The objective of this study was to evaluate the behaviour of a system comprising an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor followed by activated sludge to treat domestic sewage. The Betim Central sewage treatment plant, Brazil, was designed to treat a mean influent flow of 514 L/s. The study consisted of statistical treatment of monitoring data from the treatment plant covering a period of 4 years. This work presents the concentrations and removal efficiencies of the main constituents in each stage of the treatment process, and a mass balance of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nitrogen. The results highlight the good overall performance of the system, with high mean removal efficiencies: BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) (94%), COD (91%), ammonia (72%) and total suspended solids (92%). As expected, this system was not effective for the removal of nutrients, since it was not designed for this purpose. The removal of Escherichia coli (99.83%) was higher than expected. There was no apparent influence of operational and design parameters on the effluent quality in terms of organic matter removal, with the exceptions of the BOD load upstream of the aeration tank and the sludge age in the unit. Results suggest that this system is well suited for the treatment of domestic sewage.

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