A novel sewage treatment system was proposed, which consists of a UASB anaerobic pre-treatment unit and the following DHS (downflow hanging sponge-cubes) aerobic post-treatment unit, as a low-cost and easy-maintenance process for developing countries. Over six months experiment by feeding sewage our proposed system achieved 94% of total-COD removal, 81% of soluble-COD removal, and nearly perfect SS removal and total-BOD removal at the overall HRT of 8.3 hr (7 hr in UASB and 1.3 hr in DHS unit). Moreover, the DHS reactor was capable of performing high (73–78%) nitrification. Our whole system requires neither external aeration input nor withdrawal of excess sludge.

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