Characterisation of wastewater for modelling of wastewater treatment plants receiving industrial effluent
Bio-process modelling is increasingly used in design, modification and troubleshooting of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Characterisation of the influent wastewater to a WWTP is an important part of developing such a model. The characterisation required for modelling is more detailed than that routinely employed for monitoring WWTP operation. Wastewater characteristics depend on the sources within the catchment served by a particular WWTP, and the presence of industrial effluents can cause the wastewater to be significantly different from purely domestic effluent. eThekwini’s wastewater treatment system is one of those most affected by industrial effluents in South Africa. Where industrial pollutants cause particular problems, additional measurements, beyond those standardly applied in sewage treatment, are required. Since influent characteristics vary from one catchment to another, this paper presents and compares results of influent wastewater characterisation from three municipal WWTPs, two of which are operated by eThekwini Water Services, which receive a combination of industrial and domestic wastewater. The paper also presents efforts to fractionate the influent COD of another WWTP run by eThekwini municipality and receiving a complex mixture of industrial and domestic effluent. The influent characterisation involves the determination of the volumes and concentrations of the carbonaceous, nitrogenous and phosphorus fractions in the wastewater, as well as other constituents present in the wastewater. This paper focuses on the carbonaceous fraction in the wastewater.
Keywords: influent characterisation, industrial effluent, process modelling