Abstract

The wastewater treatment process is based on complex chemical, physical and biological mechanisms that are closely interconnected. The efficiency of the system (which depends on compliance with national regulations on wastewater quality) can be achieved through the use of tools such as monitoring, that is the detection of parameters that allow the continuous interpretation of the current situation, and experimental tests, which allow the measurement of real performance (of a sector, a single treatment or equipment) and comparison with the following ones. Experimental tests have a particular relevance in the case of municipal wastewater treatment plants fed with a strong industrial component and especially in the case of plants authorized to treat aqueous waste. In this paper a case study is presented where the application of management tools such as careful monitoring and experimental tests led to the technical and economic optimization of the plant: the main results obtained were the reduction of sludge production (from 4,000 t/year w.w. (wet weight) to about 2,200 t/year w.w.) and operating costs (e.g. from 600,000 €/year down to about 350,000 €/year for reagents), the increase of resource recovery and the improvement of the overall process performance.

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