Programs / What We Want - Solutions



YES. Franklin can reduce its phosphorus discharges with existing, affordable technology and techniques.


Leading national experts and TDEC’s own expert on sewer plant optimization say that Franklin can substantially reduce phosphorus (and other) pollution at little, if any, additional cost. 

Dr. Clifford W. Randall, PhD, DIST.M. ASCE, HON.M. AAEES, The C. P. Lunsford Professor Emeritus, of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech University, one of the nation’s leading experts on sewer plant operation, says that relatively modest operational changes could substantially reduce phosphorus pollution:

…I am puzzled why such a high permissible P effluent concentration is in the Permit, considering … the new plant can achieve an effluent P concentration of 0.53 mg/L, if not lower, without the use of chemicals…

Operation of BNR [biological nutrient reduction] processes is not at all difficult. Many other operations teams achieve similar results across the country. In short, technology exists that – and the new Franklin plant, if operated properly, can reduce phosphorus to levels that should prevent massive algae (green and blue-green) blooms.

Technology to meet effluent requirements of less than 0.3 mg/L are well known and widely in use…These techniques have been in wide spread use since the early 1980’s, and are very well developed.

The above changes will reduce the cost of wastewater treatment compared to [current operational methods]...

Dr. JoAnn Burkholder, PhD, Professor and Director, North Carolina State University Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology, and a leading national expert on aquatic algae, says that:

[Substantial reductions in phosphorus discharges from the Franklin sewer plant] can be accomplished…The existing facility could be operated to discharge P concentrations below 0.3 mg/L by adding P precipitating chemicals such as ferric chloride and alum…Biological P removal (BPR)…can reliably produce effluent soluble P concentrations below 0.1 mg/L. The U.S. EPA (2007) published a fact sheet on biological nutrient removal technologies and costs, which indicated that effluent P concentrations could be removed down to 0.1 mg/L with technologies that existed eight years ago. Tetra Tech (2013) has published a guide for P removal down to 0.1 mg/L as well.

Clean Water Ops, TDEC's expert on sewer plant optimization (the process of operating a sewer plant better), says that:

At your request, I have reviewed Franklin's Nutrient Removal Optimization Plan and have great news for all involved: educated, relatively simple changes in day-to-day operations will allow Franklin staff to measurably reduce phosphorus at little to no expense…I have outlined three strategies for implementing biological phosphorus removal using existing equipment.

Harpeth Conservancy also obtained the City’s promise to prioritize the installation of an alternative technology, the addition of chemicals to remove phosphorus, in its 2016 Settlement Agreement.

Franklin can optimize its sewage treatment plant for phosphorus removal with relatively little effort and cost, and has declared a commitment to do so. In fact, Franklin has already shown significant success in reducing its phosphorus output - CLICK HERE to learn more.