PH Control Wastewater Treatment System Design and Permitting Assistance
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A pharmaceutical client's industrial wastewater pre-treatment system was not meeting discharge limits for pH. Geosyntec provided technical support for a Pre-Hearing Brief relating to a Notice of Violation for pH exceedances. Key causes of pH exceedances were identified including lack of flow equalization and inadequate design of the pH treatment system.

Geosyntec developed and implemented a sampling plan to evaluate wastewater characteristics. Issues included high five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia (NH3), and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) concentrations. Geosyntec reviewed chemical, physical, and biological pre-treatment options, and designed a chemical and physical treatment system to adjust the pH and TSS. Geosyntec worked with the regulators to raise the wastewater discharge limits for BOD5, TSS and ammonia to avoid expensive biological treatment system or surcharge fees. The new pre-treatment system consisted of a new equalization basin, a two-stage pH control system and bag-filtration.


  • Provided technical support for a Pre-Hearing Brief relating to a Notice of Violation for pH exceedances
  • Identified key causes of pH violations
  • Developed an integrated, phased approach to compliance, which involved a permit modification and the construction of a new treatment system
  • Negotiated higher discharge limits for BOD5, COD, NH3, and TKN
  • Developed a Technology Evaluation Report based on treatment performance and cost criteria
  • Conducted treatability testing to confirm design parameters and developed a basis of design report
  • Developed an equalization tank design for consistent wastewater characteristics
  • Provided detailed design services including construction specifications for the new treatment system
  • Provided geotechnical services and a focused feasibility study for the foundation designs of the new system
  • Assisted with sewer and discharge permit negotiations with the city, local publicly owned treatment works (POTW) and state regulators
  • Assisted with air permitting

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Project Summary

  • Location: Confidential
  • Client: Confidential
  • Project Practice Areas: Water & Wastewater
  • Type of Facility: Industrial
  • Services Provided: Wastewater Treatment System Design and Permitting Assistance
  • Type of Work: System design and permitting assistance
  • Governing Regulation: State and local regulations