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The innovative moving bed biofilm reactor/solids contact reaeration process for secondary treatment of municipal wastewater

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The innovative moving bed biofilm reactor/solids contact reaeration (MBBR/SCR) process has been chosen for a new wastewater treatment plant serving a population of 200 000 at Moa Point, Wellington, New Zealand. Because the MBBR/SCR combination was new, a pilot-scale demonstration project was made part of the contract. Thorough pilot tests using a wide range of organic loads under both steady and transient-flow conditions demonstrated that the MBBR/SCR process produced the required effluent quality at loads higher than used in the original design.

At 3 days mean cell residence time (MCRT) in the SCR stage, a final effluent with a 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) of less than 10 mg/L was achieved at an organic load on the MBBR of 15 g BOD5/m2·d (5.0 kg BOD5/m3·d). With the same MCRT, a final effluent of less than 15 mg BOD5/L was achieved at an organic load on the MBBR of 20 g BOD5/m2·d (6.7 kg BOD5/m3·d). Dynamic loading tests demonstrated that a good-quality effluent was produced with a diurnal peak-hour load on the MBBR of more than 40 g BOD5/m2·d (13.3 kg BOD5/m3·d).

The MBBR/SCR process was more compact and significantly cheaper than a conventional trickling filter/solids contact or activated-sludge process at the Moa Point site.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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