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Making Classifying Selectors Work for Foam Elimination in the Activated-Sludge Process

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Classifying selectors are used to control the population of foam-causing organisms in activated-sludge plants to prevent the development of nuisance foams. The term, classifying selector, refers to the physical mechanism by which these organisms are selected against; foam-causing organisms are enriched into the solids in the foam and their rapid removal controls their population at low levels in the mixed liquor. Foam-causing organisms are wasted "first" rather than accumulating on the surface of tanks and thereby being wasted "last", which is typical of the process. This concept originated in South Africa, where pilot studies showed that placement of a flotation tank for foam removal prior to secondary clarifiers would eliminate foam-causing organisms. It was later simplified in the United States by using the aeration in aeration tanks or aerated channels coupled with simple baffling and adjustable weirs to make continuous separation of nuisance organisms from the mixed liquor.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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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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