by Megan Schiffres
KILMARNOCK—The Kilmarnock Town Council on Monday, October 28, unanimously approved several upgrades to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.
The plant utilizes an aerobic activated-sludge process to treat sewage and industrial wastewater. As explained by public works and utilities supervisor PJ Jones, the system uses jets of air that supply dissolved oxygen to a biological floc composed of microscopic bacteria.
The bacteria filter the sludge and remove ammonia, total nitrogen and phosphorus. These organisms require oxygen to survive so air is pumped into the plant’s reactors where sewage is stored, said Jones. The amount of dissolved oxygen in the reactors is an indicator of the health of the floc and whether more oxygen is needed to effectively filter the sludge.
The oxygen probes in Kilmarnock’s wastewater reactors, which detect how much dissolved oxygen is present in the sludge, have not been upgraded since 1997 and…