Composition of pre-settled water, sludge properties in two different lines of an activated sludge plant, and suspended solids (SS) content in outgoing water were followed three times a week during one year. Sludge characteristics were: settling properties, residual turbidity, floc strength, filtration resistance, amount of extracellular polymers, microscope appearance and total length of filamentous organisms.
The outgoing SS could be related to residual turbidity and sludge volume. These factors depended on the floc structure and the filament length. These were determined by sludge load or sludge age, water composition and the hydrodynamic history of the sludge. On basis of these and earlier findings a general model for properties of flocs built by floc-forming organisms in activated sludge is proposed.