Original Date: 04/24/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Environmental Engineering
The Schlieder Urban Environmental Systems Center (formerly the Urban Waste Management and Research Center), in connection with the University of New Orleans, College of Engineering, performed many studies related to wastewater treatment, which extends to urban run-off. Many new design processes for dealing with pollution content in an efficient and cost-saving manner have emerged from these studies.
The Schlieder Urban Environmental Systems Center (SUESC), formerly the Urban Waste Management and Research Center at the University of New Orleans, College of Engineering (UNO COE), supports research on solid- waste management, water and wastewater quality control, water resources, and air quality research. The SUESC also promotes activities dealing with environmental policy and transfers the technology obtained in the research to industry. The University’s Urban Waste Management Resource Center was established in May 1990 and obtained a cooperative agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in July of that same year, which was extended to 1995. This agreement contains research, education, and outreach programs with an integrated waste management/pollution prevention emphasis. Financial support for the Center extends from the EPA, government, private industry, and the international community. A sewerage system design was performed for the country of Ecuador from 1993 to 1995, which continued to aid that country in additional city planning by providing a digital’ map of the city used for sewerage design.
In one study, SUESC evaluated wastewater treatment at three different treatment plants. Results of this study led to modifications at one of the plants to improve treatment performance. Plant operators were trained to maintain the improvements. Factors affecting process performance were identified and are being retained for future studies. New factors affecting process design were developed for the trickling-filter solids contact process (a wastewater treatment process). These studies have led to graduate-level training programs and publications in journals. SUESC developed a better understanding of the role of biological flocculation in the activated sludge process. The kinetics of biological flocculation of particulate organics was included in activated sludge modeling, and a new activated sludge model was prepared linking the aerator and the settling tank. This model was tested at the pilot-plant level and the results of that testing have been published. The new design criteria have emerged and are identified as best design practices for process optimization. With new technology being developed by SUESC, anaerobic/aerobic wastewater treatment should realize a substantial reduction in sludge generation, eliminating the need for a separate anaerobic sludge digestion.
The UNO COE’s SUESC is on the leading edge of technology for environmental engineering in dealing with wastewater treatment. It has performed many studies that have resulted in new design processes for treating wastewater. It has also studied many other aspects of dealing with wastewater, from sewer design optimization for solid flows to characterization of moisture content within landfills. The recycling of leachate from landfills has been found to be advantageous in SUESC’s preliminary studies. Urban run-off is another study that is being conducted due to the increasing pollution caused by city draining of rainwater running into local lakes. Stochastic models for managing urban run-off are being developed to deal with managing the pollutants draining into Lake Pontchartrain.
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