Activated Sludge Plant(ASP)

Activated Sludge Plant: It is a process for treating sewage and industrial wastewaters using air and a biological floc composed of bacteria and protozoa.The general arrangement of an activated sludge process for removing carbonaceous pollution includes the following items:Aeration tank where air (or oxygen) is injected in the mixed liquor.Settling tank (usually referred to as “final clarifier” or “secondary settling tank”) to allow the biological flocs (the sludge blanket) to settle, thus separating the biological sludge from the clear treated water.Treatment of nitrogenous matter or phosphate involves additional steps where the mixed liquor is left in anoxic condition (meaning that there is no residual dissolved oxygen).

The general method to do this is to monitor sludge blanket level, SVI (Sludge Volume Index), MCRT (Mean Cell Residence Time), F/M (Food to Microorganism), as well as the biota of the activated sludge and the major nutrients DO (Dissolved oxygen), nitrogen, phosphate, BOD (Biochemical oxygen demand), and COD (Chemical oxygen demand).

In the reactor/aerator + clarifier system.The sludge blanket is measured from the bottom of the clarifier to the level of settled solids in the clarifier’s water column.

The SVI is the volume of settled sludge in millilitres occupied by 1 gram of dry sludge solids after 30 minutes of settling in a 1000 millilitre graduated cylinder.

The MCRT is the total mass (lbs) of mixed liquor suspended solids in the aerator and clarifier divided by the mass flow rate (lbs/day) of mixed liquor suspended solids leaving as WAS and final effluent.

The F/M is the ratio of food fed to the microorganisms each day to the mass of microorganisms held under aeration. Specifically, it is the amount of BOD fed to the aerator (lbs/day) divided by the amount (lbs) of Mixed Liquor Volatile Suspended Solids (MLVSS) under aeration. Note: Some references use MLSS (Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids) for expedience, but MLVSS is considered more accurate for the measure of microorganisms. Again, due to expedience, COD is generally used, in lieu of BOD, as BOD takes five days for results.

Based on these control methods, the amount of settled solids in the mixed liquor can be varied by wasting activated sludge (WAS) or returning activated sludge (RAS).