The process performance of the two largest activated sludge processes in Hong Kong, the Sha Tin and the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works (STW), deteriorated in the initial period after the introduction of seawater flushing in 1995 and 1996, respectively. High effluent ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N) and total suspended solids (TSS) in excess of the discharge standards resulted from incomplete nitrification and changes in floc characteristics. A desktop study on the inhibitory effects of salinity, particularly on nitrification, was subsequently conducted using the Tai Po STW operating data. To assist the upgrade of the Sha Tin STW a five-month extensive bench-scale investigation on a simple but flexible modified Ludzack-Ettinger configuration with bio-selector was conducted to quantify the inhibitory effects due to the saline concentration. The Sha Tin STW upgrade consists of restoration of its original design capacity (conventional process) of 205,000 m3/day from its currently much reduced capacity as a Bardenpho process. Only the volume of the existing biological process and clarifier is to be utilized. The saline concentration ranges from 3,500 up to 6,500 mg Cl-/L, both daily and seasonally. High and greatly fluctuating saline concentrations have been known to inhibit nitrification. Design consideration should also be given to the peak daily and seasonal TKN loading of up to three times the average. Although the nitrifiers maximum specific growth rate was significantly reduced to a low 0.25 day−1, the inhibition was considered to be tolerable with effluent NH4-N and NO3-N consistently at < 1 and < 6 mg/L. The bio-selector was demonstrated to be efficient in control of sludge foaming and bulking with SVI consistently ≤ 125 mL/g. Results from the IAWQ Model No. 1 and the hydraulic model of the secondary clarifiers allowed overall process capacity maximization. With an anoxic mass fraction of 25-30%, operating sludge age of 9-14 days and SVI ≤ 125 mL/g, both the design requirements and the effluent discharge standards could be met. Without these investigations, an unnecessarily large reaction basin and secondary clarifier volume, and hence capital investment, would have resulted.
The impact of sea water flushing on biological nitrification-denitrification activated sludge sewage treatment process
S.M. Yu, W.Y. Leung, K.M. Ho, P.F. Greenfield, W.W. Eckenfelder; The impact of sea water flushing on biological nitrification-denitrification activated sludge sewage treatment process. Water Sci Technol 1 December 2002; 46 (11-12): 209–216. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2002.0740
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