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Laurel, Md. – July 6, 2023 – Working to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions - while meeting strict permit requirements to protect the Chesapeake Bay - WSSC Water, Brown and Caldwell and Northwestern University recently completed an innovative pilot study at WSSC Water’s Seneca Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). The $300,000 research project, Demonstration of Progressive Carbon Efficient Nitrogen with Biological Phosphorus Removal in a Conventional BNR Facility, was funded by The Water Research Foundation. 

The conventional method of removing nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater relies on high energy and chemical use to achieve results. Based on research, the team was able to modify the treatment process to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater while reducing energy and chemical costs. Through this demonstration process and subsequent full-scale implementation, the Seneca WRRF is on track to save approximately $575,000 per year in energy and chemical costs as it continues to meet strict nutrient removal requirements. 

“Implementing strategies to reduce our carbon footprint while saving money is a win-win,” said WSSC Water General Manager and CEO Kisha L. Powell. “This research project is a perfect example of the nexus of innovation and operations that our employees - Team H2O - display daily. I thank our partners for helping to advance this research and The Water Research Foundation for funding this pilot.” 

“We congratulate WSSC Water for their unwavering commitment to providing safe and reliable water to its customers and returning clean water to local waterways,” said Brown and Caldwell’s Dr. Pusker Regmi, a principal research investigator. “This study is a game changer for the water industry as we collaborate with utilities and academia to find the most effective, sustainable, and economical ways to enhance nutrient removal practices while protecting the environment.” 

WSSC Water’s Seneca WRRF, located in Germantown, Maryland, is designed to treat 26 million gallons of wastewater per day. The innovative, cost-saving process is expected to expand to the other five WRRFs WSSC Water operates. The findings of the research, combined with numerous international awards for wastewater excellence, continue to position WSSC Water at the forefront of science-based nutrient removal approaches. 

WSSC Water is the proud provider of safe, seamless and satisfying water services, making the essential possible every day for our neighbors in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. We work to deliver our best because it’s what our customers expect and deserve.