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THE EFFECT OF SLUDGE AGE ON THE OPERATION COST OF ACTIVATED SLUDGE SYSTEMS

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An effect of sludge age (SRT) on the operation cost of a 10 MGD activated sludge plant was evaluated using an activated sludge computer model. For a completely-mixed system an increase in SRT generally reduced operating cost, while for a system with an anaerobic selector the reverse was generally observed. Nitrification significantly increased operating cost and, if not required, can be avoided by lowering SRT. The effect of SRT on the operating costs of BNR systems cannot be predicted theoretically; field studies were required to determine this effect. This paper presents the results of such a field study. Deviation of the SRT from its optimum value may carry substantial financial penalties in addition to operating problems. Precise maintenance of SRT using an automatic control system is recommended.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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