A survey has been carried out involving 55 Hungarian wastewater treatment plants in order to evaluate the wastewater quality, the applied technologies and the resultant problems. Characteristically the treatment temperature is very wide-ranging from less than 10 °C to higher than 26 °C. Influent quality proved to be very variable regarding both the organic matter (typical COD concentration range 600–1,200 mg l−1) and the nitrogen content (typical NH4-N concentration range 40–80 mg l−1). As a consequence, significant differences have been found in the carbon availability for denitrification from site to site. Forty two percent of the influents proved to lack an appropriate carbon source. As a consequence of carbon deficiency as well as technologies designed and/or operated with non-efficient denitrification, rising sludge in the secondary clarifiers typically occurs especially in summer. In case studies, application of intermittent aeration, low DO reactors, biofilters and anammox processes have been evaluated, as different biological nitrogen removal technologies. With low carbon source availability, favoring denitrification over enhanced biological phosphorus removal has led to an improved nitrogen removal.

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