Alexandria Renew Enterprises Launches Full-Scale ANAMMOX® Sidestream Facility Innovative Water Cleaning Process to Reduce Chemical Use and Save Energy

Press Release Date: 
May 8, 2015 – ALEXANDRIA, VA

Alexandria Renew Enterprises announced today that an innovative process to help clean wastewater will begin operations this week. The ANAMMOX based DEMON® treatment uses microbes – also known as red bugs. AlexRenew is the first in the nation to design a full-scale sidestream deammonification system.

Anammox exists in the natural environment and is safe for use in the wastewater treatment process. The application is used in Europe and Asia with excellent results. AlexRenew was an innovator in the field in the United States, conducting a pilot program in 2008 with DC Water, CH2M Hill, New York Department of Environmental Protection, and others.

The use of anammox bacteria has the potential to create up to 25 percent savings on energy and chemicals when compared to conventional wastewater cleaning processes. The process will also reduce the number of trucks delivering chemicals to the water resource recovery center located near historic Old Town Alexandria.

The sidestream anammox operation is part of AlexRenew’s State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program (SANUP) and is a key component of the Centrate Pre-treatment Facility (CPT). Using huge centrifuges, machines with rapidly rotating containers that apply centrifugal force to their contents, ammonia-rich wastewater is extracted from solids and placed in the CPT, where the anammox and other microbes go to work converting ammonia in dirty water into nitrogen gas that is safely released back into the atmosphere.

The next steps in the use of anammox will be to learn more and optimize the process, and then begin testing for mainstream operations, which could lead to even greater cost savings.

“Starting to use anammox reflects our focus on being an innovator. We are proud to be introducing anammox to our operations to clean the Alexandria community’s dirty water,” said Alexandria Renew CEO Karen Pallansch.

“The knowledge we gain from the implementation and maintenance of this process has the potential to be the industry standard. Eventually, we want to test the process in our mainstream operations, which could lead to even greater savings—great news for our customers, the community, and the environment,” she concluded.