A full-scale study investigated the influence of diurnal flow equalisation and prefermentation on the characteristics of sludge. The diurnal variations in the sludge concentration and the level of sludge blanket in the secondary clarifiers were evened out significantly with the use of an equalization basin. Stable conditions in the aeration basin and in the secondary clarifiers contributed to the improvements in the performance of the BNR plant. A decrease in the waste activated sludge production and an improvement in the settleability were also observed. The low WAS yield was attributed to the low yield COD compounds produced by the prefermentation, longer sludge age and constant conditions obtained by the flow equalisation. Some evidence was found that good settling properties would be related to the amount of suspended solids fed to the biological process as well as to the good performance of the biological process.

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