Innovation in Wastewater Treatment – Community Workshop Series

In collaboration with the Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association, and Prof. Nick Tooker at the University of Amherst, we have kick-started a workshop series intended to bring together the wastewater treatment community of New England for small-group discussions about the challenges and opportunities for innovation in the field.

The first workshop was held in July 2019 on the topic of “Current State of Instrumentation and Controls at New England Wastewater Treatment Facilities”. This event brought together a diverse group of plant operators (of plants at scales from <1 MGD up to 170 MGD), process design and consulting engineers, instrumentation experts, and academic researchers to share experiences - successes and challenges - related to use of sensors and instruments for automation and control of wastewater processes. The goal of the event was to gain a better understanding of how different plants are using sensors for (automated or manual) process control, how standardized (or variable) these approaches are, and what might be fruitful areas for future stakeholder collaborations.

The second workshop was held in November 2019 on the topic of “How do we get there from here? Round-table on successes & challenges meeting hot-button issues in the next 3-5 years.” This event brought together a diverse group of plant operators and individuals in related roles at small-to-medium scales (<20 MGD) to share experiences, learn from approaches and experiments at other facilities, and identify fruitful areas of collaboration between industry and academia. The event started with a brainstorm of the "hot-button priority issues" being faced by the industry, or by specific plants, in the next 3-5 years. Then in two round-table sessions several of these topics were unpacked in more detail, discussing roadblocks, gaps, and opportunities.

The next event will be held in early 2020 (March-April), and we always welcome suggestions for topics as well as new participants! Please email Dr. Mueller for more information at a.mueller@northeastern.edu.