Small activated sludge systems operate in transient states under intermittent and variable flows. Simulations for such a treatment plant in a summer house site operating on a seasonal basis is investigated for system performance and viability using the five component inert soluble substrate generation model. The results have revealed that the viability drops to zero within the first month after the cessation of the feed for intermittently loaded systems that are fed during the summer months, while it never reaches that value for systems operating all year round with reduced flows off season. Restartup is compulsory for the intermittent loadings while the system adapts itself in a stepwise manner for the year round operation. Other factors being comparable, conventional operation with shorter sludge ages may be preferable since viability of the sludge is higher and the effluent COD is comparable.

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