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EXTENDED AERATION SYSTEM

Contents
1. EXTENDED AERATION WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM .................................................................... 1
1.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................... 1
2. APPLICATION OF EXTENDED AERATION ................................................................................................... 3
2.1 Advantages of extended aeration system: ......................................................................................... 4
2.2 Disadvantages of extended aeration system: ..................................................................................... 4
3. Aeration Components ............................................................................................................................... 5
3.1 Simple Process Control & Operation .................................................................................................. 5
3.2 Aeration System Components ............................................................................................................ 5
3.3 Biological Nutrient Removal ............................................................................................................... 6
3.4 Type “R” Clarifier................................................................................................................................. 6
3.5 Biological Nutrient Removal ............................................................................................................... 7
3.6 Integral Clarifier .................................................................................................................................. 7
4. Extended Aeration Treatment System ...................................................................................................... 8
5. Extended Aeration (Oxidation Ditch) ........................................................................................................ 8
5.1 Key Process Design Parameters .......................................................................................................... 8
5.2 System Configuration ........................................................................................................................ 10
References .................................................................................................................................................. 12
LIST OF FIGURE
Figure 1 Process flow diagram of extended aeration system……………………………………...1
Figure 2 Extended Aeration Activated sludge wastewater treatment flow diagram……………...3
FIGURE 3 Sludge age System Construction……………………………………………………….
Figure 4 Flow sheet for extended aeration tank…………………………………………………….
Figure 5 Flow sheet for an oxidation ditch…………………………………………………………
Figure 6 Schematic Drawing of an Oxidation Ditch Oxygen/BOD Levels oxygen demand (BOD)
Oxidation Ditch…………………………………………………………………………………….

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1. EXTENDED AERATION WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM


1.1 INTRODUCTION
Extended aeration agitates all incoming waste in the sludge from a single clarifier. The combined
sludge starts with a higher concentration of inert solids than typical secondary sludge and the
longer mixing time required for digestion of primary solids in addition to dissolved organics
produces aged sludge requiring greater mixing energy input per unit of waste oxidized.

The extended aeration process is one of the modifications of the ASP. It is a complete mix system
and provides biological treatment for the removal of biodegradable organic wastes under aerobic
conditions. Air may be supplied by mechanical or diffused aeration to provide the oxygen required
to sustain the aerobic biological process. Mixing must be provided by aeration to maintain the
microbial organisms in contact with the dissolved organics. Since there is complete stabilization
is occurred in the aeration tank, there is no need for separate sludge digester. Further primary
settling tank is also omitted and settleble organic solids are also allowed to settle in the aeration
tank due to long detention time in the aeration tank. Process flow diagram of extended aeration
system is furnished below

Figure 1 Process flow diagram of extended aeration system

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The treatment steps are as follows:

 Wastewater after removal of floating solids and grits and flow equalization in an
equalization tank. In the equalization tank the wastewater is constantly mixed to keep the
solids in suspension with coarse bubble diffusers. The wastewater is withdrawn to a pump
well and pumped at uniform rate to the aeration tank. The equalization tank is provided in
duplicate to facilitate cleaning when needed.
 In aeration tank the wastewater is mixed with activated sludge and oxygen is provided to
the microorganisms through diffused aeration. The waste water is retained in the aeration
tank for 15 hours in order to decompose organic matter present in the waste water.
 The mixed liquor then flows to a secondary settling tank (SST) where most microorganisms
settle to the bottom of the settling tank along with sludge,
 A portion of the sludge (equal to 50% of the wastewater flow) is pumped to the aeration
tank to mix with incoming wastewater and provide sufficient microorganisms as return
activated sludge (RAS).
 The clarified wastewater from the SST then flows over V-notches into the effluent launder
and into an effluent storage tank for further treatment and disposal.

