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This study investigates the release of phosphorus during dewatering operations of EBPR systems. On site and laboratory measurements were performed on sludges from a full-scale 88- MGD plant which removes phosphorus biologically. Soluble COD, TP, and OP measurement were made along the sludge handling system. In the laboratory, thickened primary and thickened secondary sludges and their mixture were evaluated for phosphorus release. Phosphorus release was also investigated on aerated sludge mixtures. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that, in addition to anaerobic digestion and thickening, sludge storage and conditioning operations significantly contribute to phosphate release from EBPR, affecting its performance. The release is facilitated by the soluble COD content of the primary sludge. Minimizing P release by sludge aeration may not be operationally possible or economically viable for existing plants. Alternative solutions to minimize P-release during sludge dewatering include operating dewatering facilities more often and storing primary and secondary sludges separately. These alternatives may not be viable for some existing plants, but they can be used to guide design of future EBPR facilities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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