Brief Introduction to Beijing’s Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant

July 30th, 2010 by

Beijing Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant is not only the largest of Beijing Municipality’s 15 wastewater treatment plants; it is also currently the largest wastewater treatment plant in China. It serves a population of 2.4 million people and has a daily capacity of 100,000 cubic meters (26.4 million gallons/day), processing about 40% of Beijing Municipality’s total wastewater volume. When the plant was built in the 1990’s, national standards for phosphorous and nitrogen in treated effluent had not yet been set, so that treated wastewater did not meet criteria for even the national level V (not suitable for use in agriculture) surface water standard because of high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. Since then, the plant’s secondary treatment facilities are undergoing modifications which will allow approximately 530,000 cubic meters/ day to be treated to national 4 standard for surface water (suitable for industrial use and other uses not in direct contact with humans) and 470,000 cubic meters/day to be treated to national 3 standard for surface water (suitable for aquaculture and recreation purposes) In the US, mostly all WWTPs’ effluents meet China’s Level II standard for surface water.

Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant in Beijing processes about 40% of Beijing Municipality’s total wastewater volume and features primary and secondary treatment, methane gas utilization and sludge processing facilities.

In addition to its primary and secondary treatment facilities, Beijing Gaobeidian WWTP also boasts facilities to process and collect the methane gas produced during the anaerobic digestion processes. According to the plant’s materials, a portion of the generated biogas is used internally to make the Gaobeidian’s wastewater treatment processes even more energy efficient (for example as a substitute for natural gas to heat the wastewater digesting processes), and the rest is sold back to Beijing’s energy grid. Some background information about how methane gas generated from wastewater treatment is utilized in the US can be found here.

Built as a demonstrative example for wastewater treatment all over China, Gaobeidian WWTP also has a greenhouse ecosystem on premise that utilizes the Level III standard effluent to as a reclaimed water source. According to reports, after the Beixiaohe WWTP (one of the 15 originally planned WWTP plants for Beijing’s development) was completed in 2007, Beijing reached a reclaimed water usage rate of 50%. As mentioned in a previous post, there are also more and more regulations being passed about the usage of reclaimed water for landscaping and waterscaping purposes in Beijing. As such regulation develops, it is critical that the appropriate advances in wastewater treatment technology are made in order to support such regulation.

One Response to “Brief Introduction to Beijing’s Gaobeidian Wastewater Treatment Plant”

  1. Zach Soenksen says:

    me like what you doing to water

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