A separate rejection water treatment appears as a high-tech unit process which might be recommendable only for specific cases of an upgrading of an existing wastewater treatment plant. It is not the issue of this paper to consider a specific separate treatment process itself but to investigate the influence of such a process on the overall plant performance. A plant-wide model has been applied as an innovative tool to evaluate effects of the implemented sidestream strategy on the mainstream treatment. The model has been developed in the SIMBA environment and combines acknowledged mathematical descriptions of the activated sludge process (ASM1) and the anaerobic mesophilic digestion (Siegrist model). The model's calibration and validation was based on data from 5 years of operating experience of a full-scale rejection water treatment. The impact on the total N-elimination efficiency is demonstrated by detailed nitrogen mass flow schemes including the interactions between the wastewater and the sludge lane. Additionally limiting conditions due to dynamic N-return loads are displayed by the model's state variables.

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