In the calculations customarily used to dimension nitrification and denitrification plants in the Federal Republic of Germany, solids in the influent of the biological stage represent a significant output variable. Numerous modified methods based on nationally and internationally standardized analysis procedures are available to determine solids concentrations in waste-water. Tests showed that different values are measured depending on the method of analysis employed. Harmonization of the analysis procedure is advisable to ensure comparable conditions for the calculation of activated sludge tank volumes.

The solids reaching a treatment plant originate from two main sources. Filterable materials are passed to the treatment plant via the preceding sewerage network with its industrial and commercial users, but are also carried by process water from sludge treatment. The influence of process water on wastewater composition is illustrated by reference to the Wuppertal-Buchenhofen treatment plant.

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