There are some exciting developments going on at Ecologix, especially on the international front. We’re in the final stages of starting up the 2.65 million gallon per day sewage treatment facility at Russky Island, Russia. The island has been under development for over two years in preparation for hosting APEC 2012. Here’s a short blurb about the organization from the official APEC 2012 website.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was founded in November 1989 as an informal consultative forum to promote economic cooperation. At present it includes 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific region: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; the People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Viet Nam. After admitting Russia, Viet Nam and Peru in 1998, APEC imposed a moratorium on the forum’s expansion, which was extended in 2010. APEC members account for 57% of the world’s GDP, 48% of international trade, over 40% of direct foreign investment and about 40% of the world’s population.
Russky Island is expected to house over 30,000 residents at the new Far Eastern Federal University campus and surrounding areas. With over $6 billion in investment set aside for infrastructure and development, Russky Island stands as a new pillar of modernism in the Far East.
Ecologix was tasked with the responsibility to design and deliver a feat of modern infrastructure on top of unturned earth. After evaluating geo-technical studies, local resources, budgets, and treatment options, our team arrived at a unique solution for handling the millions of gallons of wastewater that stand to be treated on Russky Island everyday.
When asked to envision a sewage treatment plant, most people either have little concept of what one looks like, or if they do recollect an image, they see broad, circular concrete basins. When Ecologix was approached to contribute to the project planning, that same image is the one to which most of the other players were holding.
The plan was to drill several hundred feet into the ground and build what’s called a “Deep-Shaft Biological Reactor”. Essentially, you dig a vertical well, fill it with sewage water, add a ton of air and allow the microbial bacteria in the water to consume the contaminants until the water is relatively clean. Deep-Shaft Bio-reactors work very well and installations can be found in places around the world, the only downside is, they’re exorbitantly expensive. Think about it – drill a 300-foot well, line it with steel reinforced concrete, plumb it, pipe it, and integrate an array of gigantic aeration blowers to deliver the oxygen. When the thing goes down for maintenance, expect to shell out big bucks.
Ecologix proposed a different approach, one which would save millions in capital and O&M expenses. We suggested our Integrated Bio-Reactor (IBR) design. It operates on the same principles found in many biological treatment systems, however, it is made of steel and built above ground. That means, no well, no reinforced concrete, less piping, smaller blowers – you get the idea. You see, it doesn’t necessarily require a 300-foot deep shaft to treat sewage water, what you need is enough time to deliver the right amount of air into the water. The IBR design does just that, it allows for sufficient contact time to let the microbes do their job. The TSS and BOD levels are reduced to low enough values to allow for safe discharge into surface waterways. We’ve also added a few further treatment processes that make the water safe for irrigation.
From crap to clean, poop to pristine, sewage treatment isn’t glamorous but it’s an absolute necessity. Overhauling sewage treatment with modern technology just makes good sense – it’s simpler, safer, more efficient, and most important, it’s better for our environment.
Ecologix’s contribution to the development of Russky Island is not one that we expect to draw large crowds of tourists and street vendors selling nesting dolls, we do, however, think of the infrastructure with pride as every person who hears “nature’s call” while at Russky Island, will have benefited, albeit indirectly, from our efforts.
If you’d like to learn a little more about the Integrated Bio-Reactor for sewage treatment or see a few more pictures, go here.