Taking Treatment to the Extremes

by Robert J. Kulchawik, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Assoc.; Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers, Inc., Chicago, IL,
Anthony B. Bouchard, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers, Inc., Chicago, IL,
Carl Ric Morris, P.E., (M.ASCE), Dir. of Facilities Engrg. Maintenance, and Constr.; Raytheon Polar Services Company, Englewood, CO,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 10, Pg. 52-57

Document Type: Feature article


Designing a wastewater treatment facility that meets current environmental guidelines can be challenging enough. But designing it so it can be shipped, constructed, operated, and maintained in the severe climate of Antarctica would challenge even the most experienced designers. McMurdo Station, the United States' largest permanent facility in Antarctica, is seeing an increase in its seasonal population of scientists and researchers, and this trend is expected to continue, driving the need for a more sophisticated wastewater treatment scheme. Designers carefully chose a new system that includes maceration as a preliminary treatment, and extended aeration activated sludge with nitrification as a secondary treatment. From there, waste will either be treated with ultraviolet radiation and discharged through the existing outfall, or sent through a third stage consisting of aerobic digestions, and a belt-press thickening/dewatering system. The sludge cakes will be shipped offsite for disposal in the United States along with the facility's other solid wastes.

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