Adapting SimpleTreat for simulating behaviour of chemical substances during industrial sewage treatment

Struijs J, van de Meent D, Schowanek D, Buchholz H, Patoux R, Wolf T, Austin T, Tolls J, van Leeuwen K, Galay-Burgos M. 2016.
Adapting SimpleTreat for simulating behaviour of chemical substances during industrial sewage treatment.
Chemosphere 159:619-27
Doi 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.06.063


The multimedia model SimpleTreat, evaluates the distribution and elimination of chemicals by municipal sewage treatment plants (STP). It is applied in the framework of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals). This article describes an adaptation of this model for application to industrial sewage treatment plants (I-STP). The intended use of this re-parametrized model is focused on risk assessment during manufacture and subsequent uses of chemicals, also in the framework of REACH. The results of an inquiry on the operational characteristics of industrial sewage treatment installations were used to re-parameterize the model. It appeared that one property of industrial sewage, i.e. Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) in combination with one parameter of the activated sludge process, the hydraulic retention time (HRT) is satisfactory to define treatment of industrial wastewater by means of the activated sludge process. The adapted model was compared to the original municipal version, SimpleTreat 4.0, by means of a sensitivity analysis. The consistency of the model output was assessed by computing the emission to water from an I-STP of a set of fictitious chemicals. This set of chemicals exhibit a range of physico-chemical and biodegradability properties occurring in industrial wastewater. Predicted removal rates of a chemical from raw sewage are higher in industrial than in municipal STPs. The latter have typically shorter hydraulic retention times with diminished opportunity for elimination of the chemical due to volatilization and biodegradation.