Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Innovative Small-footprint/High-efficiency WWTP(ST6603-1)

Rockland County Sewer District


Drought conditions leading to low flow in the Ramapo River had restricted the use of a drinking-water well field, causing peak demand shortages in Rockland County. To maintain minimum flow requirements in the river and conserve scarce water resources, the Rockland County Sewer District No.1 (RCSD) needed to install new sewers and an advanced wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The County was interested in pilot testing two commercially-available technologies in a unique configuration to achieve enhanced settling and nitrogen removal, and ultimately, to produce re-use quality water.

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Project Description

The pilot-scale system combined a high-rate primary clarification process (coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation) with a membrane bio-reactor (MBR). Compared to a conventional WWTP, it was purported that the combined system would provide a higher level of treatment, including pathogen, nutrient, and toxic compound removal; generate reduced volumes of sludge; be capable of treating highly-variable flows;, have a smaller footprint;, and produce re-use quality effluent.


Energy savings from reduced pumping, sludge management, air handling, and disinfection, as well as superior wastewater treatment performance at economically-feasible costs.

Project Results

Laboratory, bench, and pilot-scale studies were performed to determine: 1) if the combined technologies were capable of producing re-use quality water; 2) the effects of chemical coagulant addition on membrane performance and fouling; and 3) if membrane bioreactor-based systems can be cost-effectively applied to treat municipal wastewater with varying biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) concentrations, nutrient loads, and temperatures, while meeting stringent reuse criteria. Although the study encountered a number of setbacks, including severe weather, equipment failures, and loss of technical support, the study was deemed a success. All goals and objectives of the study were achieved, and most of the expected outcomes were realized.


Rockland County Sewer District
No. 1 4 Route 340
Orangeburg, NY 10962

Principle Investigator

Marty Dolphin

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Waste Management and Pollution Prevention
Water/Wastewater treatment systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Kathleen O'Connor


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6603-1

Last Updated: 3/13/2012