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Wroclaw University of Science and 
Technology 
Faculty of Environmental Engineering  
Laboratory of Wastewater Treatment Technology 

 
 

Practice 2 
Waste Water Treatment in the activated sludge process

Team: 
Anthony VIVIER 
Esperanza FERNÁNDEZ  
Fatma Eda AYDOGAN 
Jules TESSIER 
Matthieu VERDURON 
 
 
Introduction 
 
Wastewater treatment technology is a process which is used to remove contaminants from
wastewater or sewage and convert into an effluent that can be reused.

Wastewater contains wide range of contaminants such as complex organic materials,


nitrogen- and phosphorus-rich compounds and pathogenic organisms(bacteria, viruses and
protozoa).

Water treatment processes categorized as preliminary, primary, secondary and tertiary.


Preliminary and primary stages remove rags and suspended solids. Secondary processes
mainly remove suspended and dissolved organics. Tertiary methods achieve nutrient
removal and further polishing of wastewater.

Principal pollutants in wastewater are organic materials-indicated by the biochemical oxygen


demand(BOD)- suspended solids, plant nutrients(nitrogen, phosphorus) and microbes.

Secondary Treatment is designed to degrade the biological content of the sewage which are
derived from human activities. The majority of municipal plants treat the settled sewage
liquor using aerobic biological process.

Consequently, to be effective, these organisms need both oxygen and food to live, that’s
why they consume biodegradable soluble organic contaminants: This is the activated sludge
process.
Objectives 

The laboratory work aims to present the fundamentals of biological wastewater treatment, to
evaluate the efficiency of municipal wastewater treatment in the aerobic activated sludge
process, and to determine the most important parameters of the process.

Results 
 

Table 1.

Raw Wastewater Dilution Results, Abs Results, mg/L

Ammonium ( N H +4 ) 1:200 51.43

Nitrate ( N 0−3 ) 1:5 0.1195 2.65

Chemical Oxygen - 0.225 436.8


Demand (COD)

Treated wastewater Dilution Results, Abs Results, mg/L

Ammonium ( N H +4 ) 1:10 1.93

Nitrate ( N 0−3 ) 1:100 0.2963 131.22

Chemical Oxygen - 0.408 70.8


Demand (COD)

Table 2.
Initial sludge volume, mL Sludge volume after 30min
Activated sludge from of clarification, mL
reactor
100 17
Table 3.
Activated sludge ID of evaporating Mass of the empty Mass of the dish
from reactor dish dish, g with dry deposit, g

Total solids (TS) T11 64,3061 64,3854

Total dissolved M1 83,0048 83,0365


solids (TDS)

Table 4.
Raw Wastewater Results

Ammonium ( N H +4 ), mgN N H4+ /L 51.43

Nitrate ( N 0−3 ), mgN N O3− /L 2.65

Chemical Oxygen Demand(COD), mg O​2​/L 436.8

Treated Wastewater Results

Ammonium ( N H +4 ), mgN N H4+ /L 1,93

Nitrate ( N 0−3 ), mgN N O3− /L 131,22

Chemical oxygen demand (COD), mg O​2​/L 70,8

Efficiency of primary sedimentation Removal, %

Ammonium ( N H +4 ) 96,25

Nitrate ( N 0−3 ) -

Chemical Oxygen Demand(COD) 83,79

Table 5.
Activated sludge characteristics Results

Total Solids(TS), mg/L 1588

Total Dissolved Solids(TDS), mg/L 634

Total Suspended Solids(TSS), mg/L 954

Sludge volume index (SVI), mg/g 262


Calculations

Activated sludge
64,38549−64.3061 g
TS = 0.050L * 1000 = 1588 mg/L
83.0365−83.0048 g
T DS = 0.050L * 1000 = 634 mg/L

T SS = 1588 − 634 = 954 mg/L


V olume of settleed sludge ml 0.85*1000
V ss = V olume of clarif ier l = 3.4 = 250 mL/L

V ss 250
SV I = T ss = 0.954 = 262 mL/gT ss

Efficiency of activated sludge process


51.43−1.93
Ammonium = 100 * 51.43 = 96.25 %
436,8−70,8
C OD = 100 * 436,8 = 83, 79 %

Raw WasteWater Treated WasteWater


0.4434 −0.225 0.4434 − 0.408
C OD = 0.0005 = 456, 4 mg/L C OD = 0.0005 = 70.8 mg/L

Discussion  

The laboratory work allowed to verify the efficiency of municipal wastewater treatment in the
aerobic activated sludge process, and to determine the most important parameters of the
process.

Figure 1 : Evolution of Ammonium’s concentration


Figure 2 : Evolution of Nitrate’s concentration

Figure 3 : Evolution of COD’s concentration

The experience showed that the removals of COD and Ammonium are quite high. About
COD, the removal efficiency is much better than the efficiency of primary treatment process:
almost 84% for the secondary treatment against only 50% for the primary.
In the same time, this kind of treatment allows us to remove almost 96% of the ammonium.

In spite of these great results, the SVI value has been to much high than expected. Indeed,
the lower SVI value, the better settlement properties of activated sludge and our value and
the sludge with SVI within the range of 50-100 mL/gTSS is considered as a sludge with good
settlement properties. But, our value, 262 mL/gTSS is out of this frame. This results could be
explained by some mistakes like the calculations of the Vss, especially in the determination
of the amount of activated sludge or the Tss value.

Instead of removal of COD and Ammonium, the concentration of Nitrate has risen a lot. This
increase can be explain by the process of nitrification during the removal of ammonium.

 
 
 
Conclusion 
 

The experience has shown the efficiency of the secondary treatment. The most important
parameters to insure the efficiency of this process is the presence of biological organisms, ie
activated sludge, and a regular supply of oxygen.

However, we can guess some mistake in our manipulation because of the veru high value of
SVI. To ensure the accuracy of our results, we would have been able to make more than
one experimentation and make some statistical values like average, uncertainties of our
measurements and standard deviation.

Moreover, this process increase the presence of nitrates in our treated water and the EU
directive require a rate of 50mg/L for nitrates. As a consequence, we need an other step in
our Wastewater Treatment, to make the denitrification.
 
Bibliography 
 
https://www.britannica.com/technology/wastewater-treatment
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-nitrates/index_en.html