Skip to main content


Buy Article:

$17.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial


Biological phosphorus removal is being used successfully at many wastewater treatment facilities. In recent years, effluent phosphorus permits that require phosphorus removal beyond 95 percent have become more commonplace and in some cases removal efficiencies of more than 99.5 percent are required. Such treatment requirements elevate the importance of biological phosphorus removal performance reliability.

This paper is an extension of a Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) funded study on the reliability of enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). This study showed many plants do not maintain consistent phosphorus removal for more than a few months between excursions. From these results and observations at other EBPR facilities, it appears that even with the best process control EBPR will remain a sensitive process and occasional process upsets can occur. However, the response and corrective actions are very much in the hands of the operators, engineers and the process designers. Few plants have strategies in place to troubleshoot EBPR and identify the source of plant upsets.

This paper provides general guidelines for operators and engineers on how to troubleshoot biological phosphorus removal problems as well as help anticipate problems and avoid EBPR upsets. Known common causes for EBPR problems are discussed alongside with descriptions of diagnostic tests and procedures. The troubleshooting strategy suggested in this paper relies on a combination of data collection, diagnostic tests, and process monitoring to identify and, if possible, eliminate the source or EBPR problems.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more