Wastewater treatment has been a challenge throughout the years due to varying influent chemical and physical characteristics and stringent effluent regulations. Treatment systems using activated sludge have been able to handle many of these difficulties. Given the lack of on-line computer controls, continuous flow systems have been mostly used for these purposes versus sequencing batch processes. The advancements in the field of automation has now made the option of a SBR process more attractive thus providing better controls and results in wastewater treatment. This is coupled by the flexibility of a SBR in the treatment of variable flows, minimum operator interaction required, option for anoxic or anaerobic conditions in the same tank, good oxygen contact with microorganisms and substrate, small floor space, and good removal efficiency.

Conventional activated sludge systems require separate tanks for the unit processes of biological reactions (aeration of mixed liquor) and solids-liquid separation (clarification) and also require process mixed liquor solids (return activated sludge) to be returned from the final clarification stage to the aeration tanks. In contrast to this GWT designs timer based Sequential Batch Reactors (SBR systems) in which all phases of the treatment process occur sequentially within the same tank.

Sequencing batch reactors operate by a cycle of periods consisting of fill, react, settle, decant, and idle. The duration, oxygen concentration, and mixing in these periods could be altered according to the needs of the particular treatment plant. Appropriate aeration and decanting is essential for the correct operations of these plants. The aerator should make the oxygen readily available to the microorganisms. The decanter should avoid the intake of floating matter from the tank.


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