The conventional mainstream enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process depends on the quality of the raw incoming wastewater. An alternative sidestream EBPR process is presented, where the substrates for storage by the polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) instead come from hydrolysis of the return activated sludge. This process is studied in full-scale at two treatment plants and quantified by means of phosphorus release rates and readily biodegradable COD (RBCOD) accumulation rates. It was seen that not only was a significant amount of RBCOD stored by PAOs but an approximately equal amount was accumulated in the sidestream hydrolysis tank and made available for the subsequent nitrogen removal process. The phosphorus release of the sludge with and without addition of different substrates was furthermore studied in laboratory scale. The study showed that the process is promising and in a number of cases will have significant advantages compared with the conventional mainstream EBPR design.

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