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System and method for the treatment of wastewater

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System and method for the treatment of wastewater


A system and method for the treatment of wastewater. In one aspect, the invention can be a method of treating wastewater comprising: a) flowing the wastewater along an axis; b) injecting a polymer into the wastewater at multiple injection points to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater, the multiple injection points arranged in a circumferentially spaced apart manner about the axis; and c) removing the flocculated suspended solids from the wastewater to form a treated water. In another aspect, the invention can be a system for flocculating suspended solids in wastewater comprising: a conduit through which wastewater flows along an axis; a plurality of nozzles operably coupled to a source of a first polymer; and the plurality of nozzles arranged in a circumferentially spaced apart manner about the axis, the plurality of nozzles operably coupled to the conduit to inject the first polymer into the wastewater flowing through the conduit.

Inventor: Frank Leslie Smiddy
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120285894 - Class: 210723 (USPTO) - 11/15/12 - Class 210 
Liquid Purification Or Separation > Processes >Making An Insoluble Substance Or Accreting Suspended Constituents >Utilizing Precipitant, Flocculant, Or Coagulant, Each With Accelerator Or With Each Other Or Plural Precipitants, Flocculants, Or Coagulants

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120285894, System and method for the treatment of wastewater.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/546,667, filed on Oct. 13, 2011 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/485,964, filed on May 13, 2011, the entireties of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a system and method for the treatment of wastewater, and specifically to a system and method for removing suspended solids from wastewater.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Construction sites, major industrial properties, riverbeds, caissons, mine shafts and the like have a tendency to collect wastewater. This wastewater must be removed to enable construction to take place on the construction site or cleaned to remove toxins and the like from riverbeds. The wastewater that collects in those locations contains dirt, soils and other solid particles. These solid particles create a high suspended solids level within the water. A standard way of measuring water quality for suspended solids is by turbidity readings as Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). Water that is removed from a wastewater site must comply with specific discharge limitations prior to being discharged to surface water, such as a fresh water stream or river. Thus, water that is removed from a wastewater site must have a regulated minimum NTU level prior to discharge.

Oftentimes, wastewater also has a pH level that is either well above or well below accepted discharge limitations. Thus, wastewater must also be treated with pH adjustment chemicals in order to comply with the discharge limitations.

Previous systems and methods for reducing suspended solids in wastewater rely on gravity separation of solids within a clarifier. Gravity separation involves treating the wastewater with chemicals and then allowing the treated wastewater to sit in a tank until the suspended solids separate from the wastewater by gravity. These gravity separation systems typically require a minimum retention time of about 30 minutes even with enhanced solids separation techniques.

Thus, a need exists for a system and method for the treatment of wastewater that increases the speed at which the wastewater can be treated. Furthermore, a need also exists for a system and method for the treatment of wastewater that is fully automated. Further still, a need exists for a system and method for the treatment of wastewater that utilizes a minimum amount of chemicals to reduce pollutants and operating costs.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

These and other needs are met by the present invention, which is directed to a system and method for the treatment of wastewater. In one aspect, the invention can be a method of treating wastewater comprising: a) introducing wastewater having a first turbidity level into a wastewater treatment system; b) injecting an aqueous polymer mixture into the wastewater to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; c) removing the flocculated suspended solids from the wastewater to form a treated water having a second turbidity, the second turbidity being lower than the first turbidity; and wherein the aqueous polymer mixture of step b) is formed by introducing a raw polymer into a re-circulated portion of the treated water.

In another aspect the invention can be a method of treating wastewater comprising: a) introducing wastewater into a treatment line of a wastewater treatment system; b) injecting a first aqueous polymer mixture from a batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture that is stored in a tank into the treatment line to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; c) removing the flocculated suspended solids from the wastewater to form a treated water; d) monitoring a liquid level of the batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture in the tank; and e) upon the liquid level reaching a pre-determined lower threshold, forming an additional amount of the first aqueous polymer mixture and adding the additional amount of the first aqueous polymer mixture to the batch until the liquid level rises to a predetermined upper threshold.

