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IDEAL Solution

FAQ - Easy Answers to Hard Questions

Intermittently Decanted Extended Aeration Lagoon (IDEAL™)

What is IDEAL?

 IDEAL stands for Intermittently Decanted Extended Aeration Lagoon that delivers advanced treatment and nutrient removal in an earthen basin. The IDEAL Bioreactor is able to accomplish this performance by combining long sludge age with a batch process and incorporating attached growth media. The IDEAL process is the IDEAL Bioreactor in combination with a partial mix pond and quiescent zone for hassle-free solids separation and storage. Several other configurations are available to meet site-specific and/or effluent quality criteria

What are the benefits of combining an extended aeration design with a batch process?

Extended aeration designs deliver high ammonia treatment performance, process stability, and low sludge yield. Batch processes eliminate the need for sludge recycle and additional infrastructure requirements. By combining the two and focusing on treatment at the front of the plant, the IDEAL Bioreactor is able to provide nitrate and total nitrogen removal with enough capacity to handle highly variable flows.

What are the benefits of combining attached and suspended biomass?

Suspended biomass is known for providing robust treatment under variable loading conditions. Attached growth biomass has the ability to nitrify under very cold conditions. The combination raises the overall biomass concentration in the reactor and provides sustained high levels of treatment under highly variable or extreme process conditions.

How does the IDEAL Bioreactor differ from a conventional SBR?

 The patented IDEAL is a hybrid extended aeration/batch process that accepts constant influent but has a batch release of effluent. The IDEAL uses a prolonged SRT and low F:M ratio that is not normally cost-effective in conventional SBR, and the simple, balanced solids management protocols provided with the IDEAL process minimizes solids management. IDEAL also incorporates the patented BioReef™ BioCurtain as a biologically active hydraulic buffer that addresses short circuiting potential, provides contact stabilization during settling and decant cycles, and increases biomass in the reactor.

How does the IDEAL Bioreactor manage peak flows and storm surges?

 The IDEAL is designed to accommodate hourly peak flows during each and every cycle. The configuration of the primary reactor is sized to handle most storm and surge flows without any change in the process. The IDEAL includes a storm cycle for peaks that exceed the design capacity for the plant. If the water in the IDEAL reaches a critical level, an alarm is triggered, the blowers shut off, and the sludge is allowed to settle. This allows storm water to pass through the settled sludge blanket and first BioCurtain for contact treatment, and then over the sludge blanket and second BioCurtain to eliminate washout of the reactor. The storm cycle ends once the water level drops, and aeration will reset accordingly.

Does the IDEAL Bioreactor remove ammonia?  Even in the winter?

 The IDEAL has demonstrated the ability to remove ammonia to less than 0.05 mg/L even when the water in the IDEAL was below 3°C! The IDEAL may be thermally insulated to minimize reactor cooling if extremely low temperatures are anticipated.

Will EDI guarantee winter ammonia removal?

Yes, a full guarantee is provided based on proper review of project conditions, system design options, and operational variables.

How much maintenance is necessary with the IDEAL Process?

 No regular operator input is needed for process performance. It relies on similar hardware and operational requirements as a typical CM/PM lagoon system. Regular equipment checks and monitoring are recommended as with any process.

What sort of product training and support does EDI offer on the IDEAL Process?

 Every IDEAL comes with onsite operator training during start-up and a biannual system tune-up program for the first two years of operation.  In addition, EDI’s Aeration Works provides long-term maintenance contracts and extended warranties to meet the needs of clients.

What happens if additional effluent criteria are enacted, such as total nitrogen or phosphorous?

 The IDEAL process represents no lost investment if effluent criteria become more stringent. The IDEAL is easily adjusted to increase initial total nitrogen removal by managing blower function according to DO concentration. Phosphorous and particulates affecting BOD, TSS, organic nitrogen, etc. can be addressed by adding coagulant and/or downstream filtration. Bottom line: there are easy add-ons available that do not require modifying the core treatment process.

IDEAL Features and Benefits
IDEAL Energy Savings
IDEAL Case Studies
EDI Corporate Profile
IDEAL Information Packet