Engineers at various wastewater treatment plants are recognizing the benefits of using air flow meters to monitor wastewater aeration blowers to improve process efficiency, reduce energy costs, and measure digester gas.

air flow meter
The anaerobic digester gas is dirty, wet and contains contaminants that can collect within the piping. A thermal mass flow meter has no moving parts making it an optimum choice for this application.

What is Aeration Flow?

The use of blower air (aeration flow) is necessary to oxygenate the aeration basins to assist in the process of breaking down municipal waste. The activated sludge process is a common method in wastewater treatment, where blower air is pumped and diffused evenly to oxygenate the aeration basins.

The oxygen feeds or nourishes microorganisms within the basin so the bacteria thrive and consume suspended particulates. At various phases of the process, compressed air is used to oxygenate, clarify, filter, or disinfect. This is why compressed air is one of the largest expenses associated with wastewater treatment.

Aeration Systems and Energy Savings Opportunities

While a dissolved oxygen meter (DO meter) provides the primary signal to assure that conditions are optimal for bacterial growth, it is the air flow that provides the oxygen that maintains the proper environment for breaking down the raw sewage. Furthermore, closely controlling the aeration process can reduce energy consumption by as much as 25%, and accurate measurement is critical to achieving this goal.

Air Flow Measurement

The Sage Prime is ideal to monitor the main blower air header as well as the branches leading to the aeration basin. In larger systems, even the drop lines can be monitored. By monitoring the air mass flow and feeding back the data to a blower control system, the proper DO level can be achieved resulting in optimal biochemical reaction and hence more effective sludge breakdown, as well as better odor control. Furthermore, effective control of the blowers can reduce energy costs by as much as 25% (in contrast to manually adjusting the blowers, or at some older plants, leaving the blowers on permanently). The fast response time, ease-of-installation, and low-pressure drop of the Sage airflow meter offers an ideal solution to wastewater treatment systems.

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