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Wastewater Research & Innovation Facility

The Center for Clean Water Technology is developing a new Wastewater Research & Innovation Facility (WRIF), a testing site for advanced nutrient removal systems to be used as alternatives to traditional on-site septic systems. In order to conduct the research, a constant supply of domestic wastewater is required. The Suffolk County Department of Public Works (SCDPW) facility at Parson’s Drive is the site of an existing wastewater pumping station, and is located approximately two miles from the Stony Brook University campus. The existing pump station consists of an influent wet well, which pumps influent wastewater to an equalization tank. Raw influent will be pumped to the treatment facility where various research and development will take place.

parson's trailerThis facility is currently under construction. Construction phases 1 and 2 have already been completed. This includes the purchase, delivery and setting of construction type temporary trailers including a column test trailer and a bench test trailer, and the pre-purchase of equipment for installation. Phase 3, with an anticipated completion in July 2019, will include the installation, construction, and emplacement of permanent operation equipment and a piping system to make a fully functional research facility.

Large columns will be used for nitrifying raw influent coming from the SCDPW reservoir and smaller columns underneath will be used for testing various parameters of denitrification, including material type (e.g., wood chips versus saw dust, optimization of flow and loading parameters, etc.). The smaller trailer will provide a source of raw influent to various experiments being undertaken by the research assistants involved in this project.


  • Evaluate different materials (sand, woodchips, biochar, etc) for improving nitrification/denitrification in NRBs, thus reducing footprint;
  • Evaluate woodchip longevity;
  • Evaluate loading rates in an effort to reduce footprint;
  • Understand how they function, physically, chemically, and biologically, in an effort to improve efficiency, thus reducing footprint;
  • Explore saturated versus unsaturated conditions and the influence this has in nitrification/denitrification.


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