Irrigation periods are usually limited to vegetation periods. The quality requirements for treated wastewater for disposal and for reuse are different. The reuse of water for irrigation allows partly the reuse of the wastewater's nutrients (N and P). Outside the irrigation period the water must be treated for disposal, thus nutrient removal is often required in order to avoid detrimental effects on the receiving surface water body. Only wastewater treatment plants with different operation modes for different seasons can realise these requirements. The nitrification is the most sensitive biological process in the aerobic wastewater treatment process. At low water temperatures the nitrifying bacteria need several weeks to re-start full nitrification after periods without NH4-removal. Therefore it is necessary to develop options for waste water treatment plants which allow a fast re-start of the nitrification process. Based on theoretical considerations and computer simulations of the activated sludge treatment process, one possibility for implementing a wastewater treatment plant with different seasonal operation modes is evaluated.

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