In this study, it is proposed that short sequencing batch reactor (SBR) cycles select and maintain a robust and active biomass, able to cope with typical disturbances occurring in wastewater treatment plants. In order to test this hypothesis, an SBR system was subjected to COD, N and P shock loads. It was shown that the sludge enriched in the SBR operated with short cycles was able to rapidly recover from the tested disturbances. COD and N removal recovered within 1-2 days for shock loads of 10 times the standard concentration. The P removal took up to 2-3 sludge ages to fully recover from the COD spike, but the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) performance was still able to be totally re-established after each of the tests, even in theoretically adverse conditions for the growth of polyphosphate accumulating organisms.
- Enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR)
- Glycogen accumulating organisms (GAO)
- Nitrogen removal
- Polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAO)