Wine grapes are the largest cash crop in Oregon exceeding hazelnuts, pears, cherries and other crops. Number of small wineries have increases in the past decade. Wineries produces high strength waste water during wine production season and decentralized waste water treatment systems are being adopted to treat the waste water in situ and reuse the water for irrigation of the vineyards. Technically there are many challenges in designing decentralized waste water systems, including seasonally variable inflows, fluctuations in the strength of the waste water, and maintenance of conditions for optimal growth of the microbes for effective treatment to meet the discharge regulations.

In this project you will address the technical issue of provision of oxygen to the pretreatment system that is designed to reduce the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) of the incoming process waste water by >50% so that it can be effectively handled by conventional waste water systems. The system you are designing should be suitable for a location where line-power electricity is available but may not have internet/cellular connectivity.

You are to design a pre-aeration treatment system to be demonstrated in a 1-2 m^3 tank. Your design should balance cost (initial and operations), environmental sustainability, robustness, and feasibility. You will build your solution and it will be tested under real-world conditions as would be found in the Willamette Valley,Oregon in June-October.

Some of the challenges are:

  1. Highly variable influent wastewater streams with variable BOD concentrations.
  2. Robust operation under highly variable climatic conditions.
  3. Wide spatiotemporal variation in oxygen demand.
  4. Variation in the configuration of existing aquaculture systems.
  5. Multiple stakeholders and operators with differing needs and abilities.

The overall goal of this project is to design, develop and evaluate different strategies for pre-aeration of high strength process waste water to reduce the effluent BOD to <500 mg/L while minimizing the economic costs and environmental impacts of the proposed design. The proposed design must strive to minimize the need to alter existing wastewater treatment designs and handling practices.

At a minimum your design must include the following elements:

  1. Meet the safety and environmental regulatory requirements.
  2. Meet functionality constraints in terms of waste water generation patterns, BOD reduction goals, hydraulic retention times and existing practices.
  3. Consider climatic factors in your design.
  4. Economic considerations in all designs (Capital versus operating costs, comparison to the current state of affairs).
  5. Scalability to accommodate different funding scenarios.
  6. Incorporate measures to improve water reuse/recycle.

Completion of this project will include the provision of a complete, buildable design with supporting calculations demonstrating feasibility, evaluation of the net present value of the design, and testing of the device at a site located in Oregon.