Seasonal Variations

Seasonal variations in temperature, oxygen solubility, organism activity, and waste characteristics may require several normal control levels for the activated sludge process. During cold months of the year, for example, aeration tank solids levels may have to be maintained at significantly higher levels than are required during warm weather. Likewise, the aeration rate may be controlled by the mixing requirements of the system during the colder months and by the oxygen demand of the system during the warm months.

Control levels for an activated sludge system during startup are usually based on design engineer recommendations or information available from recognized reference sources. Although these levels provide a starting point, you should recognize that both the process control parameter sensitivity and control levels should be established on a plant-by-plant basis. During the first 12 months of operation, you should evaluate all potential process control options to determine the following:

• Sensitivity to effluent quality changes

• Seasonal variability

• Potential problems

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