For the sewage treatment plants near rivers and closed water bodies in urbanized areas in Japan and European countries, there is a growing demand for introduction of advanced treatment processes for nitrogen and phosphorus from the viewpoints of water quality conservation and environmental protection. In order to remove nitrogen by the conventional biological treatment techniques, it is necessary to make a substantial expansion of the facility as compared with the conventional activated sludge process. In such urbanized districts, it is difficult to secure a site and much capital is required to expand the existing treatment plant. To solve these problems, a compact single sludge pre-denitrification process using immobilized nitrifiers was developed. Dosing the pellets, which are suitable for nitrifiers growth and physically durable, into the nitrification tank of single sludge pre-denitrification process made it possible to perform simultaneous removal of BOD and nitrogen in a retention time equal to that in the conventional activated sludge process even at the low water temperature of about 10 °C. The 3,000 m3/d full-scale conventional activated sludge plant was retrofitted and has been successfully operated.

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