Wastewater Treatment Plant Control Strategies

Ballhysa, Nobel;Kim, Soyeon;Byeon, Seongjoon


The operation of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is a complex task which requires to consider several aspects: adapting to always changing influent composition and volume, ensuring treated effluents quality complies with local regulations, ensuring dissolved oxygen levels in biological reaction tanks are sufficient to avoid anoxic conditions etc. all of it while minimizing usage of chemicals and power consumption. The traditional way of managing WWTPs consists in having employees on the field measure various parameters and make decisions based on their judgment and experience which holds various concerns such as the low frequency of data, errors in measurement and difficulty to analyze historical data to propose optimal solutions. In the case of activated sludge WWTPs, parts of the treatment process can be automated and controlled in order to satisfy various control objectives. The models developed by the International Water Association (IWA) have been extensively used worldwide in order to design and assess the performance of various control strategies. In this work, we propose to review most recent WWTP automation initiatives around the world and identify most currently used control parameters and control architectures. We then suggest a framework to select WWTP model, control parameters and control scheme in order to develop and benchmark control strategies for WWTP automation.