Fine mesh sieve technologies were tested in full scale at several municipal wastewater treatment plants. A screening test was used to characterize wastewater and establish the design criteria for the sieves. To achieve high removal efficiencies it was crucial to operate the sieves with a filter mat. Rotating belt sieves performed best in the full-scale tests. A small dose of cationic polymer and a static flocculator ahead of a rotating belt sieve achieved excellent results on a wastewater that was originally found unsuitable for primary treatment with fine mesh sieves. Simple screw presses dewatered the sludge from the sieves to typically 25–30% total solids. Using fine mesh sieves with <500 microns openings was found to normally be the most economical process for primary treatment.

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