The total amount of solids in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) and their distribution among the different elements and lines play a crucial role in the stability, performance and operational costs of the process. However, an accurate prediction of the evolution of solids concentration in the different elements of a WWTP is not a straightforward task. This paper presents the design, development and validation of a generic Kalman observer for the on-line estimation of solids concentration in the tank reactors of WWTPs. The proposed observer is based on the fact that the information about the evolution of the total amount of solids in the plant can be supplied by the available on-line Suspended Solids (SS) analysers, while their distribution can be simultaneously estimated from the hydraulic pattern of the plant. The proposed observer has been applied to the on-line estimation of SS in the reactors of a pilot-scale Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR). The results obtained have shown that the experimental information supplied by a sole on-line SS analyser located in the first reactor of the pilot plant, in combination with updated information about internal flow rates data, has been able to give a reasonable estimation of the evolution of the SS concentration in all the tanks.

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