Vermifiltration of Dairy Wastewater for Reuse: The Earthworm Revolution
AuthorPatton, Catherine Marie
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractWastewater treatment is a problem of great importance to arid climates like the American Southwest, but common processes often require many treatment chemicals and high energy use. The purpose of this project was to design a process to remediate 600,000 gallons/day of wastewater from the Shamrock Dairy treatment plant in Phoenix, AZ. Vermifiltration was chosen as a chemical-free and low energy treatment process to remove BOD, COD, and TSS. A vermifiltration experiment was run confirming high contaminant removal (~85% TOC) in an 8 hour retention time. The process design included solid liquid separation, vermicomposting, cooling, and vermifiltration. A full economic and environment analysis was done, leading to the recommendation that the process be built without the solid liquid separation and vermicomposting, and that research on worm species such as the Indian Blue Worm (Perionyx excavates) be done to investigate their ability to remediate wastewater in the 25-30°C temperature range for reduced cooling requirements. With these improvements the process would be an economically sustainable and very environmentally friendly solution for remediation of dairy waste water.