Treatment of Wet Weather Discharges in Columbus, Georgia

by Stephen P. Hides,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


The City of Columbus, Georgia and the Columbus Water Works (CWW) instigated a combined sewer overflow (CS 0) control program to protect the Chattahoochee River against adverse impacts of wet weather discharges from the citys 16 CSO discharge points. The program was initiated in response to legislation passed by the Georgia State legislature in 1990, and a subsequent administrative order issued by the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Initial studies were undertaken to characterize the combined sewer system and area water quality, evaluate receiving waters, analyze rainfall records and assess the impact of CSOs on water quality standards (WQS). Following the characterization study, CWW performed a pilot study to assess the cost effectiveness of two technologies for treating the overflows to meet WQS: a conventional flow-through mix/contact chamber and a vortex separator. The vortex separator was determined to be the most effective means for removing floatables and gross solids from the discharges. The study also demonstrated that the vortex separator could be used as a contact vessel for disinfection thereby eliminating the need for a separate contact basin. A second study was performed with sponsorship from Water Environment Research Federation (WERF), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CWW, engineers, municipalities and equipment suppliers. The second phase of the pilot program focused on environmentally friendly enhancements to the vortex separator such as ultra-violet light disinfection (UV), physical/chemical treatment, alternate disinfectants and dissolved air floatation (DAF).

Subject Headings: Water quality | Developing countries | Water discharge | Vortices | Combined sewers | Water resources | Rivers and streams | United States | Georgia | Ohio

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