Performance evaluation of the UASB Sewage Treatment Plant at James Town, Accra

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The UASB Sewage Treatment Plant at James Town, Accra, is used for domestic sewage treatment to remove the organic material from the wastewater. To achieve higher removal levels, Trickling Filters and Final Settling Tanks, are the other treatment units used as post treatment of the UASB reactor effluent. Laboratory analyses were carried out to determine the physical, chemical and biological components of the influent raw sewage as well as the effluent from the UASB reactors, the Trickling filters and the final Settling Tanks. The study period was eight weeks, from March 24to May 12, 2003. The average concentrations obtained for the parameters analysed for the influent flow were pH(8.96), DO(0.46mg/l), Turbidity(1922NTU), TS(3206mg/1), COD (2604mg/l), BOD(1206mg/1), TKN(52 5mg/l), P04-P(2 31mg/l) and faecal coliform (93 x 104 count/100ml). At the final effluent stage, the average values obtained for the measured parameters were pH (7. 44), DO(4. 25), Turbidity(I25NTU), TS(958mg/l), COD(145mg/l), BOD(23mg/1), TKN(43.1mg/l), P04-P(0.5mg/l) and Faecal coliform (216 counts/100ml). The total removal efficiencies recorded during the study period were 94.4%,98.1 %,68.8%,1 7.4%,78.3% and 99.97% for COD,BOD,TS,TKN,PO4-P and Faecal coliform respectively When compared with EPA Ghana, 1997,maximum recommended guidelines for discharge into water bodies the final effluent could be considered good in quality with Turbidity, Ammonia-nitrogen and Nitrate-nitrogen exceeding the guidelines With average values of 65.3mg/I of total nitrogen and 0.50mg/I of phosphate-phosphorus the final effluent could be discharge into the Korle-Lagoon without causing eutrophication or health risk. The overall performance of the Treatment Plant is reasonably satisfactory. However, with the current management practices in place, the plant may not be able operate efficiently under full operational capacity. For good operational procedures to be followed, it is recommended that the institutional structure that was put in place at the initial stage of the plant be maintained. It is also recommended that a filter medium should be built to purify the biogas to methane to be used as energy source rather than flaring it.
A Thesis submitted to The Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation, 2003