Advanced wastewater treatment systems

Coppen, John (2004) Advanced wastewater treatment systems. [USQ Project]


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Technical progress in the field of municipal wastewater treatment, which includes
removal of eutrophicating pollution loads, has in the past few years significantly
improved the process flow of sewage treatment plants.
More attention is now being paid to the high number of disease-causing germs in the
sewage treatment plant effluent. Micro and ultra filtration, combined with the activated
sludge process, has turned out in recent years to be a suitable method for minimising the
effluent load. Tightening discharge standards for sewage treatment effluents can thus be
met, without the need for the conventional aeration and secondary clarification tanks or
filtration and disinfection plants. Membrane bioreactor technology provides a good
alternative to the conventional treatment of municipal wastewater (Huber Technology,
- Most of the current regulatory requirements will be met by the membrane
separation step.
- Membrane bioreactor technology is a space saving technique. Its modulebased
design allows the capacity to be easily increased when needed.
- Membranes will continue to decrease in price in the coming years.
- With improved effluent quality, re-use of the formerly wasted effluent is
possible, which makes it a sustainable technology.
- It combines the biological treatment with a membrane separation step.
Because of this combination it has several advantages over conventional treatment by
activated sludge followed by a settling tank.
- The settling tank is unnecessary because of the membrane separation;
submerged membrane bioreactors can be up to 5 times smaller than a
conventional activated sludge plant.
- Membrane bioreactors can be operated at mixed liquor suspended solids of
up to 20,000 mg/L.
- Biomass concentration can be greater than in conventional systems, which
reduces reactor volume.
- The membrane can retain soluble material with a high molecular weight,
improving its biodegradation in the bioreactor.
- Good effluent quality.
- Good disinfection capability, with significant bacterial and viral reductions
achievable using UF and MF membranes.
This paper describes the activated sludge treatment and the membrane bioreactor
processes, using Melbourne Water's Western Treatment plant at Werribee, in Victoria,
and CitiWater's Magnetic Island plant, in Queensland, as examples of the treatment
Sufficient information is given to permit an understanding of the two processes and
their relationships. The more recent MBR technology can be seen as an emulation of the
natural filtration processes occurring in broad acre treatment, without the large tracts of
land area, or the plant and the number of required processes needed for later

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:12
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: municipal wastewater treatment, sewage treatment plants, sludge treatment process, membrane bioreactor process, Werribee Sewage Treatment Farm, Magnetic Island Water Recycling Plant
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090508 Water Quality Engineering
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400499 Chemical engineering not elsewhere classified

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