The sewer is an integral part of the urban wastewater system: the sewer, the wastewater treatment plant and the local receiving waters. The sewer is a reactor for microbial changes of the wastewater during transport, affecting the quality of the wastewater and thereby the successive treatment processes or receiving water impacts during combined sewer overflows. This paper presents the results of studies on anoxic processes, namely denitrification, in the bulk water phase of wastewater as it occurs in sewers. Experiments conducted on 12 different wastewater samples have shown that the denitrification process in the bulk wastewater can be simplified by the reduction of nitrate to nitrogen with significant accumulation of nitrite in the water phase. Utilization of nitrate was observed not to be limited by nitrate for concentrations above 5 gNO3-N/m3. The denitrification rates, under conditions of excess substrate and electron acceptor, were found to be in the range of 0.8-2.0 g NO3-N/(m3h). A discussion on the interaction of the sewer processes and the effects on a downstream located wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is provided.

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