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Full-Scale Performance Testing and Optimization of an Old-School Process with Limit of Technology Nutrient Removal Capabilities

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Interunit sampling of a three-sludge BNR activated sludge system was performed to (1) benchmark existing performance, (2) identify process bottlenecks that may impact its ability to meet ENR limits, and (3) to investigate the extent to which biological cyanide mitigation occurs through highrate activated sludge treatment. Two intensive sampling programs were carried out to spatially quantify plant-wide mass-flows of several interunit constituent parameters. A separate cyanide sampling program was conducted specifically across the high-rate system indicating effective cyanide mitigation. The intensive sampling programs indicated a cascading effect of solids carryover through the activated sludge systems stemming from a lack of wasting from the high-rate process due to biosolids processing constraints. The high-rate solids carryover into the downstream activated sludge systems decreased the ability to operate at optimal nitrifying SRTs, effectively decreasing nitrification capacity. By increasing high-rate activated sludge wasting, inter-sludge solids carryover was prevented, restoring nitrification capacity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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