Large proportions of South Africans live in areas with inadequate sanitation and a poor infrastructure for waterborne sanitation. Service providers are looking for alternative wastewater treatment options. The anaerobic baffled reactor is being considered as a decentralised sanitation option in these areas. A 3,200 L reactor was built and is currently being evaluated at a wastewater treatment works. The reactor was built based on experiences gained from working with a laboratory reactor (10 L) and predicted flow patterns observed on a computational fluid dynamics model. The design and construction of the reactor will be discussed in this paper. The feed to the reactor consists of screen degritted sewage and the flow to the reactor is maintained by means of a programmable logic controller. The pilot-plant layout is discussed in this paper. Samples are analysed for chemical oxygen demand, pH, alkalinity, ammonia, phosphorus, solids and ash content. Reductions of between 70 and 80% are obtained for COD and the pH values for the effluent samples are within the discharge limits.

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