This paper presents laboratory-scale experimentation carried out to study enhanced biological phosphorus removal. Two anaerobic aerobic (A/O) sequencing batch reactors (SBR) have been operated during more than one year to investigate the information provided by monitoring pH and electric conductivity under stationary and transient conditions. Continuous measurements of these parameters allow detecting the end of anaerobic phosphorus release, of aerobic phosphorus uptake and of initial denitrification, as well as incomplete acetic acid uptake. These results suggest the possibility of using pH and electric conductivity as control parameters to determine the length of both anaerobic and aerobic phases in an A/O SBR. More valuable information provided by monitoring pH and electric conductivity is the relation between the amount of phosphorus released and the conductivity increase observed during the anaerobic stages and which group of bacteria (heterotrophic or polyphosphate accumulating) is carrying out the denitrification process.

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