Shifting to New Technology
in an Old Regulatory World
Two Controlling Factors in
Technology Advance
 The S-Curve Phenomena
 The Scientific Hubris Conundrum
The S-Curve
Waste Water Treatment Technology Advance
Primary Treatment Removal Efficiency




90-95% settleable solids
40-60% suspended solids
30-40% Biological Oxygen Demand
18% Nutrients removal
Secondary Treatment Removal
Efficiency
 70% Biological Oxygen Demand
 75% Chemical Oxygen Demand
 1% Nutrients removal
Tertiary Treatment Removal Efficiency
 30 – 75% Nutrients removal
 Massively Expensive
 Difficult to operate
Cost-Efficient Alternatives to Tertiary
Treatment
Will require Reassessment of the
Pollution Control Mentality
EPA Standards reflect a static
assumption about
“Assimilative Capacity”
It is possible to increase
assimilative capacity
Shift to a Diatom Ecology
Blooms
Dead Zone
Blue-Green
Nutrients
Oxygen
released
Death
Oxygen
consumed
Diatoms
Zooplankton
What nutrients do algae need?
Blue-Green
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Diatoms
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Silicon
Iron
Others
The Alternative to Tertiary Treatment
July 31, 1980
“Rather than considering treatment procedures
which remove the nutrients nitrogen and
phosphorus from a sewage discharge
one might consider the addition, if feasible, of silica
in quantity at the discharge site
to alter the receiving waters to a diatom population
and a consequent fertile and productive region.”
To Accomplish a Paradigm Shift to a
New Technology
 Research, test and demand use of
the new paradigm
Contact Information:
David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.
General Counsel
Energy & Environment Legal Institute
722 12th St. NW (4th Floor)
Washington, D.C. 20005
www.eelegal.org
[email protected]
571-243-7975
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1% Nutrients removal