The effects of solids retention time in full-scale activated sludge basins on trace organic contaminant concentrations

Daniel Gerrity, Janie C. Holady, Douglas B. Mawhinney, Oscar Quiñones, Rebecca A. Trenholm, Shane A Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are largely unregulated, water resource recovery facilities are increasingly using advanced chemical/physical treatment technologies (e.g., advanced oxidation and reverse osmosis) to remove or destroy these trace organic contaminants (TOrCs). This can both reduce potential adverse human health effects in reuse applications and mitigate environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems. Unfortunately, advanced treatment technologies are typically energy intensive and costly to implement, operate, and maintain. The goal of this study was to determine whether optimization of solids retention time (SRT) provided sufficient benefits to warrant such operational strategies for TOrC mitigation. Specifically, SRTs of 5.5, 6, and 15 days were evaluated to determine the effects on several standard wastewater parameters (e.g., nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia concentrations) and the degradation of TOrCs. The experimental SRTs were operated simultaneously in parallel, full-scale activated sludge basins. The results indicate that it can be beneficial to implement biological process optimization strategies using existing infrastructure while reducing reliance on advanced treatment technologies. This study also identified potential operational issues that might arise in activated sludge systems operating at extended SRTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-724
Number of pages10
JournalWater Environment Research
Volume85
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Fingerprint

activated sludge
Impurities
pollutant
basin
Aquatic ecosystems
advanced technology
Reverse osmosis
Nitrites
Water resources
Ammonia
environmental effect
biological processes
Nitrates
aquatic ecosystem
Drug products
nitrite
Environmental impact
Wastewater
mitigation
ammonia

Keywords

  • Activated sludge
  • Endocrine disrupting compound
  • Pharmaceuticals and personal care products
  • Solids retention time
  • Trace organic contaminant
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

The effects of solids retention time in full-scale activated sludge basins on trace organic contaminant concentrations. / Gerrity, Daniel; Holady, Janie C.; Mawhinney, Douglas B.; Quiñones, Oscar; Trenholm, Rebecca A.; Snyder, Shane A.

In: Water Environment Research, Vol. 85, No. 8, 08.2013, p. 715-724.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gerrity, Daniel ; Holady, Janie C. ; Mawhinney, Douglas B. ; Quiñones, Oscar ; Trenholm, Rebecca A. ; Snyder, Shane A. / The effects of solids retention time in full-scale activated sludge basins on trace organic contaminant concentrations. In: Water Environment Research. 2013 ; Vol. 85, No. 8. pp. 715-724.
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