Ensayo - 37 IWA Publishing 2011 Journal of Water Sanitation...

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Performance evaluation of different wastewater treatment technologies operating in a developing country Sílvia C. Oliveira and Marcos von Sperling ABSTRACT This article analyses the performance of 166 wastewater treatment plants operating in Brazil, comprising six different treatment processes: septic tank þ anaerobic f lter, facultative pond, anaerobic pond þ facultative pond, activated sludge, UASB reactors alone, UASB reactors followed by post-treatment. The study evaluates and compares the observed ef uent quality and the removal ef f ciencies in terms of BOD, COD, TSS, TN, TP and FC with typical values reported in the technical literature. In view of the large performance variability observed, the existence of a relationship between design/operational parameters and treatment performance was investigated. From the results obtained, no consistent relationship between loading rates and ef uent quality was found. The in uence of loading rates differed from plant to plant, and the ef uent quality was dictated by several combined factors related to design and operation. Sílvia C. Oliveira (corresponding author) Marcos von Sperling Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627 Escola de Engenharia, Bloco 1 sala 4622, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, Brazil E-mail: [email protected] Key words | developing countries, ef uent quality, performance evaluation, wastewater treatment INTRODUCTION In terms of water pollution control, most developed nations have already surpassed the basic stages of water pollution problems, and more attention is being given to the removal of speci f c compounds and the impact of pollutants in sensi- tive areas. However, most developing nations still have grossly polluted rivers and watercourses that are environ- mentally unacceptable and that pose substantial risks to health. As a result, these countries need to focus on the abatement of gross pollution, thus requiring the provision of basic wastewater treatment facilities to overcome the environmental degradation. Signi f cant scienti f c and technological developments have opened the way for several treatment processes that are able to comply with a wide range of discharge standards. However, the pure availability of a technology is not by itself suf f cient, because it should be cost-effective, appropriate to the local conditions and affordable. While developed countries, in general, have extensive sewerage networks and a high degree of sewage treatment and industrial wastewater control, most developing countries have inadequatesewerage systems and simply use watercourses as open sewers. Brazil is a large country with many geographical, cli- matic, economical, social and cultural contrasts, re ecting the reality encountered in many developing and industrial- ized nations. While in some situations sophisticated wastewater treatment technologies are applied, in most of the cases natural and non-mechanized processes are used, bene f ting from the prevailing warm climate. Temperature
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Ensayo - 37 IWA Publishing 2011 Journal of Water Sanitation...

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