Optimization of wastewater treatment plants with extensive phosphorus and nitrogen removal is complicated. The Klagshamn wastewater treatment plant in Sweden is operated with pre-precipitation of phosphorus with ferric chloride and denitrification with methanol as carbon source. An activated sludge process, operated with pre-precipitation and denitrification with external carbon source in a compartmentalized plant, requires only small tank volumes but increases the need for proper operation and optimization.
On-line nitrogen, ammonia, and TOC sensors are used for a day-to-day control and optimization while mathematical modelling is used for long term strategic planning. The on-line measurements are further used as the basis for the modelling. TOC and ammonia sensors at the influent clearly identify typical and extreme loading variations and nitrate measurements in the activated sludge tanks and the effluent shows the dynamics of the processes. These measurements provide a basis for model calibration. In combination low residuals of nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter can be achieved.