Assessment of Acute Toxicity to Treatment Plants

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Assessment of Acute Toxicity to Treatment Plants


Situations often occur where rapid assessment of potential toxicity to a treatment process is needed, for example, when hauled wastes are discharged to treatment plants. In these cases, the test wastewater is added in various ratios to a mixed liquor suspension along with an organic substrate that is known to degrade well by the test culture. Acetate seems to work well in most cases. Increases in oxygen uptake above that for the control substrate indicate a lack of toxicity as shown in Figure A. Decreases in oxygen uptake relative to the control indicate potential toxicity as illustrated in Figure B. More detailed respirometric assessments – such as those provided by OUR fingerprint analysis – can provide additional insight into the impact of these wastewaters on treatment plant performance.

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