Kyle tapped for wastewater pilot program

A Colorado-based company has chosen Kyle as a location to conduct a pilot wastewater treatment program that could save the city money in the future.

BioDAF Water Technologies, based out of Golden, CO, will set up a pilot wastewater treatment program in Kyle. The move came after the Kyle City Council approved an agreement with BioDAF at the May 2 city council meeting.

Kyle is participating in the agreement to provide BioDAF the opportunity to test its technology at no risk to the city, said Jason Biemer, treatment operations division manager.

 “It’s a matter of, we have wastewater and they can set up and do their thing without interfering with us … That approach to technology in water and wastewater is the reason that we have as much technology as we do.” Jason Biemer, treatment operations division manager

The research program is an opportunity to see novel technology at use, and potentially consider if the technology could be used in the future, Biemer said.

“Seeing this technology work may give us some insight into our next expansion and being able to bring some of that technology in future iterations of our waste water plant expansion,” Biemer said.

The research program will take anywhere from 45 to possibly up to 90 days, depending on how BioDAF’s data acquisition goes, Biemer said.

BioDAF will pump some wastewater out of the city’s treatment plant, which will then go into a small clarification system, before it’s pumped back into the treatment plant. BioDAF would compare the wastewater before and after its treatment.

BioDAF’s process attaches micro air bubbles to material in the wastewater, dragging the material to the surface to form a froth of sludge that is mechanically removed.

Kyle’s wastewater treatment plant processes wastewater by settling materials at the bottom, Biemer said.

“The process itself is almost opposite of the way we do it,” Biemer said.

The technology has potential, if approved by TCEQ, to reduce cost for wastewater treatment plants when building a new plant or expanding a plant.

By reducing the square footage needed for a wastewater treatment plant, the technology could reduce construction cost.

BioDAF will gather data during the research to submit to TCEQ for approval of its technology, but the vetting process could take one or two years.

Everybody gains scientific knowledge and understanding of what this technology does and doesn’t do from the process, Biemer said.

“If it looks awesome and it looks like something we’re interested in, then in five or ten years when we come out for another plant expansion, we have in-house knowledge of a technology that is not conventional,” Biemer said.

As the current wastewater treatment plant expansion is partially designed, and BioDAF’s technology has not been approved by TCEQ, city officials could not consider using the technology in the immediate future.

What’s the impact?

Kyle is planning to possibly increase capacity of its wastewater treatment plant from 3.0 million gallons per day (MGD) to 4.5 MGD. The project is estimated to have a $17 million price tag for construction and is expected to go online in 2019. 

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