Tuesday, 29 March 2022 17:46

How Does a WWTP Design Software Help Water Engineering?

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Designing a WWTP (wastewater treatment plant) is complex, with many interactive steps. Change one thing, and it affects something else that needs to be readjusted, so the process is iterative.

Doing all this with traditional manual methods is a long process, often occupying weeks or even months. Transcend Water has a water engineering tool that shortcuts all this repetitive work and can turn out a preliminary process and plant design in as little as 8 hours. When a community finally faces the need for a wastewater treatment plant, it becomes an emergency project in most cases. The long manual design process can create an intolerable wait time to get the project underway. The design generator Transcend has developed can be a life-saver in such situations. This article discusses the traditional engineering methods and the solution that can put plant engineers’ and owners’ minds at ease.

Water Engineering the Old Way

A wastewater treatment plant design involves several engineering disciplines. Mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, and process engineers all have input to the design. Each time one of them makes a calculation, the result of that calculation becomes an input to the other engineers’ work.

The process can be likened to a group of financial analysts and accountants working on complex financial analysis. Making the best decision based on that analysis depends on examining multiple scenarios and comparing the outcomes from different inputs. If the financial experts do these calculations manually, they must repeat the whole calculation process each time an input changes. 

Enter the Transcend Design Generator

The calculations in each repetition in the financial scenario are identical, so they lend themselves very well to automation. The development of computerized spreadsheets that perform all the math in a couple of seconds resulted in tremendous time savings and better decisions since it became a simple matter to change a parameter and see quickly how the change affected the result.

In a more complex way, Transcend Water’s Design Generator (TDG) is analogous to a financial spreadsheet. The myriad interdependent water engineering calculations involved in designing a wastewater treatment plant lend themselves readily to automation. Transcend's expert water engineering team saw this opportunity and created that automation. The design generator brings together all the engineering disciplines involved in a WWTP design. The resulting SaaS app takes basic design parameters and generates a preliminary process and plant design.

Inputs to the design generator include:

  • Feedwater flow rates and contaminant levels.
  • Contaminant limits in the effluent.
  • Characteristics of the site - space available, elevations, etc.
  • Ambient temperatures and other weather factors.
  • Process choices, if you have a preference - if not, the design generator will select a process that gets the job done given the input parameters.

The design generator develops an initial preliminary process and plant design from the input data, including material and supply needs, and capex and opex. 

Suppose you want to see how a stormwater surge, drought, “slug” of some particular contaminant, or other condition changes will affect the design. In that case, the design generator can quickly recalculate the design based on the new input.

The Transcend Design Generator has won high acclaim worldwide, catapulting Transcend to a leadership position in the business of water engineering. Significant benefits of using this tool are: 

  • Advancing the date when plant construction can begin. In most wastewater treatment plant projects, time is of the essence.
  • Giving water engineering teams their lives back. Traditional methods have them working day and night to hurry their results. The design generator takes away their nightmares, not their jobs.
  • Better choices are made in the selection of processes and other options. Without the TDG, there may be insufficient time to consider everything you’d like to.

In summary, design teams working with traditional manual methods take more time to develop a WWTP design than plant owners and developers are comfortable with. If you then want to consider the effect of parameter changes on the design, engineers working with manual methods will extend that delay even more.

Transcend Water’s design generator moves projects along on schedule and at the same time provides better decision-making information. Learn more about this tool and discuss your water engineering needs with Transcend’s experts.

 
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