Control of bulking sludge with ultrasound at Kirkby in Ashfield STW

Vergara, L – Ultrawaves


Severn Trent Water requested to Ultrawaves a solution in terms of the application of the ultrasound technology to solve problems associated with an excessive growth of filamentous microorganisms at Kirkby in Ashfield Sewage Treatment Works (STW). Kirkby in Ashfield STW has particular conditions which lead to a severe problem with filamentous microorganisms, especially with the specie known as Microthrix parvicella, which is a filamentous bacteria commonly occurring in Activated Sludge Processes (ASP) with different operating conditions and biological reactor configurations. Albeit the chemical alternative solved part of the technical problem at the site, such alternative had to be also analysed under an economic perspective in order to assess the full Operation and Maintenance (O&M) impact on the facility. This is indeed the side where chemicals and other methods have often a substantial infeasibility due to the high associated O&M expenditures including the chemical purchase, transport and appropriate handling (to be carried out under strict safety measures). All these circumstances led Severn Trent Water to incorporate a new urgent solution for bulking and foaming problems. The use of Ultrawaves ultrasound technology represented a proven and sustainable solution for the plant operator. Complementary to the previous, ultrasound also brought the best solution in regard to the environmental impact when compared with other measures through which filamentous microorganisms can be combated.

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