Seeding of nitrifying bacteria into the activated sludge process was studied both theoretically and experimentally. A simple model was developed for prediction of the effects of seeding of nitrifying bacteria from a separate stage into the activated sludge process. The purpose of seeding is to improve the treatment results and the process stability as well as to decrease the volume requirements of the process. Pilot plant studies were carried out at the Uppsala municipal wastewater treatment plant in order to evaluate the effects of seeding. One line was supplied with supernatant from dewatering of digested sludge and the nitrification process gave an activated sludge with a high fraction of nitrifying bacteria, suitable for seeding. The other line was supplied with pre-precipitated wastewater and with the excess sludge from the line treating the supernatant. The experimental results showed that nitrification could be obtained at sludge ages that would otherwise preclude nitrification. Performance relationships for the system developed, based on laboratory and on-line measurements were studied and are presented. The studies show that seeding may decrease the necessary volume needs for a stable nitrification process and that the effects could be predicted by use of a simple model.

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