IWA Publishing

Influence of water treatment residuals on dewaterability of wastewater biosolids

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Co-dewatering of water treatment residuals (WTR) and wastewater biosolids can potentially benefit municipalities by reducing processing equipment and costs. This study investigated dewaterability (using capillary suction time, CST) of combined alum residuals (Al-WTR) and anaerobically digested biosolids at various blending ratios (BR), defined as the mass ratio of WTR to biosolids on a dry solids basis. Without polymer addition, the CST was 160 s for a BR of 0.75 compared with 355 s for the biosolids alone. The optimum polymer dose (OPD), defined as the polymer dose yielding CST of 20 s, was reduced from 20.6 g kg−1 dry solids for the biosolids alone to 16.3 and 12.6 g kg−1 when BR was 0.75 and 1.5, respectively. Precipitated Al hydrous oxides in the WTR likely caused flocculation of the biosolids particles through heterocoagulation or charge neutralization. The solids contents of the blended materials and biosolids at their respective OPDs were not statistically different (α = 0.05) following dewatering by a belt-filter press. We conclude addition of Al-WTR improved biosolids dewaterability and reduced polymer dosage. In practice, the extent of these benefits may be limited by the quantity of WTR produced relative to the amount of wastewater solids generated by a municipality.

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