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Open Access A Critical Review of Nuisance Foam Formation and Biological Methods for Foam Management or Elimination in Nutrient Removal Facilities

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The classifying selector was introduced to the wastewater industry in 2001, after several successful full-scale applications. The classifying selector concept distinguishes itself from the earlier surface foam wasting schemes in that negative selection pressure is maintained so that nuisance foam-causing organisms cannot gain a foothold in sufficient numbers to cause nuisance foams. The propensity of the nuisance-causing organism to attach to bubbles and establish a rising velocity is used to enrich them in a surface mixed liquor layer, where they are wasted. Neither standard texts nor the Water Environment Federation's Manuals of Practice adequately describe this, and as a result, the benefits of foam elimination obtainable through use of the classifying selector concepts have not been broadly obtained in our industry. In certain types of processes that are inherently foam trapping situations, the only solution is surface foam wasting, as foam cannot be eliminated. Potential efficiency gains possible in these situations are addressed.

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Keywords: Microthrix parvicella; activated sludge; classifying selector; foam; nocardioforms; selective flotation; selective foam wasting; waste activated sludge (WAS)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Brown and Caldwell, 201 N. Civic Drive, Suite 115, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, USA

Publication date: 2014-06-01

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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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