Dissolved Organic Nitrogen Treatment at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility

TMWRF Aeration Basin

The Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) is a 44 mgd advanced wastewater treatment and reclamation facility serving the greater Reno and Sparks (NV) area. TMWRF effluent is discharged into Steamboat Creek which flows into the Truckee River with a terminus in Pyramid Lake. Stringent water quality regulations for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake ecosystems means that TMWRF must reach very low levels of nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) as well as total dissolved solids (TDS). The facility has a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of 500 lb/day for total nitrogen (TN) which requires TN levels in the finished water less than 2 mg/L N. Existing processes meet the limitation but rapid population growth in the Truckee Meadows will make this standard more challenging to meet in the future.

University of Nevada, Reno researchers are working with TMWRF process engineers to evaluate advanced treatment options for the dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) which is the most abundant nitrogen species in the plant effluent. Research has been conducted on evaluating granular activated carbon, ozone and biofiltration, and enhanced coagulation technologies to lower DON in TMWRF effluent. University researchers are currently evaluating treatment options at the pilot-scale to control DON levels in the effluent water.