being processed. BIO-SOLIDS HANDLING Sludge Handling Once the sludge is dewatered it is loaded into
trucks by a series of automated augers and gates and transported to the Bio-solids Storage building which is located within the Wastewater Treatment Plant until it could be later transported to local farm grounds. Storage Building Sludge is stored at the facility so that it can be coordinated with the growing cycles on our farm sites. Bio-solids are applied to the farm sites in the spring and the fall of the year. Bio-solids are analyzed throughout the year to ensure pathogen destruction and vector attraction
requirements are met to ensure that the biosolids are in a safe form for land application and agricultural use. The bio-solids that do not meet the state and federal governments rigid requirements are diverted to a sanitary land fill along with the grit and screenings that are removed at the head end of the process.
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