In still another aspect, the invention can be a method of treating wastewater comprising: a) introducing wastewater into a treatment line of a wastewater treatment system; b) forming a batch of an aqueous polymer mixture in a tank, the batch having a maximum volume and the aqueous polymer mixture having a life cycle; c) injecting an aqueous polymer mixture from the batch into the treatment line at a flow rate to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; d) removing the flocculated suspended solids from the wastewater to form a treated water; and wherein the maximum volume is selected so that at least a single turnover of the batch is achieved within the life cycle of the aqueous polymer mixture.

In a still further aspect, the invention can be a method of treating wastewater comprising: a) introducing wastewater into a wastewater treatment system at a flow rate; b) measuring a turbidity level of the wastewater; c) injecting an aqueous polymer mixture into the wastewater at a flow rate to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; and wherein the flow rate of the aqueous polymer mixture injected into the wastewater in step c) is adjusted based on the measured turbidity level and the flow rate of the wastewater in step a).

In an even further aspect, the invention can be a method of treating wastewater comprising: a) flowing the wastewater along an axis; b) injecting a polymer into the wastewater at multiple injection points to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater, the multiple injection points arranged in a circumferentially spaced apart manner about the axis; and c) removing the flocculated suspended solids from the wastewater to form a treated water.

The invention may, in yet another aspect, be a method of flocculating suspended solids from wastewater comprising: a) flowing the wastewater along an axis through a polymer injector, the polymer injector comprising a plurality of injector nozzles arranged in a circumferentially spaced apart manner about the axis; and b) injecting an aqueous polymer mixture into the wastewater via the plurality of injector nozzles.

In yet another aspect, the invention can be a system for treating wastewater comprising: a treatment line having an inlet for introducing wastewater into the system and an outlet for discharging treated water from the system; a first polymer injector operably coupled to the treatment line to introduce a first aqueous polymer mixture into the treatment line to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; a separator operably coupled to the treatment line downstream of the first polymer injector to remove the flocculated suspended solids from the wastewater to form the treated water; a recirculation line operably coupled to the treatment line downstream of the separator and to the first polymer injector, the recirculation line recirculating at least a portion of the treated water; and wherein the system is configured to form the first aqueous polymer mixture from the recirculated portion of the treated water and a first raw polymer.

In a further aspect, the invention can be a system for treating wastewater comprising: a treatment line having an inlet for introducing wastewater into the system and an outlet for discharging treated water from the system; a first tank containing a batch of a first aqueous polymer mixture; a first liquid level sensor operably coupled to the first tank to monitor a liquid level of the batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture; a first polymer injector operably coupled to the first tank and the treatment line to introduce the first aqueous polymer mixture into the treatment line to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; and the system configured to: (1) form an additional amount of the first aqueous polymer mixture and add the additional amount of the first aqueous polymer mixture to the batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture upon the first liquid level sensor detecting that the liquid level of the batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture is at a pre-determined lower threshold; and (2) cease formation and addition of the additional amount of the first aqueous polymer mixture to the batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture upon the first liquid level sensor detecting that the liquid level of the batch of the first aqueous polymer mixture is at a pre-determined upper threshold.

In another aspect, the invention can be a system for treating wastewater comprising: a treatment line having an inlet for introducing wastewater into the system and an outlet for discharging treated water from the system; a first polymer tank containing a batch of a first aqueous polymer mixture, the batch having a maximum volume and the first aqueous polymer mixture having a life cycle; a first polymer injector operably coupled to the first polymer tank and the treatment line, the first polymer injector configured to introduce the first aqueous polymer mixture into the treatment line to flocculate suspended solids within the wastewater; and the system configured to achieve at least a single turnover of the maximum volume of the batch within the life cycle of the aqueous polymer mixture.

The invention may also, in another aspect, be a system for treating wastewater comprising: a treatment line having an inlet for introducing wastewater into the system at a flow rate and an outlet for discharging treated water from the system; a turbidity sensor operably coupled to the treatment line to measure a turbidity level of the wastewater; a first polymer injector operably coupled to the treatment line downstream of the turbidity sensor to introduce a first aqueous polymer mixture into the treatment line at a flow rate; and the system configured to automatically adjust the flow rate of the first aqueous polymer mixture injected into the treatment line based on the measured turbidity level and the flow rate of the wastewater.

