The Operator's Guide to Monitoring Secondary Clarifier Performance

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Abstract:

The State Point Analysis (SPA) procedure, formalized by Keinath, et. al. (1977), provides exceptional insight into the expected performance of activated sludge secondary sedimentation basins. Yet, the operating guidance offered by the SPA is not employed regularly and with confidence - particularly by operations personnel. Such lack of use may stem from the perceived complexity of the procedure, including the (unnecessary) need to perform graphical constructions.

The paper seeks to encourage the application of SPA principles by presenting straightforward algebraic and spreadsheet calculations for assessing the risks of clarification or thickening failure in clarifiers.

Clarifier performance is monitored by evaluating a Clarification Safety Factor, based on comparing the observed settling velocity of the sludge with the overflow rate in the clarifiers. Similarly, a calculated Thickening Safety Factor provides warning of impending process limitations due to deteriorating settleability or limited return sludge pumping capacity. The mathematical background is summarized and step-by-step calculations are detailed in the paper.

Keywords: CLARIFICATION; SECONDARY CLARIFIERS; SETTLEABILITY; SETTLING; STATE POINT ANALYSIS; THICKENING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864707786831318

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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