Treatment of anaerobically treated domestic wastewater using rotating biological contactor

A. Tawfik, A. Klapwijk, F. El-Gohary, G. Lettinga

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17 Citations (Scopus)


A small-scale pilot plant consisting of a three-stage RBC has been investigated for the removal of E. coli, COD fractions and ammonia from the effluent of an UASB reactor treating domestic wastewater. The results obtained reveal that a three-stage system operated at a HRT of 3.0 h represents an effective posttreatment process. The remaining COD in the final effluent was only 51 ( /- 7) mgl(-1). Ammonia concentration was reduced by 67 ( /- 7.6) ÐThe overall E. coli reduction was 1.39 log10 at an influent count of 6.5 log10 corresponding to an overall removal efficiency of 95.8 ( /- 4.7) ÐHowever, according to prevailing standards, residual E. coli counts are still high for unrestricted reuse for irrigation purposes. When the system was operated at a HRT of 10 h, overall E. coli removal and ammonia reduction were 99.9 ( /- 0.05)nd 92 ( /- 6.5) ␛espectively. At a HRT of 10 h, recirculation of the 3rd stage effluent to the 1st stage reduced the residual of E. coli in the final effluent from 2 x 10(3) to 9.8 x 10(2)/100ml. Moreover, the recirculation of nitrified effluent from the 3rd stage to the 1st stage increased ammonia removal in the stage 1 from 23 to 43ÐThis relatively high ammonia removal likely can be attributed to the supply of nitrifiers from 3rd stage to the 1st one.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-176
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • waste water treatment
  • faecal coliforms
  • sewage effluent
  • rotating biological contactors
  • biological treatment


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