The wastewater plant Seine Aval (located in Acheres, France) treats 6 million PE (25 m3/s average flow, 570 MGD) with activated sludge. Following a research program called “Azote Acheres” which demonstrated that biofilters are an economical solution, the Paris Metropolitan Area Sewage Service (SIAPP) has tested 3 industrial prototypes during a period of more than 4 years. One of these is an up-flow biofilter using a floating filter bed made of expanded polystyrene beads. This specific process is called BIOSTYR and is used here as a nitrifying tertiary biofilter.

The purpose of this paper is to show that the biofilter process achieves very low, steady state, effluent ammonia concentrations with different applied nitrogen loads (0.3 to 2.7 kg NTK/m3.d), even with low temperature and high applied carbonaceous load.

During this 4 years period, a model has been developed to explain the hydraulic behavior of the filter. By measuring the operating conditions (temperature, loads), the head loss of the filter can be predicted.

After this test period, the prototype has been operated by Seine Aval plant staff. The results obtained have confirmed the previous test results.

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