Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. D. S. Smith

Advisor Role



To achieve the low levels of total phosphorus required in wastewater treatment plant effluent all chemical forms of phosphorus should be removed. The most refractory phosphorus in terms of removal is so-called “organic phosphorus”. This thesis explores potential relationships between dissolved organic matter and organic phosphorus and methods of removing organic phosphorus from waste water. Fluorescence spectroscopy will be used to characterize dissolved organic matter (DOM) in wastewater. The fluorescent DOM will then be monitored throughout the various wastewater treatment plants to investigate any changes throughout the treatment train. Correlations between fluorophore concentrations (concentrations determined for the different classifications of fluorescent DOM) and non-reactive phosphorus will be examined in hopes to discover implications for phosphorus removal. Screening of bench top wastewater treatment technologies for phosphorus removal looks into preexisting wastewater treatments for a cost effective and efficient method to breakdown refractory (organic) phosphorus. This thesis also investigates current limitations pH simulation in the wastewater treatment process. In order to optimize any type of nutrient removal pH simulation must be as advanced as the wastewater treatment technologies. Simulation of pH is very important for almost all wastewater treatment processes. Current modeling determines pH based on the concentrations of strong base cations, strong acid anions, weak acids and ammonia. This causes an underestimation of pH because the modeling does not take into account positively charged surface reactive sites in wastewater solids.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season