Extended Aeration AST

Can be designed as complete mix or plug flow


Operates at high HRT (≥ 20 hrs) and high SRT (≥ 20 days)
Sludge production is relatively low
Can produce highly treated effluent (low BOD)
Can suffer from poor-settling “pin flocs”
Requires relatively large aeration tank and has high aeration requirements
The Biolac system is an innovative activated sludge process using extended retention of
biological solids to create an extremely stable, easily operated system. The capabilities of this
unique technology far exceed ordinary extended aeration treatment. The process maximizes the
stability of the operating environment and provides high efficiency treatment. The design ensures
the lowest cost construction and guarantees operational simplicity.

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The system utilizes a longer sludge age than other aerobic systems. Sludge age, also known as
SRT (Solids Retention Time) or MCRT (Mean Cell Residence Time), defines the operating
characteristics of any aerobic biological treatment system. A longer sludge age dramatically lowers
effluent BOD and ammonia levels, especially in colder climates. The systems long sludge age
process produces BOD levels of less than 10 mg/L and complete nitrification (less than 1 mg/L
ammonia). Minor modifications to the system will extend its capabilities to de nitrification and
biological phosphorus removal.

While most extended aeration systems reach their maximum mixing capability at sludge ages of
approximately 15 to 25 days, the Biolac system efficiently and uniformly mixes the aeration
volumes associated with a 30 to 70 day sludge age.
The large quantity of biomass treats widely fluctuating loads with very few operational changes.
Extreme sludge stability allows sludge wasting to non-aerated sludge ponds or basins and long
storage times.

Figure 2 Extended Aeration Activated sludge wastewater treatment flow diagram

2. APPLICATION OF EXTENDED AERATION


Extended aeration is typically used in prefabricated "package plants" intended to minimize design
costs for waste disposal from small communities, tourist facilities, or schools. In comparison to

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traditional activated sludge, longer mixing time with aged sludge offers a stable biological
ecosystem better adapted for effectively treating waste load fluctuations from variable occupancy
situations. Supplemental feeding with something like sugar is sometimes used to sustain sludge
microbial populations during periods of low occupancy; but population response to variable food
characteristics is unpredictable, and supplemental feeding increases waste sludge volumes. Sludge
may be periodically removed by septic tank pumping trucks as sludge volume approaches storage
capacity.

2.1 Advantages of extended aeration system:

Plants are easy to operate, as the management of operation is for a maximum of two or
three hours per day.
Extended aeration processes are often better at handling organic loading and flow
fluctuations, as there is a greater detention time for the nutrients to be assimilated by
microbes.
Systems are odor free, can be installed in most locations, have a relatively small footprint,
and can be landscaped to match the surrounding area.
Extended aeration systems have a relatively low sludge yield due to long sludge ages, can
be designed to provide nitrification, and do not require a primary clarifier. .

2.2 Disadvantages of extended aeration system:

Extended aeration plants do not achieve de nitrification or phosphorus removal without


additional unit processes.
Flexibility is limited to adapt to changing effluent requirements resulting from regulatory
changes.
A longer aeration period and hence requires more energy.
Skilled personnel are required for the operation and control of return sludge and
maintenance of MLSS concentration in the aeration tank.

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3. Aeration Components
3.1 Simple Process Control & Operation
The control and operation of the process is similar to that of conventional extended aeration.
Additional controls required for denitrification, phosphorus removal, dissolved oxygen control and
SCADA communications are also easily implemented.

3.2 Aeration System Components


The ability to mix large basin volumes using minimal energy is a function of the unique Bio Flex
moving aeration chains and the attached Bio Fuser fine bubble diffuser assemblies. The gentle,
controlled, back and forth motion of the chains and diffusers distributes the oxygen transfer and
mixing energy evenly throughout the basin area. No additional airflow is required to maintain
mixing.

