Three consulting teams conducted independent modelling projects for three different wastewater treatment plants ranging in size from approximately 113,800 m3/d (30 mgd) to 530,000 m3/d (140 mgd), in different parts of the world (USA and Finland). The plants have different treatment objectives ranging from nitrification and partial denitrification (nitrate plus nitrite <8.7 mg/L) to enhanced nutrient removal (total nitrogen <3 mg/L, total phosphorus <0.3 mg/L). Commonly-used models were applied in the case studies, including ASM3 (using the GPS-X simulator), New General (using GPS-X), Dold (using BioWin), and a variation of the Dold model methanol degradation capabilities (NGmeth within GPS-X). The authors compare and contrast the modelling approaches taken, including calibration and validation approaches, sensitivity analyses, and the application of results to full-scale studies, designs and operations. Despite several differences between the approaches, there are many similarities which are discussed in light of the IWA draft uniform protocol for activated sludge modelling. The authors also discuss current modelling limitations and offer suggestions to improve the state of the art.

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