Based on a comprehensive cost analysis for the expansion of the Finnentrop WWTP, integration of lamella separators in the biological treatment stage was given priority as optimal solution to increase the solids concentration. The overall expansion project included the reconstruction of the former primary clarifier into a primary settling tank with short retention times and the use of the remaining volume for pre-denitrification. Four lamella separators were positioned in the existing carousel-type activated sludge tank. With the lamella assemblies ensuring it was possible to continue operation of the existing secondary settling tanks. To control an adequate solids concentration in the activated sludge tank and to avoid any overloading of the secondary settling tank, a newly developed bypass strategy was applied. With a controlled mixing of direct effluent from the lamella separators and the contents of the activated sludge tank, the solids concentration of the influent to the secondary settling tank could be maintained at a value of 2.2 kg/m3. The lamella separator concept did not account for any significant changes in the sludge characteristics, and the overall elimination of nutrients and organic carbon was found to be excellent upon optimisation of the operational lamella strategy.

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