Activated Sludge Operational Control Levels

The operator has two methods available to operate an activated sludge system. The operator can wait until the process performance deteriorates and make drastic changes, or the operator can establish normal operational levels and make minor adjustments to keep the process within the established operational levels.

Note: Control levels can be defined as the upper and lower values for a process control variable that can be expected to produce the desired effluent quality.

Although the first method will guarantee that plant performance will always be maintained within effluent limitations, the second method has a much higher probability of achieving this objective. This section discusses methods used to establish normal control levels for the activated sludge process. Several major factors should be considered when establishing control levels for the activated sludge system, including:

• Influent characteristics

• Industrial contributions

• Process sidestreams

• Seasonal variations

• Required effluent quality

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