Differing from municipal wastewater, rural wastewater in salinization areas is characterized with arbitrary discharge and high concentration of salt, COD, nitrogen and phosphorus, which would cause severe deterioration of rivers and lakes. To overcome the limits of traditional biological processes, a spiral fiber based salinity-persistent Sequencing Biofilm Batch Reactor (SBBR) was developed and investigated with synthetic rural wastewater (COD = 500 mg/L, NH4+
-N = 50 mg/L, TP = 6 mg/L) under different salinity (0.0–10.0 g/L of NaCl). Results indicated that a quick start-up could be achieved in 15 days, along with sufficient biomass up to 7275 mg/L. During operating period, the removal of COD, NH4+
-N, TN was almost not disturbed by salt varying from 0.0 to 10.0 g/L with stable efficiency reaching 92%, 82% and 80%, respectively. Although TP could be removed at high efficiency of 90% in low salinity conditions (from 0.0 to 5.0 g/L of NaCl), it was seriously inhibited due to nitrite accumulation and reduction of Phosphorus Accumulating Organisms (PAOs) after addition of 10.0 g/L of salt. The behavior proposed in this study will provide theoretical foundation and guidance for application of SBBR in saline rural wastewater treatment.
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