Biofilm processes are, in general, suitable for small-scale wastewater treatment plants. However, final effluent qualities of biofilm processes are not as good as those of activated sludge processes due to fine particles remaining in the effluents. To improve the effluent qualities of the Rotating Biological Contactors (RBC) process, the behavior of fine particles through the process and the removal of fine particles with solids-liquid separation methods, rapid filtration and coagulation-filtration, were investigated using the particle fraction method. The results are as follows:
An increase of the hydraulic retention time (HRT) in the RBC reactor reduced the amount of fine particles and increased the amount of coarse suspended solids of 44 µm or more in diameter, which are easily removed by clarification. Thus, the final effluent qualities were improved by the increase of HRT.
Suspended solids in effluent from the RBC process at the standard loading are so fine that improvement of the quality is not expected by only lowering the overflow rate of a final clarifier. In contrast, rapid filtration or a coagulation-filtration process is effective. The supended solid concentration and transparency of the effluent from the final clarifier was improved by a factor of two to four, and then BOD of the final effluent was removed by 40-85%.