Erratic wasting rates of solids from the activated sludge process results in the production of "pockets" of young bacterial growth and old bacterial growth. Because young bacterial growth does not produce and accumulate large quantities of oils as compared to old bacterial growth, air and gas bubbles captured by young and old
floc particles result in the production of a different foam for each pocket of growth. Viscous light brown foam is produced for young bacterial growth and viscous dark brown foam is produced for old bacterial growth. Concentric circles of foam can be observed on the surface of the aeration tank when the aeration and mixing are terminated (Figure 20.3). A steady or consistent wasting rate over a relatively long period of time can help to correct this foam condition.
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