Research Seminar: Efficacy of a Woodchip Bioreactor for Denitrification of Tertiary Effluent from the Bolton Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lake George, Warren Country, New York)
Chris Navitsky, of Lake George Waterkeeper, and Kathleen Suozzo, town of Bolton, New York consulting engineer, presented this webinar on their demonstration study of the application and efficacy of a woodchip bioreator installed in 2018 to combat excess levels of pollutant chemicals discharged from the Bolton water treatment plant. Excess nitrate-nitrogen and ammonia-nitrogen harms local biodiversity, ecology, and water quality and effects tributaries to Lake George and beyond into the Lake Champlain drainage basin.
Researchers studied the chemical makeup of wastewater discharged from the woodchip bioreactor and compared it to the wastewater not “treated” by the bioreactor as well as past water chemistry records from “treated” wastewater. The project included sampling of pH, temperature, and nitrate-nitrogen/ammonia-nitrogen levels from sampling sites in tributaries that flow into Lake George. Researchers found a 38 percent decrease in nitrate levels after effluent passes through the woodchip bioreactor.
The project was led by James Sutherland, administered by the Lake George Association, and also included outreach to educate communities, municipalities, and agencies across the drainage basins through field trips to the demonstration bioreactor site.
This seminar is part of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Research Seminar Series; it took place on January 26, 2022. This Lake Champlain Sea Grant-funded project, A Project to Evaluate the Efficacy of a Woodchip Bioreactor for Denitrification of Tertiary Effluent from the Bolton Wastewater Treatment Plant (Lake George, Warren Country, New York), was completed in December 2021.