Struvite Formation and its Locations

There are several locations in a wastewater treatment plant where struvite will form. The first location that may occur is from an accumulation in the piping, especially in the elbows where there is a great deal of turbulence. If there is the slightest build up and you attempt to remove the struvite unsuccessfully, struvite formation will occur within days on the small crystals still in the elbow. The same will hold true for the plant’s centrifuges, pumps, belts and other equipment where there is a high velocity of turbulence.
Wastewater treatment plants find Struvite crystal formations in many of the following areas:
Anaerobic digesters
Aeration assembly
Rollers of the Belt Press
Rotary drum filters
Screw presses
Belt presses
Places of high kinetic energy (turbulence)
Pipe connections - elbows
Internal pump components
Overflow box of the anaerobic digesters
Sludge transfer lines
It should also be noted that rough surface areas are also excellent nucleic sites for Struvite crystals. When Struvite is not 100% removed from external and internal surfaces, the remaining rough edges are where struvite and vivianite will form again.
Struvite Formation Tale Tell Signs
• A high pH is a warning for the potential to form struvite
• High conductivity increases the potential for formation
• Low temperatures foster the environment for formation
• Higher concentrations of ammonium, phosphate and magnesium