Fine mesh rotating belt sieves (RBS) offer a very compact solution for removal of particles from wastewater. This paper shows examples from pilot-scale testing of primary treatment, chemically enhanced primary treatment (CEPT) and secondary solids separation of biofilm solids from moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs). Primary treatment using a 350 microns belt showed more than 40% removal of total suspended solids (TSS) and 30% removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) at sieve rates as high as 160 m³/m²-h. Maximum sieve rate tested was 288 m³/m²-h and maximum particle load was 80 kg TSS/m²-h. When the filter mat on the belt increased from 10 to 55 g TSS/m², the removal efficiency for TSS increased from about 35 to 60%. CEPT is a simple and effective way of increasing the removal efficiency of RBS. Adding about 1 mg/L of cationic polymer and about 2 min of flocculation time, the removal of TSS typically increased from 40–50% without polymer to 60–70% with polymer. Using coagulation and flocculation ahead of the RBS, separation of biofilm solids was successful. Removal efficiencies of 90% TSS, 83% total P and 84% total COD were achieved with a 90 microns belt at a sieve rate of 41 m³/m²-h.

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