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InternationalJournalofEnvironmentandResource(IJER)Volume3Issue1,February2014 www.ijer.

org
DOI:10.14355/ijer.2014.0301.02

PerformanceEvaluationofaSewage
TreatmentPlantUsingRhodamineTracer
NamasivayamVasudevan,JustinAroon,OdukkathilGreeshma
CentreforEnvironmentalStudies,AnnaUniversity,Chennai
greeshma.o@gmail.com

Abstract
Biologicaltreatmentisanimportantandintegralpartofany
wastewater treatment plant that treats wastewater having
soluble organic impurities. Activated Sludge Process
treatment technology, is one such option for treating
domestic wastewater. Biological treatment using aerobic
activatedsludgeprocesshasbeeninpracticeoveracentury.
Increasing pressure to meet more stringent discharge
standardsornotbeingallowedtodischargetreatedeffluent
has led to implementation of a variety of biological
treatmentprocessesinrecentyears.Inthepresentstudy,the
performance of Sewage Treatment Plant for domestic
sewagewasevaluatedintermsofBiologicaloxygendemand
(BOD), Chemicaloxygendemand(COD),Totalsuspended
solids (TSS), Total dissolved solids (TDS), and by water
tracer studies using Rhodamine. STP showed a removal
efficiency of BOD95%, COD90%, TSS87%, TDS35%. The
studyrevealedthatSTPiswellmaintainedandachievesthe
standards prescribed for effluent discharge by the Tamil
NaduPollutionControlBoard(TNPCB).
Keywords
Rhodamine; Water Tracer; Activated Sludge Process; Sewage
TreatmentPlant

Introduction
MostofthemetropolitancitiesinIndiageneratemore
than38,254millionlitresofsewageeachday.Ofthis,it
hasbeenestimatedthatlessthan30percentofwhatis
collected undergoes treatment before it is disposed
into freshwater bodies or sea[3]. As per Central
Pollution Control Board rules, a city or towns
municipality or water authority is responsible for
collecting and treating 100 percent of the sewage
generated within its jurisdiction. The level at which
thesewagehastobetreateddependsonwhereitwill
be disposed; and treatment standards are higher for
disposalintofreshwaterbodiesthanthatintothesea.
However, typically even where sewage treatment
plants (STPs) exist, sewage collection networks are
inadequate; so some portion goes for treatment and
the rest flows into nallahs and drains. Sometimes
wastewater stagnates in pools from which it leaches

into the groundwater table and contaminates


underground aquifers[11]. Among the various
wastewatertreatmenttechnologies,themostcommon
treatmenttechnologiespreferredbymunicipalitiesare
conventional activated sludge process (ASP) and
sequential batch reactor (SBR). These processes are at
least partly automated and designed to meet specefic
outputqualityparameters.
Tamilnadu is one of the states undergoing rapid
urbanizationandranksasthemosturbanizedstatesin
India. Interestingly only onefifth of the states total
urban population is served by the sewerage system
and the remaining population depends upon septic
tanksorothernightsoildisposalsystems.Studydone
byCPCB[15]ontheperformanceevaluationofSTPsin
Indiarevealedthattheprimarycausefordegradation
of our water resources is the pollution caused by
sewage discharged from cities and towns[3]. Hence
the treatment plant should be routinely checked for
theirperformanceandflawsinthetreatmentunit.This
isusuallycarriedoutbasedontheremovalefficiency
of various wastewater characteristics and by water
tracerstudies.
Flow analysis and characterization in municipal and
industrial wastewater facilities is part of the
operationalSOP. The effectivenessandefficiency ofa
treatment facility depends largely on adherence to
hydraulicdesign.Dyefluorometryisusedtocheckthe
hydraulic design of these systems [2,16]. The
application of water tracer in wastewater treatment
system is mainly carried out for operational,
environmentalpurposes,aerationandreaerationbasin
mixing studies, contact chamber residence time
analysis, operational, environmental purposes, and
influent plume tracing, operational purposes. Among
thevariousdyesavailableforfluorometrichydrologic
studies,RhodamineWTisrecommendedbecauseitis
easytouseandhasmanyfeatureswhicharedesirable
for water tracing[5], and because it is the most
conservative of dyes available[5]. Studies have
revealedthatRhodaminedyescanbeeffectivelyused

ww
ww.ijer.org Intern
nationalJournaalofEnvironm
mentandReso
ource(IJER)V
Volume3Issuee1,February22014

as a water tracer and


d also foun
nd applicattion
waastewatertreeatmentsysteems[6,7,10].
Ch
hennai, one of the fourmega cities in India, is the
besst example for pollutio
on of surfacce water bod
dies
cau
used by discharge from sewer outfalls.
o
Cen
ntral
Po
ollution Con
ntrol Board (CPCB) an
nd Ministry
y of
En
nvironmentaandForests[33]haverepo
ortedthatAd
dyar
and Coovum rivers
r
passin
ng through the city receeive
s
outfaalls,
waastewaters from 141 and 276 sewer
resspectively.A
Atpresent,th
hereare6Sew
wageTreatm
ment
Plaants in Chen
nnai with an
n overall treaatment capaacity
of 264 MLD and
a
estimateed generation of sewagee in
hennaiis158MLD[4].Prresentstudywascarriedout
Ch
in Sewage Treeatment Plan
nt for domeestic sewagee at
Alaandur municipality in Chennaai district of
Tamilnadu Staate in India. The main objective
o
of the
stu
udy was to evaluate thee performan
nce of treatm
ment
bassed on the removal of BOD, COD,, TSS, TDS and
usiingwatertraacerRhodam
mine.

