Case of Study in Bolivia: Small-Scale Operation of an Integrated Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Biofilter


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  • AjitSeshadri
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Case of Study in Bolivia: Small-Scale Operation of an Integrated Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Biofilter

Nice to spot similarities,  keep up the Association
Great work, well wishes 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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  • Rohinipradeep
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  • Sanitation and Wastewater Expert, having 15-year experience in the Sector. Currently working with CDDIndia as Project Manager. Got more than 15 years of experience in designing, implementing engineering solutions for management of wastewater, faecal sludge management, waterbody rejuvenation and drain remediation across India and South Asia.
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Re: Case of Study in Bolivia: Small-Scale Operation of an Integrated Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Biofilter

Dear Oliver SAAVEDRA

Thanks for sharing the interesting paper. The results are very similar of what we expect from any conventional DEWATS.
The addition of the model definately, helps in organic content removal. However i see some modifications in the treatment scheme would have been better to achieve nutrient removal
1.  Addition of 1-2 chamber of Anaerobic filter after ABR will help in further reduction of PCOD and also avoid the sludge washout to HPGF. 
2. If the flow of wastewater into the Vertical filter can be made intermittent will help in nitrifications
3. Typically, the ABR systems are designed to desludge for 2-3 years, however, the practice of 6 months desludging will take away the active sludge and will interfere with the microbial steady state. I suggest you to relook into the opeartion once again
4. The solids content of inflow is low. may not be required for S-L Separation everytime. 

I hope this is helpful, let me know if any questions are there

Rohini Pradeep
Best Regards
Rohini Pradeep
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  • Director del centro de investigación en civil & ambiental, Universidad Privada Boliviana -Doctorado en Ingeniería civil (hidrología aplicada, manejo de recursos hídricos) -Maestría en Hidrogeología Tropical (evaluación y simulación de aguas subterráneas) -Licenciatura en Ingeniería civil (tesis: ing. ambiental, ubicación de rellenos sanitarios)
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Case of Study in Bolivia: Small-Scale Operation of an Integrated Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Biofilter

Dear All,

We would like to share our publication at ASCE journal related to the evaluation of the efficiency of a domestic WWTP in semi-arid area of Bolivia. This configuration is typical of a decentralized water treatment system.


Here the link for the full paper

Following details of the paper added by the moderator (PCP)

Title: Small-Scale Operation of an Integrated Anaerobic Baffled Reactor and Biofilter: Factors Affecting Its Performance
Authors: Ivette Echeverría; Oliver Saavedra;  Ramiro Escalera;  Gustavo Heredia;  Chihiro Yoshimura; Renato Montoya 
Published in Journal of Environmental Engineering (2022)

This study aims to evaluate the effect of factors influencing the performance of a small-scale operating wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) integrating anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) and biofilters with temperature fluctuations in the psychrophilic–mesophilic range. Over nine months of monitoring, the overall removal efficiencies for total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), soluble chemical oxygen demand, particulate chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, ammonia nitrogen (NH3–N), and phosphorus (P) were 92%, 82%, 98%, 98%, 49%, and 31%, respectively, on average. The ABR’s TCOD removal efficiency (57%) was about 20% lower than the simulated efficiency using the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA)’s ABR design model, implying that temperature fluctuation and intermittent wastewater flow are possibly the factors that most affect performance. Although it was lower than the expected efficiency, the global performance of the system is supported by the significant contribution of horizontal and vertical gravel biofilters. The effluent quality complies with the local standard for wastewater discharge, except for the high content of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, which can be used for crop irrigation. To improve the WWTP performance, we recommend using a primary settler considering the use of a chemically enhanced solid separation process to avoid overloading organic solids in the ABR operation.
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