Virus elimination in activated sludge systems: from batch tests to mathematical modeling

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A virus tool based on Activated Sludge Model No. 3 for modeling virus elimination in activated sludge systems was developed and calibrated with the results from laboratory-scale batch tests and from measurements in a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The somatic coliphages were used as an indicator for human pathogenic enteric viruses. The extended model was used to simulate the virus concentration in batch tests and in a municipal full-scale WWTP under steady-state and dynamic conditions. The experimental and modeling results suggest that both adsorption and inactivation processes, modeled as reversible first-order reactions, contribute to virus elimination in activated sludge systems. The model should be a useful tool to estimate the number of viruses entering water bodies from the discharge of treated effluents.

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