In the past decade, the development of polymers and new chemical technologies has opened the way to using low doses of chemicals in wastewater treatment. “Chemical upgrading” (CU) is defined in this paper as an application of these chemical technologies to upgrade overloaded treatment systems (typically consisting of conventional primary plus biological treatment) in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Although some of the chemical treatment technologies are proven ones in North America, Scandinavia, and Germany, a host of factors, for example, the variations in composition and degree of pollution, the type of technologies in use, the type and mix of industrial and domestic sewage, and the amount of surface water, had meant that the viability of using CU in CEE countries was unknown. This report describes the first jar tests of CU conducted during the summer of 1993. The experiments show CU's ability to improve wastewater treatment plant performance and to potentially assist in the significant problem of overloaded treatment plants. Increased removal of BOD, TSS, and P in the primary stage of treatment is obtained at overflow rates above 1.5 m/h, using reasonably priced, local sources of metal salts in concentrations of 25 to 50 mg/l without polymers.

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