|Sumario:||Tracer experiments are of concern to wastewater treatment engineers and researchers because of the importance of determining hydraulic regimes and retention times in wastewater treatment units. In this work, a pilot-scale maturation waste stabilisation pond (WSP) was spiked with Rhodamine WT, in order to determine how suspended organic matter would interfere with its performance as a tracer in a domestic wastewater treatment unit which had a high content of suspended algal biomass.
A primary maturation pond was spiked in three separate runs with different levels of algae (high, medium and low), with a known amount of Rhodamine WT (20% w/v); the tracer was measured in the pond effluent in real time every 20 min for 3? (the theoretical retention time, ? = 17 days). Algal biomass was monitored weekly from influent, column and effluent water samples by chlorophyll-a determination.
The results show that algal biomass has a strong influence on the behaviour of Rhodamine WT as a tracer and therefore the hydraulic characteristics calculated from tracer curves may be affected by tracer adsorption on suspended organic matter.|