Industrial wastewater treatment and management in Palestine is very limited. One of the larger 

seasonal industrial wastewater is olive mill wastewater (OMWW), the total amount of OMWW 

which produced in the West Bank is about (120000) cubic meter annually. OMWW had no pre

treatment or any type of treatment, all of this heavily polluted wastewater discharged into Wadi or 

into sewage network without permissions.  These discharges could be the major sources of 

groundwater pollution or make a disturbance in WWTP operations. 

The main goal of the research was to evaluate the operation stress on a pilot scale MBR system 

under normal and compare with heavy polluted (OMWW). The following objectives are 


- Investigate the process performance and reclaimed water quality under normal operational 

conditions, the baseline data. 

- Study the influence of stress conditions on the MBR operational performance. 

- Investigate the impacts of toxic loading (phenols and COD) from olive oil mill wastewater 

on MBR process performance and removal rates of COD and nitrogen. 

This research was accomplished by integrating a comprehensive data collection and analysis with a 

technical field work. For phase one sample is collected each week and the second phase two 

samples were taken every week. 

The wastewater used for this study was formed Birzeit University Campus, which has low organic 

loading comparing with domestic wastewater (BOD 248 mg\L, COD 479 mg\L), and olive mill 

wastewater is fresh one collected from three phase method extraction olive. 

Under normal and highly loaded conditions the removal rate was sufficient as treated technology 

flat sheet MBR was used.  



There is comparison between the removal rates for normal and abnormal conditions for these 

parameters COD, BOD, TSS, NH4+, TKN and total phenol, the removal percentage was (94%, 

90%, 93%, 93%, 71% and 98%), removal percentage for highly organic load conditions COD 

reduce by 35%, BOD almost 50%, TSS and NH4+ unchanged with 93%, TKN almost unchanged, 

but total phenol reduced by 9%. According to these analytical results of MBRs the effluent quality 

of Pilot scale is complying with set local effluent limits for agricultural irrigation grade (A) also, it 

has a good process performance of diluted OMWW treatment.  

The flux of the MBR was affected after the OLR became higher exponentially, which is reduced 

0.43 to 0.087 L/m2.d, as a result of increased trans-membrane pressure increasing. Statistical 

analysis shows that HRT and MLSS the most important parameter effect of MBR fouling. 

This study could help MBR WWTP operators to predict and control the MBR fouling according to 

operation parameters. Although, future studies can use the results of this thesis to identify a useful 

data about the monitoring and evaluation MBRs.