Secondary sludge, also known as biological sludge, is produced by biological treatment processes such as activated sludge, membrane bioreactors, trickling filters, and rotating biological contactors. Plants with primary settling normally produce a fairly pure biological sludge as a result of the bacteria consuming the soluble and insoluble organics in secondary treatment system. The sludge will also contain those solids that were not readily removed by primary clarification. Secondary sludge generated in plants that lack primary settling may contain debris such as grit and fibers. Activated sludge and trickling filter sludge generally contain solids concentrations of 0.4 to 1.5% and 1 to 4%, respectively, in dry solids weight. Biological sludge is more difficult to dewater than primary sludge because of the light biological flocs inherent in biological sludge.
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