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Maintaining Granulation in a Denitrifying Upflow Sludge-Blanket Reactor Treating Groundwater with Low Hardness

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Maintenance of denitrifying granular sludge for treating soft groundwater (total hardness ≈ 75 mg calcium carbonate/L) in an upflow sludge-blanket reactor was demonstrated with complete removal of applied nitrate (20 mg N/L) over extended operation and a hydraulic residence time of 34 minutes. A high pH of approximately 9.0 was shown to be important for generation of mineral precipitation needed for production of heavy granular sludge with good retention characteristics. As a method of increasing precipitation potential, pH adjustment was determined to be more economically favorable than calcium or alkalinity supplementation. In addition, temporary increases in substrate loading were shown to be effective for enhancing biomass levels in a manageable granular sludge. The significance of biomass in promoting mineral precipitation was discussed.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2003

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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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