Thames Water have built a three-stage Bardenpho activated sludge plant to treat 50% of the wastewater flow at Slough in the United Kingdom. Following commissioning, the plant performed well in terms of nitrification and denitrification but did not produce an effluent with a low phosphorus concentration. One possible explanation for the poor performance was the mixing of the anaerobic zone. The flow characteristic of the anaerobic zone was identified by tracer tests and alternative mixing regimes were tested. The results showed that reducing the mixing energy in the anaerobic zone had no detrimental effect on the effluent quality. The plant has operated with the reduced mixing input for nine months and the effluent phosphorus concentration has been reduced from 2.1 mgl−1 to 0.8 mgl−1.

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