City of Chico and Ekster and Associates Inc. win a prestigious 2020 Top Project Award from Water and Waste Digest

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Water and Waste Digest awarded the highly coveted 2020 Top Project Award to the City of Chico and Ekster and Associates, Inc for implementing an ammonia control project at the Chico wastewater treatment plant. This project was awarded for saving more than 50% of the energy, removing considerably more nutrient pollutants than before, and improving treatment reliability. The cost of…

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Water and Waste Digest awarded the highly coveted 2020 Top Project Award to the City of Chico and Ekster and Associates, Inc for implementing an ammonia control project at the Chico wastewater treatment plant. This project was awarded for saving more than 50% of the energy, removing considerably more nutrient pollutants than before, and improving treatment reliability. The cost of wastewater treatment in Chico was reduced by more than $100/million gallons ($200,000/year). This project also reduces greenhouse emissions by the amount equal to annual emissions from more than 170 vehicles. 

The City has achieved these impressive results by embracing a «Big Data» based control system provided by Ekster and Associates Inc. Ekster’s control systems replace traditional proportional integral derivative (PID) control with a combination of state-of-the-art machine learning with the model predictive control. Technical Director of Ekster and Associates, Philip Morgan Medal recipient Dr. Alex Ekster, P.E., says,» Our company developed an entirely new approach to optimization and automation of wastewater treatment processes. It dramatically improves the quality of the treated water, provides significant energy savings, and increases plant capacity while keeping capital investment at a minimum. Results of the Chico project will be used as the benchmark by the wastewater treatment industry worldwide.»

The project had its share of financial, technical, and logistical challenges.  These challenges were discussed during the interview with project participants – https://www.wwdmag.com/videos/automatic-ammonia-control-2020-wwd-top-projects and described in the December edition of Water and Waste Digest – https://www.wwdmag.com/automatic-ammonia-control 

The Top Project Award is given annually to the ten best projects in the water and waste management industry. According to Water and Waste Digest, this year’s winning projects «have a sense of purpose for their communities and customers. They are intricate and detailed, but ultimately serve the municipality’s end-users in the best way with trusted technology.»

Ekster and Associates Inc. was founded in Fremont, California, in 2000. The company’s flagship control systems SRTmasterTM and DO/NmasterTM proved to save up to 60% of energy, up to 50% of chemicals, increase plant capacity up to 30%, improve nutrient removal, control foam and filamentous bulking, and reduce treated water turbidity. Only in the San Francisco Bay Area, the total capacity of plants utilizing Ekster’s control systems exceeds 500 million gallons a day. 

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SOURCE Ekster and Associates Inc