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Activated Sludge Deflocculation in Response to Chlorine Addition: The Potassium Connection

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Chlorination is often used to control filamentous bulking in activated sludge systems. Pure culture and mixed-liquor experiments showed that soluble potassium (K+) concentrations increased by 2.4 mg/L (80%) and 1.5 to 3.6 mg/L (11 to 30%) in the bulk liquid phase of pure and activated sludge cultures that were exposed to chlorine, relative to unchlorinated controls. Effluent turbidity and total suspended solids from settled mixed liquor increased significantly in both short-term batch and sequencing batch reactor experiments when chlorine mass load increased above 6 milligrams of chlorine per gram mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (mg Cl2/g MLVSS) in a single dose, which correlated with a localized chlorine concentration at the dose point of 10 mg/L as Cl2 or greater. The results support the hypothesis that the glutathione-gated potassium efflux (GGKE) bacterial stress response may contribute to increased effluent turbidity associated with high doses of mixed-liquor chlorination. It is suggested that potassium is a useful parameter to monitor at full-scale facilities when determining chlorine mass doses that should be used to control filaments and minimize increases in effluent turbidity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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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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