Extended aeration (EA) is an activated-sludge process for biological wastewater treatment. It is a similar process to conventional
plug-flow but has a lower loading rate and longer detention time. The EA process operates in the last phase of the bacteria life cycle
in which the death rate exceeds the growth rate. Essentially, the available food has been consumed and the remaining bacteria are
forced to consume each other, thereby reducing the sludge.
The EA process involves a large tank or lagoon with a constant air supply and underwater distribution network. EA is commonly used for small community wastewater treatment and is often paired with trickling filters for optimal treatment.
Extended Aeration System
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