Nitrification is the rate-limiting process in the design of activated sludge process. It is especially unstable during the winter season (when the temperature of activated sludge mixed liquor drops below 13 °C). It is therefore difficult to meet the ammonia effluent standards in winter. The common way to compensate for low nitrification rates at low temperatures is to increase sludge retention time (SRT). However, the increase of SRT is accompanied by negative factors such as elevated sludge concentration, higher sludge loading of secondary clarifiers, formation of unsettleable microflocs, etc. The low performance of nitrification at low temperatures can also be compensated for by enhancing the nitrification population in activated sludge. This paper describes such a method called bioaugmentation of nitrification in situ. This procedure takes place in a so-called regeneration tank, which is situated in the return activated sludge stream. The results of the operation of two wastewater treatment plants with regeneration zones are described in this paper, together with some economic evaluation of the bioaugmentation method.

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