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A southeastern United States textile mill wastewater was being treated in a standard activated sludge system, utilizing a 7,571 cubic meter (2 million gallon) “plugflow” aeration basin and two 946 m3 (1/4 million gallon) clarifiers. Effluent specifications were not being met. Investigative work included i) understanding the history of the system, ii) determining specific oxygen uptake rates (SOUR), and iii) testing mixed liquor at various points in the system to determine a COD profile throughout the system. The COD data indicated that most of the organic material in the influent wastewater was digested in the first part of the aeration basin but that some of the waste components required more digestion time under aeration than was being supplied. This suggests that a bimodal (or multimodal) distribution of waste was present, with some organic material being easily digestible and some being difficult or slow to break down (refractory organic material) in the biological system. Simply increasing time under aeration by 50% should provide the time needed to meet the effluent COD specification. At this writing, steps were being taken to recommission an idle 3,785 m3 (1 million gallon) aeration basin which would provide the needed 50% increase in aeration time.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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