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Influent wastewater toxicity can cause upsets in the performance of biological wastewater treatment systems. Such upsets can be avoided or minimized if influent wastewater is screened for toxicity and protective actions are taken. A continuous influent wastewater toxicity monitoring system was developed based on the genetically engineered bioluminescent bacterium Shk1. A field-scale demonstration of the system was in operation in a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Knoxville, Tennessee. The system recorded, at a rate of once per minute, toxicity measurements as indicated by the bioluminescence from Shk1. Peaks in influent toxicity were detected by the monitoring system during the period of operation. Data from the treatment plant showed that BOD removal was almost constant, but changes in influent toxicity as indicated by Shk1 were correlated with subsequent increases in effluent NH3 nitrogen concentration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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