Aqua Aerobics– Aerobic granular sludge is an advanced biological wastewater treatment technology providing Enhanced Biological Nutrient Removal (ENR) with TN <3 mg/l and TP<1.0 mg/l without chemicals. The performance is equivalent to a 5 stage bar-den-pho process with 1/2 to 1/4 the footprint without recycle flows,  without the related mixers and pre and post anoxic/anaerobic selectors, without clarifiers and filters not required to meet the performance. No moving parts within the reactor and fixed weirs. An aerobic granular biomass is comprised of compact granules that provide several advantages compared to other secondary treatment processes.  With aerobic and anaerobic zones within the granule, nitrification and denitrification process will take place including enhanced biological phosphorus removal will be achieved.


Key Features / Benefits

  • Small footprint: 1/2 to 1/4th
    • No anoxic/anaerobic selector basins or associated mixing
    • No Clarifiers
    • No Return Activate Sludge (RAS)
    • No Filters required for performance
  • No chemicals
  • Excellent Settling
    • Visit Aqua’s AquaNereda plant and take sample to test settling
  • Robust process handling fluctuations in loadings, pH, toxic shocks and flows.
  • Enhanced Biological Nutrient Removal (ENR)
    • <1.0 mg/L P without chemical]
    • <3 mg/l Nitrogen
    • BOD/TSS 10 mg/l or 5 mg/l with filters
  • Energy Savings
  • No carrier media (complete biological granule)
  • No sludge bulking
  • Ideal for new construction or retrofits
  • Lowest life-cycle cost
  • Easy to Operate
  • Economical for both small and large plants
  • Ideal for Reuse standards with


Granular sludge exhibits the following:

  • Granules have minimum diameter of 200 µm to support treatment zones WITHIN each granule for inherent BNR
    • No separate anoxic and anaerobic zones required
  • Granules are completely biological in nature without carrier media
  • Granules are robust and resilient that retain their structure and quick process recover after upset conditions.


An optimized batch cycle is used based on the unique characteristics of theAquaNereda® Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology. Three main phases of  Fill/Draw, React and Settling are required to meet advanced wastewater treatment objectives. The duration of the phases will be based upon the specific waste characteristics, flow and the effluent requirements.


Settling properties at SVI values of 30-50 mL/g allow MLSS concentrations of 8,000 mg/l or greater.

See video below to compare settling of Aerobic Granular Sludge to Activated Sludge.


Foley, Alabama – Wolf Creek WWTP  (near Gulf Shores Beaches)

  • Started up January 2020
  • Avg flow = 3.5 mg/d
  • Peak flow = 6.0 mgd
  • Granules grown from conventional activated sludge
  • 1st Month Performance
    • BOD Influent: 190 mg/l; Effluent <5 mg/l
    • TSS Influent:  175 mg/l; Effluent <3 mg/l
    • NH4-N Influent 19 mg/l; Effluent <1 mg/l
    • TN Effluent <5 mg/l
    • TP Influent 5 mg/l; Effluent <1.5 mg/l

How  does AquaNereda AGS compare to “Densification” Technologies?

  • Densification technologies uses Hydrocylones to settle out heavier particles from selective wasting where heavier particles are returned to the activated sludge.
  • Only hydraulic selection, not biological
    • Requires separate zones for BNR
    • No Biological or Enhanced Nitrogen Removal Benefits
  • AquaNereda AGS has Biological Selection
    • Selects for PAO’s
    • Forms EPS for granule base structure
    • Provides high F/M contact
  • Grit leads to higher inert fraction
  • Densification is primarily in an investigation stage with very little full scale performance data (AquaNereda has over 80 installations)

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