The directives issued by the German Waste Water Association (ABWASSERTECHNISCHE VEREINIGUNG (ATV)) and by the British WATER RESEARCH CENTRE (WRC) in respect of the rating and control of activated sludge circuits and of the loading of secondary settling tanks of biological waste water treatment plants were studied for their applicability to papermill effluents. To this end, several years' testing was carried out on an activated sludge pilot plant and on various industrial plants. These tests revealed that secondary settling tanks of papermill effluent treatment plants may safely be rated in accordance with ATV up to a sludge volume index (SVI) of 300 ml/g and a sludge return rate of 3. If SVI values are low, the WRC process permits excessive surface loadings and is thus only practicable for high SVI levels. If sedimentation properties of the activated sludge are poor, load capacity limits are indicated more correctly by the WRC method. A simplified settling velocity method derived from the WRC process gives reliable information on the load capacity of secondary settling tanks and may readily be used for sludge circulation control.

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