The main objective was to study the anaerobic transformation of organic matter and sulfide production during wastewater transportation. Emphasis was on the transformation of easily biodegradable organic matter in terms of volatile fatty acids (VFA). Samples from two intercepting pressure mains located in the Northern part of Jutland, Denmark, were taken.
The concentration of VFA in the wastewater varied considerably during day and night, being typically between 5 and 50 g/m3. A net production as well as a net removal of VFA was seen during transportation in the pressure mains probably depending on the quality and quantity of the organic matter. Typically 85% of the VFA was acetate and 10% propionate; the remainder was formate, n-butyrate and iso-butyrate. Observed sulfide production rates from the sewer biofilms were typically 0.05 and 0.005 g S/m2 h at 12 and 4 °C, respectively. A high sulfide production rate corresponded with a high VFA concentration. TOC removal was observed in the pressure mains.