Blower Air Cleanup System

Los Angeles’ Tillman Water Reclamation Plant Project Earns Envision Silver


Blower Air Clean Up System-VFDs for Recirc Pump

April 24, 2018

The $5.9 million Blower Air Cleanup System Project at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (DCTWRP) earned the Envision® Silver Award for sustainable infrastructure.

DCTWRP is one of four major water reclamation plants supporting the Los Angeles Clean Water Program, which produces up to 125 million gallons of reclaimed water per day, harvests energy from

biogas, and creates biosolids for beneficial reuse. The program’s recycled water replaces potable water for groundwater recharge, and industrial, landscape and recreational purposes.

As part of its 2007 nitrogen removal program for DCTWRP, the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering completed installation of new process blowers and converted the aeration basins to include anoxic zones, convertible anoxic/aerobic “swing” zones, and aerobic zones. The new blowers used in this process extract foul air from the primary tanks and headworks building and convey this air to the newly configured aeration basins. The foul air contains corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas, particulate matter, dust, mists, and other substances which if left untreated, would cause premature erosion and degradation of the blowers, downstream piping, diffusers and ancillary equipment.

Thus, the Bureau of Engineering decided to install a biotrickling filter system to treat the in-process foul air. After evaluation of alternative air treatments, the biotrickling filter system was selected because it does not require chemical usage, thereby reducing costs, ensuring a safer working environment for plant operators, reducing environment risk, and minimizing waste. In addition, the biotrickling system reduces the long-term operations and maintenance costs by as much as $1.4 million over the life of the system.

The Bureau collaborated with CH2M (now Jacobs) on the Envision Award submission as part of its ongoing efforts to have ISI provide third-party verification for its sustainable infrastructure improvements. This project developed and piloted a new approach to Jacob’s award-winning Resiliency and Sustainability Framework to streamline project verification, and organization-wide implementation of Envision at the Bureau of Engineering.

Additional sustainability achievements of the project include:

  • Training, mentorship, and career development for staff, including a program for recruiting students from local colleges and universities.
  • Requirements to ensure small businesses, and minority-, women-, and disabled veteran-owned businesses are included in the bidding process.
  • Ensuring at least 30% of project hours were worked by local residents, 10% by disadvantaged workers, and 20% by apprentices.
  • Requiring a comprehensive waste management plan for construction and demolition debris that requires diversion of 75% of inert debris from landfills.
  • 3% of project materials anticipated to be available for recycling/reuse at the project’s useful life.
  • Tracking to ensure all salvageable assets and materials are sourced first before newly fabricated parts are purchased – Los Angeles Sanitation Department Enterprise Maintenance, Planning and Control program has $14 million in replacement parts and equipment.
  • Long-term water scarcity/shortage risks from climate change are addressed by eliminating use of potable water – 100% of water required for operations are drawn from non-potable wastewater treatment process water, circulating it back through the system for purification and discharge.

“Operations and maintenance upgrades to municipal assets doesn’t often make front page news. But the City of Los Angeles’s Bureau of Engineering has demonstrated that smaller-scale projects can integrate sustainable design alternatives and support local sustainability and resiliency priorities in a cost-effective manner.” said ISI President and CEO, John Stanton.

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