This paper describes the approach taken by SBR Technologies, Inc and Perma-Fix Environmental Services to analyze a full-scale continuous flow biological wastewater treatment facility owned by Perma-Fix, a commercial waste treater (CWT). The biological treatment system consists of one
400,000 gallon (referred to as “VDR”) and one 125,000 gallon tank (referred to as “SBR”) operating in series. The 400,000 gallon tank received the raw wastewater, and the tank effluent overflowed to a clarifier. The sludge from the clarifier was returned to the 400,000
gallon tank while the clarifier supernatant flowed to the 125,000 gallon tank, which was operated as an intermittent cycle extended aeration system (ICEAS) (i.e., a continuous inflow with intermittent discharge). Typical influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations were between 25,000
and 50,000 mg/L. As a hazardous waste CWT, however, the influent varied widely depending on the raw waste received that week. Effluent from the system typically had a COD between 15,000 to 30,000 mg/L, and a suspended solids (SS) concentration between 1,500 and 2,500 mg/L. The
effluent SS were mainly microorganisms that did not settle in the clarifier or reactor. This lack of sludge settlability along with low COD removal efficiencies (i.e., from 25 to 50 percent) caused the facility to investigate alternatives to the existing continuous flow system. SBR Technologies
was hired by Perma-Fix to improve the performance of the biological treatment facility.
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