The performance of a sewage treatment system consisting of a settler followed by an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Bed (UASB) reactor is described. Mean ambient and sewage temperature were 16.5 and 21.6°C, respectively. Total Chemical Oxygen Demand (CODt) concentration averaged 224.2 and 152.6 mg/L, for raw and settled sewage, respectively. The effluent concentration was 68.5 mgCODt/L. Total and suspended COD removal efficiencies of approximately 70 and 80%, respectively, have been observed in the system at a mean Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) of 2 + 5 h. Maximum COD removal efficiency was achieved in the UASB reactor when upflow velocity (Vup) was 0.43 m/h (HRT = 6 h). Mean Specific Methanogenic Activity (SMA) and Volatile Suspended Solids (VSS) concentration in the granular sludge bed were 0.11 gCOD-CH4/gVSS.d and 30.0 gVSS/Lsludge, respectively. SMA was inversely related to VSS concentration, and both parameters varied along the sludge bed height. The Solids Retention Time (SRT) in the reactor was 450 days. Sludge characteristics have not been affected by changes of up to one month in Vup in the range 0.28–0.85 m/h (HRT 3–9 h). This system or two UASB reactors in series could be an alternative for sewage treatment under moderate temperature conditions.

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