Re
esults and Discussion
Wa
astewaterCh
haracteristiccs
Phy
ysiochemicall characterisstics of sew
wage from the
inleet tank of ST
TP were giv
ven in table1. Raw sewage
cha
aracteristics were above the CPCB tolerance
t
lim
mits
foreffluentdisccharge.
TABLE1CHA
ARACTERISTICSOFTHEWASTEW
WATER(STP)

Pa
arameters Influ
uentCharacteriistics TNPCBToleranceLim
mits
pH
TDS
TSS
COD
BOD
Chloride
C
Sulphate

6.07.5
16002700mg/L
L
300550mg/L
600800mg/L
250300mg/L
10002000mg/L
L
4050mg/L

6.09.0
2100mg/L
2
100mg/L
250mg/L
30mg/L
7502000mg/L
2mg/L

Ex
xperiments
s Design and
a
Setup
Wa
astewaterCh
haracterizattion
Th
hestudywasconductediinsewagetreeatmentplan
ntat
Alaandur in Ch
hennai distrrict, Tamilnaadu, India. The
treeatment plan
nt treated domestic
d
wastewater frrom
Alaandur municipality. Thee treatment system
s
adop
pted
acttivated slud
dge process for treatin
ng wastewaater.
Waastewaterwaascollectedffromtheinleettank,aerattion
tan
nk, and fin
nal outlet, was
w
characteerized for pH,
Disssolved Ox
xygen (DO)), Mixed Liquor
L
Volaatile
SuspendedSollids(MLVSS
S),MixedLiq
quorSuspended
ds (TDS), Total
T
Sollids (MLSS)), Total Disssolved Solid
Suspended Solids (TSS), Chemical
C
O
Oxygen
Demand
(CO
OD),Biochem
micalOxygeenDemand((BOD),Chlorride
and Sulphate as
a per standard methodss of wastewater
analysis[1].

FIG
G.1BODOFTH
HEWASTEWAT
TERINVARIOUSUNITSOFS
STP

PerformanceEvaluationoffSTP
Sam
mples were collected frrom the inlet tank, aerattion
tan
nk, and finall outlet and performancce evaluation
n of
ST
TPwascarrieedoutbasedontheremo
ovalefficiencyof
BO
OD, COD, TDS and TSS
S. Further, th
he performaance
evaaluation wass carried outt using Rhod
damineB water
traacer. Rhodam
mine was miixed with 5 L of water and
injected to thee inlet of aeeration tank of STP durring
infflowofdomeesticwastew
watertothetrreatmentsystem.
Th
he wastewatter was colllected at a
a regular time
t
intterval of 2 h
h for duratio
on of 48 h and
a
the samp
ples
weereanalyzedfortheconcentrationofthetracer.

FIG
G.2CODOFTH
HEWASTEWAT
TERINVARIO
OUSUNITSOFS
STP

PerrformanceEv
valuationof
f theIndividu
ualUnitsinthe
STP
1) BODan
ndCODRem
movalintheS
STP
BODandC
CODofthed
domesticwasstewaterdurring

InternationalJou
urnalofEnviro
onmentandR
Resource(IJER
R)Volume3Isssue1,Februarry2014 www.ijer..org

the variouss stages of trreatment aree represented


d in
fig. 1 and fig. 2. BOD of wastewaater in the inlet
tankvaried
dfrom250m
mg/Lto290m
mg/L,23mg/L
Lto
40mg/Lin aerationtan
nkandfinalo
outletBODw
was
12mg/L.Th
herewasaco
onsiderablerreductionin
nthe
BOD durin
ng the treatm
ment processs. BOD remo
oval
during the study varied
d from 90% to 95% and the
treatment system
s
was able
a
to achieeve a maxim
mum
BOD remov
val of 95.86%
%. BOD rem
moval of 95.886%
can be atttributed to
o the decomposition and
mineralization of orgaanic compou
unds [14]. The
Biochemicaal Oxygen Demand
D
(BO
OD) is the most
m
important parameter in the treaatment proccess
designand effluentdiscchargeorreu
use[15].Hig
gher
val may be mainly duee to the hig
gher
BOD remov
volumetric loading hig
gher rate thaan 0.3 to 0.7 Kg
BOD/m3d[7,8].

