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High-Level Biological Phosphorus Removal Failure and Recovery

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The Durham Advanced Waste Treatment Facility AWTF treats wastewater to very low phosphorus levels (median effluent of less than 0.1 mg P/L) using a combination of biological phosphorus removal followed by tertiary treatment with alum. Historically, the biological phosphorus removal process has shown a relatively high level of instability. Testing was done during summer 2005 to determine the reasons for this instability. The testing showed the biological phosphorus removal process was very sensitive to mechanical upsets and aeration control problems. It is hypothesized that this sensitivity may be the result of the competition between polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) and glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs) within the biological phosphorus removal process. In addition, a method of crossseeding between aeration basins was developed to speed the recovery of biological phosphorus removal in an upset basin.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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