Ocean County Utilities Authority choses artificial intelligence for high-efficiency wastewater treatment

An automated solution for polymer dosage cuts costs for sludge treatment

The challenge: 

Shorten reaction time to changing sludge conditions

Ocean County Utilities Authority (OCUA) is a regional wastewater reclamation company headquartered in Bayville, New Jersey, USA. It operates three wastewater treatment facilities and serves a total of 36 municipalities in both Ocean County and Monmouth County (including New Jersey‘s Point Pleasant Beach, pictured). The collection system consists of 40 pumping stations, approximately 200 miles of force main and gravity lines, and three ocean outfall lines.

Additionally, the Authority produces OCEANGRO®, a valuable organic nitrogen fertilizer. The Bayville wastewater treatment plant has been operated by ANDRITZ for more than 20 years as part of a fruitful long-term partnership. The wastewater is treated on three ANDRITZ belt filter presses and two ANDRITZ DDS 40. However, given their many other tasks, rapid changes in sludge conditions cannot always be managed by the operating team. Fluctuations in the characteristics of incoming sludge are, therefore, an ideal case for a smart automation system. In order to improve plant efficiency at Bayville, ANDRITZ specialists proposed deployment of the latest AI-driven state-of the-art technology - Metris addIQ RheoScan.

How can artificial intelligence support high-efficiency wastewater treatment while cutting costs?

Our solution: 

The next-generation Metris addIQ RheoScan brings AI to sludge treatment

As a long-term partner, it was the logical choice for ANDRITZ separation experts to suggest a smart separation solution The world’s first optical measurement system that detects sludge viscosity during thickening and dewatering processes, Metris addIQ RheoScan, is supported with AI. Thanks to the remote access capabilities of the Metris addIQ RheoScan platform, ANDRITZ easily overcame the many hurdles associated with COVID-19 (travel restrictions, lockdowns).

Together with the customer, ANDRITZ was able to install and start up the system successfully in the shortest possible time. Metris addIQ RheoScan uses a convolutional neural network (CNN) and can easily be trained to classify particular areas of sludge. If the sludge is too wet, the system will increase the polymer content, and if it is too dry, it will reduce it. This results in optimum dosage rates for any specific sludge requirement and every condition.


Automation delivers huge efficiency gains

With the installation of Metris addIQ RheoScan, it was immediately possible to reduce the total polymer consumption by 14.4%. Furthermore, real-time, automatic adjustment of the polymer dosage rates had an instant impact on the overall efficiency at the plant. Sludge cake dryness from the belt presses varies during the year and has a direct influence on the process.

Thanks to the RheoScan, the cake dryness variation was reduced significantly. Metris addIQ RheoScan increased plant reliability and improved the stability of machine operations. The high degree of automation also translates into greater plant efficiency as fewer operator hours are needed for sludge treatment, freeing up personnel to focus on revenue-generating processes.


"As the first users on the American continent of this innovative product, we were happy to help get the system up and running. Thanks to the excellent cooperation with our long-term partner ANDRITZ, we were able to increase operating stability and efficiency to get the best result for our OCEANGRO® customers."


Senior Director, Operations and Maintenance, Ocean County Utilities Authority

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  • AI for high-efficiency wastewater treatment

    An automated solution for polymer dosage cuts costs for sludge treatment

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