Over the last few years there has been a growing attention regarding the receiving water body quality state. As a matter of a fact, the Directive 91/271 of the European Union (EU) replaced the “emission standard” concept that fixes discharge limits depending on polluting emission characteristics, with the “stream standard” concept that fixes discharge limits for each polluting substance depending on self-depurative characteristics of the RWB. In this context, several WWTPs need to be upgraded in order to meet stricter effluent limits. The need of WWTP upgrading was also emphasized by the growing urbanization that have led, in most cases, to get overloaded WWTP due to an overcoming of the maximum WWTP capacity. In order to upgrade existing WWTP basically two main possibilities can be chosen: building new tanks or modify the WWTP by introducing new technologies such as the HMBBR systems. In this paper, such latter possibility was explored and as a case study an existing Italian WWTP (Acqua dei Corsari) located in Palermo (IT) was analysed. The main goal was to test the effectiveness of HMBBR systems with respect to the WWTP upgrading. The survey was carried out by means of model simulation and an HMBBR pilot plant. This latter was employed for the evaluation of the model parameters as well as kinetic coefficients for the HMBBR. The model results are encouraging towards the WWTP upgrading by means of HMBBR. As a matter of fact, the model simulation results showed that the WWTP maximum capacity can be upgraded from 480,000 up to one million PE.

This content is only available as a PDF.