This article presents full scale experience of one of the largest fish-processing factories in Europe with a production capacity of about 50,000 tons herring per year and a maximum daily wastewater discharge of 1,500 m3. The wastewater treatment plant is the only direct discharger in the fish-processing industry in Germany. Thus, very low effluent values have to be keep in, especially the nitrogen reduction has to be operated during the whole year even when the temperature is low. The central point of the multi-stage WWTP (about 90,000 PE) is the biological nutrient removal (BNR) with pre-denitrification. The wastewater pre-treatment with sieves (0.8 mm) and a two staged flotation reduces the nitrogen load – mainly the particle bounded fraction – but the optimal nutrient ratios for biological treatment need to be observed. The activated sludge system has maximum OLR of 0.12 g COD/(g MLSS d) and NLR of 0.015 g TN/(g MLSS d) but a “Stand-By”-Operation with periods without wastewater influent is unavoidable. Discontinuous operating is one problem. The dependence on temperature as one of the main influences of nitrification-activity is the second point. The article gives an overview about the start-up and the optimisation of the process.

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