This study investigates the effects observed on operational parameters in a large and full-scale wastewater treatment plant subjected to anaerobic reject water (ARW) diversion off the main line for a 3-month period and further monitoring for a 2-year period. The plant's secondary unit consists of a two-stage plug-flow-modified Bardenpho process receiving wastewater from both municipal and industrial origins. As a result, ARW was found to have a direct effect on bulking in secondary clarifiers and foaming in anaerobic digesters (AD) despite its relatively small flow rate. During the cut-off period a highly stable sludge volume index at 80 mL g−1 level was obtained in the secondary clarifiers, effluent suspended solids concentration was reduced and continuous feeding to AD was recovered. Sludge density increased in the thickeners during hot season. Secondary clarifiers showed good and stable settleability despite low dissolved oxygen, food/microorganism ratio and high sludge retention time and ammonium levels in the biological unit. The bulking and foaming effect was presented on the plant's internal flow balance. ARW needs serious consideration for elimination by appropriate technologies because of its high potential as a multi-dimensional pollutant source, not only as a carrier of nutrients but also as a possible carrier of filamentous bacteria, which might promote chronic seeding and retention in the system.

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