USEPA Flux Chamber Technology for Assessing Unit Process and Site Emissions from Municipal Wastewater Treatment, Including Wells, Headworks, Primary Treatment, Secondary Treatment, Channels, Clarifiers, Overflow Lagoons, and Outfall

We have been conducting air emissions assessment from municipal wastewater treatment (WWT) facilities for many years now.  Although most WWTs have the same type of unit processes, they all seem to be different from one facility to another.  The unit treatment processes include, but are not limited to: wet wells (photo 1), headworks collection and litter removal, litter storage, grit removal, grit storage, conveyance channels (photo 2- aerated and non-aerated), primary treatment (photo 3), secondary treatment including processes with weirs (photo 4), clarification (photo 5), filtration, chlorination or disinfection, biofiltration (photo 6), septage dumping (photo 7), and outfall. Other processes include dissolved air flotation units, sludge dewatering and drying, and sludge storage (photo 8).

Most or all of these unit processes can be studied using the USEPA flux chamber technology, and as with other complex facilities with numerous area sources, the unit process flux data, along with operational data are used to generate site emissions.  Common compounds included in these studies range from olfactory odor, to reduced sulfur compounds including hydrogen sulfide, hydrocarbon compound, amine compounds, and greenhouse gases.

Often times we collect unit process flux data which are then used by Tom Card in predictive models for site assessment purposes, or to develop a site-specific predictive model than can be used for continued site assessment.  Whether the need for air emission assessment involves compliance to operating permits, off site air quality impacts, or data collection supporting engineering evaluation of unit process, direct measurement using the USEPA flux chamber technology is the technical approach of choice.

flux chamber testing wastewater well
Photo 1- Measuring Emissions from Wet Well at Municipal WWT

flux chamber testing aerated channel
Photo 2- Flux Chamber Testing on Aerated Channel at Municipal WWT

flux chamber testing primary treatment process
Photo 3- Flux Chamber Testing on Primary Treatment Process at WWT

flux chamber testing weir laundry
Photo 4- Flux Chamber Testing in Weir Laundry

flux chamber testing wwt clarifier
Photo 5- Flux Chamber Testing on WWT Clarifier

flux chamber measuring emission biofilter
Photo 6- Flux Chamber Measuring Emissions from Biofilter (Headworks) at Municipal WWT

flux chamber measuring fugitive air emissions
Photo 7- Flux Chamber Used to Measure Fugitive Air Emissions from Septage Dumping

flux chamber measuring emissions from sludge
Photo 8- Flux Chamber Used to Measure Emissions from Sludge Storage and Drying at WWT