Water environmental control and process refinement inside a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is fundamentally based on sampling, analysis and on-line measurements on water and sludge streams. The problems related to an accurate and reliable control and thus an efficient water protection are addressed in the following. Four different crucial points whenever a sampling and control scheme is planned: 1) where should a sampling and on-line measurement take place? 2) When should sampling take place? 3) How should the sampling and on-line measurement take place? 4) Which variables should be controlled? Examples are given from different plants demonstrating ways to address the questions. Especially the relevance of the adopted parameter BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) is discussed. It is finally suggested to even abandon the use of BOD as consent variable in favour of on-line measurement of Suspended Solids, Nitrogen and Phosphorous.
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