The use of coagulation and flocculation for tertiary treatment of pulp and paper mill effluent was investigated, where the evaluation was based on the removal of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and BOD from post-coagulated wastewater. The study was undertaken on laboratory scale aerobic stabilisation basins (ASB). Two post coagulated (alum) wastewaters were studied, where the BOD:N:P ratios were 100:1.3:0.06 and 100:1.3:0.3. These wastewaters were treated in two identical concurrent simulations (A & B). The influent ratio for ‘A’ was selected representing the composition of actual coagulated Pinus radiata sulfite pulp effluent mixed with paper mill effluent. The input composition for ‘B’ represented a typical P concentration found in existing pulp and paper mill effluents. Unmodified sludge collected from a mill-pond was added at 4% v/v to each simulation replicating the treatment conditions at full-scale. Similar high percentage removals of BOD and COD occurred after 28 days (two HRTs) which were 94 and 67% respectively for ‘A’, and 98 and 70% respectively for ‘B’, where both remained at steady state during the third HRT. A statistical analysis of the data revealed that there was no significant difference in the sample variance of the BOD and COD results.
Keywords: ASB, BOD, coagulation, nitrogen, phosphorus, Pinus radiata sulfite pulp & paper mill