Wastewater Treatment Plant: Defining Capacity

The concept of capacity is viewed through the lens of the technical properties of the wastewater plant. When mentioning the phenomenon under analysis, the contributors to the site imply the ability of the plant to contain a certain amount of water, produce a particular amount of work, etc. Therefore, although the volume is typically implied when bringing the concept of capacity up, in the Wastewater Treatment Plant, the term in question is used to refer to the performance that the plant can deliver.

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Capacity is often mentioned when certain mechanisms operated in the plant are described; for instance, the capacity of the motor and the pipes that provide consistent water flow in the plant are often mentioned in numerous reports submitted by the staff members: “Stormwater leaks that stole capacity from the existing Interceptor will obviously be removed” (News, n. d.). Moreover, the concept of capacity is typically rendered as the volume of work that the plant can perform (Wheaton Sanitary District virtual plant tour, 2016). Thus, capacity as a term embraces the essential operations that are carried out in the plant. To be more exact, the amount of water that can be transferred across the pips in one hour can be viewed as the means of measuring the capacity of the plant.

Understandably enough, the capacity rates need to be changed following the demand. Indeed, seeing that the capacity of the plant denotes the amount of work that it can perform, the rise in the demand, i.e., the amount of sewer mass that needs to be pumped, the necessity to increase the capacity of the pipes appears.

Fortunately, the amount of water that the Wastewater Treatment Plant can process within an hour can be increased to a considerable degree compared to the default volume. According to the report submitted by the organization, the pipes typically allow the flow of 8,900,000,000 gallons of wastewater to be transported through the pipes (Wheaton Sanitary District virtual plant tour, 2016). However, these specifications of the pipes can be altered so that the glow could be increased up to 19,100,000,000 gallons of water per day. In other words, the current design of the pipes allows for doubling the amount of wastewater transported through the pipes. As the results of the Pearson correlation test below show, the increase in demand triggers an immediate increase in the capacity of the wastewater plant.

Table 1. Pearson Correlation Test.

Column 1 Column 2
Column 1 1
Column 2 1 1
Sludge volume 1 Sludge volume 2
6000 210
1000 146

Despite the impressive ability to increase its capacity by 100%, the plant equipment still has its limitations. Particularly, the constraint of the cross-section of the pipe needs to be brought up. Since the flow of the wastewater is defined by the volume of the fluid that flows in the tubes, the cross-section of the pipes plays a vital role in the capacity of the plant as it restricts the volume of the water that can be transferred over a particular period. Another limitation concerns the pressure fed to the tubes; while pressure rates can be increased to a considerable degree so that the flow could rise, it also has its limitation. Finally, the extent, to which sludge can be compressed, should also be viewed as a limitation.

Reference List

News. (n. d.). Web.

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Wheaton Sanitary District virtual plant tour. (2016). Web.

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