Stationary fine-bubble aeration systems require 8-10 CFM of air per 1000 cu. ft. of aeration basin
volume. This system maintains the required mixing of the activated sludge and suspension of the
solids at only 4 CFM per 1000 cu. ft. of aeration basin volume. Mixing of a Biolac® basin typically
requires 35 to 50 percent of the energy of the design requirement. Therefore, air delivery to the
basin can be reduced during periods of low loading while maintaining effective food to biomass
contact and without the risk of solids settling out of the wastewater.

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FIGURE 3 Sludge age System Construction


A major advantage of this system is its low installed cost. Most systems require costly in-ground
concrete basins for the activated sludge portion of the process. This system can be installed in
earthen basins, either lined or unlined. The fine bubble diffusers require no mounting to basin
floors or associated anchors and leveling. These diffusers are suspended from the Bio Flex floating
aeration chains. The only concrete structural work required is for the simple internal clarifier(s)
and blower/control buildings.

3.3 Biological Nutrient Removal


Simple control of the air distribution to the Bio Flex chains creates moving waves of oxic and
anoxic zones within the basin. This repeated cycling of environments nitrifies and denitrifies the
wastewater without recycled pumping of mixed liquor or additional external basins. This mode of
Biolac® operation is known as the Wave Oxidation process. No additional in-basin equipment is
required and simple timer-operated actuator valves regulate manipulation of the air distribution.
Biological phosphorus removal can also be accomplished by incorporating an anaerobic zone.

3.4 Type “R” Clarifier


Land space and hydraulic efficiencies are maximized using the type “R” clarifier. The clarifier
design incorporates a common wall between the clarifier and aeration basin. The inlet ports at the

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bottom of the wall create negligible hydraulic head loss and promote efficient solids removal by
filtering the flow through the upper layer of the sludge blanket. The hopper-style bottom simplifies
sludge concentration and removal, and minimizes clarifier HRT. The sludge return airlift pump
provides important flexibility in RAS flows with no moving parts. All maintenance is performed
from the surface without dewatering the clarifier.

3.5 Biological Nutrient Removal


The secondary process at Laurel is the Biolac System Wave Oxidation with Nutrient Removal
Process. This extended aeration process (SRT>50 days) includes an anaerobic selector for initial
biological phosphorous removal. Raw influent and return activated sludge are combined in this
zone under anaerobic conditions prior to discharge into a single extended aeration basin.
The extended aeration basin construction is compacted earth with sloped walls and a synthetic
liner. The aeration system consists of floating aeration headers (chains) with automated valves.
The aeration chains are controlled to create moving zones of oxic and anoxic conditions within the
single basin to facilitate nitrification and denitrification. The movement of the aeration chains also
maintains complete mixing of the basin contents at lower airflow rates allowing greater turndown
during periods of low loadings. Integral to the extended aeration process are two parallel secondary
clarifiers. Excess biological solids are wasted out of the process and can be pumped to one of the
former treatment lagoons due to the high degree of biological stability.

3.6 Integral Clarifier


Land space and hydraulic efficiencies are maximized using the integral clarifier. The clarifier
design incorporates a common wall between the clarifier and aeration basin. The inlet ports in the
bottom of the wall create negligible hydraulic headless and promote efficient solids removal by
filtering the flow through the upper layer of the sludge blanket. Parkston offers multiple
configurations of integral clarifiers. One of the most common integral clarifier configuration is the
hopper style bottom clarifier. The hopper-style bottom simplifies sludge concentration and
removal, and minimizes clarifier HRT. The sludge return airlift pump provides important
Flexibility in RAS flows with no moving parts. All maintenance is performed from the surface
without dewatering the clarifier.

