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The design, construction and/or adaptation of wastewater treatment plants for nitrification have been occurring for approximately thirty years. Over this time the basic principles of nitrification have either been ignored, elaborated upon, modified and, in some cases had falsehood presented as truth. These myths about nitrification include

The required solids retention time (SRT)

The required hydraulic retention time (HRT)

That the BOD must fall to 20 mg/L before nitrification occurs

The need for two-stage treatment

The settling properties of nitrifying sludge

The allowable surface overflow rate

The mixed liquor dissolved oxygen (DO) required

The return activated sludge (RAS) flow required

These myths are examined and shown to be untrue, or at least not true in many instances, and restrict the operators' ability to produce good effluent under a variety of conditions. The paper shows a rational basis for design and a performance envelope for nitrification.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • 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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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