Activated sludge models are widely used for planning and optimisation of wastewater treatment plants and on line applications are under development to support the operation of complex treatment plants. A proper model is crucial for all of these applications. The task of parameter calibration is focused in several papers and applications. An essential precondition for this task is an appropriately defined model structure, which is often given much less attention. Different model structures for a large scale treatment plant with circulation flow are discussed in this paper. A more systematic method to derive a suitable model structure is applied to this case. Results of a numerical hydraulic model are used for this purpose. The importance of these efforts are proven by a high sensitivity of the simulation results with respect to the selection of the model structure and the hydraulic conditions. Finally it is shown, that model calibration was possible only by adjusting to the hydraulic behaviour and without any changes of biological parameters.

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