The intermittent operation of large biofilm reactors with high influent suspended solids has sometimes resulted in the production of offensive odour. Covering the reactors and treating the off gas may solve the odour problem but excessive biomass accumulation within the media must also be avoided. Methods of biomass control at the Manukau Sewage Purification Works, Auckland, New Zealand, are discussed with particular reference to the use of high irrigation intensity and its effect on BOD removal efficiency under conditions of very high load variations.

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