Daigger Group Research

Treatment technologies form one of the core components of the “toolkit” that Environmental Engineers use to provide water of the quality needed for various purposes (often referred to as “fit for purpose” water), protect the environment, and extract resources from the water cycle. The Daigger Research Group builds on Dr. Daigger’s decades long experience developing and implementing treatment technologies and experience with higher performing water management systems to address real world treatment problems and further develop treatment technologies.

Characterizing the Performance and Operational Characteristics of the Bioreactors at the Detroit, MI, Wastewater Resources Recovery Facility

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Water Resources Recovery Facility (WRRF) is one of the ten largest WWRF’s in the world. Treating wastewater and stormwater from a service area with a population of over 3 million, it accomplishes primary treatment, secondary treatment, and phosphorus removal using ferric chloride. The ferric chloride dose used is quite low by conventional standards, and WRRF staff have observed system behavior suggesting that, in addition to chemical phosphorus removal, the secondary treatment system also accomplishes biological phosphorus removal. The Daigger research team is conducting a series of evaluations which have confirmed these observations, are further characterizing chemical and phosphorus removal at the GLWA facility, and are incorporating these results into a state-of-the-art treatment system process model. The near-term objective is to identify and characterize approaches to improve phosphorus removal performance while reducing resource (energy, chemicals) use. In the longer-term, this research provides the basis to assist GLWA to identify and implement approaches to significantly increase resource recovery at the facility.

Traverse City Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant Comma Shaped Gram Positive Bacteria Study

In 2004 Traverse City, MI implemented the world’s first large-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) wastewater treatment facility. The process operated as expected until 2011 when accelerated membrane system fouling associated with the appearance of a unique dispersed bacteria, referred to as comma-shaped gram positive. These increased fouling episodes continued periodically and, while the plant has continued to perform, they have negatively impacted plant operation. Since the Fall of 2016 the Daigger research group has been using advanced biological and chemical analysis techniques to identify the causes of these periodic increased fouling incidents. The results have identified the influent wastewater characteristics associated with these events and are assisting plant staff to identify sources. Having been the first, the Traverse City MBR is the longest operating MBR facility in the world for a technology that is being applied increasingly and which now numbers thousands of installations on a global basis. Thus, identifying causes for these fouling incidents can have important global significance.

Daijiang Environment Corporation

Daijiang Environment Corporation is a major water and wastewater service company headquarter in Nanjing, People’s Republic of China. Dr. Daigger services as the chair of the International Review Group for the Daijiang Environment’s research institute and is collaborating with them to develop new wastewater treatment technologies. Funding is provided for the more fundamental research, conducted at the University of Michigan, and for pilot- and demonstration-scale studies conducted at Daijiang Environment’s research facility near Nanjing. A novel anoxic suspended growth/membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology is current one that is under development. Advanced treatment facility operational control approaches using data mining and artificial intelligence are also under development.