In still another aspect, the invention can be a system for flocculating suspended solids in wastewater comprising: a conduit through which wastewater flows along an axis; a plurality of nozzles operably coupled to a source of a first polymer; and the plurality of nozzles arranged in a circumferentially spaced apart manner about the axis, the plurality of nozzles operably coupled to the conduit to inject the first polymer into the wastewater flowing through the conduit.

Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a trailer housing a wastewater treatment system according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a top view of the wastewater treatment system housed within the trailer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2B is a side view of the wastewater treatment system housed within the trailer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a wastewater treatment system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4A is a top view of a polymer injector in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4B is a side view of the polymer injector of FIG. 4A;

FIG. 5A is a top view of a polymer injector in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a side view of the polymer injector of FIG. 5A;

FIG. 6 is a schematic of an automatic polymer injection system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a schematic of a turbidity and pH monitoring system in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8A is a front view of a separator in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8B is a top view of the separator of FIG. 8A;

FIG. 9 is a schematic of a turbidity and pH monitoring system in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a schematic of a turbidity and pH monitoring system in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a side view of a trailer housing a wastewater treatment system in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12A is a top view of the wastewater treatment system housed within the trailer of FIG. 1;

FIG. 12B is a driver side view of the wastewater treatment system housed within the trailer of FIG. 11 illustrating the process flow;

FIG. 12C is a driver side view of the wastewater treatment system housed within the trailer of FIG. 11 illustrating the piping and conduits;

FIG. 12D is a passenger side view of the wastewater treatment system housed within the trailer of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a schematic diagram of a wastewater treatment system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a header that supplies an aqueous polymer to the polymer injectors of FIGS. 4A-5B.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE INVENTION

The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

The description of illustrative embodiments according to principles of the present invention is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description. In the description of embodiments of the invention disclosed herein, any reference to direction or orientation is merely intended for convenience of description and is not intended in any way to limit the scope of the present invention. Relative terms such as “lower,” “upper,” “horizontal,” “vertical,” “above,” “below,” “up,” “down,” “top” and “bottom” as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally,” “downwardly,” “upwardly,” etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description only and do not require that the apparatus be constructed or operated in a particular orientation unless explicitly indicated as such. Terms such as “attached,” “affixed,” “connected,” “coupled,” “interconnected,” and similar refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise. Moreover, the features and benefits of the invention are illustrated by reference to the exemplified embodiments. Accordingly, the invention expressly should not be limited to such exemplary embodiments illustrating some possible non-limiting combination of features that may exist alone or in other combinations of features; the scope of the invention being defined by the claims appended hereto.

Referring first to FIG. 1-2B, a trailer 10 for containing a wastewater treatment system 100 therein is illustrated. Thus, the present invention relates to a wastewater treatment system 100 that is housed within the trailer 10. Of course, in other embodiments the invention may merely be the wastewater treatment system 100 without being housed within the trailer 10. However, mounting the wastewater treatment system. 100 within the trailer 10 is desirable in certain embodiments because it facilitates movement of the wastewater treatment system 100 from site to site.

The trailer 10 is any type of housing that is large enough to contain the wastewater treatment system 100 therein and that is portable, or capable of being moved from one location to another. In one embodiment, the trailer 10 is fifty-three feet long, eight feet wide and thirteen feet high. Of course, the invention is not limited by the size of the trailer 10 in all embodiments. The trailer 10 can be connected to a truck, tractor or other motorized vehicle for transporting the trailer 10 to individual work sites. However, the invention is not so limited and in other embodiments the trailer 10 may itself contain a motor so that the trailer 10 can be driven by itself without the assistance of or attachment to a truck or other motorized vehicle. Thus, the trailer 10 may be any housing that has wheels for easy transportability or that can be easily mounted on another wheeled and motored vehicle for purposes of transporting the trailer 10 to a desired location.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120285894 A1
Publish Date
11/15/2012
Document #
13470915
File Date
05/14/2012
USPTO Class
210723
Other USPTO Classes
2101981
International Class
02F1/52
Drawings
20



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