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Water and Wastewater Plant Directory
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York, Pennsylvania, USA
York Wastewater Treatment Plant
1701 Blackbridge Road
York, Pennsylvania, 17402

Contact Information:
Contact:  Mike Page
Email:  mpage@yorkcity.org
Telephone:  717-845-2794

Plant Operation: Municipal

Processing: Wastewater

Web site:

Plant/Process Description:
The 26-mgd wastewater treatment plant is owned by the York City Sewer Authority and operated by group of dedicated professionals of the City of York. Wastewater from the City and all or portions of North York Borough, West York Borough, Manchester Township, West Manchester Township, York Township, and Spring Garden Township is sent to our facility. The wastewater treatment plant consistently meets the limits placed on it by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Preliminary Treatment

The first step in treating the wastewater entering the treatment plant is to remove RAGS (things like paper towels) and GRIT (sand and gravel).

This is a two step process. First, the rags and other large material are removed using bar screens. The Bar Screens have narrow slits that capture this material, while letting the wastewater pass through to the next stage of treatment. The debris is removed in this stage of treatment so it will not interfere with the other stages further downstream.

The cyclone degritters remove sand and grit from the wastewater. This prevents wear and tear on pumps and piping within the rest of the treatment facility.

Primary Treatment

The primary treatment process consists of a series of tanks that allows the separation of heavy solids (fecal matter) and floating solids (greases and oils) from the wastewater. The primary clarifiers are sized to permit enough detention time so that large solid material settles to the bottom of the tanks. These solids are then continually scraped from the bottom and transferred to the anaerobic digesters for further treatment.

Greases and oils are collected from the surface of these tanks and are also conveyed to the anaerobic digesters.

Secondary Treatment

In secondary treatment the majority of pollutants are removed. This treatment phase utilizes micro- organisms to remove the food and nutrients (pollutants) that are found in wastewater.

As the wastewater enters this particular phase of treatment, the micro-organisms are introduced. Then an anoxic or low dissolved oxygen zone follows. Next, this liquor is aerated so the dissolved oxygen can be increased to allow nitrification and biological phosphate reduction to occur.

The York facility, through a patented process and tank design, is able to have these micro- organisms metabolize the organic matter and convert ammonia to nitrates. The process also allows the micro-organisms to uptake ortho- phosphates into their cells.

After the aeration stages, the mixed liquor (micro-organisms and wastewater) enter the secondary clarifiers. Here the velocity of the wastewater is slowed to allow for the biomass to clump together and settle to the bottom while allowing the clean water to flow over the tank weirs. Large pumps return the micro-organisms from the bottom of these secondaries and return them to the beginning of the secondary treatment phase to start the cycle all over again.

During secondary treatment the micro-organisms reproduce in great numbers. To keep the system in check a portion of these critters removed through a wasting process. This sludge is thickened in our dissolved air floatation thickener and this thickened material is sent to the anaerobic digesters.

Sand Filtration & Ultraviolet Disinfection

Sand Filtration

In 1990, the York WWTP installed 5 shallow bed sand filters which removed any remaining particulate matter after secondary treatment. These filters were capable of treating a maximum peak flow of 42 mgd. Effluent leaving the Sand Filters typically had suspended solids concentrations of less than 5 mg/l. In 2000, the sand filters were modified with a more efficient under drain and backwash system. The maximum peak flow through these units is now 55 mgd. Cost of this renovation was $3,000,000 less than adding additional filters to handle the new peak flows.

Ultraviolet Disinfection

An ultraviolet light system is used to disinfect the effluent that leaves the sand filter process. In 2001 the existing system was upgraded to the Trojan UV3000 Plus . Unlike our previous Trojan Technologies system, the 3000Plus series utilizes a low pressure-high intensity lamp. This enabled the York facility to reduce the number of lamps needed for disinfection from 1728 to 768.

The UV light inhibits any bacteria from replicating, thus making them harmless. This system has proven to be much safer than Chlorine, while being more cost effective. No toxic chemical needs to be added in the disinfection process. In addition, the 3000 series also has automatic wipers so operators do not have to spend time cleaning the lamps, thus saving on labor costs.

York City Sewer Authority
Web site:  http://www.yorkcity.org/gov/boardsauthorities/index.htm
Operating Company:
York City Sewer Authority
Web site:  http://www.yorkcity.org/gov/boardsauthorities/index.htm

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