Assessment of the operational performances of two activated sludge systems in Kuwait

  • Adallah AbusamEmail author
  • Andrzej Mydlarczyk


Activated sludge systems (ASSs) are the most globally used wastewater treatment systems. However, there is very little information about the operational practices of ASSs in developing countries. This paper presents how the Riqqa and Umm-Al-Haiman ASSs, in Kuwait, are operated and the methodology used to evaluate and compare their performances. Over a period of 9 months, weekly samples of the influents, aeration tank mixed liquors, and secondary effluents were collected and analyzed according to standard methods. Accordingly, the operational variables of the systems were estimated. The obtained results indicate that the plants were not operated within their recommended design values. The Riqqa ASS was inadequately aerated and hydraulically and organically overloaded, while the Umm-Al-Haiman ASS was operated at a very high mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) value. The method used by this study proved to be useful for identifying the operational problems of the studied ASSs, and it can be used to evaluating the performances of other ASSs.


Municipal wastewater Secondary treatment Extended aeration Oxidation ditch Operational variables Evaluation 



Activated sludge process


Activated sludge system


Biological oxygen demand


Chemical oxygen demand


Chemical oxygen demand concentration of the influent


Dissolved oxygen


Electrical conductivity


Food to microorganisms ratio


Hydrogen sulfide


Hydraulic retention time


Mean cell residence time


Mixed liquor suspended solids


Volatile mixed liquor suspended solids


Ammonia nitrogen


Nitrite nitrogen


Nitrate nitrogen

O & G

Oil and grease


Organic load


Parameter showing H+ activity in water


Wastewater influent flow rate


Wasted activated sludge flow rate


Re-circulated activated sludge


Sequencing batch reactor


Solids retention time


Standard deviation




Total nitrogen


Total phosphorous as PO4


Total suspended solids


Effluent total suspended solids


Re-circulated total suspended solids




Volatile fatty acids


Volatile suspended solids


Wasted activated sludge


Wastewater treatment plants


Funding information

The study was supported by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) under the Code 2012-1405-02.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Technology (WTRT) Program, Water Research CenterKuwait Institute for Scientific Research, KuwaitSafatKuwait

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