TSSofthed
domesticwasstewaterinth
hevariousun
nits
of STP also showed a rreduction fro
om 553 mg/L
L to
23mg/L.A maximumreemovalefficiencyof95.668%
was observeed during th
he study. Th
here was sliight
reduction in
n the TDS off wastewaterr in the vario
ous
units of ST
TP compared
d to the oth
her parameters.
TDS of the wastewaterr in the varrious treatm
ment
units varied
d from 1600 mg/L to 270
00 mg/L in in
nlet
tank, 1100 to
t 1900 mg/L
L in aeration
n tank and 1000
to 200 mg/L
L in the ou
utlet. A max
ximum remo
oval
efficiencyoffonly55.56%
%wasobserrved.Generaally,
TDS canno
ot be red
duced in the biological
wastewater treatment ssystem. The norms for the
discharge of effluent ass prescribed by TNPCB are
2100mg/L.

FIG.5OVE
ERALLREMOV
VALEFFICIENC
CYOFSTP

FIIG.3TSSOFTH
HEWASTEWAT
TERINVARIOU
USUNITSOFS
STP

FIG.4TDSOFTH
HEWASTEWAT
TERINVARIO
OUSUNITSOFS
STP

2) TSSand
dTDSremov
valintheSTP
TP
TSS and TD
DS removal in the vario
ous units of STP
S
arerepresen
ntedinthefiig.3andfig..4,respectiv
vely.

The parameeters like BO


OD, COD and
a
TSS in the
treated efflluent were found to be below the
prescribed range
r
by TN
NPCB for most
m
of the tiime
during the study perriod (fig. 4)). The perccent
n total disso
olved solids was 55% mu
uch
reduction in
below the expected
e
rem
moval of 7080% indicatting
poor efficiency in term
ms of total dissolved
d
sollids
owever,the removalofttotalsuspend
ded
removal.Ho
solids,COD
D,BODwasffoundtobessatisfactory.
TheinfluenttwastewaterrofSTPexhiibitedaCOD
Dto
BODratiorangingfrom
m2.04to2.78
8andthevalues
a
are comparaable to thosee presented by Metcalf and
Eddy (2003 and 1991) [77,8]. The typ
pical COD/BO
OD
omestic wasttewaters is usually in the
ratio of do
range1.25tto2.5.Howeever,fortrea
atedeffluentss,it
ranges from
m 2.95 to 10..6. This indiicates relativ
vely
higherprop
portionoftheenonbiodegradableconttent
intreatedefffluentthan rawwastew
water.Hence the
BODremov
valefficiency
yishigherth
hanthatofCO
OD
[13].
Dissolvedo
oxygenintheeaerationta
ankvariedfrrom

www.ijer.org InternationalJournalofEnvironmentandResource(IJER)Volume3Issue1,February2014

2.3mg/Lto2.5mg/L,whichwasslightlyabovethe
desirable range of D.O (1.52.0 mg/L). MLSS/
MLVSS ratio varied from 0.51 to 0.62, which was
alsomaintainedtothedesirableratioof0.60(table
2). F/M ratio was maintained between 0.1 0.18
(table 3). Evaluation of operating parameters like
dissolved oxygen, MLSS, MLVSS and F/M ratio of
theaerationtankrevealedthatthetreatmentunitis
maintainedingoodoperatingconditionandhence
agoodremovalefficiencyofBODandCOD.
TABLE2MLVSSANDMLSSRATIOINSTP

Durationof
Desirable
MLSS(mg/L) MLVSS(mg/L) Ratio
sampling
ratio
Day1
1994
1012
0.51
0.60
Day8
2100
1284
0.61
0.60
Day15
2150
1330
0.62
0.60
Day21
2140
1240
0.58
0.60

F/MRatio
0.16
0.14
0.15
0.15

Desirable
0.10.18
0.10.18
0.10.18
0.10.18

RhodamineBwaterTracerStudy
Thevolumeoftheaerationtankwas20,184m3andthe
volumetricflowratewas6.25m3/min,whichgavethe
theoretical mean residence time as 960 minutes. The
experimental mean residence time was 840 min,
meaning that the system has approximately 12.5%
dead volume. The water tracer study revealed that
aeration tank achieves the designed residence time
and works efficiently as far as residence time is
concerned. Lesser dead volume, will be the area of
stagnant zone within the aeration tank. According to
Farook et al[9], a negligible volume of the stagnant
zone in the aeration tank indicates that it works
efficiently as far as residence time is concerned. In
another study carried out in common effluent
treatment plant for tannery effluent, the flaws in the
aeration tank gave higher dead volume of 19.6%[10].
Rhodaminewatertracerstudiesalsorevealedthatthe
treatmentsystemwasingoodconditionmaintaininga
proper volumetric flow rate and there were no flaws
in the treatment unit. Removal efficiency of the
treatment unit also revealed that the unit is
maintainedingoodcondition.
Conclusion
All the individual units in the STP were checked for
theirdesignauthenticityandnoflawswerefoundand
hence the design wise the STP was found to be

10

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Day21

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