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4. Extended Aeration Treatment System


–– Low-loaded activated sludge technology
–– High oxygen transfer efficiency delivery system
–– Exceptional mixing energy from controlled aeration chain movement
–– Simple system construction
–– Low bio solids production
5. Extended Aeration (Oxidation Ditch)
Extended aeration is often used for small treatment facilities requiring a simple process, in the
form of a package treatment plant. It is also used for larger treatment plants in the form of oxidation
ditches. Principal benefits of extended aeration modifications include reduced sludge handling and
lower power requirements.
A long aeration time (hydraulic loading) and low organic loading characterize this process.
Primary clarification is often eliminated.
Dissolved oxygen (DO) is introduced at intermittently spaced aerators and the DO
concentration may be allowed to decrease significantly between aerators.
The ditch configuration and the mixing energy applied are designed to maintain a velocity
of approximately one foot per second, in order to keep solids in suspension.

5.1 Key Process Design Parameters


The following range of process design parameters is permissible for an extended aeration and
oxidation ditch activated sludge processes:
F/M Ratio*..........................................................................................0.05 - 0.1
#BOD/#MLVSS/day
Organic Loading (maximum) .......................................................................15 #BOD/1,000 cubic
feet/day
MLSS...........................................................................................................3000 – 5000 mg/liter
Aeration Retention Time (minimum) ............................................................24 hours
Solids Recycle Rate**..................................................................................50% – 150%
*F/M = food to microorganism ratio
#BOD = pounds of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
#MLVSS = pounds of Mixed Liquor Volatile Suspended Solids

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**Based on maximum monthly average influent flow rate

Extended aeration activated sludge process – Flow sheet for this process is shown in Figure
Below

Figure 4 Flow sheet for extended aeration tank


This process operates in the endogenous phase of the growth curve, which necessitates a low
organic loading and long aeration time of 24 hr or greater. Hence it is applicable to small treatment
plant less than 1‐ mgd capacity. The process is stable and can accept variable loading. Final settling
tanks are designed for a long detention time and a low overflow rate varying from 200 to 600
gpd/ft2. The process is extensively used for prefabricated package plants. Primary sedimentation
is omitted and separate sludge wasting is generally not provided.
Oxidation ditch – This is an extended aeration process in a closed loop reactor and is good for
small
Communities. A flow sheet for a typical oxidation ditch is shown in Figure 6

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Figure 5 Flow sheet for an oxidation ditch


It consists of an elongated oval channel about 3 ft deep with vertical walls and a center dividing
wall.
Horizontal brush rotors are placed across the ditch to provide aeration and circulation. The
screened
Sewage enters the ditch, is aerated by the rotors, and circulates at about 1 to 2 ft. /sec. The operation
Can be either intermittent or continuous.

5.2 System Configuration


In this example of extended aeration, an oxidation ditch configuration is presented as a
representative of the extended aeration modification. Many other configurations are possible. The
principal differences between an oxidation ditch and a conventional activated sludge system are:
• An oxidation ditch is configured as a ring with continuous flow around the ring, which is induced
by aerators.
• A clarifier may be located within the annular space of the ditch to save on construction costs and
the amount of land required.
• Oxidation ditch rings may be interconnected at the ends in order to produce a long, continuous
loop.

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Figure 6 Schematic Drawing of an Oxidation Ditch Oxygen/BOD Levels oxygen demand


(BOD) Oxidation Ditch

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References
Chudoba, J. P Grau, and Ottova V. (1986) “Control of Activated Sludge Filamented Bulking 2.
Selection of Microorganism by means of Selector, Water Environment Research, vol. 72, pp., 490-
498.
Droste, R. L. (1997) Theory and Practice of Water and Wastewater Treatment. John
Wiley & Sons, New York.
Kellam, J.G., et al. (1993) Evaluation of Performance of Five Aerated Package
Treatment Systems. Bull. 178. Virginia Water Resources Research Center,
Blacksburg, VA.

Picanco A. P., Vallero M. V. G., Gianotti E. P., Zaiat M. and Blundi C. E. (2001)
Influence of porosity and composition of supports on the methanogenic biofilm
characteristics developed in a fixed bed anaerobic reactor. Wat. Sci. Tech. 44(4), 197-
204.

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