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Occurrence of Nitrite in BNR Effluents and Implications for Meeting a Nitrite Standard

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Regulations for the discharge of wastewater effluent typically limit combined nitrate and nitrite concentrations without specific limits for nitrite alone. However, regulations setting specific nitrite limits for receiving waters are emerging. The objective of this study was to understand how activated sludge and biological nutrient removal (BNR) wastewater plants could potentially be affected by nitrite regulations. Nitrite data compiled from 18 treatment plants showed that effluent nitrite concentrations were highly variable, causing the range of expected compliance to be broad for the hypothetical discharge standards evaluated (0.05 to 1.0 mg/L NO2-N). Steady state simulations using BioWin were performed to investigate the effects of different operational parameters on the nitrification performance of an activated sludge system. The modeling analysis showed the importance of aerobic solids retention time (SRT) as a key parameter for the design and operation of activated sludge systems required to meet low nitrite limits.

Keywords: Nitrite; modeling; nitrification; reliability; wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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