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Assessment of Aeration System Performance Efficiency: Frequent Sampling for Damage Detection

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A study of oxygen transfer efficiency (OTE) in aeration basins, using measurements of oxygen depletion in offgas collected from them, was carried out over a period of several years by collaborations between the University of California, Los Angeles and the Bureau of Sanitation Research Group of the City of Los Angeles. Measurements were taken of dissolved oxygen (DO), water temperature, oxygen depletion, and air flux at each sampling location as part of the process to obtain standardized OTE. Field instruments, permanently located near the tanks and galleries, are connected to the control room that automatically records return activated-sludge flow, influent flow, tank DO sensor readings, and air flow. Data from the control room and field instruments were collected for the times of the samples to provide context and some degree of quality control for the samples obtained by the measurement team.

The combined air flux and OTE measurements not only agree with the familiar inverse relationship between OTE and air flux but have allowed detection of strong evidence that serious leakage has developed in a few weeks in the air distribution systems of tanks 4 and 5, which was indirectly confirmed by observation of water ejection from the air release valves on the tanks. However, the detail provided by OTE measurements allows more specific understanding of the magnitude of the problem and its significance for the operation of these tanks. Analysis of the OTE measurements made at the site since 1991 also indicates that the diffusers in some of the tanks may now be in need of cleaning or replacement.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2000

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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