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This course places appropriate stress on the fundamentals of activated sludge, deals with biological process including microbial activity. It covers design criteria & includes a discussion on operation of an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant.

Course Outline

After participating in the seminar, you will be able to:
Relate complex concepts of biological populations dynamics, the variables that affect the growth of microorganisms and the
   interaction with systems design and operation
Apply the aquired knowledge about the variables that affect the biological process and approaches to analyze its performance through
   audits and the like, as well as develop skills to optimize and better operate the plant from the liquid train aspect


Operators of wastewater treatment plants aim for trouble-free operation which requires a thorough understanding of the activated sludge treatment process. The course places appropriate stress on the fundamentals of activated sludge, deals with biological process including microbial activity. It covers design criteria and includes a discussion on operation of an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant. Process tests are covered in detail.


To provide comprehensive understanding of sludge treatment process, its operation and tests for its effectiveness.

Who Should Attend

Municipal Engineers, consulting engineers involved in plant design, construction, monitoring and control, superintendents, foremen, operators in wastewater treatment plants and individuals who want to sharpen their skills, and establish or improve their environmental programs.  Participants should not expect costs information as these are site specific and generally not available from published literature.

Faculty: Ronald Zaloum, Ph. D.

Program Outline Day I

Wastewater Characterization
• Wastewater composition and definition of terms used in the business
• Sampling methods and choice of method
• Sources of wastewater flows
• Variability of flows and need to measure for design and operation
• Tracer studies, why, when and what to do with the information
• Data analysis and interpretation

Activated Sludge
• Fundamental principles
• Overview of kinetics
• Assumptions and limitations
• Principles of biological process control (SRT etc)
• Identification /selection of design parameters
• Aeration fundamentals, aerators and aeration evaluation
• Overview of modified activated sludge configurations and lagoons

Nitrogen Removal Processes Nitrification
• Fundamentals of nitrification
• Microbiology
• Environmental factors
• Process parameters and kinetics

• Fundamentals of denitrification
• Microbiology
• Environmental factors
• Process parameters and kinetics
• Incorporation in treatment processes

Biological Phosphorus Removal
• Theoretical considerations
• Basic requirements
• Luxury up-take
• Co-precipitation
• Biological processes
• Incorporation within existing processes

Fundamentals of Fixed Film Processes
• Theory and principles
• Process configurations: Trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, bio-filters, fluidised beds
• Operating parameters and system control
• Organic carbon removal, nitrification and denitrification
• Usefulness in enhancing activated sludge life and performance


Day II

Overview of Process Audits
• General Description and purposes
• Comprehensive Performance Evaluation (CPE), what is it?
• Activities conducted during a CPE
• Comprehensive Technical Assistance (CTA), what’s that?
• Factors affecting the duration and cost of process audits
• Process audit components:
• Historical review of plant data
• Flow meter calibration
• Dye tests to characterize internal flow splits and the hydraulic behaiour of secondary clarifiers under high flows
• Oxygen transfer tests
• Evaluation of impact of loads from sludge train recycle streams
• Other techniques including tracer evaluations of digester mixing, jar tests to select optimum chemical dosage and point of addition for phosphorus removal

Process Control and Troubleshooting to Obtain Mandated Effluent Characteristics Operation
• Deviation of field performance and observations from idealized expectations caused by changes in hydraulics, organic composition or both
• Understanding how to focus on minimizing deviations
• Understanding the limitations of plant design and operation based on the F/M ratio or control of MLSS
• The height of the sludge blanket in clarifiers or gravity thickeners, the SVI and its limitation
• Tools available for measuring the sludge blanket: the glass tube
• Tools available for measuring biomass activity: the oxygen uptake rate and respirometric measurements in situ
• Sludge age vs F/M vs MLSS control
• Control of sludge wasting and its impact on operation: the good and the bad
• Maintaining constant sludge age
• Return sludge flow control: real significance and when to use it
• Control methods for activated sludge bulking and foaming
• Causes of poor settling
• Monitoring tests
• Process observation
• Measuring sludge settleability
• Measuring solid concentration and amount
• Aerobic basin dissolved oxygen uptake rates and oxygen profiles
• Determining effluent quality
• Measuring secondary clarifier sludge blankets
• The usefulness of microscopic examination of activated sludge

Open Forum Discussion

Operation and Troubleshooting

Concluding Remarks and Final Adjournment

Daily Schedule:
8:00         Registration and Coffee (Day I only)
8:30         Session begins
4:30         Adjournment

There will be a one-hour lunch break each day in addition to a refreshments and networking break during each morning and afternoon session. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

1.2 CEU / 12 PDH

Cancellation Policy
To withdraw from a course, you must send a request, in writing, with the official receipt to our office. Fifteen or more business days in advance: full refund less $50.00 administration charge. Five to fifteen business days in advance: non-refundable credit of equal value for any future EPIC seminar within one year. Credits are transferable within your organization. In case of an unexpected event occurring after this time, you may send someone else to take your place without any additional cost.
Map & Reviews
EPIC Educational Program Innovations Center
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Here are some reviews of the training vendor.
The course was very well presented and the course instructor was absolutely amazing.
Reviewed by 2013
Our instructor, Stephen Lamming, was outstanding and a true expert in his field. He was able to complement the technical air monitoring information with practical real life examples which was highly beneficial. He is an excellent communicator and was highly interactive with the course attendees. This course was recommended to me because Stephen Lamming does an outstanding job. I was very impressed with this course and have subsequently recommended it to my colleagues.
Reviewed by 2012
Would have liked more interactive problem solving.
Reviewed by 2011

This course currently does not have any dates scheduled. Please call 1-877-313-8881 to enquire about future dates or scheduling a private, in house course for your team.

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