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Automating Control in Biological Reactors for Diurnal Loadings

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The Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP) is continuously subjected to significant daily flow and loading fluctuations because of the lack of flow equalization upstream of the treatment process. Since SRWTP does not have the ability to control activated sludge flow in real time, the diurnal loading fluctuations have been found in previous studies to exacerbate Nocardioform blooms within the secondary process and adversely impact secondary effluent quality at SRWTP.

The purpose of this study was to automate the activated sludge flow in the secondary process using real time process data, in order to provide a more consistent solids retention time and F/M ratio over typical diurnal loadings. The study confirmed that real time SRT control can provide a significant improvement on controlling instantaneous SRT and, to a lesser extent, the F/M ratio. Maintaining a stable biomass in real time is beneficial and can help improve the plant's overall performance.
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Keywords: Activated Sludge; Diurnal Loading; Foam; MCRT; Nocardia; SRT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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